Perhaps you don’t like the idea of an uber-formal wedding, but instead, prefer the idea of your guests feeling relaxed by creating a more rustic feel. Well, you’re not alone! The dramatic rise of barn weddings in recent years, shows this trend is here to stay. So how do you pull it off? Here’s our quick guide on how to plan a barn wedding and the pitfalls to avoid.
1. Location – is it in the middle of nowhere?
There aren’t many barns in the middle of cities so location is definitely a big consideration. Think about the following points:
- How easy is it for guests to get there?
- Is there public transport?
- How much would a bus for guests cost?
- Can the bus access the venue with ease?
- Are there wedding car companies that travel there?
- Is there local accommodation available nearby where guests can stay?
Add these questions to your wedding venue checklist
2. Barn amenities tend to be…erm…more sparse
It’s worth noting that a barn venue may not have the same facilities as a hotel or city-centre venue and may not come bundled with the perks normally offered. This means, you may need to organise more of the “other stuff” yourself. This could include catering, drinks, MC, sound system, heating etc. When looking at barn venues, check if these things are included in the price. Otherwise, costs could end up spiralling. If the venue does not provide these services, it could end up giving you a lot more work if you need to arrange these things yourself.
3. Creating a relaxed feel
I’m going to assume you are wanting a relaxed atmosphere at your wedding(a barn doesn’t scream regal-formality). So how can you achieve this? Start by looking at wedding themes and pick one as early as you can as this will guide your style choices. Next, have a think about the different parts of your day and how you can inject informality into the timeline. Consider this:
- Guests arriving – what is their first impression? Use decoration and signage to create a relaxed feel
- Drinks reception – what canapés are you having? What is the setting?
- Speeches and meal – Table decoration is a great way to build the “feel” you are going for
- Interactive elements – photobooths and “alternative-guestbooks” have become popular as they encourage your guests to participate in your celebration. This is great for non-dancers who would otherwise be sitting chatting all night.
4. Adding your personal touch. Barn decoration.
One of the best ways to make the day feel informal is to do something unique. Look at unusual flower arrangements, guestbooks, invitations etc. This is a quick and easy way to add something remark-able to your day(i.e. something that people will remember and talk about). Etsy and Notonthehighstreet are a great place to start. This can be a cheap way to make your day unique.
Food tells a story. There is a big difference between salmon en croute and bangers & mash. Many barn venues will work with caterers who can provide more rustic options. A roast with winter veg is always a good option. Go for roast chicken if you want to keep everybody happy. Or if you want the wow-factor….. spit-roast hog.
Likewise with the cake. Instead of going for a traditional iced-cake. Think about a Victoria-sponge stack.
For your favours, take a look at Etsy or Notonthehighstreet again. There are so many great little things you can pick up for not-a-lot-of-pennies.
Finally, it’s entertainment time. Music is the most obvious thing to consider. Our top suggestions would be a Scottish or Irish Ceilidh(as it gets lots of guests dancing) or go for a Barn Disco, Rave or…..Salsa
Get more tips on how to plan a barn wedding on our pinterest boards – we add loads of ideas every day