Once you’ve found your perfect outdoor space, your next big decision is your main tent. Gone are the days when your choice was this marquee, that marquee or the other marquee.
You can now be overwhelmed by the choice - tipis, yurts, vintage pole tents, big tops, exotic tents, stretch tents, sperrys and clearspan marquees, as well as a host of variations on these themes and some unusual versions of your traditional marquee too. Phew! I think blogs are meant to be short and snappy, so I will just cover off tipis, yurts and vintage pole tents for now.
A tipi (tepee or teepee – they are all correct) is a conical tent traditionally made with wooden poles and animal skins, set up with the entrance facing the rising sun, because of the prevailing western winds in North America.
Modern Tipis are often called Giant Hats or Katas are made from beige canvas material stitched together and have lifting sides. These sides allow your guests to enjoy the views and allow multiple tipis to be joined together to create unique, atmospheric spaces capable of hosting events for up to 180 people. There is also a smaller tipi called a Kungsornen and this can work well as a chill out area.
Most tipi companies offer a large open fireplace as a stunning centrepiece. Put the sides down, add a couple of heaters and a tipi is equally good for a wedding/party in cooler months.
The photos speak for themselves on the stunning interiors you can achieve with a tipi set up.
The Yurt originated in Central Asia and is basically a circular wooden frame wrapped with felt. The majority of yurts for hire in the UK use white canvas and look particularly stunning inside with the soft light coming through the canvas, the domed ceiling and the latticework frame, that can be weaved in with flowers, vines or fairy lights. If the weather is nice the canvas sides can be removed to let the outdoors inside. Of course the lattice frame needs to remain as this is what holds up the structure, A yurt is equally practical in colder weather, with a real wooden door - add a furnace fire and you have the perfect cosy space. The smaller sizes make lovely intimate spaces for special dinner parties or birthdays.
Yurts come in different shapes and sizes to accommodate different guest numbers and they can also be linked together to create different spaces ie, dining yurt, dancing yurt, chill-out yurt.
Lastly, the vintage pole tent, originating right here in good old Blighty. A canvas tent, generally in white that is held up by two, three or 4 large central wooden poles called King poles. The canvas roof is then stretched out to smaller side poles and held tight with traditional ropes and pegs. The sides can be on or off or a mixture of the two. The long sides often feature clear windows, in case you need to batten down the hatches.
They look totally charming inside and out, you can decorate the inner and outer poles with bunting, ribbons, garlands or fairylights to create a really stunning party space. Some companies offer ceiling or ‘wall’ linings as an added touch, which can give the tent a completely different feel.
The tents come in a variety of sizes to offer the optimum space for your guest numbers. A variation on the theme is a big top, which has rounded ends, add some stripes and you have yourself a circus big top.
For all of the mentioned options, flooring, dance floor, staging, lighting and tables and chairs are generally quoted as standard and different suppliers offer a host of extra touches too, such as bar units, chill out seating and mirror balls. As with any outdoor party tent, they are all fantastic blank canvasses., the fun part is styling it to suit you. Happy planning!