Dear Sieg and Cida,

Just a quick note to tell you what a pleasure it was working with you both on the Phelps/McParland wedding. Your dedicated service and well-maintained products enhanced the overall success of this event. I look forward to planning many more celebrations together with you.

Yours truly,

Leslie Speigel
Synergy Events

Benefits of a Tent

When you are planning an outdoor event or wedding in the Okanagan there are many aspects to consider. Both budget and location play a huge role in deciding if having a tent or multiple tents if the right choice for you. This Tent Event Guide will break it down for you.

Choosing the Right Location

When planning an outdoor event, location is a key factor. There are many unique locations to choose from. Being in the Okanagan your first choice may be a winery or a vineyard. They have a theme all to themselves and some offer on site staff to assist your preparations. However they may not have the space to include a tent.

Bed and Breakfasts are another popular choice. They tend to be a better choice for a smaller event, especially if an intimate wedding is your goal.

Lakefront Resorts are abundant in the Okanagan are offer beautiful views and a unique location. Many have on site accommodation for your guests. They also tend to have more space for setting up a larger tent, and therefore are better suited for a larger event or wedding.

Another option is ornamental gardens, an excellent choice when doing a ceremony. The tent simply enhances the already stunning natural beauty.

If you are set on doing a beach wedding, you couldn't choose a more ample location. However it can be difficult to set up any kind of tent on a beach, and it may even be restricted.

While destination weddings are a big hit in the Okanagan, a backyard wedding is just as common. You can control the site much easier, and you have plenty of time to customize the space. Several things to consider if doing a backyard wedding, is the size of the space and accordingly the size of the tent, marking out any underground irrigation lines, and mowing the lawn several days before the tent will be set up.

When considering all of the possibilities mentioned, you will want to keep several other things in mind.

  • Is there enough space for the appropriate sized tent?
  • Is privacy a factor? If looking into a public location you may need to consider overnight security for the tent and other rentals.
  • Are there any noise restrictions or other bylaws you have to follow?
  • Do you need a permit or liquor license?
  • Is there convenient parking?
  • Is power available at the location? Especially important if you plan on having lighting or the catering equipment requires it.

Considering Your Budget

An outdoor tent event is usually not an inexpensive undertaking. Not only do you need to rent the tent, but you will most commonly require tables, chairs, heating, lighting, dance floor, linen, napkins, china, flatware, glassware and more. Consider whether you want to have a large wedding or a smaller one. Most weddings average $100 per person and that doesn't include a wedding dress, or a tent/venue rental. You may want to consider scaling down your guest list when looking at your budget.

Choosing Ceremony vs. Reception and Tent Size

When considering your outdoor event will you be having a ceremony or reception under the tent? Although the Okanagan valley is well known for its hot sunny days, it does rain more often than you might think, and it can be extremely windy. While the tents are made to resist against inclement weather you don't want to underestimate the weather, and you should always have an alternate plan. When choosing the style and size of the tent that best suits your event you should decide if you want just the roof to the tent, or if you want walls as well. The size of the tent can be determined by the number of guests you are having and whether it is Reception or Ceremony. If it is Reception will you require a dance floor, buffet tables, cake tables, head tables etc? All of these fill the space inside the tent, and can affect which size you end up choosing.

Choosing your Tent Theme/Decor

When choosing your tent, you will also want to decide how and if you want to decorate it. Each tent has a specific size, shape and internal structure you will want to consider. You should always ask to see photos of your tent and find out if it has framework that is visible within the tent, or center poles which may force you to change your layout. You should also ask about options for hiding poles if you don't want them seen. Fabric tent liners and pole skirts are just one way to enhance an already stunning tent. You should decide if you will want walls on your tent or simply the roof. Walls are usually recommended especially in the okanagan because of the strong winds, but you can customize how many you want and if you want solid, clear or walls with windows. Once the tent is set up the possibilities for other decorations are limitless. You could drape fabric, hang lanterns, add plants or flowers etc.

Keeping Your Guests Comfortable

Once you've decided on your location, budget, size and style of tent, you may need to add lighting, heating or a power source. For lighting your tent(s) there are several alternatives. Perimeter lighting is a common choice as it provides constant light around the whole structure. You could use large globe tent lighting, or smaller mini lights for the perimeter. Light poles are easier to move so they can give lighting where you really need it. Chandeliers are an excellent way to add lighting, while enhancing the atmosphere drastically in the tent. Whichever of these you choose you may need extension cords, and will probably need a power source. Alternate lighting options is to use battery operated LED lighting or lanterns.

Heating the tent is usually only required in spring, fall or winter especially if the event will run late into the night. One choice for heating is to use a large propane heater than can sit on the outside of the tent, with a duct running into the tent to blow in the hot air. The benefit to this kind of heater is that it doesn't take up any space within the tent. Your other possibility is a patio/umbrella style heater which also runs on propane and can be positioned where needed.

If power is required you can consider renting a generator or you could find out if there is a power source on the property that can be used.

The overall Benefit of a Tent Event is creating a spacious, relaxed atmosphere for dining, dancing and entertaining that is unequaled in any other conventional setting. You can design and customize the tent and accessories to compliment your theme. Formal or Casual you control the environment of your tent. Your tent event shines and the impact is remembered long after.