One of the best things about planning a wedding is putting together an event that really reflects you and your soon-to-be other half! A tented wedding can be the perfect way to show off your style and tailor the details of your big day to you and your beau. You may have your childhood home, the place you first met, or the place you used to summer vacation that stays with you both and you cannot think of another place that would have all the pieces you love and mean so much to you both...so, let’s have a tented wedding!! We have put together a few tips to making sure that tent in the backyard is really the way to go.
Creating a venue for your guests can be a lot of fun and comfort is key. The bigger your guest list, the more space you will need. Don’t stop at just square footage but also consider the geography of your space. Is it flat? What’s underground? A tenting company can come to your site and give you an idea of what can be safely be done at your location.
Lights, band or DJ, cooking, restrooms, all of these items require a power source. If there is not power near your venue, generators are available through most tent companies but keep your budget in mind. Many weddings can be done on the power from a home or structure on property but, if it’s an older home or you have a 10 piece band, it may not be sufficient.
Your wedding is a 5 or 6 hour event with the bar open and drinks flowing. If there is a house on site, it may be equipped for your event. Many times, you will have to bring facilities in. We usually recommend portable bathrooms for parties over 50 people. Anyone remember, Meet the Parents?
Many towns and villages (on Cape Cod especially) have strict sound ordinances. Give your local police station a call and inquire about their sounds rules. Better to know that to get a visit on your wedding day! If you are near the water, you may also want to consider the town across the water from you. Sounds travels!
No matter the time of day, those who live near you can also bring a halt to your event. Before you get too far into your wedding plans, check in with your neighbor. They’ll appreciate that you considered them!
Some of the most beautiful locations are down tight roads or on highly populated streets. Whether you shuttle from a nearby location, or provide a valet, keep in mind roads should remain clear.
Whether you are having all of the parts of your wedding in the same location or just cocktail & reception, weather is a factor. Have a Plan B & sometimes even a Plan C for where your guests will go if it’s raining or windy. And rain isn’t the only things to consider, the heat and sun can affect your guests as well.
8. General Impact-
If you are using your neighbor’s or even a rental home’s manicured lawn, keep in mind there are tables, chairs, dance floor & tent being built on those beautiful grounds. They can have an impact. Always make sure the owners of your site understand the scope of your event.
Tented weddings can allow for incredible freedom in your wedding planning. You can get creative and really customize your wedding to your vision. While there may be ways to save by purchasing your own alcohol and creating your decor, etc., remember you are creating your venue from scratch. The cost can add up quickly if you haven’t created a budget for yourself.
A private, tented location can be very intimate and comfortable. You and your guests create some amazing memories in this relaxed, outdoor atmosphere. Lots of pieces go into making a great tented wedding, make sure you're covered for the unforeseen. Peace of mind is worth it!
-written by our Senior Planner Stephanie
So you have decided to take the leap and have the perfect reception location in mind - only thing is...it is a blank canvas. An open space in your parent’s/grandparent’s/friend’s backyard on Cape Cod that needs tents, tables, chairs, bathrooms, you name it. You are not alone. Many Cape Cod weddings take place in beautiful, private locations that need many items brought in to make it happen, so that is why we have compiled a list of the top 5 things to consider when planning an at home event.
When you get the idea to have your wedding in a backyard, your first step will be to make sure you have the space to hold all of your guests. We recommend starting by calling a tent company and having them come out to see the space and measure for you. This way they can give you all of the options. It helps to have your guest list close to final so that you can let them know how many seats you will need for dinner and how big your dance floor needs to be. You also need to have an idea of what kind of food you want to have - buffet, stations, family style or plated - and if you want round or rectangular tables. This all helps to map out if you would have enough space for your dream wedding.
When you have a backyard event on Cape Cod, or anywhere for that matter, you have to bring in EVERYTHING. Tables, chairs, flatware, china, glassware, tent, bathrooms, dance floor, caterer, ovens, generators, and the list goes on and can add up quickly. A backyard wedding can be done on somewhat of a budget, but it all depends on the type of rentals you want to have, the food you want to serve and the atmosphere you want to set. There is a big difference in budget when having a family style wedding under a sailcloth tent with farm tables as compared to a clambake under a frame tent with rounds with linens. Also, when there is no parking on site and you need to provide transportation for your guests it will increase your spending. This is where we feel it makes sense to hire a professional to assist you in managing vendors, take the stress off of everything and even help you save some money!
3. Plan B
If any of your backyard wedding is scheduled to take place outside of a tent, like the ceremony or cocktail hour for example, be sure you have a plan B. Your plan B is obviously not your first choice, but if you don’t have plan B, you will be stuck in the rain! Ask your tent company about last minute options for a backup tent, as many companies will allow your to pay a deposit to have the tent on your order and then cancel that week if the forecast says you are in the clear. Paying for peace of mind may just be worth it!
4. Insurance, Permits & Noise Ordinances
Ok, so we made #4 really 4, 5, & 6, but they all relate. These are all important, but not so fun, items that you need to look into when having a backyard event. Usually you can get insurance easily by adding on a one day rider onto your homeowner’s insurance. Also, make sure you know what kind of permitting you need to have a tent in your town. Most tent companies will actually cover this for you. And last but not least, call your town to ask about noise ordinances. Most towns on Cape are 10pm, but some differ. We also always recommend visiting your neighbors in the weeks leading up to the event with a bottle of wine and letting them know about the wedding, especially if they are not invited. This way you can possibly avoid unexpected guests in blue showing up due to noise complaints!
5. Parking & Transportation
Parking is something that seems to be overlooked a lot for backyard events and always needs to be taken into consideration. Do you have ample parking on site or do you need to shuttle in all of your guests from their hotels? Do you have street parking, but want to hire a valet service to make sure that your guests can easily park? There are many different options to ensure a smooth parking situation, but be sure you have it under control. And do not forget your vendors! They will be arriving before your guests and will have many cars that will need to be parked - catering team, wedding planner, band or DJ, etc.
Backyard events are totally worth every second of the planning process! Yes it can be stressful at times, but the outcome is always so beautiful, original and fun! There are definitely other aspects you will need to consider when planning a backyard event, but these top five are the best ones to start with before you move ahead with plans. And if you feel you need more assistance, hire a planner!
In case you missed it - one of our super fun, DIY weddings was featured on Every Last Detail last week! I love Lauren Grove and her team and was so thankful that she saw the beauty and originality in this event to include it on her beautiful website. Carin and Billy were such wonderful people, I was honored to be a part of their special Monday wedding at a private home in Harwich.
Check out the post for the details and a ton of fabulous pics from Channing Johnson!
Plan. Relax. Enjoy.
At Cape Cod Celebrations, your vision is our brand. Learn more about how we can help you pull together your beautiful Cape Cod Wedding.