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A clear view

Event Production, Project Briefs | December 1, 2013 | By:

A Minnesota bride makes a last–minute decision to forgo tent fabric.

When the site of a backyard wedding offers a view of Minnesota’s St. Croix River Valley, you can understand a bride’s disinclination to obstruct the view.

And when you consider Minnesota’s ever–changing weather conditions (“If you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute and it will change”), you can understand the need for a backup plan.

“Originally, the bride did not want to use tenting for her wedding day,” says event specialist Allison Munsell of Ultimate Events, Plymouth, Minn. “We decided that clear–top tenting would give her the feeling of a more open air environment while still giving her the insurance of protection against inclement weather. As the wedding date approached, the chances for rain were quite low, so she made the call to skip the fabric top. She liked the idea of keeping the framework so that she could use some draping and lighting elements while allowing the space to be completely open.”

Ultimate Events prepared for both scenarios on the day of the event–packing and loading everything including the tent tops for a 30–by–30–foot and a 30–by–40–foot tent. The bride made the final decision when the crew arrived.

“We were prepared to install ceiling drape inside the 30–by–40 tent only,” Munsell says. “However, when we removed the tops, we knew we would have to add draping to the framework of both tents. This gave them a bit more polished look–rather than seeing all the metal pieces. In the smaller tent, we kept with the cafe lighting we originally planned for.”

Ultimate Events also provided curved bars, dining and accessory tables, chiavari chairs, pewter pintuck linens, china, flatware, glassware and a sound system.

“The biggest challenge was coordinating the draping piece,” Munsell says, “making sure that we had plenty of draping, and that it was communicated that we would need more for the draping of the framework of the tents.”

Munsell says that requests to use tent frames for draping and lighting while forgoing the tent fabric have become more common, although many clients ultimately decide against this option because of weather concerns.

Other trends for backyard weddings that Munsell notes include using larger tents so that spaces can be partitioned to create separate rooms for different portions of the evening; more use of accessory tents such as entryways, walkways or lounge spaces off of the main tent; and a greater focus on ceiling decoration beyond traditional draping–including tent liners, natural branch fixtures and a variety of lighting options.

But for this Ultimate Events client, no ceiling at all was the preferred decor scheme–and Mother Nature cooperated.

“In the end, the client was very pleased with the open–air wedding she had dreamt of,” Munsell says.

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