Tent hire has become extremely popular for functions, tradeshows and weddings in South Africa. However, before renting a tent for your wedding reception, you will want to consider certain factors. A little bit of planning will certainly help. Start by looking at possible venues suitable for erecting the tent that you have in mind.

What Size?

Although it may not be possible early on to specify the exact head count and you may also not have any idea regarding the overall theme or style, such as buffet or formal dinner, dance floor etc. you need to set a general estimate if you want to get a quote from a tent hire company.

Bedouin tents are the latest fashion because of their stretch character and flexibility in designing the layout of the space. Marquees tents are available in PVC and traditional canvass. The peg and pole tents have a classic look and feel, and are recommended if you want to invite many guests. The frame tents have aluminium frames, are lightweight, easy to erect and can be placed on almost any kind of surface.

Keep in mind that the marquees types will need a surface that allows for pegs, such as grass or soil. These tents are stylish and generally less expensive than Bedouin tents, but they do have poles that can obstruct the guests’ views and make it difficult to dance. These tents are stunning and have high ceilings, allowing for exquisite draping, but must be pegged to the ground.

The frame tents can be erected indoors or outdoors, don’t require grass surfaces, are lightweight, quicker to erect, and don’t have centre poles. These tents are more expensive to rent than marquees and you will see the frame in the interior, but such can be covered with stunning draping décor. You can erect the tent a week or so before the wedding because the frame type is waterproof.

The Bedouin type is unusual in appearance and is very popular for weddings. It is the latest addition to tents for functions. However, these tents cannot accommodate as many guests as marquees or frame tents, and you have to make provision for added space on the sides, as the roofs are lower. However, you will need very little décor to make the space beautiful.


Before calling for a quote, think about the add-ons required, such as event flooring, dance floor, liner for covering the inside, draping for roof décor, lighting, tables, chairs, linen, DJ booth, and cutlery. Keep in mind that the quote will be dependent on your tent type, size and the add-ons, which are all dependent on the style of the reception and the total number of guests.

Obtaining the Quote

Once you have an idea of the size, type, décor and other add-ons, it is time to get the quote. Request information, such as availability of the various tents for the specific date, what the delivery cost is and whether the company can deliver in your region. Also enquire about décor specialists and setting up of the tent. The tent hire company will also want to know where the venue will be. Where needed, request a sales person or engineer to do a site visit, so as to avoid disappointment regarding the type of tent that you can erect in the given space.