There was a question I shared in last week’s post, “We were thinking about a $30,000 wedding budget, do you think that is enough for a tented wedding?” Remember this?! Well, today I wanted to chat more about Tented Weddings vs. Venue Weddings because there can be a huge cost difference depending on a few things, such as the location of the venue and type of venue.

I think every bride should hire a planner all the time but especially for tented weddings! Tented weddings have a lot of moving parts and so much planning and execution goes into them. Think of it like this… with a tented wedding you are literally bringing in every component a venue has to the property, kitchens for caterers, the structure, tables, chairs, glassware, silverware, linens, sometimes even restrooms and electricity (just to name a few!). And, when you are bringing in every component that can get extremely costly depending on your wedding design, details and musts! You really need to think hard before signing a venue or tent contract because you need to weigh all the pros, cons, costs and number of guests you plan on inviting. Always remember, the more guests you invite the higher the cost!!

Here’s a few planning facts about Tented Weddings and Venue Weddings:

Tented Weddings

  • These types of weddings can be extremely costly and depending on your guest count, wedding style, needs and must-have details a starting budget is roughly $40,000-$50,000. Like I said above you need to bring in every component of a venue but this could also depend on the location of the tent. If it is a property you have to rent they may or may not have restrooms, kitchens, tables, etc for you to use. If you are having the tented wedding at your property or a family member’s property, are they going to allow 150 guests to use the only two restrooms in the house, is their kitchen large enough for a catering team, do they have enough electricity to power everything? You need to ask these questions before settling for a tented wedding. Having a planner to guide you and plan the logistics for you can be extremely worth your while because we know all the questions to ask and the answers!
  • Coordinating the tent arrival along with all deliveries and pick-ups! With tented weddings all vendors and deliveries have to be coordinated properly according to when the tent actually goes up and is coming down. That’s a whole bunch of people you need to prepare logistics for.
  • Weather!!! When will you be having your tented wedding?! If it is during hurricane season or late fall you have to think of plan B situations and products you may have to put on hold in case it is colder out than expected like heaters. You will never know the weather and as planner’s we always have a solution to any tented wedding.
  • Permits! Did you even know that?? Yes, you have to pull a tent permit and every town has different rules and regulations. Some towns are tougher and stricter than others so make sure you plan for this and have all the proper paperwork.
  • Lighting, you can’t be eating in the dark!!! Remember every component which also includes lighting for the tent. Tent companies will have their own inventory of lighting but then there are also specialty lighting companies that will come in and hang gorgeous chandeliers! And, guess what… That was my very first job out of college, I worked for a tent decor company in Newport, RI designing and decorating tents! So, I have probably done about 150 tented weddings as a decorator, designer and planner to date!!
  • Trash Disposal, I bet you didn’t think of that either! Depending on the location of the tent you may have to hire an outside source to come and collect all that wedding garbage because what couple wants to be cleaning up and throwing away trash at the dump the following day of their wedding!! Gross!
  • Liquor! Depending on your caterer they will supply the liquor for your wedding or you will have to hire a liquor company to deliver on the day of your wedding. If you don’t have a caterer to figure out roughly the quantity you will need for your guests then you will have to figure that out. I typically average 1.5 drinks per hour per guest!

Benefits of Hiring a Wedding Planner

Venue Weddings

  • Depending on the type of venue and location of the venue the cost can range from $1,000 – $60,000!! There are some gorgeous venues out there!! So, in some cases maybe a tented wedding could potentially be less expensive than a Newport Mansion wedding. Again, the cost all depends on your guest count, wedding style, needs and must-have details. The venue typically, but not all cases, has tables, chairs, linens and tableware but you may not like the chairs or linens and want to rent your own.
  • If you use all the tables, chairs, linens and tableware a venue wedding may be the way to go budget wise because they also may already have an in-house catering team, kitchens, restrooms, lighting, trash disposal, etc. that a tent doesn’t have.
  • Weather!! You have less to worry about other than not being able to take pictures outside if it is downpouring but you will have a roof over you and your guest’s heads without the wind swept rain coming in through the sides.
  • Venue weddings seem to have a little less logistic planning than a tented wedding which can be less stressful if you are planning your own wedding without a planner. But, depending on the venue you may be bringing in all your own rentals and may need the help of a planner to coordinate and set up.
  • Venues will have enough room to have cocktail hour in a separate room where a tented reception you would have to either pray for good weather and have an al fresco cocktail hour or rent another tent which comes at additional cost.

I hope this helps you understand a little bit better now how involved tented weddings can be and even venue weddings depending on a lot of various factors. I also hope that this post got you thinking about hiring a wedding planner and how beneficial we can actually be to you and your wedding!! I mean, I could go on and on with more planning facts but if I gave all my secrets away I wouldn’t be in business!! Haha! 🙂

All Photography is by my fabulously talented friend, Annmarie Swift Photography!

Some other amazing vendors we love featured in the images:

Nectar, Newport Tent, and Rentals Unlimited