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The Perfect Day, The Perfect Tent

Helpful how-to's for outdoor weddings that wow

Photo by IRIS Photography

Cloudy with a Chance of Rain

No one wants to envision bad weather on a wedding day. However, a gloomy forecast is much more manageable and much less worrisome if contingency plans have been arranged in advance.

“We offer what is commonly called a rain plan for rain-only rental equipment,” explains Sperry. “Items typically include ceremony and cocktail tents as well as covered walkways to connect tents or even a tent to a building. As opposed to the main plan that will be executed no matter what,” he continues, “a rain plan can be cancelled before the scheduled setup day and reserved with a lesser deposit.”

Helpful how-to's for outdoor weddings that wow

Photo by Charlotte Jenks Lewis Photography

Tent sides are a standard item on rental equipment lists and should not be removed, advises Sperry. “You never know when the temperature will drop or a breeze will pick up,” he says, adding that sides can be installed but rolled up, leaving the tent open to the landscape until the sides are needed. “We also offer onsite event coverage, which consists of a crew member on-hand to deal with side management and lighting adjustments. This coverage offers great peace of mind.”


Dance floor, band stage, buffet and gift tables, and the number of bars all factor in to a layout. Even dining table shape affects the final reception tent size. Round 60-inch tables fit very efficiently inside tents and can seat eight to 10 guests—they are a good choice for budget-conscious couples looking to maximize square footage. Long rectangular tables take up more room, particularly if arranged as individual tables with eight to 10 guests each. As plans solidify, couples should update their tent company if their chosen table is different than the shape shown in spatial diagrams.

Innovative Tent Options

In 2011, the Fabric Architecture division of Sperry Sails unveiled a brand new tent design: the Sperry Pavilion. A frame tent like no other, the Pavilion offers a clear (pole-free) span. Comprised of an ivory sailcloth top and a natural wood frame, this style of tent measures 26 by 46 feet and can be paired with traditional Sperry pole tents or stand alone as a statement piece. It can accommodate a modest seated reception or act as an impressive retreat for drinks and dancing.

When all of the elements come together, an outdoor wedding showcases originality and personality. “Couples these days seem less concerned about formality and more concerned with creating a fun, comfortable environment for guests,” observes Wildes Liset. “Sperry Tents complement this trend by creating relaxed, natural settings. They speak to everything Cape and Islands.”

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