Guests seated on wooden chairs at an outdoor wedding ceremony with a floral arch, facing snow-capped mountains in the background.

Should You Plan a Tent or Ballroom Wedding? 4 Questions to Help You Decide!


Finding the perfect venue is a foundational step in your wedding planning journey. Chances are, a million little details are racing through your mind right now–everything from selecting the quintessential color palette to determining your guest count.

Your mind is being bombarded with question after question. On top of many other things, you want to choose the ideal venue that accommodates your needs, desires and–ultimately–ties your entire event together.

Do I want an indoor or outdoor wedding?

How much should I spend?

Will my venue include basic necessities?

The pressure is rising.

Sometimes, it’s overwhelming. We understand. At times, your big day may seem more like a distant fairytale than reality (especially because we still feel the effects of the pandemic so deeply).

Here’s something you should know: your perfect venue doesn’t exist in a fairytale. It’s waiting for you. We’re going to help you find it and help you navigate the entire planning process.

Left- Photography: James x Schulze
Right- Photography: Brandon Kidd

Photographer: Tiffany Axtmann

What is Your Overall Vision?

Let’s start with your vision and the critical role it plays in venue selection. As experienced planners, here’s something we emphasize over and over again to our clients: It’s your day. Your vision. Your dream. We’re here to make it all possible.

What venues make you feel alive and send shivers down your spine? Have you been envisioning a destination wedding in a fabulous location like Vail, Capri, or Riviera Maya? If you are dreaming of a modern wedding, consider spaces with a contemporary feel, like an art gallery or a luxurious ballroom. On the other hand, if your heartstrings are tugged by organic styles and natural elements, think about an outdoor wedding, such as a tented beach or garden venue.

At the end of the day, the space you choose should reflect your personal aesthetic–complementing your wedding theme–and fit within your total expenditure. For more than 16 years, we’ve assisted scores of couples in finding their dream location, and we won’t stop until we’ve helped you choose a venue that checks all the boxes.

Photographer: John Cain Photography

What is Your Capacity?

Another important element to consider when choosing a venue is your guest list. Pinning the particulars down–especially the number of attendees–will save you from unnecessary stress down the road. During the planning process, we’ll work with you to smooth out all the details so that you can sit back and enjoy the journey.

As a general rule, tented venues allow for greater flexibility, particularly when it comes to the guest count. They can be perfectly oriented to the size of your wedding, and you won’t be limited by the occupant capacity commonly found in indoor venues. But, if you’re considering a tented venue, there are additional logistics to work through, such as utilities (think electricity, restrooms, etc.), weather, and even the layout of your wedding. On the flip side, ballroom venues provide a structured and well-designed space for your friends and family. Although these venues are less adaptable, you won’t need to weigh as many decisions, and you can place your confidence in a location already suited for special events.

Left- Photography: James & Jess 
Right- Photography: Erika Delgado

What is Your Venue Budget?

We understand the significance of determining–and sticking to–your total expenditure. (We also know how stressful crunching numbers can be.) Whether you’re planning a micro-wedding or an extravagant event, as a JLE client, you’ll experience a perfectly curated process, including an actual cost breakdown of your entire wedding, not just your preferred venue.

So…should you choose a tented or ballroom venue?

Here’s the bottom line: tented venues–although flexible–usually cost more than ballroom venues due to the simple fact that you are starting with a blank canvas–meaning you need to bring in nearly everything for your big day. But, especially if you’re set on an outdoor wedding, a tented venue has clear benefits. You’ll be able to enjoy the outdoors in any season thanks to heaters and air conditioning–no need to wait until warmer months for your event. Because the layout of a tented venue is completely customizable, you’ll also be able to structure the entire occasion around what you need and want. Do you want to dance and drink beneath the stars? Let’s do it!

We know life doesn’t come to a standstill when you’re planning a wedding, but you can place your confidence in our capable hands, knowing that we’ve walked this path countless times. We’ll help you achieve your “fairytale” tented wedding, no matter what challenges come our way.

Photography: James x Schulze

What Do You Want Your Venue to Include?

Tented venues have several upsides: there are virtually unlimited possibilities, and you can customize nearly every aspect to complement your personal aesthetic. Imagine incorporating hanging fixtures such as magnificent chandeliers, elegant floral garlands, and even lanterns and vintage decor. You can also opt for a clear ceiling to let in the natural light, making for stunning reception photos. The sky is truly the limit!

But what are the cons? Tented venues necessitate more planning (we’ve got your back here), generally cost more, and require you to bring in everything from tables and chairs to the decor and dance floor.

On the flip side, ballroom venues include basic necessities, allowing you to focus on other aspects of your wedding. While we are perfecting the magical experience you want to share with your loved ones, you can rest easy knowing that your wedding will be held in a structured environment that was made specifically for events. That being said, banquet halls can book up quickly, and you may need more creativity if you want to achieve a one-of-a-kind look. Don’t be afraid to dream big, though–we’re here to help you transform your chosen venue and create a wedding that best tells your love story.

If you have the energy and resources to forge your fairytale wedding from the ground up, then definitely consider “tenting it!” If not, then unearthing the ultimate ballroom space may be the perfect solution for you.

Left- Photography: Erika Delgado
Right- Photography: James x Schulze

. . .

No matter what venue you choose, you can rest assured that we have all the contacts, resources, and experience to transform your vision into a great wedding. We’ll help you navigate every barrier and–at the same time–ensure that the entire process is enjoyable. If you’re ready to experience that process for yourself, then reach out to us. We’re excited to chat with you!

* Top Featured Photo by: Tata + Luca Studio

Thanks for reading, friend.

  1. […] (congratulations!), you’ve acquired your dream dress, and maybe you’ve even unearthed the perfect venue. But now you’re beginning to think about all the other details: guest count, invitations, […]

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