Wedding Tent Paralysis: Should You Rent, Buy Used or Brand New?

We know better than anybody that searching for the perfect wedding tent is nobody’s idea of a fun afternoon.

But it has to be done. It MUST be done.

Your head is probably going to explode with questions you can’t seem to find answers for.

Should I just buy a tent? Should I rent one? Or maybe buy a second-hand tent instead? Should I just abandon all hope of having an outdoor wedding?

Now before you get carried away, take a deep breath and calm down. Let the Kingpin take that burden off your shoulders. He's done the dirty work of researching and compiling all information about renting and buying wedding tents and condensed it into one, easy to read guide... JUST FOR YOU.

Read on and explore the common situations that couples have to deal with when it comes to procuring a wedding tent. We'll take a look at each option, note down the advantages and disadvantages, and of course compare the three against each other to see which is the most practical.

Brand New Wedding Tents

wedding tents for sale used

Buying a brand new wedding tent for your wedding day might seem like the most impractical option at first glance, but there are a lot of hidden benefits to it.

You’ll see that before, couples would rather rent tents than buy one, but in the recent years, the number of couples who use their own brand new wedding tent are increasing. Why is that? Let’s explore the hidden pros to buying your own brand new tent.


  • Unlike rentals and used tents, where the quality of your tent depends on the source, with brand new wedding tents you’re sure that it is new and of the best quality, straight from the manufacturer. You don’t have to second guess if the tent is good enough because you made sure yourself that it is the perfect quality for your big day.
  • Since you’re the first owner of the wedding tent, you get the warranties attached to it. Consider it as an insurance against any defects you might encounter. Warranties guarantee that any imperfections that are not your fault are the manufacturer’s responsibility and you will be compensated for it. Usually companies replace defective tents or pay you the full price if you return it without replacement. This is something that you can’t guarantee with used tents or rented ones.
  • If you’re the type of bride who goes all out during their wedding, then consider your brand new tent your blank canvas. You can do anything you want with it, and you can decorate it to your heart’s content.
  • You don’t have to return the wedding tent after your big day, because it’s yours of course. You can use it for other events, like birthday parties and anniversaries. There’s a sentimental feel to it, if you think about it, if you have your 10th year wedding anniversary in the same tent you were wedded in.
  • You can actually make a decent profit from your wedding tent. Some people just sell it after the event, which is okay, but not income generating. Won’t it be better if you go and rent out your wedding tent to other people? You can rent it out in a package, complete with lights and decorations that you used on your own wedding day. During the wedding, some people may come to you asking, “how much is a wedding tent?”, if they don’t like the price, you can offer them tent rental services for their wedding.
  • With rented and used tents, your selections are severed limited. You can only choose from what’s currently available, which isn’t a lot if your choice is dependant upon the number of sellers and rental companies in your area. With brand new wedding tents, you have more choices. You can look for stores in your area or even go online.
  • It’s safer to shop for brand new tents online compared with used tents. With used tents, you’ll mostly have to deal with individuals who are reselling their tents after their events. With brand new tents, you can just search for wedding tent manufacturers online and buy your tent straight from the source. The transaction is more secured, you’re protected in case the wedding tent has any deficiencies, and you have more options available to you.
  • You don’t have to be dependent on others for your wedding to go without a hitch. What if your tent provider is late? Well, you don’t need to worry about things like that if you’re using your own wedding tent.


  • So, how much do tents for weddings cost? A lot. Out of all three options, buying a brand new wedding tent is obviously the most expensive.
  • You have to decorate and add extra services to your wedding tent on your own. With rental companies, the provider will take care of everything tent related, like lights, sounds and dance floors. If you’re buying your own wedding tent, you have to search for other party essentials yourself.
  • You need to do your own computations when it comes to choosing the right size and number of tents for your wedding. Don’t worry though... the Kingpin has already made a post in the past to help you out! CLICK HERE. 
  • Brand new tents take time and effort to put up. Rental companies can transport, assemble and disassemble the tent for you for an extra cost, but if you’re using your own tent, you have to find the manpower for this on your own. Hiring professionals mean more expensive, while asking your friends and family for help might mean a less-than-perfect setup of your wedding tent.

Where To Buy Brand New Wedding Tents

Where to get brand new event tents, you may ask? Well, RIGHT HERE at of course! Check out all the awesome products the Kingpin has compiled for you below:

Check out the Kingpin's curated list of
18 Great Party Tents For Sale Online RIGHT HERE. He doubts you'll regret it!

Renting A Wedding Tent

wedding tents for rent prices

Renting a wedding tent is the go-to option for most couples. The number of people searching for the keywords “how much are wedding tent rentals” on search engines is proof enough. To most people, it’s not an option - if you have a wedding, you rent everything you need for it.


So what benefits will you reap if you go with renting a wedding for your big day?

  • For one, you don’t have to do the math. Just tell the party rental provider how many guests you’re having and they’re going to compute how many tents and what size tents you’ll need. You don’t have to spend hours tapping away on your calculator, worrying that you might be getting the calculations wrong, and then overcompensating, only to find out in the end you bought too many tents.
  • You don’t have to go shopping around for tents. For some people, looking for the perfect wedding tent is a fun thing to do. However, if you’re planning a wedding, you’re planning for EVERYTHING. If you leave the wedding tent business to the rental company, at least you free up some time planning for other things.
  • The services are all bundled up. Tent rental prices for weddings are usually bundled together, which is more convenient. Aside from the wedding tent itself, you can avail of additional rental services, like tables and chairs, lighting, sound systems, and even a dance floor.
  • If you look at how much to rent a wedding tent, the costs will most likely be lower than if you buy your own wedding tents. If you’re pressed for cash, renting is the most economical route.
  • Manpower and labor is part of the cost of tent rental for wedding. The rental company will transport all necessary items to your location and set up the tent for you. They will also take care of the disassembly, which makes for easier cleanup after the wedding.


  • Although wedding tents for rent prices are lower now than they used to be, some associated costs will always stay the same or go higher. This includes labor, which is usually charged by the hour. If you can, find a rental place that has a fixed price on anything. You don’t want rental companies taking their time setting things up, which will increase the amount you have to pay in labor costs.
  • Rental companies often have a wide selection of wedding tents, but what if you don’t like the ones they have? You look for another rental company. What if you can’t find anything you like with them either? You’re often limited to the choices you are presented with.
  • You are dependent on their time schedule. What if they arrive late at the scene or it takes them too long to set things up? Unfortunately there’s nothing you can do but adjust to their schedule since they’re providing you with everything.
  • While most rental companies have friendly and accommodating staff, you never know what you’re going to get at the big day. Nothing ruins a perfect day more than having to deal with people who are difficult to work with.

Common Problems People Face With Wedding Rentals

tent rental prices for weddings

Now, this isn’t meant to be negative propaganda against rental companies. We just want to make sure you know what you’re getting into when you rent a wedding tent for your big day. Most wedding rental arrangements go off without a hitch, especially when dependable and reputable companies are involved.

However, there are a lot of rental horror stories out there on the Internet. Here are some of the most common issues the Kingpin dug up for ya, minus the dramatic storytelling.


  • Company takes too long to reply to your messages
  • They deliver the wrong items to your location
  • You lose communication with them on the big day itself
  • They plan three events on the same day and unfortunately, but as expected, they mix up the three
  • Some just leave additional items like lights and generators at the scene with unclear instructions on what to do with them
  • Larger rental bill than expected, due to hidden, emergency costs

NOTE: The Kingpin knows you might be looking for some great place to rent tents from... if you are, then check out this ULTIMATE GUIDE to Event Tent Rentals! CLICK HERE.

Used Wedding Tents

cost of tent rental for wedding

Purchasing a used wedding tent for your big day is a great compromise between renting a tent and buying one. Most people usually opt for buying used tents when they know the buyer of said tent. But, how viable is this option?


  • The biggest advantage to buying wedding tents for sale used or otherwise, is that you get to keep it after the event. You can keep using it for other events like a baby shower, baptism or children's’ birthday parties.
  • You get a lot more choices if you’re buying a used wedding tent compared to just renting it. With renting wedding tents, you’re limited to what your provider has. If you’re willing to take the time in searching for the perfect wedding tent, you’ll find someone who’s selling it eventually.
  • You can get a sizeable return on investment if you use your wedding tent and rent it out to other couples after your own wedding.
  • You have the freedom to customize your wedding tent the way you want to.
  • Used wedding tents will always cost less than brand new tents, so it’s a good option for couples who want to own a tent, but don’t have enough money to purchase a new one.


  • Since it is not brand new, expect some damage. Even if the damage is not big enough to warrant attention, it might lower the value of your wedding tent and decrease its aesthetic charm. Because of this, repairing and fixing up your used wedding tent is another task you have to deal with before the wedding, which just adds to the number of things you need to stress over before the big day.
  • There are no warranties with used wedding tents. Yes, the original warranty might still exist and if you’re lucky, the previous owner would pass the warranty over to you, but there’s no telling where the tent has been and what damages it may have already suffered before it reaches you.
  • Used wedding tents for sale will always be more expensive compared to rented tents. If you find a used wedding tent that’s cheaper than its rented counterpart (same model and size), be very wary.
  • On your wedding day, you will need to set up the tents yourself. Unlike tent rentals where labor is part of the package, bought tents don’t have that luxury. If you get people you know to do it, you don’t know if they’ll a good enough job for the tent to not suddenly fall over during the event. On the other hand, if you hire professionals, you need to shell out more money.
  • You need to take care of other party tent-related concerns like where to get lighting, audio systems, portable power like generators, dance floors and others. Since you’re not hiring a company to do everything tent-related for you, you need to find solutions for them yourself, or hire people to do it for you, which means more expenses.
  • Buying used wedding tents online is sometmes risky. You don’t see the quality of the tent itself up close, all you have are picture, which can be easily manipulated and edited. If you must buy used tents, go for sellers who are nearby so you can check the tent out before buying.
  • Unlike renting, where you’re dealing with pros, many sellers are simple individuals like yourself. Some of them might not care about your questions or concerns after they’ve sold the product. Even worse, some could simply take advantage of your wedding excitement and scam you.

Used Wedding Tent Horror Stories

used wedding tents for sale

There’s no shortage of horror stories when it comes to buying used tents. Most of these are experiences from purchasing used wedding tents online through individuals they know nothing about.


  • Some couples felt coerced into buying a used wedding tent because it was someone they knew
  • Couples got the wrong type of wedding tent, completely different from the tent they ordered online
  • The tent had excessive damage and wasn’t fit to be put up for the wedding
  • They had no control over when the seller would deliver it and the wedding tent arrived late
  • The wedding tent arrived and was up to par, but didn’t have the posts and framework required to put it up properly
  • For those who complained and returned the product, some were just completely ignored by the buyer and they didn’t get their money back for the purchase
  • Some were flat out scammed, receiving nothing after they paid for the used wedding tent. After that, naturally the buyer disappears, never to return their emails again

Popular Sites To Buy Used Wedding Tents

Remember, buying used wedding tents online will always be risky. This is especially true for sites like Craigslist, where it’s easy to create an account and there’s no feedback system that you can count on. When it doubt, go for sites like Ebay, where you can check out testimonials from other buyers.

Choose sellers with established reputations for trustworthiness, speed in delivery and good customer service. Better yet, find a seller online who is nearby so you can go and continue the transaction offline.

Deciding on a Particular Wedding Tent Option?

how much is a wedding tent

So which option is best for you? Let's compile all information about these three options, and condense them into a side-by-side comparison using several factors like price, durability, selection, availability and ease of use.

Brand New Tents

  • Price Range - For small weddings of under 100 people, you will need around a 20”x40” tent. This takes into account a buffet table and stage. Brand new 20”x40” tents usually cost around $700-$1500..
  • Durability - Since the wedding tent is brand new, you know you’re getting it at its finest, at the start of its lifespan.
  • Selection - There are plenty of websites you can go to for brand new wedding tents, with their own diverse selection of tents. You can never run out of options when it comes to brand new wedding tents.
  • Availability - You’re not dependent on the schedules and availability of your buyer or rental company. If a particular site doesn’t have what you need, there are many others to choose from.
  • Ease of use - Each wedding tent comes with its own set of instructions. Depending on the manufacturer, some instruction manuals are very clear and easy to follow.

Tent Rentals

  • Price Range - For small weddings of under 100 people, you will need around a 20”x40” tent. This takes into account a buffet table and stage. Used 20”x40” tents cost around $500 - $800 nowadays.
  • Durability - The quality would always depend on your providers. Good providers make sure that the tents they rent out are of good quality. Unfortunately, others aren’t as meticulous and may give you damaged and slightly dirty tents.
  • Selection - Very limited. While some providers have more tents than others, your choices would usually cap out at 10 tents.
  • Availability - If you’re getting married on a busy season, expect the more popular rental companies to be fully booked. You need to reserve your wedding date well in advance, or else you’re out of luck.
  • Ease of use - If you pay an additional fee, wedding tent rental companies will transport, set up and take down the tent for you.

Used Wedding Tents

  • Price Range - Will set you back $600 - $1200 for a 20”x40” tent. For the most part, used tents are always cheaper than new tents, just be vigilant about the quality of the product and you may need to do a lot of research to find good deals on the Internet.
  • Durability - Honest owners will usually declare all damages and even repair some, but it’s difficult to tell which sellers are honest and which ones are not. Inspect the items yourself so you’re sure of their durability.
  • Selection - If only a handful of sellers are out selling their used tents, you’ll have a very limited array of choice. Then there's’ the issue of price. The ones available might be too small or too large for your taste.
  • Availability - This will also be limited to what is available in the market. If, during the planning stages of your wedding, there’s a shortage of used wedding tents for sale, then you’re out of luck.
  • Ease of use - If you’re lucky, the previous owner will hand over the instruction manual together with the tent. If not, you should ask the seller about any quirks that the tent might have. Additionally, you need to research how to install it.


Well that’s pretty much it for the Kingpin's detailed comparison and review on the different options available to couples with regards to their wedding tents. Before we end on a high note, just a few more pointers for you lovebirds out there:

No matter what option you choose, remember to do your research and shop around. Don’t just settle for the first provider or buyer you see. Shop around for the best rates and prices.

Read all the paperwork involved. If you’re buying tents, new or otherwise, read the instructions, the product description and the purchase conditions. If you’re renting, read carefully the terms and conditions set out by the renting company to avoid any misunderstandings later.

Know what your rights are, and where to go for complaints. This may be difficult with used wedding tents, but if you’re buying new ones, you can make requests and complain as much as you can. The same is true for rental companies. You can veto their suggestions and make your own. After all, it’s YOUR big day.

Lastly, don’t just think of the wedding; long term benefits are the best. This is why it’s better to buy a wedding tent rather than rent one. You can still keep using it after the wedding, and even profit from it by renting it out to other people. Goodluck and happy wedding tent hunting!

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