Guest Post: Events By La Féte Designs Tent Dreams in Raleigh
We are so excited to share with you all this blog that is all about tenting the lawn for your next event. Tents can be a little intimidating but with a little help they can define beautiful! We have asked the tenting experts, the ladies of Events By La Fete, to help answer a few frequently asked questions about tents for a wedding day!
What are the advantages of tenting?
We love tenting for a few reasons - First and foremost, is space. The tent and the Carriage House can serve as an extension of each other, so with larger guest counts you can spread out and enjoy while not compromising on seating/dinner style, decor, or the band and dance floor you really want!
Second, it allows the use of the gorgeous lawn at the Merrimon-Wynne with no worries of rain, heat, or any other less than ideal weather. if the weather turns out to be perfect, you can open all the sides and enjoy a nice breeze while still under the cover of shade but also with appropriate lighting for the entire night. If it's a hot day, even without A/C the tent will make the ground cooler. You can also forgo the tent all together if weather turns out perfectly and you have appropriate lighting without the tent structure (more on this later)!
Lastly, tenting gives you a blank slate to create a space that is totally unique and special to your big day. Because you have a structure involved to hang lighting and draping, decorate with florals, and protect your tables, flowers, and guests from the elements, the decor possibilities with a tent are endless!
At what guest count do you recommend using a tent for best use of space?
The answer to this is based on guest count, entertainment (band vs DJ), and dinner style (plated or stations, seating for everyone vs just a portion of your guests, etc.). We suggest using a tent for any guest count of 170 or over, especially those with a band. There is slightly more room if you plan to use a DJ. If you have a band and 170+ people dancing you want to make sure your dance floor is large enough and the bar is close to the dance floor so you won’t lose your guests! So positioning the bar, band, some seating or lounge areas and dance floor will inside the Carriage House will take up the majority of the space. You can then utilize the lawn for dining, which makes for a very intimate environment and even al fresco dining should you decide to cancel the tent last minute.
What kind of tent do I need?
Tenting ranges based off of type of tent (white, clear, sailcloth) and the size + accessories you add on. basic lighting + some draping are always nice too! That being said, you can have a tent as small as 10x10 and go as large as 50x70. The options are endless!
What other things do I need to get in addition to the tent itself?
In addition, to the tent itself, you will need to consider sidewalls in the case of cold or rain as well as lighting. You can also add HVAC (heating or cooling) and fabric draping for the tent top and/or the side legs (to cover the poles), All of these items are basic add-ons, but truly a tent can be transformed into anything you dream of!
What is the policy on weather, cancellations, etc, with regard to payments, notice given, adding/removing items last minute?
When you reserve a tent, you are required to pay a 50% non-refundable deposit. You can add or remove items as needed until around the week of the wedding when you have a better idea of the weather. At that point you can choose to either cancel the installation of the tent (while losing any money you put down or continue with the tent as planned, adapting any additional items to fit the requirements for the specific weather you are expecting!)
What is the flow of the event with a tent added to the mix?
Overall, the goal is not to move people too many times from space to space, especially when you have a larger guest count! If your ceremony is on site, we would suggest you have your ceremony in the Carriage House and use the tent on the lawn and the house for both cocktail hour/the rest of the evening! Dinner tables would typically be on the lawn and guests can mingle until dinner begins, regardless of if you have a plated dinner or station-style service. If the ceremony is inside the Carriage House, then during cocktail hour, our staff in conjunction with the catering staff would re-set and transform the space for the reception. After dinner the Carriage House is typically opened up for dancing. Once the party begins, I would expect your guests to stay in the Carriage House for the most part. If your ceremony is offsite, you could use the inside of the main house for cocktail hour and then move everyone to the tent/carriage house for dinner and dancing.
What type of tent is appropriate at what time of year - clear vs white top?
A white top tent can be utilized year-round while a clear top tent is best suited for the Fall, Winter and early Spring months. As soon as the weather turns hot and humid, the clear top (while a gorgeous aesthetic) creates a "greenhouse effect" that amplifies the effects of the sun, which can cause flowers to wilt and guests to really feel the heat!
thanks so much for sharing your expertise La fete! we cannot wait to see the beautiful tenting created by y'all in the year to come!!