Tented Affairs

Q: We’d like to rent a tent for our outdoor summer wedding. What are some creative and classy ways to decorate a tent (without breaking the bank)?

If you’re planning on a summer wedding in Alaska, why not capitalize on all that beautiful scenery, right? And since we can’t always count on the weather, tents become our new best friends. But the quandary with choosing this kind of venue is always how to make a tent look sophisticated.

Thankfully, tents have come a long way. In fact, with ceiling draping, chandeliers, tent pole covers and a dance floor, your outdoor setting can now have all the feeling of indoor elegance with added pizzazz.

Here are several ideas to make your tent décor classy and memorable:

• Create a false ceiling with fabric draping, lanterns, lighting or tissue décor. This instantly adds personality and character to any wedding.

• Think illumination. Lighting is a key component to ambiance. From uplighting options to strands of café lights, you can easily change the mood of your event by changing your lighting.

• Consider some walls. French window tent walls are a great way to add protection from the elements without shutting out all that gorgeous Alaskan scenery. Your wedding photographer will thank you. We promise. They’re that beautiful.

• Need some heat? Tent heaters provide warmth as well as panache. Our favorite is the Lava Heater with its pillar of flames and dramatic style.

• Linens are another way to change the whole feel of your wedding. Overlays, napkins and chair sashes instantly transform a space. And don’t forget about chiavari chairs – the simple yet elegant chair that looks amazing all on its own.

• How about a backdrop behind your head table? This is a perfect spot to add in décor with thematic flavor, reflecting who you are as a couple, without breaking the bank. Create your own memorable setting for bridal party moments and unforgettable photo ops (think chalkboard letters, burlap banners, tissue garlands, 3D stars or snowflakes – whatever might mirror your theme).

And if you’re still wondering how to make your wedding stand out among the sea of other outdoor weddings, think Photo Booth. It’s a great way to give your guests a little keepsake to remember your special day, as well as a fun way to document the occasion. It’s fun, it’s fashionable and definitely memorable. All the things your special day should be.

Special Events Alaska is an event rental and retail company located in Wasilla, owned and operated by Andrew and Anne-Renee Gumley. For more information, visit