I know, no one wants to talk about rain. Rain, rain, go away... But as experts, and as responsible planners, it is something that should be addressed from the beginning of the planning process. When we talk about it in the beginning, everyone will be calm and ready if rain does come. Rain influences many things, budget, logistics, and design. All of these areas need to be taken care of. It seems like a simple decision, tent or no tent, but a good planner knows better, and takes many factors into account, so it becomes an easy and pain free decision for the client.
More often than not, the rain plan will cause a sizable dent in the budget. We consider every aspect of the event. We start with the space available where the tent will be located as well as how to access the space. Then we look at the existing flooring. We do this because tents can either be spiked into the ground or by using barrels. We also take the season and weather into account, such as if it is super windy or extra hot or freezing. The purpose of the tent will likely be related to this, like if it is meant to keep guests cool and dry, or just to be used for ornamental purposes.
Weather is the most important of all factors. We must consider that if it is windy and it rains sideways, it might wet part of the inside of the tent. If all the walls need to be down, it is very important to add air conditioning, and with that will come a generator as well and power must be supplied. That if it on grass, tent should go a couple of days before so that designated areas are not soaked and mushy for the day of the event. Seems like a lot, well it is! That is why you hire a planner with experience that is not afraid to talk about difficult situations.
Types of tent:
First, think of the space, and if you have to use a standard tent size. If you need more than one tent, make sure that you can have a good gutter system so there are no leaks in the transitions. Ask the provider how new and well kept the tent is. Many times, tents have small holes and when it rains hard, water drips on tables and guests. Also, ask if you can stake or if you need barrels. If barrels are in line of sight then they need to be dressed up. Another big thing to consider is where the poles go. Each tent has its own placement of poles, and many tents have poles throughout the center that can impede a clear line of sight.
Pole tents are supported by poles an have peaks. They are elegant and gorgeous but there will be poles throughout the center. Tents come in white.
Frame tents are the most versatile and have poles in perimeter, but not in the middle. They can be white or clear.
Marquee tents are a mix of pole and frame tents. They use the freestanding metal frame and the tent has a peaked roof.
Frame tents are the most versatile and have poles in perimeter but not in the middle. They can be white or clear.
Clear tents are beautiful but only if they are not scratched. Also, depending time of day you will be in the tent, the clear ceiling acts as a magnifying glass for the heat.
White tents do the trick but we like to really dress them up. Make sure they are not dirty or scratched. Lighting goes a long way to hide imperfections if ceiling treatments don’t fit the budget.
Sailcloth or Sperry tents are very chic. They are made from sailcloth material rather than vinyl and there are wooden poles instead of metal. The fabric is translucent and gives a nice glow. There will be poles throughout tent and not just around frame.
There are also custom tents that can have hard walls and all different types of ceiling materials.
There are just a few hints but we are happy to chat and go more in depth with any questions you might have about tenting or anything else.
By Nicole Braghin
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