This page was printed from

A clear success

A clear top Oklahoma. What could go wrong?

Installation Spotlight | June 1, 2024 | By:

A/C systems provided by United Rentals worked around the clock for three days to ensure neither the flowers nor the wedding guests wilted in the 100 degree heat. Photos courtesy of Marianne’s Rentals and Aaron Snow Photography.

Having a reception beneath a clear top tent has become the dream of many brides, but a logistical nightmare for more than a few event planners and rental companies. 

“Clients love the clear top tents, but they often do not think about how uncomfortable they can be in the hotter months,” says Jennifer Rodriguez, CERP, general manager at Marianne’s Rentals in Oklahoma City, Okla. “They think if their event is in the evening they will be fine, but they don’t consider the set-up time and florals that can be affected negatively. They also don’t consider the time of sunset. In the summer months there are days where the sunset is around or after 9 p.m. That is almost halfway through an evening event and can cause your guests to be very uncomfortable.”

So, when a bride insisted on a clear top tent in August for her 400-person formal seated wedding reception, Rodriguez had to come up with some creative solutions to prevent the tent from turning into a sauna. 

“The overall temperature of the week was well into the 100s and at night was in the low 90s,” she recalls. “The florist was concerned about the temperature of the tent during the event and how the flowers were going to survive until the event was over. We were concerned about the heat affecting the equipment.”

The decision was made to install the tent with a white top and then replace it with the clear top on Wednesday. “We went one bay at a time removing and then replacing all the way down the tent,” she says. “This was super tricky as all the A/C units, bathrooms and catering tents had arrived and been installed. Then we added giant tarps on the roof to keep the clear top from being exposed to the sun as well as attempting to help keep the temperature down in the tent.”

But even with the added shade from the tarps, having a robust air conditioning system was the only way to bring the tents down to a more comfortable temperature. Rodriguez turned to United Rentals, which brought in a large air conditioning unit on a flatbed trailer with a dedicated generator and a backup generator. “We turned the A/C on in the reception tent in the evening on Thursday and the A/C for the ceremony area was turned on Friday,” she says. “We ran the A/C all the way through Saturday night after the wedding.” 

To minimize the amount of time the extensive floral displays were exposed to the sun, the florists installed flowers in the ceremony area on Friday afternoon, but for the reception tent they arrived at midnight on Friday and worked through the night to create the stunning overhead displays and centerpieces that put the event over the top.

With all the decorations in place, it was time for the final reveal. “The afternoon of the wedding around 5p.m. we had a standby crew on site, and they pulled the tarps off the top of the tent,” recalls Rodriguez. 

Despite the heat, the A/C units were able to keep the flowers and the guests from wilting. “United Rentals provided the A/C and power for the event and played a crucial role in the success of the event,” she says. “We came back on Sunday to empty the tent and make sure anything that could be damaged due to the clear top was pulled out of the tent
first thing.”

Overall, she says, this installation took three weeks to complete and two weeks to fully remove. “It was truly a team effort between our company, the client, the amazing planner and United Rentals to make this event a success.” 

Share this Story