How to Have a Barn Wedding
If you’re a newly engaged couple on the exciting journey of wedding planning, you will certainly be thinking about your wedding reception venue.
As well as the place where guests will spend most of their day, your wedding venue is the foundation to your dream day, so it’s important to give due consideration to the right venue from the onset.
If the thought of the standard ‘silver package’, or the same tried and tested hotel fills you with anything less than joy, it’s time to get creative and put your own stamp on your big day.
Tips for Planning a Barn Wedding
Today, modern weddings are branching out into luxury wedding locations of all kinds. It’s one of the reasons why barn weddings have become popular in recent years. Barn weddings can be rustic and organic, or converted barns can be more practical and stylish, while still maintaining that beautiful barn open feeling.
As such, this dedicated guide to barn weddings covers all the essentials for your big day!
The first step, before finding your dream wedding venue, is to do some number crunching.
Start by drafting your guest list together. Whittle it down to the largest and smallest possible numbers, so you know what you’re working with, trying to keep it within an agreed range. Having an idea of numbers allows you to focus on smaller intimate venues, or larger barns that can hold 100+ people.
Next, go through your finances. Sure, it’s not the most exciting part, but knowing how much you have to spend will dictate the wedding venue you’re able to afford.
Armed with your wedding party number and wedding budget, it’s time to go barn hunting!
Why choose a Barn?
Your wedding day should be special and meaningful, and this all starts with the right wedding venue. A barn is the perfect location for a rustic wedding where you can let your personality shine through.
Its informal backdrop offers a charming setting, which can be dressed up for a luxury wedding, or kept casual for something more bohemian.
With candles and strategically placed lights, you can create a romantic setting, or with traditional white linen and silverware, it can be more formalised. If nothing else, choosing a barn allows you to design the venue around your wedding, and not vice versa.
Barns are also practical, large spaces allow for plenty of space for your guests to move around, large round or long tables for your wedding breakfast, and room to dance the night away after.
Find your Barn Venue
Barns are a popular venue and there are plenty to choose from up and down the country. If you know location wise where you would like to get married then you can use our venue finder to browse barns in your area.
There are many different options and choices, different styles and different packages to suit your budget, some allow you to bring in all your own suppliers and have full control, others already have a bar on site, can do all the catering.
From beautiful locations like Eden Barn, that offer space for 190 guests, to intimate wedding barns like Danby Castle in Yorkshire, catering to 100 – you’ll be surprised at how many spaces are available for hire.
Doxford Barns is a grade II listed, 18th century stone and oak barns and has a beautiful rustic ceremony stoned wall hall that creates a beautiful and intimate ceremony. Barns are great spaces for your reception and can also create beautiful ceremonies too.
Converted barn spaces are great for weddings with the large spaces indoors and out, Shustoke Barn in Warwickshire allows for ceremony and reception, and with a large outdoor courtyard it is great for summer receptions with fire pits of the evening.
Drovers barn in Herefordshire, UK is a rustic barn with a modern alternative twist, it is certainly a stylish quirky venue ideal for any boho bride.
If you are on a budget open barns that you can hire for a set price will be cheaper, they then allow you to hire and bring in your own suppliers, drink and food. This would require more time and work your side however it allows your to save money and maximise your budget with a DIY rustic barn wedding.
Typically speaking, a barn tends to be a sizeable space, ideal for larger parties; some even accommodating up to 300 guests. Whatever your guest list size you will be sure to find a barn that will suit you.
Tip: Book Early! With ever increasing demand for barns, there’s no harm looking early for your wedding reception venue. Popular venues get booked up as much as two years in advance, so it’s worth looking as early as possible.
Once you have shortlisted two or three venues for your big day online, it’s time to draw up a load of questions and pay them a visit.
Questions to Think About
When you’re looking at barns, it’s important to ask what comes with the package. You may even have to consider hiring in catering, although most likely, the venue will be able to provide this for you or have a recommended supplier they work with.
With many barns masquerading as professional spaces for hire, be sure to ask for licences and permits in advance. This is also useful to understand the hours you’re allowed to operate and if there’s any other restrictions to be aware of.
Read our article on Questions to Ask your Wedding Venue.
Time of Year
Think about the time of year that you plan to get married and how this might impact on your wedding venue of choice.
Warm in the summer, cold in the winter, barns may benefit from air conditioning or heating for the comfort of your guests. Check with the venue in advance to see if this is possible and if this is something they can accommodate. Outdoor spaces in the summer are great and people will certainly use them, but of course in winter everyone will remain inside.
It’s also a fun way to bring some special touches to the day – bespoke fans and blankets with your new initials emblazoned on make lovely keepsakes.
Location, Location, Location
When looking at barns for your wedding venue, think about how easy it will be for your party to get to. Barns are often located in the countryside, so it’s worth seeing how accessible they are to local train stations, airports and major roads.
If they are off the beaten path, what options do you have for sleeping arrangements if not on site? Where possible, keeping your venue as close by to your accommodation will be appreciated by guests.
If your ceremony and reception will be in different places, think about the logistics of the day and options for car parking and taxi hire.
Decorating your Barn
Last but by no means least, use the opportunity for a barn wedding to put your personal stamp on the day. Barns are the perfect wedding venue for any couple wishing to show off their creative side. These backdrops allow for great lighting, bespoke décor and a myriad of flowers to decorate it – so give some thought to your theme for the day.
When it comes to how to decorate your barn for a wedding, from country chic to urban boho, your wedding should be in keeping with your preferred theme at every touchpoint. From your wedding dress to your table names and the soundtrack of your day. Many barns will already looking stunning by there rustic nature, however floral displays can bring them to life and add color to them.
When American model Whitney Brown married her husband Carlos Naude in a barn in America, they embraced the country theme in every way; from their rustic menu to haystacks for guests to chill out on.
If you’re looking for a rustic wedding venue that can be personalised to your design, or if you’re looking for a touch of country chic, a barn wedding might just be for you!