How to Choose the Right Size Tent for your Wedding


Many couples are increasingly choosing to host outdoor weddings, and this means bringing in a tent for part of if not all of the ceremony. Experts agree that if you’re only planning to use a tent for your one event, your best bet is to find a high quality tent rental company. Deciding how big you need your tent to be will vary depending on the activities you have planned. Here’s a simple cheat sheet to give you an idea of the wedding tent rentals you should expect on your big day.

For the Ceremony

Most couples that plan an outdoor wedding plan to have an uncovered ceremony, but it’s always good to have a backup planned in case the weather changes unexpectedly. You’ll want to be sure to have about six square feet of space per wedding guest in a cathedral-style seating arrangement. For an average wedding of 136 guests, that’s an area of 816 square feet, not including the aisle and podium or altar.

For Dining

Before you calculate the square footage of your dining space, it’s important to consider the size of your wedding tables and chairs. The amount of room you need will also vary if you’re having a buffet-style feast or a sit-down dinner. For a cocktail-type event, guests will generally need about six square feet of space, just as they would in the cathedral-style seating arrangement. A traditional dining setup will require quite a bit more: roughly 15 square feet per person, or 2,040 square feet for our 136-guest scenario.

For Bouquet and Garter Tosses or Dancing

You don’t want your dance area to feel too spacious; it makes guests feel a little too exposed. When you plan your wedding flooring rentals, estimate that each guest needs about three square feet of space for dancing (about 408 square feet for our 136-guest wedding). If you are planning to have a DJ or speaker, they’ll need an additional 100 square feet of space. If you have additional props, activities (such as a photo booth) or attractions, take those into account here as well.

Choosing the right wedding tent can be stressful, but these guidelines should give you an estimate to work with before consulting with the tent rental company. A quality tent rental company will give you an estimate and consultation to help you find the best fit–in some cases, they can even draw up a CAD model to help you visualize the space. Once you have your space laid out, the rest of the wedding planning will follow.

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