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The Only Tent to Try When You’re Having an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor wedding with tent and lights Photo Credit:

There is truly nothing better than an outdoor wedding in the spring or summer. Really, can you think of anything prettier than nuptials set outside, under a stunning canopy? Because we can’t. In fact, the Eastern Shore wedding scene from Wedding Crashers is permanently ingrained in my memory, not because of Rachel McAdams’s iconic MOH speech, but because the look of the tented reception, complete with hanging chandeliers and suspended florals, blew my mind - timeless, sophisticated, sublime, just so good. It’s been nearly 15 years since the movie was released, yet that tented wedding template is still just as thirsted for - and we know where couples can get it: Sperry Tents. The Sperry family designed and built the first-ever sailcloth tent and they forever set a standard for tented starts to a happily-ever-after.

Founder Steve Sperry was a sailmaker, and when he decided to make a party tent one day, he used the materials he had on hand in his sail loft. Necessity is the mother of invention, arewerite? A man of many talents, he also made the new tent’s wooden support poles using the sawmill on his property. To this day, he still mills each and every Sperry center pole himself (and he’s in his seventies - it’s so impressive 🙌🙌🙌).

Sperry Tents founder Steve Sperry corinna-raznikov-photography Photo Credit:

Just to further hammer that point about pioneerism and market-cornering into place, when you look at Instagram and see outdoor tent weddings, you can almost immediately spot a Sperry. There’s just a signature look to them that can’t be mistaken, and any couples, photographers, event stylists, floral designers, etc. who post photos of the final product/event after the fact proudly hashtag ‘sperrytents,’ because it’s basically a badge of honor! #sperrystatus ✔️

So, about that signature look

As the industry’s most sought-after rental tent, a Sperry Tent is like no other – each one is crafted out of genuine sailcloth and supported by hand-milled spruce poles. The canopies are nautically-inspired and lyrical in design, with sailcloth panels stretching up to stately peaks (so stately that one of my favorite wedding planners literally weeps when the spring/summer season is over and she has to say 👋 to those ‘pretty peaks.’). The result is a clean, crisp, pleasing outdoor venue that’s the ultimate blank slate.

Tented Wedding with Hanging Lanterns on Sperry Tent Photo Credit:

Unlike vinyl, their durable sailcloth is creamy ivory (not stark white), so it’s breathable, crisp, translucent to sunlight, and also translucent to event lighting at night, producing their trademark #sperryglow. And who doesn’t want some tent glow to go along with that guaranteed bridal glow and just-married sparkle?

How have these tents kept their reputation as the ultimate outdoor venue? 

And yes, that’s exactly what they are - not an atmospheric accessory, a ‘just in case’ or even worst-case weather scenario safeguard - but actual ambiance, the perfect setting for you to say ‘I Do.’ Even now, each Sperry Tent is handmade by the crew at sister company Sperry Fabric Architecture, led by President Matt Sperry. SFA’s dedicated craftspeople are all local and specially trained, and its warehouse is not a warehouse at all, rather its a solar-fed, environmentally-friendly post-and-beam barn. Their “small batch” output means that details and overall aesthetics are prioritized, and when it comes to a wedding, the dreamiest of occasions, that’s all you can hope … or, should we say, set sail for!

There is a huge quality difference among rental tents, and it’s important to know exactly what you are choosing before you sign on the dotted line and your event photographer shows up. But with a Sperry tent there’s no question about ill-quality, because everything for the big day is buttoned up. Literally and figuratively!

Sperry Tent reflection in the lagoon outdoor wedding Photo Credit:

Proof is in the pictures, but also in the praise 

“So glad I got Sperry Tents for my wedding! Cannot recommend them highly enough. The tents are absolutely gorgeous. Our guests were floored by how classy it made a backyard wedding. Lots of our guests came up to us and said it was the best wedding they had ever been to and the tents were a huge part of that. We also loved how closely Sperry was willing to work with us to get the correct size and layout in a nontraditional, hilly New England backyard. Setup and breakdown went smoothly. We got onion lamps in one tent and string lights in the other. The string lights were really magical for the dance floor. Communication with Sperry was incredible - my emails were all answered within 24 hours. And so thankful for that last-minute flexibility in the last few days before the wedding when the forecast kept switching. Yes, Sperry Tents cost a bit more than the cheapest tents out there, but the expense is worth every penny.”

Want to party under one of the most gorgeous parasols ever? Thought so. Head outdoors with Sperry Tents and spread your own #sperrylove. Note, they’re only available from their nationwide network of licensed providers, but all of them excel in creative planning and detail-oriented execution. So, you’ll get back even more than what you paid for!


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We partnered with Sperry Tents to share all the details on their sailcloth stardom. As always, thank you for supporting our sponsors!

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