Barn venues are very popular in some parts of the United States. In rural states, such as Vermont, many of these historic agricultural buildings have been restored and renovated and now serve as venues for a variety of special events. Why should you choose to have your wedding or dinner party in a barn? There is a sense of rustic charm that makes these large buildings seem attractive. When you combine the atmosphere of a barn venue with the surrounding rural landscapes, it becomes one of the most naturally romantic options for a wedding or special event.

But barn venues have more than their ambiance going for them. Here are some other traits that make a barn an ideal setting for a wedding or special event.

Almost unlimited space

Riverside Farm Pittsfield Vermont

The best event barns have roughly the same amount of space as a hotel ballroom. You are not sacrificing any room by choosing a barn over another type of venue. However, even if they have exterior courtyards or gardens, most villa and ballroom venues can't match the size of the grounds surrounding a barn. Expansive lawns not only give you a sense of spaciousness, they also provide room for your guests to move around. Some barn venues will even let you set up a marquee on their lawn to accommodate extra guests or to give your wedding an outdoor feel.

A blank canvas for decoration

Riverside Farm Pittsfield Vermont Barn Wedding

Because of their spacious one-room layout and tall ceilings, barns can seem like a blank canvas for decorators. You have space for an unlimited number of table layouts. Beams and supports are perfect places for lights, flowers and other design elements. Some venues have in-house decorators who can help you realize the perfect design for your wedding or event. Others will let you hire your own vendors to come in and work to make the atmosphere as perfect as possible.

Peace and quiet

Pippin Hill Farm Aaron Watson Photography

One of the reasons that barns are popular is because they offer an escape from the urban hustle and bustle. Some people want their wedding or their family reunion to be relaxing and low key, and a barn can make this desire a reality. The perfect example of this kind of country getaway is the Hidden Vineyard Barn in Berrien Springs, Michigan. Located 90 minutes away from Chicago and sharing the same state with Detroit, this venue is within driving distance of more than one major city. It offers a peaceful, natural setting and plenty of historic ambiance (the barn dates back to the 1870s).

Flexible enough to host almost any type of event


Barns are a blank canvas for decorators... and also for event planners. Most people associate barn venues with weddings, but these flexible spaces can be used for many other types of events. Perhaps you are looking for a place to host your spring formal or to have a charity gala. The interior of spots like Vermont's West Monitor Barn can be laid out to accommodate both tables and a dance floor, or they can be organized for a cocktail style event with casual seating and a dance floor. It may even be possible to transform the space during the event. For example, you could take down the tables after dinner to have more room for dancing or bring in a small stage so that a band can perform.

 A weekend in the country

Hidden Vineyard Barn Event Venue Kristy Berends Photo 2

Here is one thing that people don't often know: some barn venues actually have overnight accommodations. No, you won't have to sleep in the hay or even in the loft area. Since most barns are on farms, cottages and bed-and-breakfast style farmhouse rooms are sometimes offered. Vermont's Riverside Farm has no fewer than six events barns and overnight accommodations for up to 25 people. Barns with adjacent accommodations like this are ideal not only for a rural wedding weekend, but also for events such as family reunions or corporate retreats.

Riverside-Farm marquee

So barns are a worthwhile option for any type of special event. If you like the agricultural theme, but want something more formal than a barn, why not consider a vineyard estate or a greenhouse?

Your turn...

Have you ever attended or hosted a special event in a barn? Share your experiences with us...