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The Perfect Day, The Perfect Tent

Helpful how-to’s for outdoor weddings that wow.

Helpful how-to's for outdoor weddings that wow

Photo by IRIS Photography

On a beach with panoramic ocean views. In a field with vintage touches. At an inn, surrounded by gardens and village charm. The possibilities are endless, and armed with a vision, engaged couples can use wedding tents to build a venue with emotional resonance. A tented wedding is a creative, personalized approach to a memorable day.

The versatility of tents allows for outdoor spaces that are part of nature, but protected from its whims.

But along with this freedom comes the challenge of ensuring that events proceed smoothly and comfortably for all involved. From leveling issues to power to catering to rain, there are many factors to consider when tenting an outdoor space, which is why brides, grooms, and their families rely on the experience of a tent rental company to guide them.

For over 20 years, Sperry Tents has provided tents and other rentals for outdoor weddings and special occasions. Sperry is best known for its elegant sailcloth tents, which are designed by the Fabric Architecture division of sister company Sperry Sails. In recent years, Sperry Tents has grown from the original location to a family of 15 privately owned providers.

Helpful how-to's for outdoor weddings that wow

Photo by Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography

Whether it’s destined for Wisconsin or the Hamptons, the crew of Sperry Sails handcrafts each Sperry Tent in an energy-efficient, post-and-beam facility in the historic village of Rochester, Massachusetts. With brothers Matt and Tim Sperry leading Sperry Sails and Sperry Tents, respectively, the two companies are family run and place a premium on traditional craftsmanship.

Sperry Tents come in various sizes, from small rounds to large, graceful ovals. They are also available in two color styles: classic ivory or the signature blue star design. Other telltale features of a Sperry Tent include geometric support patches with stainless steel grommets; pennant flags atop each peak; and solid wood support poles, most of which are milled at a historic 1930s sawmill operated by Tim and Matt’s father and Sperry Sails founder, Steve Sperry.
“Selecting a wedding tent goes beyond size and guest count,” explains Tim. “Choosing the style and quality of a tent is just as important as selecting an indoor venue. It needs to be a visually appealing backdrop, particularly for photography. The detailed craftsmanship of our canopies is purposeful and reflects the importance of such a well-documented day.”

Allison Wildes Liset, a Cape-based event planner and owner of Elegant Engagements, agrees that the styling and details of a tent are paramount. “Sperry’s wooden poles are unique and, unlike metal poles, do not require ‘decorative camouflage,’” she explains. “Also, the ivory color of their canopies is softer than the stark white of other tents and oftentimes more complementary to the environment and most wedding palettes. My favorite aspect is how the pattern of the seams creates drama as the canopy stretches up towards the peaks.”

For a newly engaged couple about to host their first sizable outdoor event, the following advice from Sperry and Wildes Liset will help keep the planning on track and smooth out any bumps along the way.

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