How to Decorate a Tent Wedding on a Budget


So you’ve decided on a tent wedding? Great choice! This type of fresh-air fete is highly customizable to help you achieve any style or theme – from a rustic wedding to a traditional wedding. It also offers your guests the comfort and safety of an outdoor event. But anyone who thinks an outdoor wedding is cheaper will quickly learn that taking it outside can bring its own challenges and costs.

To align your wedding planning dreams with your wedding planning resources, here are some expert tips on how to decorate a tent wedding on a budget.

  1. Choose the right wedding tent
    While most suggestions for keeping a tent wedding in budget refer to selecting an open tent – meaning the sides are open – rather than renting a tent, consider a wedding venue that already has a tent. Our Piedmont Garden Tent adjacent to a private meadow has soaring ceilings with white silk lining, along with crystal and gold suspension lighting, which takes care of recommendations to hang ceiling drapes and add chandeliers. As a bonus, you’ll find built-in air conditioning and heating units, so your open-air wedding will be perfect in any season.
  2. Entice guests with your entryway
    When decorating a tent wedding, create atmosphere right away with a special entrance. Although you could place a feature at the front, create an archway, or reuse pieces from ceremony, you really don’t need to build anything. Simply create a walkup to the entry point with large plants or floral arrangements based on your wedding flowers and welcome guests to your spectacular tent wedding.
  3. Boost your tent lighting 
    You’ve heard of layers of light, right? Even when you start with gorgeous chandeliers, there is much more you can do to create ambiance with lighting. Depending on your wedding décor theme, consider dramatic uplighting, colorful paper lanterns, rustic market lights, string lights, or strands of twinkling fairy lights. These elements can provide big impact with minimal expense.

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  1. Boost your tent lighting 
    Play up the sweeping views of nature you chose a tent wedding for with natural décor elements like garland, plants, topiary, moss, and vines. You can also add greenery to chandeliers and echo this with centerpieces that are more green than floral – mixing lighting into the greenery can impart a magical feeling.
  2. Decorate support beams
    You see this challenge in home décor all the time – a load-bearing post cannot be removed without major structural changes. The designer’s solution? Bring it into the design. You can do the same with support beams and tent poles. Wrap them! Based on your overall décor and theme, you might choose the same fabric that was used on the ceiling, tulle, garlands of greenery with or without lights, spandex with colorful uplighting, or maybe a combination!
  3. Social media spot
    If you don’t have the wedding budget to hire a photography team to set up a social media station, you can still create an Instagrammable space for your guests. Set aside an otherwise open space in the tent and add a simple fabric backdrop in your wedding colors. You can attach a large-format printed version of your wedding logo, names, or the date. Source some on-theme props – be eco-friendly and budget conscious by thrifting them – and your guests won’t miss the professional reminding them to smile.
  4. Big words for the big day
    You can easily find large decorative letters in stores and online, and they come in a range of prices depending on material. From moss covered to thin and wooden, this cost-effective décor item is a great way to personalize your wedding reception. Bonus – the letters can be part of your DIY social media station!
  5. Dress up dining seating
    Add interest to less expensive dining chairs with a bit of décor like a full sash or a corner ribbon. You might add a some greenery or florals, but you don’t need to. From rustic burlap to satin or chiffon, a well-tied bow goes a long way and offers another opportunity to repeat your décor theme without a lot of expense.
  6. Lounge seating that won’t break the bank 
    To provide your guests with another option to their assigned dining chairs, you don’t need to default to renting pricey lounge furniture. If you are working with a venue, ask whether there is furniture on hand that can be moved to the tent. Or perhaps there are pieces you own that you could bring? Low-to-the-ground options might be fun for your guests, as long as they pair well with your theme – how about rugs, pillows, beanbags and ottomans?
  7. No splurging on the dance floor
    There are plenty of solutions to a wedding tent dance floor – just make sure you have one, especially if your tent is set on grass. Find inexpensive flooring (look for sales) or make your own by covering plywood in in something more decorative – how about wallpaper or a custom vinyl decal?
  8. Let food do double duty
    The caterer is sure to create a gorgeous display, and the same goes for the bar and dessert station, and of course, the cake. Consider these colorful food areas part of your décor and add small elements like on-theme floral arrangements or a wall menu with your wedding logo to incorporate them.

We love all these great money-saving tent wedding décor tips, but we can’t go without suggesting one gorgeous splurge – mirror your centerpieces with massive overhead floral installations. This might cost a bit more, but it really brings the wow factor! To save a bit on your budget, sprinkle flower petals on the tables.

When deciding on wedding decorations for your tented wedding, there is so much you can do without taking on extra expense. Hosting a budget-friendly tent wedding that makes the most of its outdoor setting is possible with a bit of creativity, possibly some crafting, and plenty of planning. But that’s all part of the fun, right?

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