How to Light a Wedding Tent

By Nikki Van De Walle
Unsightly tent beams can be covered with lights, adding decor and function.

Planning an outdoor wedding is like playing a game of chance. You are placing a bet that the weather will co-operate and your special day will not get rained out. To minimize the risk associated with an outdoor wedding, renting a tent for the reception is a common, affordable option. Tents will provide some shelter if the weather decides not to co-operate. However, unlike indoor venues, you will need to figure out lighting methods. Including; string lighting, centerpieces and finding electricity sources.

Attach the string of rope lights around the perimeter of the tent. Stitch a loop, using clear fishing line or heavy thread, around the lights to the tent every 10 inches around the entire perimeter of the tent. This will ensure that the light strand will be secure. Position the lights around the top section of wall that connects to the roof of the tent or around the bottom of the tent fabric if the tent has no walls.

Wrap strings of rope lights around the support beams of the tent. The rope lights can be twisted around the beam so that each side will be illuminated. Attach the top of each strand to the tent fabric using a simple sewing stitch. Tie a piece of fishing line to the bottom of the stand and tape the fishing line to the beam to hold the rope light in place.

Cover the roof of the tent with net lights. Secure the lights to the fabric using simple stitches approximately every three inches. Clear net lights provide romantic low light and resemble stars in the night sky. However, you can purchase net lights in a variety of colors to match the wedding color scheme or theme.

Attach the outlets of the lights to the extension cords. Run the extension cords to a portable generator or a building nearby with electricity. Tuck the cords out of the way of pedestrian traffic and use heavy duct tape to secure the cords to the flooring to prevent tripping hazards.

Tip

Use candles in centerpieces to add more light. Floating candles are a safe option to use in centerpieces in a tent venue.

Decorative light-weight lights, lanterns and chandeliers can also be hung from the roof of the tent for added light.

Warning

Do not hang too many lights that it puts stress of the roof of the tent. The fabric can only hold a limited amount of weight and overburdening an excess weight load could cause the tent to collapse.

About the Author

Nikki Van De Walle began writing in 2005. She has written articles for Humber College's "Daily Planet" and Guelph-Humber's "Radix." She graduated from the University of Guelph-Humber in 2010 with honors, receiving her Honors Bachelor of Applied Arts in media studies as well as her Diploma in Journalism.