Come summertime there is no better place to be than outdoors beneath the bright sun and blue skies! For brides and grooms planning to host a summer wedding, one of the most popular options to keep guests comfortable is a tent. Ideal for an outdoor reception, it will allow guests to enjoy nature and roam. All the while lending protection from the sometimes harsh elements, including the occasional summer shower. Today we’re showing off some of our favorite summer wedding tent inspiration, featuring a variety of ideas for a stylish celebration.

*Header photo: @sweetlifephoto.jake / @partyplacepdx

Make a Statement

Following your ceremony guests will quickly depart to the designated ceremony space. Upon arriving, you want their first impression of your wedding tent to be one of excitement. For starters, consider the style of tent you want to feature. The shape of the canopy will lend a lot to your event. For example, a frame tent is more popular for modern or chic affairs. Meanwhile canopies are considered more elegant and teepees offer a boho vibe! 

summer wedding tent

Via @peachtreecatering

Let’s Talk Space

Aside from choosing a type of tent you also need to select a size. There are countless factors that play into size, but one of the most important is your guest count. A tent not only needs to provide room to seat all of your guests, but plenty of room to move. You don’t want anyone feeling claustrophobic! We recommend creating a tentative layout beneath the different size tents you are considering.

summer wedding tent layout

Via @taraskinnerevents / Photography @kelliboydphotography / Florals @harveydesignssavannah / Rentals @amazingeventrentals @eventworksrentals / Venue @fordplantation

Cover Your Vendors

Providing a comfortable space for your vendors may seem obvious, but its especially important for your wallet. You could potentially be liable in the event that their equipment was to overheat or become damaged due to rain or shine! It’s also just courteous. Do not make the mistake of forgetting to configure all of your vendors into your tent layout. This is especially important for vendors who guests will frequently visit, such as the bar and buffet area. 

tented wedding bar

Via @eastonevents & @montagepalmettobluff / Photo @corbingurkin / Tent @skylinetentcompany / Flowers @sygdesigns@bowen.studio / Planner @oohevents⁠ / Lighting @technicalevent

Cozy Cocktail Hour Lounge

At the peak of the summer, cold and refreshing beverages are a must-have come cocktail hour. To keep guests especially cozy, and to encourage mingling, we recommend creating social spaces. Lounges areas are beautiful, but they will also help to keep the bar area clear. Consider featuring a mix of sofas and loveseats, accent tables for people to set drinks, and bistro tables for those who prefer to stand. A sprinkling of small lounge tables featuring chairs with backs are preferable for elderly guests. 

wedding tent lounge areas

Via @haleykellyevents / Photography @annerhettphotography

Add Some Swag

Granted the canopy of tents are often beautiful, they tend to need a little bit of decoration. When it comes time to consider decorations you’ll want to factor in your palette and theme. Some of the most popular tent ceiling decor includes drapery and florals or greenery. However, don’t be afraid to feature something more unique, like pom poms, origami birds, wreaths, or banners. You will also want to invest in lighting, because how long can a party really go on if no one can see?

wedding tent ceiling decor

Wedding Planning & Design: @kkerkorianweddingsandevents / Photography: @leahhaydockphotography / Venue: Private Residence / Floral: @jngeventconsulting / Lighting & Draping: @griffingriffinlighting / Tent & Rentals: @peakeventservices / Linen: @latavolalinen @bbjlinen / Luxury Loo: @sperry_tents_seacoast

Time to Dine

One of the best ways to spruce up any wedding tent is with an impressive set of tablescapes. Tablescapes are always a memorable detail, and the first place your guests often head. When selecting your furniture and servingware rentals for a tented wedding, don’t forget to consider how the outdoors plays into the look of your event. It tends to work best if you complement the surrounding setting versus fighting it. Try to use the seasonal foliage to your advantage!

tented wedding tablescape

Planning, Coordination & Floral Design: @saltharbor / Photographer: @amandaandgrady / Band: @solfusionband / Tent & Rentals: @chairandequipmentrentals / Lounge & Rentals: @eventworksrentals / Bar & Tables: @whitebirchrentals / Dance Floor Graphics: @designalamere / Lighting: @highperformancelightingnc / Boxwood: @newgrowthdesigns / Napkins: @latavolalinen / Linens & Drapery: @partytables_linensanddrapery / Calligraphy & Illustrations: @southernbeebrooke

Let’s Boogie!

An underrated area at any wedding, including tented ones, is the dance floor. Typically a dance floor is a focal point at your event, often placed in front of the head or sweetheart table. You don’t want it somewhere off to the side where people feel excluded. Rather, keep it front and center so that people are encouraged to get up and move. To spruce up the area, we recommend hanging decor overhead the dance floor. It's an easy way to ensure your wedding photos look fabulous!

dance floor under wedding tent

Via @confettiand.co / Photo @ontheedgephoto / Flowers @rosesandtwinefloral / Rentals @abcpartytime & @patspartyrentals

Outside the Tent

Let’s not forget to utilize all of the area surrounding you wedding tent, not just in it. Even if your tent has walls, you’ll want to allow people some room to roam and get some air. One of the best ways to achieve this is by placing sporadic seating our lounge areas. If you’re hosting a more casual affair, fire pits (and s'mores of course) are the way to go! In the event that the weather is looking iffy, no worries. Just be sure to book outdoor furnishings that won't be ruined.

outdoor tented summer wedding

Venue: @parkhyattaviara_weddings / Photog: @scottclarkphoto / Planning: @amorology / Flowers: @megan_gray / Rentals: @adorefolklore @brighteventrentals @hostesshaven


Loving the idea of a summer tented wedding? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and how you’re planning to make your tented wedding a memorable event!

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