Plan B for your Outdoor Outer Banks Wedding: Rent a Tent


Every Outer Banks couple imagines their perfect wedding ceremony with warm weather, sunny skies, and sparkling ocean waters. We hope that this is the case for every ceremony, but occasionally that ominous rain cloud does appear and sometimes the skies open up. When having a beach wedding it is important to have a backup plan as the weather is very volatile on the Outer Banks and most rental homes cannot accommodate an indoor wedding. View booking a tent as an insurance policy – if it rains, you have it, if it doesn’t rain, you don’t have to use it. (NOTE: This is NOT an actual insurance policy).

It is important to look into the details of reserving a tent well in advance of your event. There are numerous factors that contribute to tenting an event. Tents generally require a tent permit with the county which needs to be completed well in advance of the event. This is handled by our staff and has an associated fee. Additionally, we schedule our staff according to the amount and size of events, so generally if a tent is requested and we do not have enough manpower scheduled, there is no way the tent can go up.

Choosing the Right Tent
Selecting the right size tent is very important. We offer a CAD layout that shows the layout of the tent to scale with how many of what size tables will fit in a particular tent. This is particularly helpful when determining how many tables are needed to accommodate your guest count along with dance floor sizing, etc.  We can also do a site survey to determine your specific needs. We have a large selection of tent sizes in Trac (Frame) style and Basic (West Coast) Frame style, along with marquee and walkway tents to accommodate all sizes of events.

Decorating Your Tent
Some clients view tents as aesthetically unpleasing, which is unfortunate and misleading as local designers can transform your tent into a beautiful piece of art. There are several options when it comes to the look of a tent. If a more extravagant look is desired then a clear top tent is a great option to consider. Clear top tents allow sunlight in during the day and provide a beautiful view at night. Guests can look up at the twinkling stars and moonlight while dancing the night away at your reception.

Below, our clear top tent looks gorgeous with décor and lighting by Renee Landry Events.

Looking for a professional designer to add to your tent? We recommend consulting the designers on the Outer Banks Wedding Association site for local artists to assist you with décor!

Photo Credit: Genevieve Stewart Photography


Lighting Your Tent
Another way to personalize a tent is with your lighting scheme. There are four lighting scheme options; perimeter, café zig zag, framework, and starburst.  Perimeter lighting is the most basic lighting option that lines the perimeter of the tent. Café zig zag is a step up from perimeter, and creates a “zig zag” across the top of your tent. Framework and starburst lighting are comparable. Framework lighting is just as it sounds, lighting strands run along the entire interior framework of the tent. Starburst lighting gathers together in the center of the tent, emulating a star while creating the perfect focal point for a chandelier centerpiece. Tent liners can be installed with the chandeliers to create an elegant flowing look in the top of the tent.

Lighting examples:

Tent liner with Framework Lighting and our Crystal Chandelier.

Photo credit: Genevieve Stewart Photography

Starburst lighting at Twiddy Realty’s The Dream Rental- Photo Credit: Coastal ShotsStarburst- Coastal Shots.jpg

Zig-zag café lighting and cathedral walls – Photo Credit: Natalie Heim Photography

zig zag- natalie heim

Perimeter lighting- Photo Credit: Coastal Shots Photography


Tent with clear panels and framework lighting and chandelier cluster – Images by Still Frames Photography


still frames

We have tent accessories to ensure your tent is comfortable for your guests no matter what time of year. If the event is taking place in the heat of the summer, tent fans can be installed to create air circulation for your guests. Tent heaters can be installed in the winter to provide extra warmth.  Sidewalls are wonderful addition to protect the tent occupants from inclement weather as well as containing the heat in the winter. Sidewalls are available in solid, cathedral windows, or clear.

As much as we wish we could accurately predict the weather on your special day, we know only as much as you do. Weather can change at any given time, so it is always recommended to have a tent if your venue does not have an indoor option. Be proactive, and rent a tent to save yourself from stressing about the weather on your special day!
For more information about tent and wedding rentals visit our website at or give us a call at 1-800-635-9559.

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