AWP Houston Tent Guide

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Should I suggest a tented space for my client’s wedding?

If you are having an outdoor wedding ceremony or reception, unless your venue has an alternate indoor location that will fit all of your guests, you need some kind of contingency for bad weather. Even if it doesn’t rain, excessive heat can kill a party. A tent makes it possible to have a party nearly anywhere. Instead of renting out a banquet hall, you can have your party by the beach, on the family ranch, in a park, etc.

What types of tents are there?

Frame, Tension (Marquee/Qwik), Structure, Pole, Sailcloth

Can a tent be installed on any type of surface?

Yes, there is ultimately no area a tent can’t be installed due to the versatility and modular style of them. The most common surfaces would be grass/dirt, crushed rock, asphalt or concrete. Knowing the surface type in advance is vital as it will determine how the tent will be safely secured. If staking is not allowed or feasible, tents can be secured with concrete blocks or water barrels as well.

How big of a tent do my clients need?

If everyone is going to be seated at 60” Round tables (which accommodate 8 people), you need a 10’ x 10’ area, or 100 square feet per 8 guests.

Example: 200 guests divided by 8 comes to 25 round tables (if you don’t get a whole number, round up as that table just won’t have a full 8 people seated there). 25 x 100 = 2,500 square feet. If you’re seating guests at long tables, you’ll need 80 square feet per eight guests. This is just for seating and if you have a dance floor, bars, head tables, etc. all of those things will need to be taken into account as they will take up square footage as well.

Are there any special permitting involved when renting a tent?

Every local jurisdiction has different requirements and processes. You have to abide by city or county policies depending on the geographic location. An example would be that the City of Houston requires a tent for anything over 1,200sq ft but the City of Katy and Sugar Land both require tent permits for any tenting over 400sq ft. Also make sure the tent material being suggested is flame-retardant.

What if my client wants special features like tent walls, flooring, A/C, or lighting in the tent?

All of those elements can be installed in a tent but should be planned at the beginning because depending on the type and size of tent being used, it can impact the installation process.

Do I need any sort of power source with a tent?

Power is not needed to build any tents but will likely be needed for other elements you put in the tent.

How far out should a tent be booked/reserved for a wedding for the “rain plan”?

Depending on the time of year/season, tenting should be ordered at least three months in advance. The ideal timing would be six months ahead of time so that you have a better selection of tent types/sizes, tent providers, etc. The more advance notice also gives more time to explore the other options like flooring, HVAC, etc. after an in-person site-visit.

What should I expect for pricing of the various style tents?

Unfortunately, the styles and size tents can vary significantly depending on how much advance notice given, difficulty and timing of installation/removal, what type of tops and walls are preferred, how long is it needed, etc. The range you can expect any tent style to be within would be anywhere from $0.70/sq. ft. – $2.00/sq. ft.

Is there any advance preparation needed prior to tent installation day?

The path to get to the tent site, tent location and direct area around the tent installation space should be completely clear prior to arrival of the tent provider. If the tent is being staked, all utility lines and irrigation lines should be marked at least 24hrs before installation day. This can be done for free by calling 8-1-1 anywhere in the state of Texas. You should also make sure all permitting (if applicable) has been completed prior to installation of the tent.

How long should I set aside for the tent installation and removal from start to finish?

The installation times can vary depending on the style and size of the tent. A good rule of thumb is any frame, qwik or marquee tent can be built in one day. Structure, Pole, Sailcloth and Carnival tents can usually be built in one day but should plan for two in your timeline to be safe.