Camping at weddings – our top tips!

by Owen Relfe

Camping at weddings – our top tips!

If you are a friend of Coastal Tents then the chances are you are planning, or thinking about, an outdoor wedding in a beautiful setting. Whether it’s an epic festival style wedding or a classic English garden party that you have in mind, have you thought about adding a camping element?

Having onsite camping at your wedding is a fantastic way to extend your celebration and spend more time with your family and friends. If you have exclusive use of your venue the day before and after your wedding day it’s also a great way to make the most of your chosen setting, be it the stunning views, idyllic location or ultimate privacy. With the UK staycation being ever popular, it might also help your guests out if your wedding location has limited accommodation options.

Offering camping at a wedding isn’t quite as straight forward as rocking up and pitching a tent. There are a few things you’ll need to consider, but once you’ve put a few plans in place you’ll be ready to party the weekend away.

Talk to your venue

Firstly, check with your venue to see if they allow camping. If they do, they’ll be able to talk you through what has worked in the past, but go and do a walk-through of the site so you can plan how you are using the space. For example, you might want to keep tents out of the panoramic shots you’ve planned with your photographer or you may want them to feature in the look and feel of your day! Check also whether they allow vans and caravans or just canvas so that you can let your guests know what is and isn’t allowed.

Find out when people can arrive. If it’s the day before the wedding then think about how many people you want on site while you’re trying to set-up. Some couples will love the extra help and involvement…others like to keep things under wraps until the big day!

Take a look at Purbeck Valley Farm and Burnbake both have campsites as well as being marquee wedding venues!

Camping or glamping?

If you are after a relaxed shindig then creating your own festival-feel camp field and letting your guests bring their own tents is a great option. You could even set up some sail flags and add some rustic signage to your camping area for a real wed-fest look.

If you guests aren’t usually the camping type, or you are after something hassle free with a bit more comfort, then consider using a bell tent hire company. You’ll be able to reserve tents for your wedding date, then your guests simply book directly with the hire company. The tents will all be pre-pitched, often sleep 2-6 people and come with bedding and furniture as add-ons, usually including camp beds for some serious comfy camping! And if you don’t want to miss out on the party but also want some luxury for your wedding night you could hire a bridal bell tent – some even have log burners or silk drapes – not an air bed in sight!

There are lots of bell tent hire companies around but we definitely recommend New Forest Bells and Boutique Bell.

Added extras

If your wedding campground will be open the day before your wedding, then you will need to think more carefully about facilities so people can arrive at your nuptials smelling sweet and with well-lined tummies! With some of the bell tent companies you can also hire toilets and showers but if not, there are plenty of vendors offering these services. Talk to your venue as you will need power and water supplies for these.

Having a pamper tent or a ‘dressing room’ is also a great idea, especially for the ladies! Again, the bell tent companies often have this as an add-on and they can even set up vanity stations with mirrors, lights and power sockets so your guests can arrive looking wedding-ready rather than festival-frazzled!

If your venue is in a secluded spot then you may also want to think about extra food for your guests. You could ask your caterers to be on-site for a pre-wedding BBQ the night before, as well as a brunch the day after! Include the options in your invitations and RSVPs so that you can plan accordingly. If your budget won’t stretch that far, ask everyone to contribute an item or go BYO-style. Just check with your venue whether there is anywhere to site and power a few hire fridges or replenish cool boxes.

Having a chill out tent at your campground is a fun way to get all your guests together for some pre and post wedding partying. It creates a central point to gather and socialise and will help to allow groups to mingle. Talk to us about our Kungsornen chill out tipi! We can add a fire pit, bar and seating!

Let your guests know the details

When it comes to camping at your wedding, whatever you decide to offer, make sure your know what to expect. Here are our top tips:

• Include the arrival and departure times (and dates).

• If you are offering glamping then provide your guests with the booking details on your wedding invitation.

• If guests need to bring their own tents, let them know what time they can pitch (you don’t want people missing reception drinks to go and set up camp) and include whether vans/caravans are allowed.

• Let everyone know whether there will be toilets/showers/areas to get ready.

• If you are offering food let your guests know what’s on offer. Otherwise make a note of a few local pubs or restaurants.

• Remind people about attire – if the camping field is a bit of walk from the main wedding area then wellies/flat shoes might be handy.

As always, we are on hand to help so if you’d like any advice about how to create your perfect setting, please give us a call on 01929 505005 or drop us line

Coastal Tents team xxxx