One of our favorite things to do in the showroom is help our clients come up with a layout for their outdoor tented reception. So why not share some of our favorites to give our future clients an idea of what is possible under their tent!

150 Guest Tent Layout with Family Style Catering in Chestertown MD

The tent used in this layout is a 40′ by 400′ pole tent with side and center pole draping. This means that the aluminum center and side poles of the tent will be covered in a white, flame-retardant polyester fabric that will be draped to hide the metal. This allows the tent to have a softer aesthetic!

When we think of pole tents, we like to separate the tent into what we call “bays” or sections between the center poles. We like to recommend putting the dance floor in a more central bay of the tent compared to one of the far left or far right bay due to (just in case!) keeping the dance floor dry in case of rainfall. In this case, we have an 18′ by 21′ dance floor in the second to far right bay of the tent. We have a 42″ pedestal harvest table as the sweetheart table on one side of the dance floor, then the DJ table on the other. This layout is also possible to have a stage for a band instead of the DJ — we would just want to shift the dance floor up more towards the sweetheart table to accommdoate the size of the stage.

On the far right, we have a full bar set-up with cocktail tables. In this concept, we don’t need space for a buffet since everything is being served family-style, but you could also use this layout and have enough space for a buffet set-up as well, although it would feel tight near the bar (we recommend that if a client wanted this layout with a buffet, we would make a smaller bar and have an additional one set up for a cocktail hour outside the tent).

For the dining tables, we did a mix of 8′ by 40″ harvest tables (seating 10) and a table made up of two 8′ by 30″ tables to create a 12-person dining table. In both table designs, there is enough room for platters for family-style service by the caterer.

This layout will average about $5,600 in rentals before your tax, damage waiver, and delivery (and any rentals for catering such as a prep tent, oven, or prep tables). In this layout, the rental items include:

Let us know what you think in the comments below! If you enjoyed this layout, you’ll want to check out this event where this reception dining concept was used.