How to Decorate a Tent for a Wedding Reception

Wedding tents can provide an outdoor alternative to traditional church weddings. They also offer shelter for outdoor ceremonies facing inclement weather, from extreme heat to high winds to rain. Decorating a barebones wedding tent, though, can be a daunting task, even when flooring and basic lighting come with the rental cost. A little creativity and a vision for your special day can make a tent wedding every bit as pleasant as one staged in a modest church or a cathedral.

Decorate a Tent for a Wedding Reception
Choose the flooring for your wedding tent. Many wedding tent rental companies offer checkered dance floors, faux wood flooring or plastic flooring as options. Select a flooring that matches your wedding motif and helps guests keep their shoes and dresses clean and dry.

Decide on your guest tables and chairs. Most wedding supply rental companies offer white folding chairs and standard 71-inch round tables for seating guests. Decorate the tables with tablecloths in your wedding colors and tie tulle (soft, fine silk, cotton or nylon) ribbons on the backs of every other chair in the shape of a bow facing outward.

Use a tree-inspired look to create height in the reception tent and on individual tables. Take branches and remove the leaves. Spray paint the branches to match your wedding colors, or create a metallic look with gold or silver spray paint. Bundle 14- to 20-inch high branches with ribbon. Use fishing line to attach and hang plastic jewels from each bundle and seat them in pots with spray-painted peat moss or colored marbles to create interesting centerpieces. Use longer, thicker branches and do the same to create magical trees three to four feet tall in a monochrome color, potted and placed at varying heights throughout the tent.

Add lighting for pictures and ambience. Speak to the wedding tent rental company about the options for main and secondary sources of lighting for photographs. Consider using plastic colored filters on the primary light sources to create ambience. String spirals of small white lights around tent poles and corners to camoflauge the tent supports. Hang electric lanterns or place luminaria throughout the tent to create more color and romantic lighting effects.

Create candle-inspired warmth. Fill shallow, round glass bowls with water and place tea light candles in each with stemless whole flowers such as African daisies, plumerias or gardenias. Light the candles before the ceremony. Place the decorative glass bowls on guest and buffet tables.

Introduce varying heights. Take several stools or pillars of different heights and place them around the perimeter of the wedding tent. Drape each pedestal with a soft or shiny fabric, such as satin, silk or velvet. Cut pieces of fabric with decorative scissors, ensuring the fabric can hit the floor when draped over each pedestal. Place decorations such as plants, photographs of the bride and groom growing up, or floral arrangements on each pedestal to add visual interest.

Create decorations at great heights with fabric flowers. Select fabric flowers that match your wedding colors and motifs. Run a ceiling liner across the tent’s ceiling and hang or adhere fabric flowers to it.

Introduce a sense of whimsy with bubbles or balloons. Use balloons in wedding colors and fill them with air from a helium tank. Ask your wedding planner about creating a balloon arch behind the wedding party’s table or elsewhere for picture-taking. Release balloons to the tent ceiling to create a festive blanketed look overhead. Rent a bubble machine to gently blow bubbles throughout the tent.

Post time: Mar-04-2017
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