Allan Roberts is the owner and operator of Arcada Rentals. (Photo submitted)

Allan Roberts is the owner and operator of Arcada Rentals. (Photo submitted)

Cariboo great location for ‘green’ weddings

Allan Roberts has never regretted getting into the wedding industry

Allan Roberts has found the Cariboo is a great place for a “green” wedding.

The owner of Arcada Rentals has spent the past 16 years creating outdoor venues for a couple’s big day by supplying tents, walls, tables, chairs, cutlery and everything else. While it’s not always easy work and requires a lot of travel, Roberts said he finds the work rewarding.

“I like the people you meet, the brides and grooms especially. It’s a happy business but a very hard business physically,” Roberts said. “You swing a nine-pound sledgehammer, driving 26-inch spikes into the ground, 50 times in one day but it’s all worth it seeing the faces of the people involved in a wedding when we finish doing our thing.”

His work starts on a Thursday or a Friday before the weekend, giving wedding planners time to decorate. Thanks to the design of his interlocking marquee tents, Roberts can put up to 10,000 square feet together in short order. He said their design, which uses no centre pole and has a built-in skylight, has revolutionized the wedding industry.

“What this did was really allow people to utilize their properties and the outdoors. Nowadays they call them the green weddings because they’re all outside and you get to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere we have here in the Cariboo region.”

Having an event on your property means that guests are also in “stumbling distance” of their beds if they’re camping out in RVs. In his youth, he said, weddings he attended involved drinking and driving and outdoor weddings help to reduce such behaviour.

Roberts said that he discovered the business through a hunting trip years ago when a hunting companion told him his brother quit a well-paying ICBC job to go into the wedding industry. Roberts’ entrepreneurial interest was piqued, and he reached out to the man’s company, the Tent Guys Okanagan.

Initially, Roberts rented out tents like the Tent Guys. He said his wife April thought he was insane due to the small size of 100 Mile House but the internet helped spread the word. As his business grew, Roberts decided to add more items such as seating and cutlery.

Nowadays he pitches his tents for weddings, celebrations of life and other events in 100 Mile House, Lillooet, Clearwater, Blue River, Williams Lake and the Nemaiah Valley. Roberts said he’s seen some of the most beautiful properties in B.C., which he considers a perk.

He has previously done 60 events in a year. However, this summer is shaping up to beat that, he said, with many people looking to host long overdue weddings and events. Just recently he booked a 200-person wedding.

“This should be my busiest year ever because we’re scheduled to do 75 weddings and events,” Roberts said. “You can’t be afraid of work because when these tents come down Monday or Tuesday they need to be cleaned, sorted and put back in a trailer for a Thursday or a Friday delivery. It’s a constant rhythm for about a 90-day window.”

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