Here's what you need to know if you're just engaged and want to get married in New Jersey in 2021.Read More
With indoor-dining restrictions still in effect in New Jersey with no foreseeable end in sight, outdoor tented venues are looking to be the answer for Spring and Summer 2021 weddings—whether you’re needing to move your previously scheduled event or are booking for the first time.
As many couples look to rent a tent for their backyard, the logistics and costs quickly add up, overwhelming those who have already had their original wedding plans upended by the pandemic. Rather than start from scratch, the smarter move is to leave it to the catering and wedding-venue experts who have invested in tent facilities so that events can go on, even if indoor dining is not a possibility.
“What many brides forget when they choose to do a tented wedding at a private residence is that you have to bring in and rent everything your guests may need, right down to the salt-and-pepper shakers,” advises event planner Jenny Orsini of Jenny Orsini Events in Berkeley Heights. “Having your wedding in a tent that is managed by a reputable venue will undoubtedly save you time, money and many headaches!”
In addition to providing ventilation and the ability to safely gather larger numbers of guests socially distanced at one time, tents also offer an unfettered opportunity to execute your unique wedding vision. “Tented weddings can be just as, if not more, beautiful than a ballroom wedding,” Orsini adds. “Tented events are a great blank canvas. It’s a neutral background and springboard for basically any design a bride or groom may have.”
Besides the tent itself, your venue should also provide proper heating and/or cooling features, along with sufficient power for lighting and music. “Ask what tables, chairs, basic linens, flatware and stemware are included,” Orsini advises. “And there should be ease of movement for guests in and out of the tent and easy access to the restrooms.” Also be sure to clarify whether your guests can use the indoor restrooms or if outdoor facilities are needed/included.
So when touring a tented venue, what else should you be looking for? “We always think the most critical part of a tent is the base,” says Marley Avondoglio, director of events at Perona Farms in Andover. “Tents on dirt or grass are only good for a few days before you end up with a real mess. Look for tented spaces that are thoughtfully built to provide a safe and functional celebration.”
Perona’s Pavilion area consists of two separate, oversized tents with a combination of carpet and hard flooring, bistro-style string lights and ample power for your entertainment. This outdoor area can accommodate events for up to 250 socially distanced. “We have been doing events for more than 100 years and our team can pull off events in almost any location,” Avondoglio adds. “We created this tented venue with a separate cocktail space, reception space and kitchen so we could execute the same menus and level of service our clients expected at their indoor venue.”
Avondoglio also suggests visiting the tented venue you’re interested in on a bad weather day to see how it works. “Make sure the structure of the tent fits your décor and the aesthetics you are looking for. Plan to spend more than you typically would in an indoor venue,” she adds.
Orsini agrees: “Mother Nature has always been the biggest culprit when it comes to tented weddings. Just be sure your venue has a very strong and waterproof tent with some walls in case of inclement weather. Also be sure there is a backup generator in case of a power outage.”
So what other expert tips should you keep in mind as you plan your tented wedding? “Lighting is very important in a tent,” Orsini says. “Work with a professional lighting company to design and incorporate special custom lighting effects for inside—and outside—your tent. And if your budget permits, think about doing a beautiful ceiling installation of flowers and greenery inside the tent.”