Candace, Author at Loanables

About Candace

Candace is a 3x Start-up Founder and Certified Event Rental Professional (CERP). She geeks out on brainstorming bold ideas and then actually brings some of them to life. She is currently the CEO of Loanables, where her mission is to reduce overconsumption by making it as easy to rent as it is to buy.

View all posts by Candace

Top 5 Rentals for School Carnivals

If you have school aged children, it’s the time of year where you are either practicing your “saying no” skills or your calendar is getting full with volunteer commitments.  Personally, my calendar is full and now I’m practicing the fine art of saying no gracefully.  (Check out this article from Real Simple on 10 Guilt-Free Strategies).

If you find yourself on the school carnival committee, I’m here to help.  Below are the top 5 rentals for school carnivals. These are tried and true – you just can’t go wrong with these classics:

1. Slide

inflatable slide

I recommend getting a dual slide because kids like to race. Also, you can move more kids through in a given time.

2. Dunk Tank

Dunk Tank

Who wouldn’t love to dunk their teacher or the principal? Just make sure nobody is assigned to the station for more than about 20 minutes at a time. It gets old going into and getting out of the water.


3. Obstacle Course

Just like with the slide, I recommend getting a dual lane so the kids can race and you can move more kids through in a given time.

4. Games

Milk Bottle Toss

The most popular rentals are High Striker and the Milk Bottle Toss. Note: I think this is a great place to save money and put parents to work. Let them get creative with cake walks, bobbing for apples, face paint, etc. Check out these ideas on Pinterest.

5. Concessions

Popcorn Machine Cart

Popcorn machines, Cotton Candy Machine and Funnel Cake Fryers are by far the most popular.  Another fun thing to do is get a food truck to come to the school. I like doing this because it is one less thing the organizers have to worry about.  Check out our recent blog on the Top 10 Austin Food Trucks.

Making Your Event Unique

To make your carnival unique from year-to-year, bring in at least one new thing each year. Here are a few of popular ones:

The Big Baller

It’s like something you’d see on American Ninja Warriors


This will test agility. It’d be really fun to watch the teachers and parents do it.

Human Whack a Mole

Things to consider:

  1. If you need to move a lot of people through in a short period of time, don’t choose things where kids need to be suited up. Examples include rock walls, euro bungee bounces and the whack a mole. It would take a long time to give everyone a turn on these.
  2. If you have a wide age range of kids, consider having a few things just for the littles. I’d get a bounce house slide combo and put an age limit on it.
  3. Power – you probably need to rent generators to run the inflatables. Generally one generator can power 2 inflatables (note: this is not the case if the inflatable is large and has 2 blowers. Those need their own generator). If you plan to plug the inflatables into an electrical outlet, keep in mind that it is the only thing that can be on that circuit (I don’t mean plugged into the outlet – I mean the entire circuit). You can’t plug multiple inflatables into a circuit, and I wouldn’t recommend plugging anything else into the circuit. It will blow the fuse and you don’t want to deal with that during the carnival.
  4. If you are using any games with water, don’t put them on the football field because they create a muddy mess and the coaches will hate you afterwards 😉

Email us at if you have any questions. We are always happy to help. Not only do we help others plan school carnivals, but also everyone on our staff has been on a committee for their kids school.

How Many Drinks Does a Margarita Machine Make?

margarita by the pool

Margaritas and summer go together like peanut butter and jelly. We’ve rented out so many margarita machines this summer, and I get many of the same questions over and over so I decided to create this FAQ page.

How many drinks does a margarita machine make?

Most standard machines make 5 gallons (640 ounces). A typical serving (whether in a margarita glass or a plastic cup) is 8 oz; so, the machine will make approximately 80 servings. A dual machine will hold 2 flavors, and the bowls range from 3-5 gallons per side.

Note: These estimates are for alcoholic beverages. If you use choose to use the mix to make slushees or other frozen drinks without alcohol, each batch will make approximately 60 servings.

margarita machineDual margarita slushie machine







How many guest will one machine serve?

This is of course dependent upon how many drinks each guest will have and how long the party will be. Here are some general guidelines:

  • 1 machine for up to 100 guests
    • For up to 50 guests, you will use 1-2 mixes/batches
    • For 50-100 guests, you will use 3-4 mixes/batches
  • 2 machines for up to 200 guests
    • For 100-150 guests, you will use 4-5 mixes/batches
    • For 150-200 guests, you will use 5-6 mixes/batches

Note: this is based on the number of guests that will be drinking margaritas. If you are serving other drinks as well, only a portion of your guests will drink margaritas. Read more about that here.

Strawberry margarita

How long does it take to make a batch of margaritas/frozen drinks with the machine?

This varies for each machine. Most machines take about an hour to freeze, but some machines can take up to 4 hours.  You can speed up the process by having the ingredients already cold, but not frozen, before adding them to the machine.

How much alcohol should I use?

Your machine and the mix you use will come with instructions. General guidelines are one bottle (750 ml) tequila  and 1/2 bottle (750 ml) Triple Sec per batch.

Who provides the mix and liquor? Does that come with the rental?

The rental company will provide the mix. You will get to choose from a variety of flavors. Most companies have margarita, strawberry and pina colada. Some companies have many other choices as well. You can also purchase your own mix. I personally love this organic one available on Amazon. And if you want to get fancy, you can make your own. See my healthy-ish (skinny margarita) recipe here.

What other things should I plan for?

Make sure the rental comes with an electrical cord and that nothing else is plugged into the outlet (110v, 20amp circuit). Note: you cannot use your own electrical cord with the machine.

Do you have other helpful tips?

The machine will work much better if it is in the shade instead of direct sun.

Margarita Party

Related posts:

Party Drink Calculator: How Much Alcohol Do I Need?

How Many Glasses Do I Need?

3 Things Every Summer Event in Austin Should Have

As much as I love Austin, I hate the summer heat. My dream is to leave for the 3 hottest months every year (July, August and September). I’m a little worried this year because we don’t usually get over 100 degrees until July, but this year we got there in May. Since I’m here, I like to make the best of it by attending events or small get togethers.

Summer events are always fun because people don’t have as hectic of schedules and normally aren’t over-booked so they can linger and really enjoy themselves. If you are planning an event outside, you have to think about how to keep your guests cool.  If it’s not a pool party, you MUST have three things: water, shade, and fans.

1. Water

Of course you need plenty of water for people to drink so no one gets dehydrated, especially if everyone is drinking alcohol.  Use a dispenser and flavor the water with fruit. It’s more eye-catching and so much better for the environment than bottled waters. (80% of plastic water bottles end up in landfills. Read more about that here.)

And don’t forget the ice…

Check out these Pinterest ideas for freezing fruit.

2. Shade

You can get a tent in pretty much any size. The clear top tents look amazing, but do NOT get one of these in the summer – it gets way too hot.


Misting fans can cool external air temperatures up to 30 degrees (I find that hard to believe, but that is what the manufacturers say and surely they have to prove that, right?!?). The misting fans cost around $80 to rent. Note: these sell out very fast during the summer months so if you are having an event, email to make your reservation. You will need to have a hose nearby to refill it about every 2 hours.

If you don’t want the misting fan, you could use regular fans to circulate the air. You can get simple box fans for as low as $4.  This larger “Heat Buster” fan cost $45 to rent:

Stay cool, and if you have any topics you want me to cover in future blogs, leave a comment.

Art Bra Austin 2018 – Meet a Model

She always looks this gorgeous.

Like most moms, I’m the last one to get ready to go somewhere because I have to get everyone else ready first. This often results in me showing up to school events with a ponytail, blue jeans and flip flops. I’m always in awe of the moms that are beautifully put together: hair, makeup and gorgeous clothes. Carolyn Skyles is one of these moms. To top it off she had an amazing career as a real estate agent in Austin for over 15 years.

I’ve gotten to know her because she is one of the leaders of my daughter’s Daisy Scout troop. Now until this year, that title would not have meant all that much to me. But, oh my gosh – I thank myself every time we have a meeting that I didn’t volunteer for this position. It requires a TON of prep work plus it’s like herding 25 kittens and getting them to do crafts during the meetings.

You’ve got the picture now – put together, successful, great mom and giving of her time. You would probably look at her and think: “she has nothing to worry about.” Well, what I didn’t know until fairly recently was that a few years ago Carolyn’s life was far from “perfect” when she was going through a divorce at the same time as she was dealing with breast cancer.

While she had an incredible support system of loving friends and family, she still felt extremely overwhelmed especially right after her diagnosis because she really didn’t know any other women in her age group who had been treated for breast cancer. One day she received a call from a patient navigator at BCRC (Breast Cancer Resource Center). This woman (who is also a breast cancer survivor) was reaching out to offer support, guidance, answer questions, and introduce her to the Pink Ribbon Cowgirls, an amazing support group of other breast cancer patients and survivors in Austin. Carolyn said finding out about this group did so much for her because she was then able to connect with and learn about the experiences of other women to whom she could actually relate.


Art Bra Austin 2018

Because of her gratitude and appreciation for the BCRC, Carolyn is inspired to give back to this organization that does so much for women battling breast cancer.  She is one of the 40 models at Art Bra Austin 2018. “Art Bra Austin is a fully costumed, professionally produced runway show and auction to raise funds to support local women affected by breast cancer.” Additionally, she has a fundraising page where anyone can donate money to help support the BCRC.

The event is June 2, 2018 at the JW Marriott. I haven’t been to the event yet, but I’ve talked to several that have, and the consensus is that it is amazing to see all of the art and also very fun. I’m a multitasker so I love when I can have a great night out with my husband and also give to a great cause.




I was wrapping up this blog when I found this video, which captures another client’s story. I had to share it (get your tissue out!)

If you can’t attend the event, you can donate to Carolyn’s personal fundraising page here or directly to BCRC.


Calculating Dance Floor Size + Average prices in Austin

Dance Floor

Is it truly a “party” without a dance floor?!? I don’t think so. The most fun I’ve had at events (some embarrassing) have be on the dance floor – either dancing or just watching. It’s great entertainment, but you can’t just call a rental company and say “I want a dance floor.” You have to know what you want to get the best quote.

On the chart below, I’m giving you an estimate. For the average party, you can expect that the most amount of people on the dance floor at a given time is around 30 – 40%. Now, there are exceptions to every rule. When I was 23, my life long friend, Claire, got married. She had 10 attendants and most of the guests were in their 20s. For that party, a lot more than 40% were dancing (some even on stage with the band – I won’t name names ;-). Contrast that to my grandparents 50th wedding anniversary: I bet less than 10% were dancing.  (I got the honor of dancing with my grandfather so I was glad they had it there: dance floors make the best memories).

For each person, you need approximately 4 square feet. The chart below is an oversimplification for 2 reasons:

  1. I based this on the least expensive dance floor option at $1.50 per square foot, and
  2. You can’t get the exact amount of square feet you need because the dance floors typically come in 3×3 or 3×4 sections. I’ve rounded to the common dance floor sizes, but you will have to adjust based on the size of the sections you rent.

(Pro Tip: just email, and we’ll figure it out for you for free).

Dance Floor Size Estimator




at one time


Square Feet

Common Dance

Floor Size



100 30 – 40 144 12 x 12 $216
150 50 – 60 225 15 x 15 $340
200 70 – 80  324 18 x 18 $485
300 110 – 120  441 21 x 21 $670
400 140 -160  576 24 x 24 $870
500 180 – 200  729  27 x 27 $1100

Note: these are prices without delivery fees, and most of the rental companies will require that they deliver and professionally install for liability purposes. Standard delivery fees will vary dramatically based on location, but you can expect them to be  around $75 each way or $150 total. You can easily double that amount if the pick up has to happen after hours (for example after the event ends at night or on Sunday).

Types of Dance Floors

In my chart above, I used an average square foot price of $1.50 per square foot (this is for the commonly used, light wood floor). There are many different types of dance floors with a wide range of prices. This chart will give you the average prices of popular types of floors:

Type Avg. Cost Per Sq. Ft.
Light Wood Dance Floor $1.50 LIght wood dance floor
Vintage Wood Dance Floor $1.75 vintage wood dance floor
Solid White, Solid Black or Checkered

Dance Floor

$2 checkered dance floor
Halographic Dance Floor $2.75 Halographic dance floor
LED Dance Floor $14  LED Dance floor

I hope this helps you with your party planning. Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Event Tents: Types, Sizes and Prices

Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

Types of Rental Chairs and Average Prices

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Party Drink Calculator: How Much Alcohol Do I Need?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

Dance Floor

Behind the Scenes: SFC’s 11th Annual Farm to Plate

Ronda Rutledge has something everyone wants: a job she she is truly passionate about. She is the Executive Director at the Sustainable Food Center (SFC). I sat down and had coffee with her at Bennu Coffee (they only serve fair-trade coffee and locally sourced food). She’s one of those people that you just immediately love – she’s warm and friendly with a very relaxed manner. She’s the kind of person you just want to hug (even if you aren’t a hugger).

Ronda’s passion for farming is in her DNA. She comes from a long line of farmers dating back to the Cherokees in the Carolinas. Her grandfather 5 generations back was part of the Cherokee Nation that signed the treaty with the federal government that led to the removal of the Trail of Tears (the forced relocation of Native Americans out of their ancestral homelands). When her family was forced to move west, they relocated to Oklahoma, now the seat of the Cherokee Nation. The chief was very angry that the treaty was signed; so, all involved were put on a hit list. To protect his family, her grandfather (5 generations ago) moved to Texas.

They settled in east Texas, but farming in Texas is very different than farming in the Carolinas. Her family had to learn new ways to grow their food. The idea of food sovereignty has been passed down through the generations and is engrained in the way Ronda thinks. “Food sovereignty is the right of peoples to healthy and culturally appropriate food produced through ecologically sound and sustainable methods, and their right to define their own food and agriculture systems.” A major component of that is sustainability and making sure future generations have this same right.

Check out this video from National Geographic about why sustainable food systems matter:

SFC serves the Austin community in 4 ways:

  1. The Grow Local program serves to educate the community. They also provide resources and have has a hand in the majority of the community gardens around town.
  2. The Farm Direct program promotes access to fresh, healthy food via a network of farmer’s markets.
  3. The Happy Kitchen offers community cooking and nutrition education classes. (Note to food lovers: you can have private events here!)
  4. Farmers Markets – they operate one downtown on Guadalupe and another one at the Tony Burger Center in Sunset Valley. Both are on on Saturdays from 9am – 1pm. I’ve gone to both, and always enjoy it and think “I should do this more often”). I usually eat breakfast while I’m there, bring home lunch for my family, and get fresh fruits and vegetables for the week.

I highly encourage you to take a tour of their 4-star rated green energy office and community space. They even serve you lunch, but be sure to RSVP.


I love non-profits that couple fundraising with amazing events, and the annual Farm to Plate event is definitely at the top of this list. “This sip-and-stroll event features bites from the best Austin chefs who are dedicated to sourcing local and sustainable food from our area farmers. Farm to Plate also features local artisan cocktails, local wines and beers, live music, and a silent auction on the beautiful indoor/outdoor grounds of Barr Mansion.” You must check out the list of amazing chefs that will be serving during the event (Sway, Fixe, Uchi, Wu Chow and many other amazing chefs will be there).  It’s a great place to check out all of the hot spots in town!

The event is Wednesday, May 9 at Barr Mansion. General admission tickets are $300 and VIP tickets are $500.


Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

72 round inch table with 12 chairs

72 inch table with 12 chairs. Note: these are not formal place settings with chargers

If you are like me, it is almost impossible to figure out how many people can actually sit at a table comfortably without bringing in the guests and trying it out. Below is a chart to help you with your planning.

Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

Table Size Number of People Layout Average Price
6 Foot Rectangle Table (72″x30″) 6-8 $7.50
8 Foot Rectangle Table (96″x30″) 8-10 $8.00
36 Inch (3 foot) Round Table 4 36in Table with 4 chairs $8.00
48 Inch (4 foot) Round Table 6-8 48 inch table with 6 chairs $8.00
60 Inch (5 foot) Round Table 8-10 60in Table with 8 Chairs $8.00
72″ (6 foot) Round Table 10-12 72 inch table with 10 chairs $12.00

When you are looking at this and other charts online, you will see a range for the number of people that will fit. It irritates me when I’m looking for an answer and find a range; I just want someone to give me the exact answer. Even though I know it’s annoying, I had to do it because it really depends on your preference. There is no right answer.

Here are some rules of thumb:

  • If your guests will be seating for long periods of time (like for a formal dinner), go with the smaller number of people (for example, only put 8 at a 60 inch round). You will need the extra space for the formal table settings. You also want your guests to have some elbow room and servers to have room to deliver plated meals.
  • If you choose bulky chairs or chairs with arms, you have to go with the the smaller number or the chairs won’t fit.
  • If kids will be sitting at the table, you can definitely go with the bigger number of chairs (you may even be able to add more).
  • If your guests will need to turn their chairs to view a stage or something else, go with less chairs or it will be nearly impossible for everyone to move their chair as needed.
  • If you use the higher number on the rectangle tables, you cannot push all of the chairs completely under the table.


Other things to consider when you are choosing a table:

  • You want to have 24″ of aisle between tables. To compensate for chairs, round tables should be set 54 inches apart, and rectangle tables should be set 60 inches apart.
  • The 72 inch table has a huge space in the middle so you need a wider centerpiece. (Note on centerpieces: keep centerpieces below eye level or less than 12 inches tall.  If you want to use a tall centerpiece, keep it slim so it doesn’t interfere with the guests’ view of each other. Check out this article on flower costs for some great tips for DIY centerpieces.)
  • The 72 inch table is so large that it is hard for people to talk across. (This is fine for louder events where people are really only going to talk to the people on either side of them.)
60 inch round table with 10 chairs

60 inch round table with 10 chairs

  • The 60 inch round is the most commonly used table. You can fit the most people in a space with this table (unless you want to go banquet style with rectangle tables lined up together).

Banquet style with rectangle tables

Non-standard Tables

There are all sorts of tables available for your event (farm tables, picnic tables, etc.). Get the dimensions of the table you are considering and compare it to the chart to figure out how many people will fit. Or, if you want to make it really easy, just email us at and we will talk it through with you.

I hope this helps you with your party planning. Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Types of Rental Chairs and Average Prices

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

Types of Rental Chairs

When I planned a party for my parents, I needed to rent tables and chairs. Until then, I never knew how many different types were available to rent. Today, I respond, every day to requests for chair rentals; and most people don’t have an exact type of chair in mind when they first start the party planning process.  If you’re planning an event, I hope this helps you narrow down your options.

Most Common Types of Chairs Rented for Events

Type Avg. Price
Stackable, light weight, folding Poly Chair $1.50
Wood or Resin Chair with Pad $3.00
Chiavari Chair $7.00


In the first category, the stackable, light weight folding Poly Chairs, you will generally find either poly or alloy chairs at every rental company. These are the least least expensive chairs you can rent:

  1. A poly chair is made from polypropylene, a type of plastic.  
  2. An alloy chair is made by mixing two elements, one of which is a metal. The alloy is a little more sturdy than the poly.

You will also hear these chairs called Samsonite chairs, but that is just a brand name (same company that makes the luggage). It’s confusing because Samsonite makes plastic and metal chairs.

These stackable, light weight folding chairs range from $1 each to $2 each and generally come in black, charcoal or white. When you find some for $1, make sure to ask about the condition of the chair. If you are looking for a white chair, it is also important to ask about any discoloration.

The second category is the Resin or Wood chair. These are more sturdy than the poly or alloy chairs, and they usually come with a cushion so they are more comfortable as well. You will also hear these referred to as garden or wedding chairs. Most rental companies offer these in white, black, and a wood color and they run about $3/chair.

The Chiavari chair is also known as a Chiavarina; it was created by an Italian cabinet maker in 1807. Most rental companies carry these in several different colors including white, black, gold, silver and wood. These are the most expensive, about $7/chair but they make an elegant addition to your event décor.

Other options

Some people will use chair covers with the options above or with a conference chair. These chairs have thick padding because they are made for people sitting long periods of time. The average price to rent these is $4.

Chair covers range from about $3 – $6. I usually recommend going with the elegant chiavari chair over spending so much on chair covers, but it does depend upon the theme and style of the event.

I’ve gone over the most common chairs that are rented, but there are many other chairs available as well including barstools, ghost chairs, king and queen chairs, antique chairs, kids chairs, high chairs, etc. If it’s available to rent in Austin, Loanables has access to it. We work with over 200 rental companies in the Austin area so we can find the best options and pricing for your event. The best part is you do a lot less work but pay the same price that you would if you went directly to the rental company.

Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Table Sizes – How Many People will Fit?

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.


Email if you need help finding chairs for your event or just want general advice on event rentals.  We are always happy to help.



How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

I have 3 friends either building a home or completely remodeling a home right now. Listening to all of the decisions that have to be made on a daily basis is overwhelming. There are hundreds of options with every choice you have to make (Do you want tile or hardwood floors? Seems simple enough until you answer that question only to find there are hundreds of choice either way you go).  It can be overwhelming and make the whole process of building a house draining. The similarities to planning a large event are staggering.

People call me and they have a simple question like, “how much does it cost to rent dinnerware?” I want to give a straight, simple answer, but the answer is dependent upon so many different things. What you choose to rent is probably different than what the next person I talk to will choose. With that said, there are some general guidelines you can use for budgeting purposes. Please keep in mind this is an over-simplification just to get you started with budgeting. I chose a common range of prices – there are ALWAYS more expensive options when you start customizing.

Per Person Cost for Formal Place Setting

Item Good Better Best
Charger $1.10 $4.50 $6.95
Dinner Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Salad Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Bread Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Dessert Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Beverage Glass $0.50 $0.95 $2.25
Red Wine Glass $0.55 $0.95 $2.25
White Wine Glass $0.55 $0.95 $2.25
Coffee Cup $0.50 $0.70 $0.95
Coffee Cup Saucer $0.50 $0.60 $0.95
Salad Fork $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Dinner Fork $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Dinner Knife $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Dessert Fork $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Teaspoon $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Butter Knife $0.40 $0.55 $0.75

Total Per Person

$8.30 $15.75 $28.10

Per Person Cost for Casual Place Setting

Item Good Better Best
Dinner Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Salad Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Bread Plate $0.55 $0.95 $2.00
Beverage Glass $0.50 $0.95 $2.25
Dinner Fork $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Dinner Knife $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Teaspoon $0.40 $0.55 $0.75
Butter Knife $0.40 $0.55 $0.75

Total Per Person

$3.75 $6.00 $11.25

I’ve worked with several people who have chosen to just get the Dinner Plate, Beverage Glass, Wine Glass, Dinner Fork, Dinner Knife, Spoon. (I actually prefer this approach unless it is a very formal event). So…on the low end, you can expect to pay about $3 per person for plain white china or glass with stainless still flatware. On the very high-end, you are looking at about $28 per person for gold or silver-rimmed china with silver-plated flatware and crystal stemware.

I really think planning a party should be fun.

“The pleasure isn’t in doing the thing, the pleasure is in planning it.”
― John GreenPaper Towns

I’m on a mission to make this quote true 😉

Here are a couple of other relevant blogs I’ve written:

Types of Rental Chairs and Average Prices

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

Table Sizes – How Many People will Fit?

Let me know what you think or what other topics you’d like me to cover.

Event Tents: Types, Sizes and Prices

Pole tent

Pole tent – has elegant peaks

I went to Target yesterday to get mascara and sat on the make-up aisle just staring at all of the choices. I didn’t want to choose between long, curly, luscious, or thick. I wanted all of those things. There were so many choices, I ended up leaving without mascara. I went home and ordered the last one I had purchased off Amazon. It’s not even one that I love, but it was easier than choosing a new one.

Did you know there is an actual psychological effect dubbed The Paradox of Choice? Barry Schwartz wrote a best-selling book about it. The gist is: we all want choices, but in today’s consumer-driven marketplace, there are too many choices, which is often paralyzing.

I see this paralyzation frequently when someone planning a party needs to rent a tent. There are different types, sizes, structures. It’s overwhelming. Trying to figure out the size tent you need is akin to sitting in high school algebra class – it’s definitely not the most fun part of planning your event.

I’ve put together a chart and some general guidelines to get you started with your planning. And if math isn’t your thing, email We are happy to do the drudgery for you.

Frame tent

Frame tent – can be set up on any surface

What size tent to I need and how much will it cost?

# of Guests
Ceremony/Theatre Style
# of Guests at
Round Tables
Cost to Rent
10×10 100 15 10 people at 1 tables $50 – $150
20×20 400 68 40 people at 4 tables $280 – $350
20×30 600 90 60 people at 6 tables $400 – $550
20×40 800 100 80 people at 8 tables $520 – $650
30×30 900 125 90 people at 9 tables $600 – $700
30×60 1800 245 180 people at 18 tables $900 – $1400
40×60 2400 342 240 people at 24 tables $1600 – $1850
40×80 3200 450 320 people at 32 tables $2100 – $2500
Frame tent

Frame tent doesn’t have poles on the inside

Sq. Ft. Needed for Rented Items

Item Square
Feet Needed Each
48″ Round Table (seats 6-8) 80
60″ Round Table (seats 10) 100
72″ Round Table (seats 12) 120
6′ Rectangle Banquet Table (seats 8) 80
8′ Rectangle Banquet Table (seats 10) 90
Buffet Table 100
Bar 100
Dance Floor 2-4 per guest
DJ Area 100
Marquee Tent

Marquee Tent – has the peaks but no poles on the inside

And if figuring out the size wasn’t enough, you also need to figure out the style of tent you want…

Types of Tents for Parties and Events

Type Description
Pole Secured with stakes – can’t be used on concrete or asphalt. Poles create peaks and dips which makes it look very elegant
Frame Free standing so can be set up on any surface. There are no poles inside so you don’t have to worry about planning or decorating around those
Marquee Hybrid of the pole and frame tent. They give you the elegant peaks of the pole tent but are free standing like the frame tent
Frame Structure Has wider openings and taller ceilings than the standard frame tent. Can support more weight than other types of tents, and has tighter fitting sections and walls, making it the best option for heating and air-conditioning
Frame Structure Tent

Frame Structure Tent – this is the best option for heating and air conditioning.

Check out this blog for inspiration.  It shows pictures of several different types of tents – all gorgeous!

I recently helped plan a 150 person wedding.

We had to make room for guests tables, buffet table, bar and dance floor.  To stay within budget, we selected to go with the pole tent (usually the most economical). Here’s how the math worked out:

  • 1000 square feet for the guest tables
  • 100 square feet for the buffet table
  • 100 square feet for the bar
  • 300 square feet for the dance floor
  • 100 square feet for the DJ

We needed a total of 1600 square feet so we went with a 30 x 60 tent.  The cost for the tent was $750.  A frame tent would have cost about $1,100.

Here are some other, related blogs that you might find helpful:

Types of Rental Chairs

Table Sizes and Seating: How Many People Will Fit?!?

What Size Linen Fits My Table?

How much does it cost to rent table place settings?

Calculating Dance Floor Size + Average prices in Austin

Hopefully this gives you a good starting point. If you have questions, email us at

Pole tent

A pole tent will have poles in the center that you will have to plan around.





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