A Georgia beach serves as a stunning—and challenging—site for a tented ceremony and reception.
It’s easy to fall in love with the idea of a tented beach wedding, unless you are the one charged with executing a flawless installation. Then, thoughts of natural coastal beauty and gentle ocean breezes turn quickly to uneven terrain, unpredictable weather and a delicate environment. Beachview Event Rentals & Design of Woodbine, Ga., and Jacksonville, Fla., took on such a challenge for a 2013 wedding ceremony and reception.
“The client requested a world-class wedding that would impress even the most well-traveled guests and include exquisitely designed and decorated experiences in different settings as guests moved from one area to another,” says Elizabeth Veal, Beachview director of design and project manager.
Separate ceremony and reception areas for 500 guests were designed to take full advantage of the coastal views.
“Because of the beach site, the Department of Natural Resources was consulted on placement and, along with the fire marshal and code executors, was involved from the beginning for code approval,” Veal says.
The company installed a 58-by-99-foot Tidewater™ sailcloth tent from Aztec Tents on the beach for the ceremony. The reception tent was a 25-by-60-meter Losberger clearspan elevated 4½ to 5½ feet because of the uneven terrain. Multiple ancillary structures were connected to the reception tent, including a 30-by-60-foot gabled tent for two restroom trailers that also had to be raised to provide the impression of an attached room, a gabled catering tent with attached dish pit tent, a tent for the band green room, entry and exit platforms and a 16-by-60-foot open-air deck facing the ocean.
“The reception area alone spanned 23,816 square feet of elevated flooring and porches,” Veal says. “In addition to actual structures, over 1,400 feet of linear walkways were constructed over the sand and carpeted to link the resort to the ceremony tent and in turn to the reception area.”
To prevent the clear-top reception tent from becoming a greenhouse in the Georgia heat, custom covers were made of a white block-out fabric and placed over the structure to allow the 600 tons of air-cooled chillers, 235 tons of package units and multiple air handlers to cool the space. The covers were removed between the ceremony and the reception.
A full industrial kitchen was constructed, including walk-in freezers, coolers, convection ovens, hot boxes, burners, ranges and standard ovens. Custom support framework was built into the rafters to support 15 chandeliers, and ductwork was built under the floors of the ceremony and reception areas through custom plenums. Two 1.6 megawatt generators, one 1.0 megawatt generator and one 125 kilowatt generator powered the air conditioning, kitchen and lighting equipment.
This expansive project was awarded the 2013 IAA Outstanding Achievement Award for private tent rental.
“The bride said that it exceeded her wildest expectations,” Veal says. “Our company met and conquered challenges, proving that we can go above and beyond to problem solve and produce world-class events.”