Fall Festival Ideas: The Ultimate Planning Guide

Autumn is a time for celebration—and there’s so much celebrate at a Chicago Fall Festival! It’s an absolutely fantastic time to celebrate fall flavors and cool weather. There are so many different types of festivals that draw a crowd: church fall festivals, Oktoberfest, farm festivals, arts and crafts sales. These are just the start of a list of fall event ideas that are just as much fun to plan as they are to attend.

Planning a Fall Festival

To choose the right type of fall festival, first consider the goal of the event. Is the goal to sell products? Or to draw a crowd for future engagement (i.e. to get more visitors at a church, more customers at a restaurant, etc.)?

Next, decide on who is the target demographic for the event. Is it children? Is it adults? For the latter demographic with adult beverages, also research if additional event insurance is needed and how to restrict beverage service to adults. (This can be accomplished with special entrances, staff training, and wristbands, but every adults-only should have a plan.)

Once the fall event goal and demographic are chosen, it’s time to choose the location and date that fits the demographic. If the event is for children, the festival hours should be during the day when families are active and looking for entertainment. An adults-only fall event can be held in the afternoon and evening when adults are ready to enjoy the finer tastes of fall.

When the event details are finalized, the next step is come up with a list of fall festival event ideas. What activities would draw a crowd? These event ideas can be used to market the event. The event should be marketed on channels that target the event demographic, such as community bulletin boards and local social media sites.

Last but not least, planners need to consider the logistics of the event. If the event is outdoor, a plan B should always be considered. Though fall is a beautiful time of year, rain and cold weather can put a damper on any event. (Even too much sun can be a deterrent.)

A tent is an obvious way to accommodate more guests, shield attendees from the elements, and organize activities. If the tent needs to be installed over a parking lot or over another surface, mention that detail when contacting a tent rental company; many tents can be secured in other ways that won’t damage the surface. Make a full list of supplies needed, including tents, tables, chairs, food service items and craft supplies. If there is concern about hot or cold weather, ask the rental company about adding climate control and clear sidewalls that can keep guests comfortable and bring the outdoors in. If the event includes vendors, ask vendors to submit their event needs by a set deadline.

Fall Festival Ideas

Craft Tent

A craft tent can be whatever the event needs. Craft tents are a great way to separate children’s activities and shield them from rain and cold. At a farm festival, craft tents are perfect area for coloring tables and painting pumpkins.

At an arts and crafts sale, a craft tent is an ideal place to gather local vendors and protect their products from fading and rain. At a farm festival, a craft tent can be the ideal place to sell fall crafts and treats. Fall-themed signs are an excellent way to direct attendees to tents or through a tent and create an autumn atmosphere that guests (both young and old!) fall in love with.

Activity Stations

Activity fall stations are perfect for family events. These stations can include edible and inedible seasonal activities, such as:

  1. Face Painting
  2. Bobbing for Apples
  3. Sack Races
  4. Fall Bingo
  5. Scavenger Hunt
  6. Bowling
  7. Corn Box (like a sand box, but with corn)
  8. Ring Toss
  9. Photo Station
  10. Popcorn/Treat Station

Picnic Area

A picnic area is an ideal space for family and adults-only event. This area is a gathering space for families to relax or adults to mingle and enjoy.

Depending on the event demographic, the interior could contain picnic tables or cocktail tables. If linens are needed, they should be carefully chosen to coordinate with other event items.

Tasting Tent

A beer or wine-tasting tent is perfect for an adults-only event, though this option does come with some other considerations. These tents need to be secured with only access allowed to adults that are allowed service. This means that some kind of barrier needs to be secured around the tent and entrances need to be secured and staffed. This can be accomplished with entrance tents and fencing (talk to an event specialist about options), as well as trained staff members that can restrict access and make sure everyone is having a great time.

For tables, cocktail tables and portable bars are ideal ways to serve. These items can also double as tasting stations where guests can sample local brews, wines, and foods. 

Ultimate Guide to Outdoor Party Rentals

Outdoor party rentals are a fun addition to any event—no matter what kind! The right party rentals can make any event more comfortable, memorable, or put it over-the-top.

It doesn’t matter the type of party…anyone planning a backyard party, neighborhood block party, bar mitzvah, graduation party, or staff party (any kind of party!) can use these party planning tips.

How to Plan an Outdoor Party

Think about the logistics

Planners should start by putting the important party details in stone: date, location, and guest list. If the party location is not set, contact local venues to see if the sites are available on the preferred date and for the number of people that can be accommodated. For easier party planning ahead, ask whether the venue allows tents (in case of bad weather).

Send out invites

Once the major details are confirmed, party planners can start working on invites (both paper and digital). The invitations should match the feel of the party and contain all the important details: the occasion, date, location, and name of party to send a RSVP.

Set a schedule (even for the most casual parties)

The party schedule doesn’t have to be set in stone—or even sent out to guests—but it’s important for party planners to have a general idea of activities. This schedule helps party planners make a list of supplies and party rentals.

Think about what guests need/want

It’s time to break down what is needed (and wanted) at the party. Party planners should ask themselves, “What do we need for the meal (regarding both menu and supplies)? What kinds of entertainment fit our event and guest list?” In addition to considering party supplies, party planners should start to think about the needs of the venue. This could include cover in areas with direct sunlight or an uneven area unsuitable for dancing.  

Plan for every worst-case scenario

No one wants their party ruined by rain, oppressive heat, and bugs. Fortunately, party planners can plan for all three problems in advance. Even if the weather seems favorable, party planners should always have a plan B. A plan B could be an indoor space or a tent that provides cover (especially with sidewalls that protect from the rain).

Choosing an Outdoor Party Rental Company

Research “outdoor party rental companies near me”

Choosing the right outdoor party rental company is about more than just an online search. Party planners should research the companies online. There are a few different ways to research, such as asking friends and family for recommendations and checking online review sites and company social media pages.

Come up with a list of possible outdoor party rentals

Before contacting any companies, it is helpful for party planners to have a basic list of supplies needed for the party. This list may include tables and chairs, tents, food service dishes, chill tubs and tables, and some fun rentals for entertainment (like a slushie machine!)

Contact the companies for a quote

The next step is getting a quote for the basic party supplies, but don’t feel confined to those basic supplies. In addition to a quote, ask for suggestions for other items that guests appreciate.

Fun Things to Rent for Parties

The great thing about outdoor party rentals is that the list is endless! These are just a few of the rentals that can take a party to the next level:

  • Portable bars
  • Chill tables and tubs
  • Slushie machines
  • Cotton candy machine
  • Big screen
  • Sound system and microphone
  • Dance floor
  • Big grill
  • Margarita machine
  • Cool lighting
  • Tent heating and cooling
  • Much, much more…

10 Outdoor Party Rentals that Up the Fun Factor

A backyard party or corporate event isn’t complete without all the outdoor party rentals that put the party over-the-top. The best part of party planning is that the list of event rentals is endless (and this list is just the start-ask for more party rental ideas) and can be customized to suit the type of event and unique event theme.


This is one of the most obvious party rentals—and an event rental that guests really appreciate. A tent can be a great way to keep guests comfortable when the weather is unpleasant or as a way to add extra space so a venue doesn’t feel too crowded. In addition to shielding party guests from the rain or heat, a party tent can also be an incredible show-stopper with beautiful lighting and décor.

Big Screen

Nothing keeps guests’ attention like a big screen. This is the perfect way to showcase the accomplishments of a non-profit, highlight the goals hit by a company, or surprise the guest-of-honor with a presentation about them.

Sound System

No likes to shout over the crowd, and no one likes to be shouted at. A microphone ensures that everyone can hear directions and ensures a pleasant event experience. If the program includes karaoke or a dance, a sound system can be used to project the entertainment.

tent wedding with beautiful lights on ceiling

Dance Floor

Guests love grooving at an outdoor party. They appreciate it more when they don’t have to worry about getting their heels stuck in the grass or shoes dirty from a wet lawn. Dance floors come in all sizes and can be customized for the occasion and event.

Portable Bar

Portable bars, chill tables, and stainless steel tubs add functionality and style to any outdoor event. Guests appreciate the beverage service and the design of these party rentals. Portable bars are ideal for formal and casual affairs, especially when skirted or outfitted with coordinated décor. Chill tables fit perfectly into an informal picnic. Stainless steel tubs coordinate well into a picnic or more formal rustic event.

Big Grill

Nothing makes an impression like a big grill (not just big, these grills are huge). A long grill is a great way for managers to make a statement to employees at a company picnic or for a company host to prove his/her status as the grill master.

tent lighting chandelier

Slushie/Margarita Machine

When the weather gets hot, a slushie or margarita machine is the hit of every kind of party: staff get-together, company picnic, backyard barbecue. This party rental also appeals to guests of every age, both the youngest and most experienced.

Cotton Candy

Cotton candy is a summer favorite, making it a party must that draws a crowd. A cotton candy machine is perfect for a summer picnic, backyard party, or a carnival or country fair themed event. The sweetest part about this party rental is guests’ smiles after enjoying this summer treat.

Lighting, stages…

These last two party rentals are just the start of a long list. A stage is perfect for a party with main stage entertainment or for a corporate event with an important presentation. String lighting is perfect for a neighborhood party or an outdoor wedding. Uplighting adds the right amount of drama to a formal event, while fun furniture can create fun gathering spaces for guests to mingle and enjoy.

Amazing Corporate Event Tent Rentals (With Pictures)

Corporate event tent rentals have to check off all the boxes: functional, impressive, comfortable (for guests), and a protective covering to keep guests out of the unpredictable Chicago weather. Every event has different boxes, which is why there are different types of tents for rent that are up to the task—-plus can check off any other boxes on an event planning checklist. (As an added bonus, this list is just the start of tents available for corporate events; contact event planning professionals to match your event with the right tent and event planning accessories.)

Tent Rentals

Frame Tents

Frame tents are perfect for:

  • corporate venues with limited space for the tent,
  • tent installations over decks, patios, driveways,
  • tents set up adjacent to other structures or buildings.

One of the biggest benefits of a frame tent is that there are no center poles that obstruct guests’ view or the set-up of equipment rentals inside the tent. While there is framework visible on the interior, the metal can be covered by décor and event lighting. With minimal staking or weights, frame tents can be set up over almost any surface.

pole tent at corporate event

Pole Tents

Pole tents add an upscale look to any corporate event. With a wide variety of sizes, these versatile tents provide a classic look with an affordable event that fits within the corporate event budget. As the name implies, pole tents are supported with center and side poles anchored into the ground.

High Peak Century Tents

With high cathedral ceilings, these tents makes guests say, “wow.” This beautiful first impression is a huge hit with guests, making it perfect for formal corporate events. The maximum ceiling height is an ideal canvas for grand décor and lighting.

Clearspan Tents

These tents allow the durability of a poled tent without poles. Clearspan tents are perfect for corporate event venues where staking is not possible or when the tent is needed for the long-term. Without poles, these structures feel open with unobstructed views. Every square inch of the space can be maximized for optimal use.

Marquee Tents

Marquee tents are functional, attractive, and come in a variety of sizes. Corporate event guests appreciate the added protection from the weather. These tents can be used for small tent affairs, walkways, entrances, or any other corporate event. For added protection, marquee tents can be installed with sidewalls for an all-encompassing atmosphere.

clear tent with full floor

Clear Tents

These tents provide a one-of-a-kind experience with a clear tent material. Clear tents can be used in shaded corporate event venue, for an evening event, or to bring in spectacular views. When the goal is to bring the outdoors in, clear tents provide a view and protection from the elements.

Other Corporate Event Rentals

checkered linen party rental for carnival party theme



event with uplighting

Portable Bars

chill station at chicago outdoor wedding

Chill Tables


air conditioned wedding tent

Climate Control Systems

corporate event tent with decor for event theme

10 Awesome Corporate Event Themes that Draw a Crowd

The best company events start with a corporate event theme that dictates every detail and ultimately boosts attendance.

Wine/Beer Tasting

Local flavors and tastes are all the fair. For an adults-only event, invite your guests to sample local craft beers and wines (along with great company and cuisine). If alcohol isn’t on the menu, host a seasonal event with treats from local vendors (i.e. farms, restaurants, etc.)  

Throwback Theme

If the corporate event is an anniversary celebration, take guests back in time with a throwback corporate event. Set the stage for a night back in time with all the details—large and small—from the milestone decade. Complete the event theme with a presentation on the big screen that celebrates every accomplishment that makes this over-the-top event possible.

Casino Night

Guests enjoy the gamble of the ultimate casino night. This is the perfect theme for a networking event that leaves guests mingling and enjoying every detail. For a truly interactive and mobile experience, intermix the entertainment, drink, and food stations or separate both areas to provide endless opportunities for networking.

Charitable Community Event

These corporate events are popular among employees and corporate guests. Companies can host a collection of specific items for a local charity or gather employees for a specific endeavor (i.e. painting, reading to kids, etc.) The charitable component can also be incorporated into a corporate event, such as asking guests to bring perishable foods or books for a charity collection. Either way, guest comfort should be considered during event planning with a tent (to accommodate for the weather) and food service.

Ultimate Barbeque

A corporate barbeque can be a completely casual experience or a high-end tasting event. For a more casual flair, host a huge grill that leaves guests in awe and anticipating the experience that is to come. Surpass their expectations with activities, décor, and all the touches of the ultimate corporate event.

Night Under the Stars

This whimsical corporate event theme is deserving of every detail that completes the atmosphere. From the lighting to the dance floor, every detail should be checked off the list. There are many possibilities that come with this theme: dance floor, string lighting, table décor, projection screen, complete menu.

Sports Night

A sports-themed corporate event appeals to the most loyal and casual sports fans. This corporate event idea can be a casual viewing party with a projection screen and the best sports-themed snacks (i.e. popcorn, slushies, etc.) For a larger crowd, rent out a local sports venue or put up a tent adjacent to an outdoor sports field for the ultimate sports party. With the right combination of food and sports-themed activities, this corporate event idea is sure to be a hit with guests.


A carnival-themed event should be an all-encompassing experience under the big top (only the best tent is suitable for this description). This atmosphere can be created with the tent, décor, and entertainment that guests expect of a day at the carnival.

Night at the Movies/Theater

The best part of this corporate event theme is the versatility. A night at the movies theme can translate into an upscale event with grand theater décor or a less formal occasion with details from a favorite movie. The chosen theme dictates every detail: the type of tent, chairs, tables, layout, menu, and décor. (Contact event professionals to help select the right rentals for the theme.)

Trip Around the World

This event theme should feel exactly like the name suggests. An international theme should take guests through the best tastes, décor, and entertainment from a few select corners of the globe. This can be accomplished in a unique venue, such as a museum, or with a tent. For a more focused event theme, choose a country relevant to guests’ interests and incorporate the details that make that area unique.

clear party rental tent at event

10 Over-the-Top Chicago Party Rentals

Event rentals can turn a ho-hum party into a much-anticipated and well-attended occasion. The best party rentals are the details that make the biggest impact on guests and fit with the overall event theme. Think beyond tables and chairs, these rental ideas bring out the “wows!” and “that’s awesome!”

large grill for parties

HUGE Grill

Massive grills (or a series of big grills placed end-to-end) are more than a way to make the best event meal guests have ever had. These large grills let guests know that the hosts are serious about serving the best meal ever. At a corporate event, this is a fun opportunity to let managers switch roles and serve their departments. A huge grill at any other gathering makes a serious impression and guests and builds up anticipation for the meal.

Projection Screens

A projection screen is a great addition to any party, and a great way to entertain guests. A projection screen is the perfect big screen for a presentation that visualizes the accomplishments of a company or corporate team. At a birthday part, it can be the source of many giggles as those embarrassing pictures flash across the screen. A big screen can also be the base of hosting the perfect late night viewing party.

portable bar with white skirting

Portable Bar

Portable bars are a great way to keep guests mingling and moving throughout the event venue. Logistically, portable bars give guests another option and prevents long lines. For a creative twist, offer special drink mixes at each portable bar. For a good event flow, use signs to let guests know what drinks are available at different bars.

cotton candy machine

Cotton Candy Machine

Cotton candy machines draw a crowd and coordinate perfectly with a summer party theme. This summer treat is a perfect part of a circus, country fair, or picnic event theme—and just one of many summer treat party rentals. (For a complete list, contact a party planning company.)

popcorn machine party rental

Popcorn Maker

The only thing better than popcorn is fresh-made popcorn at an event. A popcorn maker is a popular party rental that can double as a party treat and favor. A bag of popcorn is the perfect way to show appreciation to guests as they leave.

slushie maker

Slushie Maker

A slushie maker is a popular party rental because guests of all ages love these cool drinks. Especially popular at hot summer parties, slushies (or the adult-favorite margarita machine) can be served from portable bars or as a self-service option. Slushies are an integral part of a summer picnic or country fair theme.

chill station at chicago outdoor wedding

Chill Tables and Tubs

Chill tables add style and function to an event, keeping drinks cool and looking great. For a more rustic feel, chill tubs are a fun and fashionable way to make drinks easily accessible for guests.

event with uplighting


Event lighting can be functional and beautiful, adding color or ambiance to large and small events. The right lighting can add to the atmosphere and go a long way toward establishing a theme. There are numerous options for stylish lighting, such as lamp posts, uplighting, lanterns, globe lights, chandeliers, and gel splashes (for color).

checkered linen party rental for carnival party theme


Tents are one of the most versatile party rentals that can set the stage for any event. Modern tents are clear or white, with clear sidewalls (or no sidewalls), entryways, and even tent climate control. The possibilities are endless—and so are the benefits when the weather is less than ideal.

air conditioned wedding tent

Heating & Air Conditioning

Tent climate control may be invisible—and not always the most stylish—part of an event, but it’s a welcome party rental immediately noticed by guests (especially on hot or cold Chicago days). The hot or cool air can feel like a godsend to guests, making a big first impression on them the moment they step into the tent.

How to Plan an Outdoor Wedding Ceremony

wedding ceremony with white chairs and gazeboThere are almost as many outdoor wedding ceremony ideas as there are stars in the sky. After all, that’s one of the reasons couples enjoy planning an outdoor wedding ceremony; every wedding ceremony detail, from the altar to the chairs, can be coordinated into an outdoor wedding that feels personal.

Tour wedding ceremony site

Planning an outdoor wedding starts with the biggest detail, choosing the perfect wedding ceremony site that fits the couple’s tastes. The options for outdoor wedding ceremony sites are endless (especially in the Chicagoland area) and can be as easy as picturing the wedding in a backyard, beach, or favorite park. For an incredibly unique feel, couples can also choose a sports field, rooftop deck, or an outdoor theater.

Couples should discuss their preference for an outdoor venue and start compiling a list of ceremony sites. Choosing an outdoor wedding venue does come with a note of caution; while it can be fun to browse through online photos, never book an outside wedding site without an in-person tour.

Ask questions

Before scheduling a tour with an outdoor wedding venue, ask the venue questions to narrow down the list to the right one. Ask every wedding venue these questions:

  • Is the venue available on the date? (Or ask the venue for a list of dates it is available.)
  • What is the fee for using the ceremony site? What amount of time is covered by the fee? Are there any additional fees that are part of the venue cost?
  • How much space is available for the ceremony? Is there a maximum amount of guests that can be at the venue?
  • Is there an indoor venue that can be used for the reception? If not, can a tent be installed at the venue? Are there any restrictions on the tent? Is a permit needed for the tent?
  • Are there any volume limitations or curfews that need to be followed?
  • Will there be other events at the venue during the wedding?
  • Does the venue carry liability insurance? (This can be important in case a guest is injured.)
  • What is the cancellation policy?
  • Is there a list of required vendors that need couples need to use?
  • What is the venue alcohol policy?
  • Is there parking at or near the ceremony site?
  • Is the wedding venue handicap accessible?
  • Are there any inns, hotels, or cabins nearby where guests can stay?

In addition to asking questions, couples should always review the venue contract before signing on the dotted line. Once the outdoor venue is confirmed, it’s time to start coordinating the details that make every outdoor wedding unique.

Make a Plan B

white paper lanterns in wedding tent with neutral wedding decorEven if the weather forecast is beautiful, ALWAYS have a plan B in case of unpredictable weather. If the venue has a facility, make “just in case” plans to move the wedding ceremony (and reception, if applicable) to the alternate site. For outdoor wedding venues without an indoor option, consider booking a tent to protect guests from the rain and sun. If the wedding date is in late summer, it may make sense to rent a tent for protection from the sun. For venues with spectacular views, don’t feel that a tent has to interfere with the picturesque setting. Some tents are completely clear or have sidewalls that allow everyone to take in the breath-taking views.

Turn the outdoor wedding vision into reality

wedding ceremony site chicago ilThe wedding ceremony site is the foundation for all the other details. Now is the time to decide between having the guests stand or sit, what types of chairs/seating (i.e. natural-colored, dark, vintage couches, etc.), details for the altar, whether cover is wanted/needed, and whether to add décor and lighting. Couples can also add an entrance that sets the stage for what is to come. (Use this outdoor wedding rental checklist to ensure that not one detail is overlooked.)

The exact details differ for every couple. For a hot summer wedding, some couples add chill stations with cool beverages or fans to the ceremony tent. If the ceremony is more of an open-air setting, floral décor can add a sophisticated and elegant feel to the setting. An evening wedding isn’t complete without the right lighting that sets the stage for a one-of-a-kind wedding reception. (Don’t hesitate to ask the professionals for addition outside wedding ceremony ideas.)

20 Stunning Outdoor Wedding Tent Decoration Ideas that Wow

From the wedding venue to the lighting, there are so many details of an outdoor wedding that a couple can control. Unfortunately, no one can plan the perfect wedding weather (no matter what the date!), making a wedding tent rental a ‘must’ of every outdoor wedding.

A wedding tent can be more than just weather protection. It’s an opportunity! This is every couple’s chance to express themselves and create a beautiful wedding atmosphere. There are a million different tent decoration ideas that couples could use. These wedding tent decoration ideas are just a short list of ideas that inspire a gorgeous, personalized wedding atmosphere. (Ask an expert for more wedding tent decoration ideas.)

Before going through the list and planning a memorable outdoor wedding, couples shouldn’t forget about those “boring” and important aspects of a wedding tent rental. Every couple should ask their wedding venue if a wedding tent is allowed, where it is allowed, and if there are any restrictions or permits that need to be secured. (Make sure these details are communicated to the tent rental company or that a connection is made between the venue and rental company.) Once all of those details are taken care of, it’s time to start envisioning all those wedding tent decorations coordinated into a stunning wedding day.

Create a stunning first impression with a fantastic entrance

wedding tent entrance idea with green and white drapes

Add more drama with a beautiful high peak tent

high peak wedding tent

Make a clear impression on guests by bringing the outdoors in

Combine a clear tent with the right lighting and venue for an awesome atmosphere

Bring a natural and organic feel with lots of greenery

tent wedding with natural decor

Drape on the drama

tent wedding with chandeliers and string lights

Add color for a whimsical flair

wedding tent with paper lanterns

Or choose a white-on-white neutral tone with a pop of color

white paper lanterns in wedding tent with neutral wedding decor

Saturate a tent with color and texture

wedding tent with elegant table linens and floral centerpieces

Create the feel of a night sky

Dress up your wedding tent with elegant linens

tent with elegant linens and chandeliers

Add a one-of-a-kind floor for an over-the-top feel

black and white floor in wedding tent

Use a rustic table for a natural, rustic, or vintage affair

Or let them enjoy mingling with comfortable (and fashionable) seating


seating arrangement in wedding tent

Make your head table notable

head table in wedding tent

Take a fresh approach to wedding centerpieces

wedding tent with lemon centerpieces

Use formal decor colors to make the evening a black tie affair

tent with dramatic decor

Or use a dark flooring for contrast

tent with high floral centerpieces

Or choose more neutral tones for wedding tables with a formal feel

wedding tent decor

Select a muted color decor with a bright centerpiece for a great first impression

wedding tent





Hot Tips for Cool Summer Weddings

Just because a couple chooses a summer wedding date doesn’t mean it has to be a sizzler (for you and your guests!) It’s true. Some Chicago days can be real scorchers, but couples shouldn’t have to scramble for ways to cool down their summer wedding.

It’s a common concern for couples and their guests—and for good reason. Brides don’t want to worry about sweating their make-up off, grooms don’t want to worry about melting in their suit coats, and guests don’t want to their fancy wedding frocks to wilt. Instead, use these ideas for cooling down those hot summer weddings without putting a damper on wedding fun.fans in wedding tent at hot summer wedding

Use fans—-lots and lots of fans.

Air circulation can fell like a godsend on a hot summer day (especially when the Chicago weather is incredibly muggy). Fans are a logical addition to a summer wedding rental checklist, both for the ceremony and reception. During set-up, make sure fans are placed in areas for maximum relief that doesn’t ruin those beautiful wedding snapshots.

chill station at chicago outdoor wedding

Offer relief stations for a quick cool down.

Don’t make guests search for relief from the sun. Make the cool-down easy for guests. Couples can (stylishly) add covered tables to their summer wedding rental checklist, and pack it with sunscreen, tissues, and bug spray. For a more casual summer wedding, consider adding flip flops or a chill station filled with cold water bottles. At a more formal affair, rent stainless steel tubs for drink bottles or stylish beverage coolers filled with cold water and delicious fruit slices.

cool evening wedding

Schedule an early evening wedding.

The middle of the day is usually the hottest; couples may want to plan accordingly. An early evening wedding ceremony may offer relief from the heat, as long as there is still time for pictures and a cocktail hour. If an early evening wedding ceremony won’t work, consider renting a tent for the ceremony or locating a tent nearby for quick relief from the sun.

air conditioned wedding tent

Consider air conditioning the wedding reception tent.

A portable air conditioner can feel like a real godsend to couples and guests, especially when the weather is hot and muggy. Portable air conditioners are connected to a thermostat, ensuring that everyone is comfortable. If couples are concerned about the look of an unsightly air conditioners, the units can be positioned away from guest entrances and networking areas. Tents can also be rented with clear sidewalls that can seal in the cool air, keep bugs away, and still give guests a clear view of the outdoors.

drink station at outdoor wedding

Serve cool drinks (especially near the dance floor).

Signature wedding cocktails are a wedding trend that couples love and guests appreciate on the hottest days. Position drink stations and portable bars strategically so guests can easily access drinks when they are overheated. To keep guests on that rented dance floor, plan a layout that ensures drink stations and portable bars are near guests on the dance floor.

25+ Chicago Wedding Picnic Rental Ideas

A wedding picnic can be just the ticket for couples who want an informal and entertaining special day. Planning a picnic wedding starts with choosing the right location (such as one of our beautiful Chicago parks or your favorite backyard) and progresses to those logistical details that make the day a memorable occasion for everyone involved.

There are a few tips that go with planning a picnic wedding (especially with unpredictable Midwestern weather). For the best picnic wedding, use these wedding picnic planning tips:

  • Discuss whether you want your wedding picnic to be a large event or a small, more intimate wedding picnic. This decision can help as you decide on the tent size and number of wedding rental items needed, such as the number of chairs and tables.
  • To make sure you get the wedding picnic rental items you need, plan for your wedding day as far in advance as possible. Contact a rental company with a list of items. Don’t hesitate to ask for ideas for other items that can complete the event.
  • If using an outdoor wedding venue, always ask about logistical ideas. Is there a volume limitation or curfew? These details can put a damper on your desire for an epic wedding dance. Is there room for a large tent? Can the tent be staked down? Is a permit needed? To avoid any penalties, ask about the regulations that could add stress to your wedding planning.
  • Always have a plan B when planning an outdoor wedding. The weather can be unpredictable in Chicago, and an indoor venue or tent can be invaluable if the weather is hot or rainy. In the same way, consider adding sidewalls to a tent or climate control.
  • If the wedding ceremony and reception is in the same location, plan for additional food items and entertainment to keep guests entertained during photos and the cocktail hour. Guests can appreciate wedding entertainers and yard games that reinforce the wedding atmosphere while waiting for the wedding pleasantries to end.
  • To avoid duplication (or missing rental items), always confer with other vendors, such as your caterer, to find out what items are included in your contract.

Then, use this list of wedding picnic items (and this outdoor wedding checklist) to order the items that make your vision of a wedding picnic come alive.

  1. Ceremony chairs
  2. Tents
  3. Sidewalls
  4. Dance floor
  5. Food service tables (such as buffet tables)
  6. Table linens
  7. Heat or AC
  8. Lighting (event or atmosphere-see options for tent lighting here)
  9. Picnic table cloths
  10. Picnic tables
  11. Coffee service
  12. Chafing dishes
  13. Insulated coolers
  14. Portable bars
  15. Drink tubs
  16. Chill tables
  17. Chill tubs
  18. Industrial grills
  19. Centerpieces
  20. Garbage cans (with covers)
  21. Microphone
  22. Projection Screens
  23. Sound System
  24. Kids tables
  25. Kids chairs
  26. Stage