How to Decorate a Tent for a Wedding

Make your wedding tent more exciting with the use of a few, inexpensive decorations

By Cynthia Myers

Wedding Reception Tables in Tent
Photo by Baron Spafford/courtesy VP Events, Inc.Bookmark and Share

Tents provide protection from the elements and transform a plain backyard or field into a lovely wedding venue. With the help of family and friends, you can decorate a lackluster white tent to match almost any wedding theme, and the materials are relatively inexpensive.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Buy bolts of fabric in white and your wedding colors. Wind fabric lengths around poles and drape them from the ceiling, and make swags along tent walls. Dress up chairs and tables with more fabric. Layer several colors for a soft, luxurious effect. Add chiffon and satin bows. Gather some tulle, chiffon or netting. Other common elements to use are satin ribbon, strings of tiny lights, small spotlights, candles, real or silk flowers, plants, and balloons.

Step 1:

Purchase strands of tiny white lights and wind them around poles and plants. Stretch them across the ceiling for a starry-sky effect, or let them peek from behind a false ceiling of white netting or tulle for a softer glow.

Step 2:

Use portable spotlights to highlight reception tables, the wedding cake, plants and entrances.

Step 3:

Tuck silk or real blossoms in the fabric or among the strings of lights. Purchase large Styrofoam balls and cover them with silk roses or other blossoms. Mount on dowels and anchor them in gravel-filled pots. Decorate with satin or chiffon bows. Arrange these topiaries around the tent, in front of poles and flanking doors.

Step 4:

Twine real or silk ivy along walls and around poles. Rent or borrow potted shrubs and trees to bring the outdoors into the tent and camouflage poles, wiring and speakers.

Step 5:

Fill pearly white balloons with helium and let them fill the ceiling of your tent for a cloud-like effect. Use more balloons to hide tent poles, and form balloons into arches at the entrances to the tents.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • Check the wholesale district of your city for discounts on fabric, lights, balloons and silk flowers purchased in bulk.
  • Hold a decorating party and invite family and friends to help you transform your wedding tent.
  • Consider a more exotic theme for your tent. Indian or Moroccan themes are very popular.

About the Author

Cynthia James is a regular contributor to DexKnows.

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Wedding Glossary


A shelter of branches under which a couple stands to exchange vows. Can also be made of latticework covered with vines.

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