There are times of the year when it’s too cold to comfortably mingle out in the garden. No matter, for most events at Chase Court, the library, foyer, and ballroom provide plenty of space. But for others, a little more stretch-out space has value. Putting a tent up in the ceremony garden is a great way to add more warm and dry space or to simply create something different to enhance your guest’s experience.

We’ve had tents in the garden in the past, but they have always been white canopies with windows in white side panels. The effect has been to boxed the garden and architecture out, leaving a space that felt very, well, tent-like. So, for a long time we didn’t recommended tenting.

But, not anymore! Enter the clear tent!

LR-8215

LR-8180

LR-8211

Looking up at the trees, buildings, and sky through a clear canopy is almost a transcendent experience! The clear canopy and sides make the tent is as invisible as any tent could ever be, and make maximum use of the garden and fabulous gothic architecture. They open views in every direction and avoid the boxy, closed-in feeling of big white, mood-killing panels. The clear tent creates a delicious intimacy, one that can be wonderfully enhanced with creative decor. It’s a special and unique space for socializing early in an event and quiet talk later.

 

LR-8213

Once you’ve decided to use a tent, there is a lot you can do to dress it up!

Decor
Lighting is key. The lighting effects that come through the clear tent from our own lighting are spectacular! Perimeter lighting around the frame of the tent is de rigueur, preferably in LEDs. Pin spots shining on the tables, twinkling lights wrapped around the poles, paper lanterns hung inside and around the edges, all can help set the mood and add excitement.

Loane Bros. who installed this tent, will even install your special lighting for you.

By the way, something to watch when planning the lighting is the total electrical load, bearing in mind what each circuit can handle. LEDs have the advantage here, consuming a fraction of the electricity that incandescents use.

 

LR-8189

Flooring is easy. The brick and Pennsylvania bluestone “flooring” in the garden is perfect. No additional flooring is required!

Tents used at Chase Court are all frame tents, which as you can see have a metal frame supporting the canopy and poles around the perimeter. The poles can be wrapped in fabric for an elegant look, and even wrapped in lights!

 

LR-8185

In tent furnishing, more is better! Cocktail-size tables, both high for standing and low with seating, go great in tents. You can ramp it up with fancier seating, including sofas and other casual pieces. An hors d’oeuvres station works great, and sometimes a second bar is worth the effort. Passed hors d’oeuvres service into the tent is always a good idea, and adds an element of surprise for your guests.

Melanie Brzozowski, decor maven extraordinaire at Select Event Group, suggests that you use linens that take advantage of all of the lighting, both from inside the tent and the light coming through the clear canopy and sides. Key word: sequins! Linens that reflect the light, either with sequins or metallic embroidery, will look great. You can couple them with reflective centerpieces for a deep, shimmering effect. Melanie says to mix it up. You don’t have to do a lot. At the very least, colorful linens go a long way, and they’re not expensive!

 

LR-8197

When to Tent
The season for tenting at Chase Court runs from late October to late March. Brian Loane, of Loane Bros., great, great, great grandson of the company founder, says that clear tents can’t be installed in very cold temperatures, the threshold being the low 20s.

Heating
Heat retention with the clear tent is excellent. If the temperature is going to be in the fifties or below, you may want to add a heater or two. The tent company or your caterer can supply them. Heaters are cheap and easy.

You can see here that we left both long sides off for this late October reception, when the temperatures were still very mild.  Even in cooler weather, the building forms a reasonable “side.”

 

LR-8206

Capacity
Adding a tent extends the space for hors d’oeuvres and cocktail service, socializing, and quiet conversation, but it does not extend Chase Court’s overall capacity, which is based on the ballroom capacity. Chase Court comfortably accommodates up to 125 guests for a seated dinner or up to 150 cocktail-style.

 

LR-8214

Cost
Cost for a clear tent that covers the full width of the garden from the doorway to the cast iron fence and all the way over the pond, including installation and removal, runs from $1,500 to $2,000, depending on the vendor and how you fit it out. Installation at Chase Court only takes a couple of hours, since the ceremony garden is protected from the wind and there are good anchor points available. Installation is sometimes scheduled for the day before your event.

When to Order
If you’re planning to use a tent, you’ll want to reserve your date with the tent company well in advance. Loane Bros. advises calling at least a month in advance for events held during April, May, June and September or October. Can you get a tent on shorter notice? Possibly, but you wouldn’t want to count on it.

 

LR-8258

Most events at Chase Court don’t need a tent, but when you do, clear is the way to go!

Venue
Chase Court

Catering for the Event Shown
The Pantry Catering

Tents and Decor
Loane Bros.
Select Event Group
Party Plus

—David

LR-8054

Five years in, after meeting at work, Janet and Cindy walked down the aisle together at Chase Court to be married in the garden.

 

LR-8077

It was a spectacular mid-October day!

 

LR-8087

 

LR-8095

 

LR-8097

 

LR-8099

 

LR-8104

The wedding rings were passed through their guest’s hands for their good wishes and blessings.

 

LR-8133

 

LR-8154

 

LR-8159

 

LR-8132

They had a New Orleans-themed reception, with each table named for a section of that city, and beads on every chair for their guests to wear. The menu included Crawfish Etoufee, Andouille Sausage, Cajun Shrimp and Grits, and Oyster Po’ Boy Sliders, among many other things, with Mini Bêté Noir, Creme Brûlée, and Mini Fruit tarts for dessert!

 

LR-8151

Janet and Cindy are the 27th same-sex couple to be married at Chase Court.

Venue: Chase Court
Catering: Rouge Fine Catering
Officiant: The Rev. Jan Hamill
Flowers: Rutland Beard Florist of Ruxton
Entertainment: Perseverance Jazz Band
Photography: Lovestruck Images (Images above by Chase Court.)

—David

LR-7756

Short, simple, and sweet in the middle of the week! Lily and Jason had a lovely small wedding ceremony…

 

LR-7774

…with a group of their close family and friends gathered around them in the Chase Court garden.

 

LR-7775

One of their “guests” joined them from a distance via iPhone using FaceTime.

 

LR-7784

 

LR-7803

There will be other, larger, celebrations for them in other places, but this one will always be special.

Chase Court Elopement Packages for Small Ceremonies.

Venue: Chase Court

—David

LR-7832

The rain cleared just in time for a bright and beautiful mid-day wedding ceremony in the Chase Court garden!

 

LR-7841

 

LR-7853

 

LR-7875

The cake topper was fun, and then there were…

 

LR-7893

…cupcakes!

 

LR-7894

 

LR-7895

 

LR-7898

 

LR-7916

Ashley and Bobby were as happy as could be!

 

LR-7931

 

Venue: Chase Court
Catering: Santoni’s Marketplace & Catering
Officiant: Andy Lyon
Flowers: Royer’s Flowers
Ceremony Music: Hill Chamber Music
Photography: Artistic Difference (Images above by Chase Court.)
Cupcakes: Just Cupcakes

—David

LR-7195

Everything about Amber and Kurt’s wedding was beautiful, and exquisite in every detail.

 

LR-7211

Especially the bride!

 

LR-7184

These sharp-looking escort cards directed guests to their tables by number and Baltimore landmark.

 

LR-7263

Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres in the garden. It was a perfect early fall evening for guests to mingle under the trees.

 

LR-7266

David Bach held forth under the pergola with his jazz trio.

 

LR-7231

The ballroom looked incredibly elegant with monochromatic table linens and chairs.

 

LR-7230

The burst of color in the background near the fireplace is lighting being set up for dancing.

 

LR-7309

All of the flowers were locally sourced by Local Color Flowers.

 

LR-7210

 

LR-7303

 

LR-7330

David Bach, in quartet form for dinner and dancing, had everyone grooving from beginning to end!

 

LR-7312

And there was dancing!

 

LR-7366

All night long!

Venue: Chase Court
Catering: Rouge Fine Catering
Entertainment: David Bach
Flowers: Local Color Flowers
Photography: Laurie D., The Pros (Images above by Chase Court.)
Dessert: Midnite Confections
Transportation: On the Town Limo
Table Numbers & Escort Cards: Just Ink on Paper

—David