The Art of Tenting | 4 Tips For Choosing The Right Tent

 
Having one option is not an option.
— Wise Man Once Said

Choosing the right tent is like choosing the right topping for your toast. It may seem simple, but then you are given options (and options within options!) - jam or marmalade (shredded or shredless?), marmite or vegemite (oh, I didn't realise there was a difference!), peanut butter (crunchy or smooth?) or cream cheese (have you seen the options in a New York Deli)? You get the picture. And we didn't even mention types of toast...

So, just as there are a myriad toast toppings to choose from, the same goes for tents. This is not camping with the Boy Scouts. In the Cacique world, tents are as practical as high heels - yes they need to be comfortable but first and foremost they need to make you look fabulous (RIP Alexander McQueen). Indeed, there is no one-size-fits all solution. That said, the following tips should serve as guidelines to help you ask the right questions. For these 4 nuggets of tenting wisdom, I have also enlisted the savoir-faire of Justin Lightbourne of Bahamia Rental, our preferred purveyor of fine tents. 

 
 
 The right tent can transform your event space into a whole new world. 

The right tent can transform your event space into a whole new world. 

 
 

TIP # 1 YES, SIZE MATTERS 

This is where the high heel analogy teeters (pun intended). Unlike heels, we don't want you to be squeezing into a scrap of canvas, but we do want you to look good. Size is one of the most important aspects of tent choice and depends on a couple of crucial factors - the number of people (guests, staff, entertainers and other) and whatever else needs to fit under the hat (see tip #4) in accordance with the overall design. 

 
 
Your tent(s) should be big enough to hold all of your guests under it comfortably without restrictions of movement and free flow. For small events like wedding showers that’ll host some 60-80 people, you’ll need a 20’ x 30’ 600 square feet Standard Frame or Traditional Pole tent. For much larger events like conventions and concerts, Clearspan tent structures are best to use as they can hold thousands of guests comfortably.
— JUSTIN LIGHTBOURNE | BAHAMIA RENTAL
 
 
 Size matters. Clearspan tents can increase your space and expand the ambiance. 

Size matters. Clearspan tents can increase your space and expand the ambiance. 

 
 

TIP #2 CONSIDER THE SURFACE

In the same way as a seasoned tennis player adapts his technique (and footwear) to Wimbledon grass, Roland Gaross clay or US Open hard court, a seasoned ‘tenter’ knows that he must pick the right tent for the surface involved. In The Bahamas, these choices generally include sand, grass, wooden decking or concrete. Specialised flooring is recommended to avoid guests walking on uneven surfaces or being exposed to the natural elements - consider carpet or wood flooring. 

 
 
 If you’re hosting a beach wedding, Frame and Tensile tents are great for uneven grounds because they provide extra help with their double support poles.
— JUSTIN LIGHTBOURNE | BAHAMIA RENTAL
 
 
 
 

TIP #3 RAIN SHALL NOT STOP PLAY

Rain may stop play at Wimbledon (even with the best shoes) but not at Cacique. As the premier DMC in The Bahamas, a country with a predictably-unpredictable tropical climate, our solution to inclement weather is to expect the unexpected. Certain tent choices are recommended at certain times of the year, with options such as air-conditioning or clear side panelling to protect from elements while maintaining natural, breathtaking vistas all around. 

There’s no such thing as bad weather, only unsuitable tenting.
— Justin Lightbourne | Bahamia Rental
 
 
 Come rain, shine or "spry", the right tent will allow the show to go on. 

Come rain, shine or "spry", the right tent will allow the show to go on. 

 
 

TIP #4 WHAT'S UNDER THE HAT?

Other than heads, what else will go under the hat? Different tent designs will allow for different set-ups, which all ties back to the what sort of event story you would like to weave. And consider the full picture. Sipping cocktails in the shade of a slim gazebo may be dandy but what happens when the sun drops over the horizon, the breeze dies and the sand flies come out (my kingdom for AC!). Lights, fans, musical equipment and ways to cook your filet mignon just the way you like it  all require electricity. Power is often something that many people don’t think is an issue … until it is!

 
 
Clear top tents are great for evening weddings, receptions and gatherings because they allow for guests to take in the beauty of the night sky. Sperry tents are translucent and offer a glowing effect when lit at night.
— JUSTIN LIGHTBOURNE | BAHAMIA RENTAL
 
 
 
 

 THE CACIQUE TOUCH 

Details matter to Cacique. But they don't exist in a vacuum. Our details are multi-sensory - the sweet smell of hydrangeas cascading across banquet tables, the twinkle of glasses being filled by starch-white sommeliers, the hypnotic glimmer of a thousand glass candleholders artfully scattered across tablecloths - all elements combine to allow the audience to momentarily suspend their disbelief and feel like they have experienced the extraordinary. Tenting is one part of the event design puzzle that is our life's passion to solve. To start Imagining your own event or for more information on the art of tenting, feel free to contact us here.