28 Tent Decorating Ideas That Will Upgrade Your Wedding Reception
If you're getting married on an expansive outdoor property, you've likely already considered setting up a tent. Couples often opt for these lofty canopies to preemptively prepare for uncontrollable weather—but they can be a lot more than a weather-related afterthought. Take the following tents from real weddings, for example. With the help of their planners, these brides decked out these blank canvases with unexpected accents, like lanterns, chandeliers, and cascading floral installations. The result? These tents actually became a central part of the reception décor.
What's more, these tents helped newlyweds and their guests take cover in style, regardless of the wedding's overall look. Perfect for rustic, bohemian, classic, and contemporary weddings alike, tents create cozy, protected spaces for attendees to mingle, drink, and eat. Of course, not every tented wedding involved a traditional white covering. From gauzy, draped linen, to clear-plastic rooves that allowed guests to enjoy the sunset, there are many creative and beautiful ways to make a classic tent all your own. And with the help of picture-perfect décor, brides and grooms are able to build a custom reception space from the ground up—literally. As you'll see here, some duos hung quirky objects from the rafters, or constructed an overhead floral installation. At a beach wedding, twinkly lights were suspened above the bride and groom's seats for a warm, romantic glow.
Ready to see all of these creative tent upgrades yourself? Click through for endless inspiration from these stunning real weddings.
Birch and Lanterns
Bring the outdoors in by using birch trees as support beams. Add hanging paper lanterns for a rustic touch.
Crystal chandeliers get a natural upgrade when wrapped with trailing leaves.
Color-Blocked Dance Floor
A black-and-white square dance floor brings a bit of retro glamour to an otherwise all-white tent. Plus, the creative pattern certainly beats generic linoleum.
This romantic, lavish overhead floral halo—made from pink paper flowers and a crystal chandelier—perfectly complements the centerpieces directly below.
Throwing a desert-themed or bohemian party? Add an entryway to your wedding tent by setting up a macramé arch flanked with cacti.
If you're a fan of wild, jungle-inspired flora, consider going big on the greenery. Tall, leafy centerpieces and willow tree-inspired overhead installations make it feel as if you're sitting in the center of the woods.
Two adjacent swings, hung with vine-wrapped ropes, are a fun addition to sheltered lounge. They also serve as a pretty cool spot for photos.
Bulbs and Greens
Bare light bulbs and floating greens combine the best of the natural and industrial aesthetics.
Pink sateen runners, billowing drapes, chandeliers, and classic centerpieces make this tent fit for royalty.
Hanging Shelves and Tassels
We're loving how safari vibes merge with bohemian notes inside this canvas tent. Everything—from the desert-hued rug, to the hanging shelf flower and candle shelves, and brass accents—blends together seamlessly.
Dress up your tent's bones by wrapping them with fern garlands from top to bottom.
Who needs a dance floor when you can just as easily throw down a rug? Add a vintage Moroccan or Turkish beauty to your rental wish list to recreate this idea.
Rusted Brass Candle Holders
Candelabras, wrapped in greens that match the hanging vines, look lovely at night, after the (protected!) votives are lit.
Mixed Metal Lanterns
We're obsessed with these alternating gold and pewter lanterns, which were hung above a simple tablescape.
Trees and Orb Candles
A lush tree (another rental score!) is one way to mark the head table. Hanging orb candles add a bit of contemporary romance, a pretty contrast to the vintage-inspired chandeliers.
Basket-style overhead lamps shed light on dinner and also give your space a distinctly beachy vibe.
Transform a transparent tent into a picturesque garden by lining family-style tables with lush arrangements of peonies and hydrangea, and punctuating smaller round tables with corresponding tall centerpieces.
Cake Cutting Tent
Whether you're tenting your reception or simply getting married under the stars, a separate glamping-inspired structure is perfect for a private cake cutting session.
Tent of Mirrors
Mirrors take on a floating quality (and add living room vibes!), especially if they're hung on a see-through tent.
You may be getting married outdoors, but the comforts of home don't have to feel far away. Decorate your space with a polished lounge, complete with end tables, contemporary chairs, and chaises, for an extra touch of luxury.
Bohemian Dinner Tent
For an intimate reception, a tented dinner area in the backyard—with a linen canopy, monstera leaves, and hanging candles—exudes bohemian vibes.
Avoid competing with the surrounding scenery, and choose a clear tent to cover your reception space. After sunset, the cover will reflect the candlelight and bistro lighting, giving the enclosure a warm glow.
Make like this couple, and hold your reception under a tent frame swathed with sheer fabric and illuminated with string lights and chandeliers.
Do you love the Roaring Twenties? Let the period influence your wedding décor, and embelish the space with dazzling floral arrangements and gold-dipped stemware. Petite chandeliers encased within a sculptural orb offer an old-world-meets-new touch.
Cover oversized chandeliers with seasonal birch branches, moss, and smilax vine for a natural touch.
Garlands of Greenery
String ropes of leaves overhead to lend a garden feel to any celebration.
Free Form Chandelier
Create a "free form" chandelier with different-length string Edison bulbs, and display it over the head table.