The Great Tent Debate

Scott and I are getting married in a beautiful stone church built in 1889.

The Church

Our reception will be at a gorgeous mansion just down the street.

The Reception Locale

I’m thrilled with both locations.  Here’s the dilemma.  We can eat inside the mansion in five different rooms on the first floor.  The main, largest room will have a huge table for us and our immediate family members – about 22 of us.  The four other rooms will have tables for all our other guests.  After eating, we could either go outside to a tent for dancing, toasts, cake, etc.  Or we could have the Music Room inside turned around very quickly after dinner and make that the dancing room.

The benefits of the tent include:

– It would look amazing! I’m picturing round tables, cocktail hi-top tables, couches, end tables, ottomans, candles, round paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling, pretty uplighting, etc.

Decor Idea 1

Decor Idea 2

Decor Idea 3

You get the picture.
– Guests not into the music and dancing could stay inside the house and relax.

– The weather in May should be nice so we’d be outside enjoying the evening.

The down side of the tent includes:

– cost



– It will cost over $5000 by the time we rent the tent, the sidewalls (in case of rain), the dance floor, the tables, the chairs, the lounge furniture, the linens, and pay the site’s $500 tent fee!  (Everything inside the mansion is included in my site fee – the tables, chairs linens, china, glassware, etc.)

Various Federal Reserve Notes, c.1995. Only th...

Image via Wikipedia

I would LOVE to have the tent but $5000 is a LOT of money.  We could use that towards a down payment on a house after the wedding!  The rational part of my brain says it’s insane to spend this on something that’s not necessary to have a great wedding.  The irrational, “bride” part of my brain says it’s my wedding day!  I want it to be perfect, amazing and wonderful!

Will the guests seated in the Music Room be put off that they have to rush through dinner and leave so we can turn it into the dance floor?  Will the dancers be crowded in there with the DJ table and equipment?  Will it be too loud for those not into the dancing?

So please help me here.  What would you do?


2 thoughts on “The Great Tent Debate

  1. Hi! My fiance and I are going to check out Stirling tomorrow morning, and we’re having the EXACT same reservations regarding the multi-room inside vs. the expensive tent outside. Could you let me know what you decided and if it worked out? I’m at a total crossroads with this! Thank you!! 🙂

    • Hi Gabrielle. How did you find this? No one ever read my blog and I stopped posting a long time ago! LOL! Anyway, we decided against the tent. We used the main room for our head table and family tables. The DJ set up in a corner of the main room so he could do the toasts and announcements and dinner music. They served that room first, of course, and so as soon as we were all done eating, they broke down our tables in there and got ready for the dancing while everyone else ate in the other rooms. That worked out fine, I think. I didn’t hear any complaints from our family and we just made the rounds until it was time for the cake cutting and dances. It was a bit hot inside that night. I was sweating, dancing! So that might have made some people not dance. Not sure about that. It was much cooler outside so the tent would have been really nice to have, but I just couldn’t see spending the money on tables, linens, chairs, decor, etc. in two places. And I think they even raised the tent fee since we got married there. I do think a few people were a little upset that they couldn’t see us in the main room during dinner, but really, that was like two hours out of the whole night. After that, they could do whatever and go wherever they wanted. If that’s what they have to complain about, I’m not too worried about that! When are you getting married? How many guests do you think you’ll have? I think 120 is the absolute max you can seat inside so if that’s a concern, you’ll have to go the tent route. If you want to chat more just email me. It’d be easier. I’m thrilled to help you out! Good luck to you!

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