Maryland Tented Wedding Reception

Technically, this Maryland tented wedding reception is at a venue. But it is a private venue that has many similar elements to an at-home wedding. Some lessons were learned, so I wanted to share them with you here.

Washington DC Catholic Wedding Ceremony

I always like to provide context for the wedding day. V&H got ready at the Intercontinental at the Wharf and had their first look on the pier of the Dockmaster Building. Then, we went to the Capitol to take group photos. Finally, in DC, V & M got married at Holy Rosary Catholic Church, which is welcoming to couples who wish to get married but are not members or DC residents.

Marlborough Hunt Club Wedding Reception

OK, we finally get to the good stuff. The wedding reception is at a private venue that behaves like a private home. The weather was somewhat mild for August, and the outdoor cocktail hour was bearable. But we did have space inside the building where guests could get relief from the temps.

You can see here the tent was adjacent to the front door of the building. You can also see the marquee (long, hallway-like) tent on the left edge of these above photos. We installed it in the event of rain, and we would have had the guests meet the valet team at the end of the marquee tent. This would allow the guests to get into the building without being in the rain.

Marlborough Hunt Club Wedding Reception - summer tent wedding - alfresco cocktail hour
Marlborough Hunt Club Wedding Reception - summer tent wedding - alfresco cocktail hour

We directed the guests to the restrooms inside the building, but we rented a trailer for all the wedding vendors to use.

Maryland Wedding Reception Tent

A simple frame tent with a white top for this Maryland wedding reception was embellished by colorful, wildflower-inspired table centerpieces that were as varied as they were beautiful.

Marlborough Hunt Club Wedding Reception - summer tent wedding - colorful wildflower

Below are the highlights of this Maryland tented wedding reception. We started off with a Polish Bread and Salt Blessing, and a Polish Vodka Ceremony. Both were firsts for me, and I loved it so much. Also, I am Polish, and I wish I had known about these when I got married. Later we of course cut the cake and had a first dance. This was my first vintage-style wedding cake design – V&H were trendsetters!

Maryland Tented Wedding Reception Floor Plan

I’m sharing the wedding tent reception floor plan below so that you can see how we managed to host almost 200 guests at this wedding. Due to the perimeter trees, we had to set up two separate (but adjoining) tents. The larger was 40×70, and the smaller was 20×40. We put a bar on the porch and a bar in the smaller tent. V&H really wanted a huge head table to accommodate their wedding party and partners, and we just squeezed it in.

Marlborough Hunt Club wedding reception tent real floor plan

OK so why was this like a home wedding? We had to bring in as many things as a home wedding. We had to set up a catering tent (with flooring, walls, lighting, and fans) so that Well Dunn had somewhere to work. Remember the building was mostly used for guest access during the cocktail hour, as well as a green room for the band. We had to bring in restroom trailers and generators to power them. We had to offer both valet at the venue, and shuttle buses from DC for the guests. The tent company also provided tables, chairs, lighting in the tent, the dance floor, and a stage for the band.

The load-in schedule had to be planned just like a home wedding. The landscaper did not mow on time and had to mow around the installed tents and equipment that had been delivered.

Wedding Team: Astrid Photography | Catering: Well Dunn | Tent and Rentals: Top Hat | Florals: LynnVale | Buses: RMA Limo | Valet: MJ Valet | Band: Sam Hill Entertainment | Beauty: JKW | Restrooms: GotUGo

Want more wedding tent tips? Check here for wedding tent floor plan samples.