How Much Power Does an Average Tent Wedding Require?


  1. Introduction
  2. Why Power Matters for Tent Weddings?
  3. Estimated Power Needs for Tent Weddings
  4. Tips for Planning Your Tent Wedding Power

Quick Answer: An average tent wedding likely requires 10,000 to 15,000 watts of power. This translates to 10-15 standard household electrical circuits. The exact power needs will vary based on the number of guests, lighting requirements, music setup, catering equipment, and other amenities provided. Key power draws at a tent wedding include lighting, refrigeration/cooking for catering, music/AV equipment, fans/AC, and miscellaneous vendor needs.


Planning a wedding is an exciting time, but it can also be stressful trying to get all the details right. One important consideration is how much power your wedding will need, especially if you're having an outdoor tent wedding. Providing enough electricity for lighting, music, catering, and other vendor needs is crucial for keeping your big day running smoothly. In this blog post, we'll break down how much power an average tent wedding requires and provide tips on how to plan your power needs.

Why Power Matters for Tent Weddings?

Unlike an indoor venue, an outdoor tent wedding venue doesn't come equipped with electrical outlets and lighting fixtures. You'll need to bring in generators, lighting, extension cords, and power strips to supply electricity to your wedding. With so many items requiring power, like lighting, catering equipment, music, fans/AC, and more, having insufficient power can really put a damper on your wedding. From the dance floor shutting down to the catering tents losing power, power issues can disrupt your entire event.

By understanding how much power your wedding will need and planning properly, you can avoid power-related catastrophes on your big day. Read on for details on average power needs for tent weddings and tips for planning your power setup.

tent wedding

Estimated Power Needs for Tent Weddings

Figuring out your electrical needs for a tent wedding can seem daunting. How do you even begin to calculate the power needs for lighting, catering, DJ equipment, and more? Here are some averages that can help give you a baseline idea:

  • Lighting: For an outdoor tent wedding, lighting is crucial to provide visibility and ambiance once the sun goes down. You may need lighting for the dance floor, seating areas, food stations, pathways, restrooms, and parking areas. A good estimate is to plan for 1,500 to 2,000 watts of lighting.
  • Catering: To keep food cooled, heated, and prepared properly, catering tents need significant power. Commercial refrigeration can use up to 2,000 watts. Ovens, hot boxes, and chafing dishes can require 500-1,000 watts each. Plan for around 5,000 watts total for food prep/heating and refrigeration.
  • Music: A DJ setup with speakers, amps, mixing boards, and lighting can require around 1,500 to 3,000 watts. Bands with heavier amplification needs may require up to 6,000 watts. A typical wedding DJ will need around 15-20 amps of power for their mixing equipment, amplifiers, speakers, lighting, laptop, and other accessories. Higher-end DJ systems with very large speakers and extensive lighting may require 30 amps or more. It's best to check with the DJ directly on their exact power needs for the event.
  • Fans/AC: Keeping guest tents cool with overhead fans and portable AC units can require 500-1,500 watts per tent.
  • Miscellaneous: Other items like heat lamps, beverage coolers, lighting for parking areas, photo booths, and vendors' equipment can add another 1,000-2,000 watts.

Adding up these averages, you can expect an overall power budget between 10,000 to 15,000 watts for a typical tent wedding setup. This translates to 10-15 standard household electrical circuits. Of course, every wedding is different in its scope and vendor needs. The power needs may be more or less depending on the number of guests, lighting requirements, music setup, catering menu, and what types of amenities you want to provide. Thoroughly evaluate your own wedding setup to tailor your power plan.

Tips for Planning Your Tent Wedding Power

Once you have an idea of your expected power requirements, here are some tips to ensure you have safe, sufficient electricity:

  • Hire professional power suppliers: Leave electrical work to the experts. Reputable generator and power distribution companies can help assess your needs, provide enough generator power, safely run cables and extension cords, and monitor electricity throughout the event.
  • Request power needs from vendors: Contact your caterer, lighting company, tent provider, DJ, and other vendors about their expected electricity requirements. Total up these numbers to determine how much power you need.
  • Factor in voltage and phases: Consider if you need 120V or 240V power based on vendor needs. Also see if any vendors require multi-phase hookups, which may require a larger generator.
  • Allow for expansion: Add an extra 10-20% onto your power estimates in case unexpected needs come up or vendors require more power than originally thought. It's better to have excess capacity than not enough power.
  • Have backup power: Consider buying a portable backup generator in case your main generator has issues.
  • Provide access: Make sure generators and power hookups are easily accessible for vendors but don't pose any tripping hazards to guests.
  • Hide cables safely: Use cable ramps or covers to prevent tripping and maintain aesthetics. Running cables overhead and under flooring can help reduce hazards.
  • Check electrical loads: Avoid overloading circuits by checking the wattage of items plugged in. Spread equipment across available circuits.

By taking the time to understand your power needs, hiring professional help, and building in safety margins, you can keep the music playing, food fresh, and lights brightly shining for an incredible tent wedding experience. Don't let electricity be an afterthought - plan ahead so power doesn't have to be a concern on your special day.

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