Kayla & Ryan Kirk | Jacksonville Coral & Navy Nautical Tent Wedding

Kayla & Ryan’s coral and navy, nautical tent wedding was one of the first weddings we worked on after we expanded and formed SPR Events back in 2015.  Their wedding was a beautiful blend of fun nautical details and classic, yet timeless wedding elements.  They chose the Buccaneer Retreat, which is a vacation rental home in Jacksonville Beach,  as the venue for their wedding of 150 guests.

Publix Aprons catering provided a delicious carving station and build your own pasta station as the meal, and the bride’s mom prepared their wedding cake.  It was a fun and relaxed evening for Kayla and Ryan as they danced the night away surrounded by family and friends.

The logistics of a tent wedding

Sometimes, though, weddings at venues like Buccaneer Retreat aren’t always stress free.  Staci, the owner of SPR Events, will explain why:

Weddings at venues where the indoor facilities are completely off limits to parties of more than those allowed to stay on the property, which in Ryan and Kayla’s case was about 15-20 guests, can be a bit tricky if you’re not working with professionals.


First, you need to take a long hard look at your total wedding budget, before deciding that a venue of this type is for you.  You’re basically constructing a venue from the ground up, and will need to budget in everything from electricity/power sources, tenting, dance floor with a sub floor (unless you’re on concrete), lighting, restrooms, additional tents for catering staff to use for prep, and much more.  All of these things add up very quickly, and while the end results can be over-the-top amazing, you have to be very careful to allocate that budget properly so there’s enough left for all the pretty things too.


Second, speaking of restrooms, this is one thing that is usually overlooked until the last minute when planning a wedding at an unconventional venue.  Standard household plumbing is not set up to handle the usage of 150 people for a 5-6 hour event.  This especially rings true if the house is on a septic and well system like many homes are here in Florida.  Luckily, the Jacksonville wedding market is blessed with companies like The Lovely Loo and Luxe Party Rentals who provide the delivery, setup and break down of some pretty amazing portable restrooms.  And when I say amazing, I’m not talking your typical port-a-potty, these things have AC, running water, and lights!

Setup & Breakdown Time

Lastly, you need to consider the amount of time you will have access to the venue for setup.  Because, again, you’re building your venue, the setup for this type of wedding can sometimes take days, if not a full week, to setup, and then several days for breakdown as well.  If weather is a factor in your area like it is here in Florida, you could find yourself tenting each portion of your event and providing covered walk-ways between each space.  Average size tents can take anywhere from 4-5 hours to setup, and I’ve seen larger tents take up to a day to put up.  Don’t forget to factor in time for your lighting to be installed as well as any sub-flooring and draping that may be going into the tent.  All of this has to happen before the table and chair rentals are setup, and way before the decor goes in.

We can help make your tent wedding a success!

So, while tent weddings can be very beautiful and can offer very intimate spaces for your events, they do take some expert planning and require a bit more coordination than your typical wedding would.  The staff of SPR Events has had the pleasure of planning and coordinating several tent weddings, and would love to help ensure that yours is just as flawless as Kayla and Ryan’s was.  If you’re looking for some expert insight into the logistics of your tent wedding, you can reach the SPR Events team by filling out the contact box here.

Happy Planning!


The Kirks
Photo By: Friend


Venue: Buccaneer Retreat 

Photography: Family Friend (These are a few iPhone pics we snapped that night)

Catering: Publix Aprons

Flowers: Publix

DJ: Smiling Tom

Portable Toilets: Lovely Loo

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