Determining What Size Tent You Need for a Wedding

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A wedding outside under a tent can be a wonderfully memorable event. To determine the size of the tent, you must have a good idea of what you are going to need inside of it -- the number of guests, type of seating, dance floor, head table, buffet table, stage area of DJ table, bar, cake and gift table must all be accounted for.

Pole Tents and Frame Tents

  • Two types of tents are used in weddings. Frame tents can be set up on any surface but are not as dramatic and cost more. Pole tents can only be constructed on grass. They have dramatic high canopies but require extra lawn space for the stakes. Also, the poles in the middle of the seating area may be a hindrance.

Square Feet Per Person

  • Tent providers often have space calculators on their websites to help you translate all your needs into a specific square footage. For instance, the bar area, cake table, and DJ table usually require about 100 square feet each; buffet tables require 100 square feet per table, and there are often several tables. The dance floor needs 4.5 square feet per person, and figure that no more than half of your guests will be dancing at any given time. According to the tent providers, you should calculate 100 square feet per table for a 5-foot-round table and enough space for eight or 10 guests. Round up to ensure plenty of room. So, for 120 guests, seated at round tables of eight, a buffet, bar, cake table and dance floor, a 40-by-60-foot tent would be perfect.

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