Gimme shelter

Taking your wedding outdoors can feel like a risk but with Graham Langill’s tent tips, your reception will be pitch perfect.

Scott Blackburn

Besides the obvious weather-defying qualities, what are some benefits of renting a tent?
Renting a tent is a great way to make your event unique. It allows you to transform a field, backyard, parking lot or golf course into a space that is yours. Unlike a hotel, community hall or permanent venue, a tent can be erected as early as you like, and dismantled several days after your wedding. This allows you to take your time decorating and setting up. Perhaps you’d like to host a brunch the morning after? A tent allows you flexibility many venues do not.

How do you decide which tent will work best for you?
There are two main styles of tents to chooses from—pole or frame. Pole tents have the high peaks, and centre poles down the middle of the tent. Frame tents have more of a sloped roof, and are not obstructed by centre poles in the tent. Both styles have their pros and cons; it comes down to what the tent will be used for, and of course what look you prefer.

Can you put a tent anywhere? What should you know before renting?
Although big open spaces are certainly nice to work with, we can put a tent just about anywhere! From patios, to rooftops, backyards and even flight decks of aircraft carriers! As long as we can secure the tent with stakes, weights or water barrels, we can do just about anything. For tricky setups we like to visit the site prior to installation to ensure we don’t encounter any problems during setup. Some tents do require permits from the city, so it is best to check what they require before booking a tent.

What’s an unusual or original way to set up a tent?
A special setting is what makes an event unique, and a tent is what makes it possible. Imagine a wedding at your childhood cottage with 200 of your closest friends. From beaches to farms, boats to patios, a tent can make the impossible a possibility.

What are some ways to decorate a tent? What about layout?
Decorating a tent is the fun part. From chairs and chair covers, to linen, dance floor, dishes, stages and lighting! A liner will also make it look incredible. Ruching fabric lines the ceiling, while matching drapes on the poles makes it difficult to tell you are in a tent. Layouts are also easily customized. A mock up will tell you exactly what your tent will look like ahead of time. Rectangular or round tables? Stage or dance floor? Head table or podium? Runners or overlays? Chair covers or chair bands? Let the planning begin!

Graham Langill is a recent addition to the Macfarlands tenting division which has been in business for 25 years offering tents from 100 to 20,000 square feet. Whether it’s for a family get-together, corporate event or that special day, a tent will be sure to make it spectacular. macfarlands.com

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