Stories from Your Wedding Friend - The Wedding Planner's Blog
Continuing this series of looking at types of venue for your consideration, I've been to a fair few different types of venues and one of the most popular styles are barns. But what do they really have to offer and are they only suitable for rustic weddings? Read on to find out...
Simply put, any venue that has a rustic, semi-industrial, often wooden structure, usually in countryside locations or on land that had a rural or industrial past such as a farm. Or out-buildings associated with an old manor house. You'll also find some more modern structures that style themselves to resemble barns or repurposed from modern farming uses such as cattle sheds and crop storage. As such they can be a bit rough and ready, but also beautiful in their own way.
In short no. There are barn wedding venues that are standalone structures at a farm (or ex-farm) but likewise there are hotels with barn style structures that have all the mod-cons you'd expect from a hotel venue but the rustic charm of the older structures. Some barn wedding venues might have wooden beams, and some might be made of brick. What they offer outside of the aesthetic is about as varied as you can get: some venues will have on-site catering and bars, others will allow you the freedom to bring in everything you need yourselves. Whatever you're looking for, you'll find it in a barn venue.
No, not at all. Many barn venues are actually very elegant. They're not like manor houses or modern venues but that doesn't mean they can't also be beautiful blank canvases. Of course, if you want a rustic theme then go for it, a barn will certainly fit that bill. But they'll work equally well if you're aiming for something a bit more boho or country rose, luxe or seasonally inspired. If you want to soften up a dark wooden wall, add a flower wall or drape backdrop. Dressed up or dressed down, they're often ready-made gorgeous, so just add the elements of your theme.
My top tip is to think about the location. You may fall in love with the look and feel of a place, but will your guests be able to find it and get to it (and home again) safely? If the barn you love doesn't have accommodation it could be worth considering offering shared transport options.
Pay attention to what facilities your preferred barn offers, including heating and power - some even more rustic style barns might not have everything you think, so especially if you're planning a winter wedding, it's best to check that they have sufficient heating.
Rural locations mean fields, muds, possibly gravel. Pay attention to the car parking and access your guests will use and inform them accordingly. Guests should always be warned of an outdoor venue so that they can prepare with appropriate footwear and for wet weather if necessary. Many long established barns wedding venues will have this all thought out for you and offer FAQ's (frequently asked questions) on their website.
They're grand. They're varied. They're available in all sorts of sizes, from intimate to huge. They're often in some amazingly beautiful locations. Don't believe me, take a look at some of the stunning barns I've found on Pinterest for inspiration - see link below.