If you're having an outdoor event, such as a wedding or a fundraiser, you know the big variable to the occasion's success is the weather. One way to help mitigate this big unknown is to rent a tent. Even on a beautiful, sunny day, a tent can help keep your guests cool and comfortable. Still, if you're going to rent a tent for your big event, there are a number of things you need to keep in mind.

1. Tents aren't inexpensive. You'll want to budget a sizeable amount for your tent rental. "Brides.com" advises that a rent for around 100 guests will likely run you around $1,000.

2. Poles or no poles. There are two main styles of event tents. One type sets up similar to a circus tent with center poles supporting the weight of the tent. A second, more, modern style of tent has a geodome-style structure. While center pole tents are usually less expensive to rent, they can cause visibility and sight-line problems.

3. Book early. "Brides.com" also advises that tents generally sell out early. They advise reserving your tent at least six months in advance of the event, if possible.

4. Consider the extras. Tents can be very elegant, depending on what extras you select. Consider flooring, especially if you're going to have dancing, as well as chandeliers, sidewalls to block the wind and the rain (if necessary) and even a generator to provide electricity and eliminate the need for heavy duty extension cords running form the house. You might even want to rent a second, much smaller tent for the catering staff to use as a make-shift pantry/kitchen.

5. Do a sound check. Suggest that your DJ or the person in charge of your sound system run a sound check in advance once the tent has been set up. The tent can distort and amplify the sound, depending on the type of tent you select, whether the sides are closed or open and where your speakers are located. Conversely, you don't want the tent to deaden the sound and make it difficult for your guests to hear while dancing.

While a tent can be a big asset when planning an outdoor event, considering the style of tent, booking early, testing the sound in advance and making sure to budget enough for the tent will help ensure that the tent meets all of your party needs.