Outdoor Weddings

So it's going to rain . . . how many people can fit in a tent?

Plan A was outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour. There is an indoor space for dinner and dancing.

Forecast 48h out is 90% chance of pouring rain all day long :( I think I am going to have to accept this.

We have a 30ftx20ft tent we labelled our 'Plan B' but didn't give it too much more thought than that.

So the question is, can we comfortably fit 60 people in this size tent seated for ceremony and then also for cocktails? Unfortunately upsizing the tent is not possible because anything bigger would require a building permit which we don't have time to get.

There is really no option to move it indoors, as it is a small space which will already be set up for dinner/packed with tables.

I just feel like I screwed myself by not thinking through the Plan B better.
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Re: So it's going to rain . . . how many people can fit in a tent?

  • mikenbergermikenberger In a f'n cornfield member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    japlanet said:
    Plan A was outdoor ceremony and cocktail hour. There is an indoor space for dinner and dancing.

    Forecast 48h out is 90% chance of pouring rain all day long :( I think I am going to have to accept this.

    We have a 30ftx20ft tent we labelled our 'Plan B' but didn't give it too much more thought than that.

    So the question is, can we comfortably fit 60 people in this size tent seated for ceremony and then also for cocktails? Unfortunately upsizing the tent is not possible because anything bigger would require a building permit which we don't have time to get.

    There is really no option to move it indoors, as it is a small space which will already be set up for dinner/packed with tables.

    I just feel like I screwed myself by not thinking through the Plan B better.

    Approximately 64 people. No more!

    Seriously. Ask the company you're renting from or who is providing you the tent. We also had rain during our ceremony. Our Plan B was for guests to sit at the tables that were prepared for dinner in a "hollywood style" (So they sit on one side of the table like they do at the Oscars etc.) Worked like a charm for 175 guests. Is that an option for you?

    image
  • While I agree that you screwed yourself and left it to fate, that won't help you with your issue.  First - talk to the company with the tent and ask THEM what kind of set up the tent will accomodate.  Something else to think about:  Rain just doesn't pour straight down - it can go sideways also.  You will need walls and that means there is no good air flow and it can get very stuffy.

    And another thing to think about:  Do people have to leave the tent, walk through the pouring rain and into the building to go to the bathroom?  That's not a good idea.

    In all honesty, I would have your guests sit at their tables and have your ceremony in the reception area.  60 people is a great number for this.  My last of 4 DDs got married last year and we did this with just over 100 guests because we couldn't come up with a wedding venue under 800.00 and we didn't want to spend that for an hour.  They were from out of state and she would have loved to have gotten married at her Dad's church but the minister wanted a letter of declaration from my son in law about his Christian intentions.  That was a no go.

    If you go with the reception area it is a clean solution and no one walks anywhere in the rain (including you!).  Hope that helps.

    PrettyGirlLost
  • japlanetjaplanet member
    Third Anniversary 25 Love Its 10 Comments
    edited June 2015
    kmmssg said:

    While I agree that you screwed yourself and left it to fate, that won't help you with your issue.  First - talk to the company with the tent and ask THEM what kind of set up the tent will accomodate.  Something else to think about:  Rain just doesn't pour straight down - it can go sideways also.  You will need walls and that means there is no good air flow and it can get very stuffy.

    And another thing to think about:  Do people have to leave the tent, walk through the pouring rain and into the building to go to the bathroom?  That's not a good idea.

    In all honesty, I would have your guests sit at their tables and have your ceremony in the reception area.  60 people is a great number for this.  My last of 4 DDs got married last year and we did this with just over 100 guests because we couldn't come up with a wedding venue under 800.00 and we didn't want to spend that for an hour.  They were from out of state and she would have loved to have gotten married at her Dad's church but the minister wanted a letter of declaration from my son in law about his Christian intentions.  That was a no go.

    If you go with the reception area it is a clean solution and no one walks anywhere in the rain (including you!).  Hope that helps.

    I was considering the reception area, two problems though:

    1. My fiance's only thing he wanted was to get married outdoors. I know that sh*t happens and it may just not be possible but I am just trying to do whatever I can to make it happen if at all possible.

    2. Having guests sitting at the tables is fine for the ceremony, but what about cocktail hour? The set up is 3 long, narrow tables the length of the building - so having everyone moving around will be a nightmare.
    image
  • Maggie0829Maggie0829 Ravens & Bohs & Crabs & O's member
    Eighth Anniversary 10000 Comments 500 Love Its 25 Answers
    edited June 2015

    japlanet said:
    kmmssg said:

    While I agree that you screwed yourself and left it to fate, that won't help you with your issue.  First - talk to the company with the tent and ask THEM what kind of set up the tent will accomodate.  Something else to think about:  Rain just doesn't pour straight down - it can go sideways also.  You will need walls and that means there is no good air flow and it can get very stuffy.

    And another thing to think about:  Do people have to leave the tent, walk through the pouring rain and into the building to go to the bathroom?  That's not a good idea.

    In all honesty, I would have your guests sit at their tables and have your ceremony in the reception area.  60 people is a great number for this.  My last of 4 DDs got married last year and we did this with just over 100 guests because we couldn't come up with a wedding venue under 800.00 and we didn't want to spend that for an hour.  They were from out of state and she would have loved to have gotten married at her Dad's church but the minister wanted a letter of declaration from my son in law about his Christian intentions.  That was a no go.

    If you go with the reception area it is a clean solution and no one walks anywhere in the rain (including you!).  Hope that helps.

    I was considering the reception area, two problems though:

    1. My fiance's only thing he wanted was to get married outdoors. I know that sh*t happens and it may just not be possible but I am just trying to do whatever I can to make it happen if at all possible. Your FI is just going to have to let this dream go.  You will not be married outside if it is raining.  Period.  And even if you get married in the tent, it still won't be the outside he wanted.

    2. Having guests sitting at the tables is fine for the ceremony, but what about cocktail hour? The set up is 3 long, narrow tables the length of the building - so having everyone moving around will be a nightmare.  Well what do you think was going to happen during the reception?  Once people are done eating they are going to get up and move around.  So if people moving around for cocktail hour is going to be a nightmare then the same could be said about the reception.
    I think you need to talk to your venue and figure out a way you can reconfigure things so that everything can be done indoors.

    PrettyGirlLost
  • japlanet said:
    kmmssg said:

    While I agree that you screwed yourself and left it to fate, that won't help you with your issue.  First - talk to the company with the tent and ask THEM what kind of set up the tent will accomodate.  Something else to think about:  Rain just doesn't pour straight down - it can go sideways also.  You will need walls and that means there is no good air flow and it can get very stuffy.

    And another thing to think about:  Do people have to leave the tent, walk through the pouring rain and into the building to go to the bathroom?  That's not a good idea.

    In all honesty, I would have your guests sit at their tables and have your ceremony in the reception area.  60 people is a great number for this.  My last of 4 DDs got married last year and we did this with just over 100 guests because we couldn't come up with a wedding venue under 800.00 and we didn't want to spend that for an hour.  They were from out of state and she would have loved to have gotten married at her Dad's church but the minister wanted a letter of declaration from my son in law about his Christian intentions.  That was a no go.

    If you go with the reception area it is a clean solution and no one walks anywhere in the rain (including you!).  Hope that helps.

    I was considering the reception area, two problems though:

    1. My fiance's only thing he wanted was to get married outdoors. I know that sh*t happens and it may just not be possible but I am just trying to do whatever I can to make it happen if at all possible.

    2. Having guests sitting at the tables is fine for the ceremony, but what about cocktail hour? The set up is 3 long, narrow tables the length of the building - so having everyone moving around will be a nightmare.
    I know you are getting married in Southern Ontario. The rains are crazy with winds up to 50km and gusts up to 90km depending on how close to the lakes you are. I would go inside. Your FI is going to have to suck up his vision for the unpredictable weather.
  • That sucks. I found this link that shows possible configurations with your tent size. http://www.bigcitytentrental.com/index.php?p=guidelines 

    Looks like you'd need to do banquet style tables for seating since you need chairs AND tables (for cocktail hour). You'd need tent sides. There might not be anywhere for y'all to stand (unless you stand outside the tent in the rain). Your bridal party will probably need to sit at their seats. And there's no where to set up cocktail food/a bar.

    In all seriousness, your Plan B isn't realistic and you need to find an indoor alternative. Sorry, but that's what crappy planning gets you. Even if y'all had gotten a 20x40 tent, I think you could make this work for cocktail hour and the ceremony - just barely, but you could probably make it work.

    But I have to ask, 3 days out and you have 60 confirmed guests? How many people did you originally invite? What if everyone had said yes? 



    Lurker ladies and gents - this is why you need a fully thought out plan B that can handle 100% of your guest list and can accommodate your vision - out of the elements. Mother nature does not mess around or tip toe around your wedding.
    *********************************************************************************

    image
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    30x20 tent should be able to hold 8 tables holding 8 guests each.  So that would be 64 people.  Since you are not having tables for the ceremony, then you should be okay with just rows of chairs.

    I would see if you could add some high top and bistro tables for the cocktail hour.   Actually, I would just open up the reception for the cocktail hour too.


    We had rain on our wedding day too.  Instead of getting married on the beach we got married under a tent.   The cocktail hour was to be mostly outside along with the tent.  Instead, after the wedding the staff moved the ceremony chairs and set up for cocktail hour.  The reception area (which was attached to the tent, but in a pavilion area) was also opened up for the guests.


    Was it ideal or what we had planned for all those months?  No, but it was our plan B and it worked out just fine.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Are you accommodating heaters for the tent too? It's supposed to drop in temperature this weekend. 14-16 degrees C across the horseshoe (57 to 60 degrees F).
  • Are you accommodating heaters for the tent too? It's supposed to drop in temperature this weekend. 14-16 degrees C across the horseshoe (57 to 60 degrees F).
    I asked about that - general consensus is that with the bodies, walls on the tent, and 100% humidity, cold won't be the problem.
    image
  • Umm, what about the up to 90km wind gusts they are predicting?
  • @japlanet - I was thinking about you this weekend when the rain was going sideways! It looks beautiful! I'm glad you had a great time!
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