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Spiegeltent at Bard

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A vintage-style circus tent might seem like an odd choice for a wedding venue, but hear us out on why this colorful arts venue on the campus of Bard College is actually one of the Hudson Valley’s coolest reception sites. Popular at the turn of the 20th century, traditional spiegeltents were erected by artisans at fairgrounds and events to bring a sense of excitement and joy to local communities. (Pretty analogous, don’t you think?) With that tradition in mind, Bard commissions this tent, made of 3,000 interlocking parts, each summer from the Klessens family, who have been building spiegeltents in this traditional style for generations.

With weddings in the round and unique character very much in vogue right now, a spiegeltent might be just what you’re looking for. There are plenty of enchanting and quirky details, like colorful stained glass, beveled mirrors, intricate carvings, ornate crystal, and a lush velvet canopy stitched with gold. Receptions are typically set up in concentric circles — the mirror-framed tables built into the tent walls are prime seating — surrounding the parquet dancefloor.

Photo by maike schulz

Before you book, keep in mind that the tent is only available from June to August and subject to Bard’s concert schedule. Understandably, all décor requires approval to ensure the structure won’t be damaged, but for a venue this unique, it’s well worth jumping through a few hoops.


The Details: Venue fees run from $3,000 for a weeknight to $10,000 for a Saturday, with discounts available to Bard alumni. Suggested capacity is 250 guests.

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