Just as you can’t put the earrings on the outfit before you have the outfit, you can’t dress up a barn wedding venue unless you have the right barn for your wedding.
Barn wedding venues can be found all over the country.
Their popularity over the years has skyrocketed.
And while some might scratch their heads as to why a bride would want to marry in a place where cows and horses hang out on barrels of hay, the bride with an open mind can see the true potential in a barn wedding.
These simple and rustic places play into the different personalities that weddings take on in the end.
You can dress the barn up or down depending on the look that you want to achieve.
When you start searching for a wedding venue, you will no doubt stumble upon the idea of a barn wedding.
Obviously, the barn is the venue so it eliminates a great deal of decisions that come with other venues.
However, barn weddings are not always that simple, beginning with how you select a wedding venue complete with a barn.
Before the bride commits to the barn and the groom, we have come up with a few elements to the barn wedding venue that you must consider.
Perhaps what make these venues so popular around the country are the potential themes that you can have within them. Unlike a grand castle or a modern hotel, the barn is back to basics.
You can go for a variety of looks.
For an elegant and glamorous themed wedding, many barn wedding venues will add drapery and chandeliers to create that feeling of opulence in your basic barn. Others appreciate the barn wedding venue for simple wedding themes.
In true barn fashion, you can have a rustic and casual wedding with a few country details. The fact that the barn door is wide open as to what you can do with it, it is also important to consider what might go into dressing up this blank canvas.
Some wedding venues feature actual (used to be filled with hay) barns, while others were built to be wedding venues. The fact that the barn is a blank canvas can overwhelm some brides when it comes to their theme.
Some weddings in a barn require a wedding planner to help see your ideas through for the wedding. The versatility of the barn wedding can be a triumph and a challenge all in one when it comes to the theme of the wedding and achieving it.
Size & Layout
Many wedding venues that feature some sort of antique barn have designated areas where the ceremony, reception and dancing can all take place. Before you book your barn, you need to go through the different venues and the layout of their spaces.
If you want to have your entire wedding within the barn, including the reception, you will need a barn that will accommodate your guests. Some venues can open up the barn doors to accommodate the overflow of guests so that you can have an indoor and outdoor wedding venue.
With each barn wedding venue that you consider, you will need to factor in the shapes and sizes for your wedding guests. The overall layout of the space needs to make sense. A barn wedding usually doesn’t just involve the barn. It involves creating spaces for the ceremony, the reception, parking, catering and dancing.
If you have too few or too many guests, you could run into some trouble if you don’t pick a barn and surrounding space that can accommodate your number.
Also, if the layout of the venue calls for a great deal of your wedding activities to take place outside, you need to figure out potential bad weather solutions.
After perusing the Pinterest wedding section on a daily basis, I often come across these barn weddings that look like they fell out of rustic, country storybooks. What these photographs don’t show is what goes on behind the scenes.
When you consider a barn by definition, it is usually constructed of wood and not much else.
If your wedding venue utilizes an actual barn, not one that they built up for weddings and events, it might lack that amenities that you need. These amenities can be an additional cost that you won’t have at other venues.
For example, my Mom went to a barn wedding in Colorado. They had dancing up in the rafters of the barn, with no air conditioning. In the dead of summer and in the dry heat of Colorado, she lamented how miserable it was.
If you don’t want to have your guests either pass out from the heat or shiver due to the cold, you might have to pay for heating and cooling systems for your wedding event. Barns can be hot or cold places due to poor insulation. Often, wedding venues will provide these amenities, but they might come at an additional cost.
You must also factor in water and electrical access with barn weddings. Some might require you to bring in bathrooms, generators and lighting.
When you are on the hunt for your perfect barn wedding, be sure you ask your potential wedding venues about the amenities of the barn. You should know what they provide, what they don’t and what you will have to figure out on your own.
Vendor Selection & Rentals
As a barn is a blank canvas, every bride dreaming of her barn wedding should be aware of the vendors and rentals involved. Some venues will allow you to bring in your own vendors, while others will require you to use their shortlist of wedding personalities.
Regardless, a barn requires a great deal of dressing from tents to tables and chairs.
If you are going for the mismatched antique furniture look or wooden signs lining the property, these all involve extra help if your venue doesn’t supply them. The best way to go about the vendors and rentals of a barn wedding is to see what your shortlist of wedding venues offer and what they don’t provide.
You want to get the most for your money and the most out of your venue. If you don’t like the vendors at the barn venue, move on to another that will let you do more customization.
If you like the hands off approach, finding an all in one venue might be your answer to dress up the barn without lifting a finger.
You won’t often find a barn in the middle of a metropolis. Barn weddings frequently take place in out of the way meadows and ranches.
As a result, another factor that comes into play with barn weddings is transportation. These barns might be in the most idyllic of meadows, down dirt roads with no name.
While it all sounds like what you might want to achieve in terms of isolation and privacy, you have to think about your guests.
How are they going to find this place?
Will they get lost?
Most wedding venues can answer these questions for you. However, you can look into transportation services for your guests so that they can just enjoy their time and not worry about finding the barn.
Bottom line, when you are looking for a barn wedding location, you need to stand in your guests’ shoes. If you think it will be a challenge to reach, transportation might be an additional cost to add to the wedding bill.
Let’s Start Looking!
A simple barn can be a complicated affair when it is used as a wedding location. Brides and grooms who want to get married in a barn must consider all of these elements when selecting their venue.
Like finding that needle in a sea of haystacks, now that you know what to look for and what to ask of potential venues, you can make the best decision for your wedding.
Did you or would you consider a barn wedding venue for your big day?
Share your experiences and thoughts with us below!