The colors of fall are a beautiful backdrop for an outdoor wedding. Unfortunately, many brides don’t consider hosting their big day outside during the fall due to chilly temperatures. If you’re in love with the idea of enjoying the reds and golds of fall foliage—a gorgeous backdrop for a rustic chic theme—don’t despair. With the correct tent accessories you and your guests will stay warm throughout the night.
Add Sidewalls to Your Tent
Most professional tent rental companies will offer a variety of sidewalls to attach to your tent. Whether you choose clear, solid or café style (side panels that look like windows), sidewalls are a critical tent accessory for keeping out rain and wind, and keeping warm air inside. If you have a stunning view, consider clear sidewalls so guests can still enjoy the outdoor scenery.
Select the Appropriate Size Tent Heater
Many rental companies offer heaters, which use electricity to run the fan and propane to fuel the heat. Be sure and select a heater that has a thermostat. This will ensure the heater doesn’t run continuously and you find yourself out of propane early in the night.
You also want to make certain you have the right size and number of heaters to maintain a comfortable temperature throughout the tent. Heaters can vary in size from 20,000 BTU to 125,000 BTU. Your tent rental provider will help you determine what you will need based on the size of the tent and the desired temperature. We suggest 1 heater for every 1500-2000 SF. This means if you have a 30×40 tent you’ll need one heater; if you have a 40 x 60 tent you’ll need two.
Don’t worry about aesthetics. Generally, heaters and propane tanks are located outside on the non-focal side of the tent and hot air is forced in through vents placed on the ground. Also, heaters will work better if there is siding all the way around the tent, but can be used with good results if a section of the tent furthest from the heaters is left open.
Patio heaters can create warm areas inside or outside[/caption]If you intend to use the heaters for more than 5 or 6 hours (say a rehearsal dinner Friday night and wedding on Saturday) let your vendor know so that extra fuel will be on hand. The ignition and fan require 110 power and draw less than 7 amps peak, so most household electrical service will suffice. For sites that do not have electric access, a generator can be used—an additional item your tent rental provider should be able to offer.
Use Patio Heaters for Targeted “Hot Spots”
Another heating option is a patio heater. Generally used by restaurants and bars with outdoor seating, a patio heater requires no electricity and provides a 10′-12′ circle of warmth. These are ideal if you are planning cocktails outside and want to keep guests from getting chilled. Patio heaters can be use inside a tent, but because the propane tank is located in the base of the heater they need adequate clearance and would generally be placed in the middle of the tent.
With the use of tent sidewalls and adequate heating you can keep your dream of an outdoor fall wedding alive. Happy planning.
By: Nora Foster
Lakes Region Tent & Event is a tent and party rental provider located in central New Hampshire. Whether you’re hosting 50 or 500 guests, they offer a variety of tents, tables and chairs, tableware, linens, lighting and more to fit any wedding style, size and budget. They can be found at lakesregiontent.com.