Photo via The Knot
The mason jars, the breathtaking countryside backdrop, the crisp night air…there’s nothing quite like a beautiful barn wedding to make you nostalgic for the country life. But before you start scouring local barns in your area, make sure to do some research. Oftentimes, there’s more that meets the eye when it comes to hosting a wedding at a barn or other rustic venue. To get you started, here are seven things you need to know before selecting your venue.
There might be Porta-Potties.
The appeal of a barn wedding is its rustic charm, but tbe prepared to deal with “rustic” elements in the not-so-charming sense, too. For example, many traditional barns or farm venues don’t come readily equipped with bathrooms. Fear not, you can rent toilet trailers or porta-potties for your guests (and some of them are pretty luxe, seriously)! Just remember to include this in your budget, as they can get quite costly.
You’ll have to deal with the elements
Just like with any outdoor event, the key is to be prepared for anything. While every bride is sure to cross her fingers and her toes that her wedding day will be sunny and 72 degrees, it’s better to have a plan in case of inclement weather. Wind, rain, mud, heat, and cold are just a few things to have a backup plan for. Also, keep in mind that most barns don’t have heating or air conditioning. If you’re planning a mid-August wedding, be ready to deal with the hot temps, or look into renting fans.
Be prepared to pick out every little detail
Like with any wedding venue that isn’t full-service, you’ll be responsible for extras like tables, chairs, silverware, wine glasses, and even a dance floor.
No we’re not talking about the Christina Aguilera song…we’re talking about your dress. Whether you’re walking through the grounds or dancing on the barn floor, your dress will drag. Many brides avoid this by changing into a shorter dress for the reception or having their seamstress adjust it before, but either way, get ready to embrace the dirt.
Have an early curfew
Many outdoor venues make you shut down shop by 10 pm because of noise regulations, so if you’re thinking of partying all night you might want to rethink your venue. Check with the barn before you book it to see what their regulations are.
Don’t forget about bugs
Nothing can quite kill the romantic vibe like a dozen bug bites. If you’re having a summer wedding be prepared with citronella candles around the perimeter of the barn. We also suggest putting small baskets of bug spray in the bathrooms for your guests, just in case the mosquitoes decide to join the party.
Mind your guest count
Most barns fit a maximum of 150-175 people, so if you’re looking at a guest list of 200+, you might want to choose another venue. Despite their open and airy feel, when you add in a DJ booth, tables, and chairs, you’re looking at a smaller space. Be sure to check the barn’s space requirements first.