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36 Breathtaking Tents for Your Outdoor Wedding

Jun 14, 2023Jun 14, 2023

Create a stunning structure for your celebration.

Photo by Studio This Is

Universally admired for their durability, functionality, and overall uniqueness, tents can offer a plethora of playful design options to any outdoor wedding space. Whether white, clear, or colorful, these resilient structures make for a stylish addition to your cocktail hour, outdoor ceremony, or al fresco reception.

You can craft an inviting tented entry fit for a grand entrance, create softness with cascading drapery, bring the outdoors in with live plants and trees, or set the tone for your post-ceremony design with a collection of ceiling installations. An assortment of whimsical décor, creative lighting, and custom flooring will help distinguish your wedding canopy or tent from the rest.

Ahead, some of the industry's top vendors lend their expertise on ways to make your wedding tent even more memorable. Read on for 36 breathtaking tent ideas for your outdoor soirée.

Photo by Jenna Greenawalt

While your tent might be in the great outdoors, give an interior feel to your tent with a variety of beautiful light fixtures. "One of our favorite elements of a tent is that it allows us to do really beautiful overhead installations," says Kelly Clark Leonard, owner and lead producer at Event of the Season. The designs will help light up your celebration and elevate the feel of your tent.

Photo by Ana Hinojosa

Light itself can also become a part of your design. We love how this wedding tent is lit up in unique patterns thanks to strategic lighting within floral installations along the tentpoles.

Photo by KT Crabb Photography

While tents often are used for only a wedding reception, let your investment do double duty and use the structure for your ceremony as well. This Florida ceremony incorporated a mix of unique seating options that were easily repurposed for the reception later in the evening.

Photo by Sergio Sandona

Want to take your after party to the next level? Construct a tent that evokes your favorite nightclub. Bold lighting, disco balls, and plenty of open space for dancing are essential in this design.

Photo by Studio This Is

Tentpoles don't have to be an eyesore. At this Illinois celebration, the brown pillars were decorated with branches in a strategic way to make them appear as if they were live trees in the middle of the reception. Tree-like arrangements on the head table further enhanced this unique aesthetic.

Photo by Janine Licare Photography

If you are confident in your wedding day forecast, let the beautiful daylight and landscape shine through at your reception with a structure punctuated with billowing fabric. At this Tahoe beautiful wedding, the bride said she had envisioned this style at her reception since she was in high school.

Photo by 2digitalbodas

The ceiling of a typical tent isn't necessarily the most attractive feature. Instead, find a unique way to cover it. At this Mexico wedding, ribbons and twinkle lights create a stunning installation overhead that covered the structure. "The ceiling was composed of thousands of white ribbons, creating a living art piece that plays with the wind," shared the bride.

Photo by Perry Vaile

Does your venue already have beautiful gardens and water features? Make the most of the location and set up your tent in the ideal area to help you save on rentals.

Photo by Shannen Natasha of The Wedding Artists Co. and Norman & Blake

Conceptualizing a floral display that hangs horizontally above your head table (typically where the newly married couple is seated) is a unique way to create a focal point inside your tent. Francie Dorman and Britt Cole, cofounders of 42 North, crafted this striking installation using soft florals, chandeliers, and romantic drapery. "We played with the tent's negative space elsewhere using layers of draping for a luxurious and intimate environment," they said.

Photo by Sasithon Photography; Tent by Stamford Tent; Floral Design by Ivie Joy; Rentals by Party Rental Ltd.

Hanging floral and greenery installations are super on-trend right now, but this couple opted for a sprawling effect rather than one singular focal point. For an in-the-meadows feel, hang greenery and naturally cascading florals all along the edges of your tent and down the center, leaving the rest of the ceiling empty. This works especially well with clear-topped tents, like this one, where the couple opted to hang twinkling string lights to create a truly magical vibe.

Photo by Jeff Brummett

For a chic and playful way to incorporate shine to the inside of your tent, Victoria Love, owner of V. Love Events, recommends strands of assorted twinkle lights. "Let your guests feel as if they are dancing among the stars with twinkle lights overhead," she says. The added feature will evoke romanticism and make for a soft ambiance.

Photo by Jana Williams

Morgan Childs, founder and creative director of Modern Elopement, suggests selecting a canopy to allow for plenty of sunlight to permeate throughout your space. "The open sides are great for integrating your surroundings into the design of your day while still creating shade with the overhead cover," says Childs.

Photo by Abby Jiu Photography

One way to add glamour to the construction of your tent—while eliminating the use of additional rentals—is to integrate soft draping. "Instead of chandeliers, use draping to add a special touch to an outdoor tent," suggests Kaitlyn Hostetler, event planner and director of marketing for EVOKE. "The depth created by the design generates the perfect ambiance for an elegant outdoor event."

Photo by Raquel Reis

When constructing a tent outside, the ground you are building on can be unpredictable. Kristin Doggett, owner and creative director at Bellafare, recommends creating a solid surface that you can rely on for your tent's foundation. "A solid surface is always a good idea to ensure a level dance floor, to avoid heels from sinking into the ground, and to create an environment that feels comfortable and inviting as if you were indoors," says Doggett.

Photo by Norman & Blake

"A beautifully draped tent creates an intimate space while sheltering guests from the elements," says Tina Reikes, owner of Bear Flag Farm, who promotes the use of a covered structure for an outdoor ceremony. For this wedding, the sides of the tent were left open to allow for a scenic view of the property.

Photo by Justin & Mary

Not only are hanging floral installations a major trend, but they are ideal for bringing the focus to the height of your tent. "A floral installation will draw your guests’ eyes upwards, allowing them to enjoy the full beauty of your tent," says Carrie Wilcox, owner of Carrie Wilcox Floral Design. Elevated floral designs can also free up space on your table, enabling the elimination of a centerpiece altogether.

Photo by Ninety Three Creative

"Create a living room in the middle of the tent to give purpose and focus near the dance floor," suggests Aleah and Nick Valley, founders of Valley & Company Events. "Stage oversized comfy chairs, coffee tables, and pews as you would in your own home, and accent with chandeliers overhead to bring the indoors out." A cozy space will encourage guests to sit and chat all night, all while admiring the tent's ambiance and décor.

Photo by Leila Brewster Photography

Set the tone for your tent by crafting an entry worthy of a one-of-a-kind event. Caitlin Campbell, senior event coordinator and designer at True Event, recommends grabbing your guests’ attention with an entrance adorned with eye-catching decor. "We love when a couple wants to go bold with flowers or other decor options to get everyone's attention," she says.

Photo by Elizabeth LaDuca

When utilizing a sailcloth tent, Lauren Emerson, owner of Lauren Emerson Events & Design, wants to remind couples to create height with the components of their tablescape. "Sailcloth tents have such beautiful high peaks that shouldn't go unnoticed," she says, suggesting that multiple levels of tall arrangements will ensure your design doesn't fall flat.

Photo by Kristin Moore Photo

Chelsey Morrison, owner of Gather Together Events, favors clear top tents to tie in aspects of the outdoors. "When you have a beautiful setting, there is no better way to feel connected to the landscape while still protecting your guests from the elements," she says. One of her most favored benefits of translucent structures? The silhouettes created from surrounding trees and landscapes can be seen at dusk.

Photo by Sarah Kate Photography

For an alfresco wedding, Emily Clarke, creative director of Emily Clarke Events, tied in magnolia trees throughout features of the reception and the tent's overall design. "To complement the trees, we created a grand tent entryway with woven vines, magnolia leaves, and overflowing greenery. We then covered the interior tent poles in ivy. Finally, we hung large magnolia-leaf wreathes from the ceiling," she explains.

Photo by Harwell Photography

For this reception, hints of purple were integrated throughout facets of the event's decor as well as within details of the structure itself. Alicia Fritz, founder of A Day in May Event Planning & Design, suggests incorporating subtle hints of color toward the top of your tent to help create a cohesive theme overall. "Depending on your day-of color palette," she says, "you can elevate your space and structure with varying tones, shades, and hues."

Photo by Jen Fariello

With your surroundings proving to be a significant influence on your overall theme and tented design, why not bring elements of nature into the interior of your day-of space? "We love to add natural components to our tented weddings by cutting saplings from the land and bringing the outside in," says Sherry Spencer, partner at Southern Blooms, adding that this helps create a more intimate space by filling the high ceiling.

Photo by Katie Stoops Photography

For couples that want to set the tone for their wedding in a bold way, Eatherley Schultz, owner of Floressence Flowers, recommends renting a structure with an impressive presence. "This Sperry Tent made a serious statement," says Schultz, referring to a past event that utilized this towering staple. "It was placed in the middle of a field and surrounded by the mountains of western North Carolina. A stunning tent supported by a stunning backdrop."

Photo by Ryan Phillips Photographer

"One of our favorite elements of a tent is that it allows us to do really beautiful overhead installations," says Kelly Clark Leonard, owner and lead producer at Event of the Season. Various points of interest like pendants, chandeliers, and other decorative elements create thoughtful details throughout a reception space. At this particular fête, white fabric wrapped the tops of each pendant to correlate with the sophisticated design aesthetic.

Photo by KT Merry

To enhance the exterior of your structure, Heather Lowenthal, owner of Posh Parties, suggests adding a pop of color to the tent's outer trim. "It's important to pay attention to the exterior as much as you do the interior," she says. Adding a pop of color to this all-white structure, the exterior was lined with draping that had a thick navy border to create a completed look.

Photo by Stone Crandall Photography

"In order for guests to properly groove to the sounds of an awesome band, a dance floor was a necessity," says Katie Huebel, owner of WED. The classic color combination of this dance floor was a custom element requested by the bride and groom.

Photo by Christian Oth Studio

Guests notice everything, so make sure the exterior of your tent is as breathtaking as the interior. "Don't forget to consider the structure of your tent and the materials needed to camouflage things you might not want your guests to see," says Lynn Easton, founder and creative director of Easton Events.

Photo by Perry Vaile

Ashley Culicchia Cash, owner and creative director of The Graceful Host, advises couples to look to their surroundings for design inspiration. "Incorporate natural tones into your color palette that mimic the landscape of your setting," she says. Wooden details aided in outlining the rustic design scheme of this airy tented reception.

Photo by Alex Paul Photography

A flattering component that ornaments your tablescape as well as creates softness throughout the ambiance of your space, Melissa Davis, owner of Melissa Davis Designs, recommends adding candles—varying in height—throughout the layout of your table. "The amber glow from the candlelight will add charm to the atmosphere of your tent's interior," she says.


While tables, dance floors, and various decor features will take up most of the space in your tent, it's important to leave room for other day-of elements like your live band or other entertainment essentials. "With an intimate setting as a unique benefit to a tented space, sometimes leaving too little room for a large orchestra can result in cramped spaces and limited dance room," says Jeremy Davis, bandleader for The Fabulous Equinox Orchestra. Talk with your planner or day-of coordinator to ensure plenty of entertainment space is allocated to avoid unnecessary overcrowding.

Photo by Christian Oth Studio

"Wedding tents should include everything that a regular venue has, such as flooring, power, air conditioning/heating units, generators, lighting, and portable bathrooms," notes Jennifer Zabinski, president and founder of JZ Events. It's also important to consider the functionality of your tent for vendors. "For example, ensure there are proper access points for vendors to load in, and be sure to include a cook-tent if your wedding is in a remote location."

Photo by Katie Slater Photography

If hosting an intimate affair or an event suited for a larger guest list, choosing the right size for your tent is crucial to finalizing the layout for your reception or ceremony. Christen Ryan, founder of Ryan Designs, emphasizes the importance of diversification when it comes to tent sizes and their aesthetics. "Keep in mind that some tents have poles that take up space throughout the interior and to consider your surroundings when choosing décor pieces so that every aspect of your design relates to the overall vision," Ryan says.

Photo by Justin DeMutiis Photography

With weddings that stretch far into the night, it's important to illuminate your tent enough so that guests don't feel as if they can no longer be in the space. "Whether string lights, large bulbs, or lit installations, the integration of light in your tented design is crucial for events that will continue after the sun sets," says Tracie Domino, founder and creative director of Tracie Domino Events.

Photo by Elizabeth LaDuca Photography; Tent by Greenwich Tent; Floral Design by Twisted Willow Flowers; Rentals by PEAK Event Services; Lighting and Draping by Ryan Designs

Why save all your decor for your tent's interior? Take a plain white canopy up a notch by embellishing the exterior in an over-the-top cascade of florals and greenery. This couple did not skimp on the floral design at their New England backyard garden-inspired wedding. The theme was complete with hanging tea lights inside, complemented by taper candles in glass holders on each floral-adorned tablescape.

Photo by Rachel Havel; Tents by Sperry Tents and Under the Sky Teepee Tents; Floral Design by Vintage Magnolia; Event Design by Enjoue Studio; Rentals by Premier Party Rentals and Colorado Party Rentals

Why have one tent when you can have two (or more)? This couple embraced their Colorado mountain setting by opting for a smaller tent to enclose their cocktail bar, leaving more room for dining and dancing in their main reception tent. Guests could mix and mingle at the bar and in the adjacent socializing area before heading to the larger tent for the rest of the reception. This idea is perfect for a wedding with a larger guest list, or where the reception venue is in a sprawling outdoor space, like this one.