How Much Does a Wedding Tent Rental Cost?

Couples today might think that tented outdoor weddings are an interesting novelty. However, several cultures around the world have been married in tents since ancient times. 

Among the most notable ones that built enduring traditions from it include the Hebrews (see. the chuppah), Bedouin Arabs, Native Americans, and Mongolians. Obviously, these itinerant cultures consummate their unions in “temporary shelters” out of pure necessity than anything else.

While contemporary couples can always enjoy the comforts of indoor weddings, there are also specific advantages of choosing outdoor venues

Tent illustration

Hence, most of the engaged sweethearts chase their vision of a unique experience at the cost of considerable cash and stress. Granted, understanding the actual price of renting a tent goes far beyond the tent itself. In fact, it only concerns a smaller part of the whole. You also need to take note of the following factors:


Like every major aspect of expenditure, the number of guests you’re inviting affects every angle of the rental tent cost for weddings. Leased (or even purchased) tents are priced according to its specific dimensions. Hence, the actual price you’re paying will depend on how many visitors you want to shelter. The websites Woman Getting Married and Paul Redeker Rental Co. estimates the following standard tent sizes based on the total number of visitors in the guest list:

  • 25 guests = 15×15 frame tent
  • 80 guests = 20×50 frame tent
  • 100 guests = 30×60 pole tent
  • 140 guests = 40×60 pole tent
  • 200 guests = 40×80 pole tent

If you have downsized your wedding to 75 guests or less, you can do a lot better in impressing your guests in terms of unique hospitality than just settling for standard “single enclosure tent.” You can get creative with “multiple canopies” (e.g. bell tents) if you want to maximize your overall outdoor perimeter and comfort. Such a trend for Bohemian DIY weddings has become fashionable in the United Kingdom and France.

A 3-meter square bell tent can house a single round table for up to 10 guests. If you have less than 80 guests, you would need to rent 7 to 8 units strewn apart each other. The Bell Tent Hire Co. charges $110 a night for each unit. It’s comparatively more cost-efficient (not to mention more innovative) than renting a 40-feet wide frame tent with window walls.


Another crucial factor to consider than the calculable size (dimension) is the intangible quality of the tent design. Each basic tent variety differs by their singular and/or combined types of structural support, top shelter and lateral enclosures (or the absence of such). It is important to consider the fact that weather alone can determine every aspect of how every type of tent is designed.

In terms of structural support, you have the frame or the pole – each with their unique pros and cons that affect a vendor’s basic wedding tent rental pricing. A marquee type combines both the aforementioned kinds of structural support. Both the top shelter and lateral enclosure have three varieties: soft (cloth), solid, and clear. Clear-topped tents are characterized by either a see-through vinyl or a glass roof. Clear-sided tents, however, are often identified as al-fresco (open-air).

All these three basic aspects of tent structure, combined with a plethora of decoration themes, can unlock exceptional design ideas as far as the limit of one’s creativity can take. The Indian-based online wedding market, Shaadidukaan, has 11 of the 15 highly creative tent styles:

  • Sailcloth: curved, soft top and sides, pole support, and (usually) open-air
  • Clear/Greenhouse: square, solid/soft top, marquee support, and enclosed
  • Carnival/Circus: curved, soft top and sides, pole support, and (usually) enclosed
  • Beach/Tropical: square, soft top, frame support, and open-air
  • Indian/Moroccan: square, soft top and sides, marquee support, and (usually) open-air
  • Teepee: conical, soft top and sides, pole support, and enclosed
  • Yurt: cylindrical, solid top and sides, frame support and enclosed
  • Bell Tent: semi-conical, soft top and sides, frame support, and enclosed
  • Stretch Tent: curved, soft top, pole support, and (usually) enclosed
  • Naked Tipi: conical, pole support, and without top shelter and side enclosures
  • Nordic/Giant Hat: conical/curved, soft top and sides, marquee support, and enclosed

If you want a tent that is very easy to assemble, choose the naked tipi. Your overall spending will be significantly reduced given the fact that can easily purchase long bamboo poles. Warning: without backup plans, your wedding is pretty much ruined when it rains.

a wedding tent built with dining


The type of venue can indirectly affect your cost since your chosen tent is pretty much determined by the specific surroundings. For instance, tropical canopies are ideal for beach weddings and clear marquees are suitable for both open grassland and lush gardens.

While the scenery often appeals to the intangible aspect of our judgment, there are also logical features that affect how we choose a type of venue. Experts would often advise clients to choose a flat and even terrain when it comes to pitching tents. The characteristics of the venue’s soil/ground will also determine whether or not you’ll require expenses for suitable temporary flooring (e.g. carpet or wooden plank).

There are certain outdoor locations that exist in nearly every city in America. An infographic article by the Pennsylvania-based Event Center identifies 10 types:

  • Golf courses
  • Waterfront areas
  • National parks
  • Botanical gardens
  • Historic homes
  • Lofts/Rooftop spaces
  • Public plazas
  • Winery/Vineyards
  • Farms
  • Vacant open spaces

Setting both the ceremony and reception in one outdoor venue can be complicated for the traditionally religious couples and the expenses can vary. Religious ministers (e.g. Catholic priests) are rarely on-board with the idea of performing weddings outside their wards. Just do the ceremony in the house of worship. Renting and assembling arches, altars and pews right next to the reception campsite can be extra expensive, stressful and time-consuming.

If you intend to celebrate your wedding reception (and also ceremony) at your own home, be prepared to submit yourself to serious but temporary lifestyle adjustments. Among the most crucial challenges mentioned by the blog Southern Living is dealing with the discomfort of suppliers unintentionally invading your privacy. You also need to accomplish permits (e.g. noise ordinance, public waste disposal, etc.) and pay for the certain cost for proper landscaping.

Choosing a vacant space in a residential property also has its own perks, especially if you are downsizing your guest list. You won’t be dealing with the inherent difficulties of acquiring water supply and you can even supervise the venue’s setup more frequently. If this venue is intended for both ceremony and reception, you won’t be spending any transportation costs at all.


One of the many reasons for couples choosing a tent outdoor celebration is that your venue requires little decorations – almost barely limited to furniture and basic event equipment. The beautiful surroundings effectively eliminate the need for artificial enhancement. Such a fact is often apparent in the way nature seems to be a very popular screen background for personal computers and mobile phones.

While most couples can appreciate the downsizing of ornaments and flowers, the part about moving furniture and gear may require careful consideration. It is important to understand that alongside assembling the components of the tent and its interiors (e.g tables, chairs, catering stations, flooring, and props), your team of workers will also be coordinating with sound and lighting technicians in fixing the venue according to your theme.

For the part of the host couples themselves, one has to face the difficult choice between buying and renting. The blog Oak & Honey Events have underscored the notable pros and cons of each method for acquiring your décor. Your decision will have to be weighed balancing your ideal preference and practical budget capacity.

It is easier to adopt a very cozy and homey interior design if you have a small guest list. To avoid the cost of buying or renting chairs, embrace a theme that only requires pillow seats or cushions (e.g. Moroccan or tropical). Since many will be sitting on a luxurious rug, you can limit the number of cushions only for the select few honored guests. Most importantly, choose a dress code that is convenient for all visitors to wear in such a setting.

If you plan on buying most of the props and gear for your outdoor wedding reception, begin your selective shopping for items at least 6 months before the wedding day. Your décor variety will depend on what kind of wedding you want. Spend time researching for great theme ideas, but just make sure you stick to your best pick and not make a sudden (and complete) change of heart.

Buying your décor items would mean you’d be moving all the things by yourself. If you don’t have a long-bed pickup truck, it would be wise to hire local movers at $89 to $129 per hour. If you don’t have enough room to store them after the wedding, you can rent a storage space near your home or outdoor venue. An average 7-square foot self-storage space costs $91.14 per month.

Speaking of storage rental, can you really afford $91.14 per month for the rest of your life? Regardless of whether or not you can, there’s always a far better deal. In order to really save long-term costs, consider renting storage space only on a temporary short-term basis – until you’re able to build a storage shed next to your house at roughly $22.85 per square foot.


Obviously, there’s more to outdoor weddings than pitching a tent and decorating the venue. You also need to consider the basic necessities of everyone. Unlike indoor reception venues, it is easy to forget that some outdoor locations do not always have an immediate access to electricity, water, and restrooms. Scenic locations like national parks, public plazas, farms, beaches (a remote island) and vacant open spaces are usually off-the-grid and do not have enough utilities to sustain event-sized requirements.

Among the three aforementioned basic needs, it is the off-site electricity that always demands the keenest attention. The blog Rick Ryan Entertainment and Cooling Power Corporation featured a definitive power requirement estimate for average tent weddings:

  • Interior lights = 5 amps per light bulb (PAR64)
  • DJ sound system = less than 10 amps
  • Dance lighting = 2 amps per LED / 10 amps per non-LED
  • Perimeter lighting = 2 amps per LED (20 fixtures)
  • Gobo projector = 5 amps each
  • Food warmers = 10 amps each
  • Coffee makers = 10 amps each

If you’re inviting 100 or more guests, consider purchasing an industrial generator (especially the type that goes with towable wheels). Look for the multi-circuit inverter style that has 8 to 10 hours of running time before refueling. If you’re not renting one, you can also buy it for long-term domestic backup supply at around $9,000 to $15,000.

For a relatively small-sized wedding, you can reduce the electricity requirements by using alternative natural night lights. You can take advantage of this low-wattage backdrop with bohemian, rustic or beach weddings where candles, oil lamps and tiki torches accentuate the outdoor venue’s natural exotic appeal.

An even more important objective than to know that you need a portable toilet is to know exactly how many units you require. Like everything else, your needs are subject to the size of your guest list. The basic ratio to remember is 2 units per 50 people. The online hardware reference Fixr projects the different items and their respective costs:

  • Standard toilet = $80 to $100 per day
  • Deluxe toilet = $180 per day
  • Restroom trailer = $300 per day
  • Wheelchair accessible toilet = $225 to $295 per day

For locations with no access to running water (e.g. vacant open spaces), choose a tent rental service that includes leasing water barrels in their package. The one advantage you can enjoy with renting instead of buying water drums is that it frees you from the hassles of doing the manual labor (pickup, setup, and filling). The Texas-based AA Party & Tent Rentals charges $20 for both the full barrel and staff service.

The most recommendable venue for an outdoor (al-fresco) wedding that has immediate access to all three basic utilities is the loft. Commercial buildings often have an abundant supply of electricity and water, as well as rooftop restrooms. Most importantly, they even have one aspect most venues do not have – a security staff. When it really comes down to it, some plush buildings have their own canopies (e.g. green trellis) that renting a tent won’t even be necessary.

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