Barns are full of history and stories which give them that extra charm and character – making any wedding held at one memorable. It’s easy to fall in love with the idyllic, and fresh air setting of a country barn but with a rural setting comes unique challenges that must be considered before any contracts are signed. Here we have outlined 7 things you should know before committing to a barn wedding venue.
Photo Credit: Sean McGrath Photography
1. Budget For Extras
Having a barn or summer home act as wonderful backdrops for your special day but consider that there will be a long list of additional costs that need to be considered. You will most likely be responsible for the tables, chairs, dishes and other extras. Consider the additional cost of lighting, generators, portable toilets, catering tents, a backup tent for the ceremony, a cleaning of the barn and access to water and lighting. On top of that, you’ll have to make sure the facility is licensed and insured to be open to the public. Plus, your caterer and entertainment will need to have access to all the electrical outlets they require in the barn.
2. Check the Local Sound Ordinance Rules
Don’t assume that just because you have the barn for the night you’ll be allowed to dance until the sun comes up. Even if your wedding reception is in a relatively remote location, you will still want to double-check any sound ordinance rules in the area and confirm what time your band or DJ should be wrapping up.
3. Mind the Grounds
Fields and pastures are picturesque, but making sure they are car and wheelchair friendly is a must especially for elderly guests. Do the grounds turn into mud if it rains? Does the venue have a paved parking lot? Will wheelchairs be able to be pushed through the scenic fields? Asking yourselves these questions and coming up with solutions to each is vital.
Photo Credit: Rachel Peters Photography
4. Make a Plan For Bugs
Stock up on citronella candles and have them set up around the perimeter of the wedding venue. Put together small baskets filled with bug spray in the restrooms or near the entrance to the barn for guests to take advantage of.
5. Weatherproof Your Guests
Parasols and paper fans aren’t just pretty touches when it comes to a barn wedding—they’re a total necessity during our hot summer months. Are you having your ceremony outdoors and the reception inside the barn? What is your Plan B in case it rains?
No matter what time of year you’re getting married, if your barn wedding venue isn’t climate controlled, you’ll want to add a few dress code suggestions to your wedding website or your invitation, so guests will be comfortable no matter what the weather is like.
6. Skip The Stilettos
A barn or summer home wedding venue more than likely means that you and your guests will be walking and dancing on either grass or rustic floors. Some barns have wood, pebble or even dirt floors. You might want to provide flip-flops for your female guests to save them from ruining their heels—and definitely, add a note to your wedding website or invitation.
Photo Credit: Julie A. Whitlock Photography
7. Pretty Up The Powder Room
If your venue doesn’t have bathrooms you will want to make accommodations that are comfortable and up to sanitary standards. Ask yourself, “Is this the type of restroom I would want Grandma to use?” If there are not available or appropriate restroom options then I suggest you contact a portable toilet vendor and ask for their recommendations. They usually have several options, some can even have sink and lighting options. I know that having a row of portable toilets may not fit with your wedding vision so consider having a tent cover the restroom area completely to have it blend in with the wedding space. Additionally, fresh flowers, air fresheners and amenities baskets with mints, antibacterial hand lotion, hair spray, Band-Aids, safety pins and Tylenol will make your guests happy.
Now I want to hear what you think. Are there any considerations that you think should be added? Please leave your comment below!
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