Do I need Permits for My Event?

Clients are generally surprised to learn that a permit may be required for their event rentals. As an event company we are very involved with many of the local Building and Fire Departments. We work diligently to stay up to date on the state building and fire codes and the town by-laws. We are always educating ourselves and our clients as the policies are ever-changing and in many cases becoming more strict.

If you are installing a small canopy for a backyard party chances are you just need a simple building permit for the tent. However, if it is 400 square feet or less you are off the hook in most towns. Some of the more complex installations with larger tents, heat, power, sidewall, large guest counts, etc. will require more advance permitting from several departments.

We have updated our technology so we are able to provide to scale internal and external diagrams. These are great for the client to get a sense of the space and setup on site. Scaled plans are also required by most towns or cities. Officials want to make sure there is adequate egress, aisles, spacing between furniture, etc. to provide safe flow for your guests in the event of an emergency.  As a tent contractor we maintain a Construction Supervisor License, Insurance and provide flame certificates for all of our tent and sidewalls. We also have several staff with gas fitters licenses for installing and permitting heaters as well as an electrician on staff for temporary power needs and permitting.

Some cities such as Boston require a special G-28 License for tent permitting and they also do their own fabric testing. If you are hosting an event in the City it is important to work with a vendor who is familiar with the process and has the necessary items to ensure your event is not hung up in permitting. Most cities and towns appreciate vendors who have their ducks in a row so to speak, it makes the process easier on them as well. We have established good rapport with all of the towns and cities in Massachusetts that we have worked with, easing the process for us and our clients. These towns know to expect a proper installation with all the safety protocol met or exceeded from Atent for Rent.

So, if you are planning to have a large scale event at your residence or public venue we recommend you ask your vendor if permits will be required and if this is something they can handle for you. You can also call the Town Hall yourself or look online. Many Town Departments have information online and sometimes you can even apply online to save on running costs. We understand permits can add to the cost and logistics of planning an event, but they are designed to look out for your best interest and the safety of your guests.


Lakeside Wedding – Hosting Events at Your Home

Photo Courtesy of Better Life Foods
Photo Courtesy of Better Life Foods

The amazing transformations that take place to create a unique event space are truly incredible. The possibilities are almost endless with today’s technology and our resources. Hosting an event at your home (or a family member or friend’s house) is unique also in that it creates an irreplaceable memory in that space! Visiting the lake in the summer and spending time on the boat with family and friends is a favorite pastime of mine, so this event was particularly close to my heart.

Getting the house and grounds ready to host a formal event can be a lot of work, even quite overwhelming at times. Having reliable, helpful and informative vendors to work with goes a long way!


Perhaps some of the household improvements/preparations needed to be done regardless of the impending event date. It just might be the kick you needed to cross the rest of the items off that “To Do List”. If you focus on the right improvements, temporary verses permanent, the money spent can increase the value of your home and help maintain the house. In my mind, that is money well spent!

IMG_3208At this particular estate, the grounds were amazing, the lakeside location was a beautiful setting, the perfect backdrop for a spectacular wedding! Our General Manager, Jon, met with the client and developed the concept to build a custom staging system level with the existing patio and abutting roof of the porch above. This design allowed flow from the house to the tent to be wide open and seamless while also creating additional useable space on the patio!


The 40′ x 60′ tent has a beautiful cleartop, natural light into the tent and not obstructing the beautiful view from any space in the house. The tent and staging are nestled between the trees perfectly, helpful to keep the clear tent cool in the summer!  Guests on the balcony above can see down into the tented space and out on to the lake! The house and the tent accentuate each other very well, while not taking away from the waterfront setting!


Some of the other accessories on the installation include the paper lanterns and string lighting adding a great ambiance at night. We also installed leg drapes to soften the metal side poles and side rails to keep the guests safe. The crew, the caterer, the client and all the event staff did a great job putting this together!