Barns aren’t like other wedding venues, which is probably why you love them. But that also means that there are special considerations you’ll need to keep in mind while researching your options—and to make planning easier for you, we’ve got a whole list of them here.
What’s included in the rental package?
Some barn venues will have everything you need for your wedding, while others provide the space and staff, and you’re responsible for bringing in the tables, chairs, and other necessities. If it’s the latter, find out if the venue has required vendors you must work with; if not, they likely will have a list of recommended vendors experienced in this type of event.
Photo via Gilbertsville Farmhouse in Gilbertsville, New York
Is the barn climate controlled?
While some barns are newly built specifically as event venues, some older barns started their lives out as, well, barns—which means that they may not have been designed with the heating and cooling systems that you’d see in more traditional venues. Be sure to ask if the barn offers air conditioning during warmer months, and heating for when it’s cool—not all do, which may limit the months that it is available. Regardless of the temperature situation, you can offer items like fans and shawls to help make your guests comfortable—and which make super cute favors to boot.
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What’s the plan for inclement weather?
If you plan to have any part of your event outdoors (and in such a picturesque setting, you probably will), you’ll want to confirm what plan B is should the weather turn bad. Things to think about: Is the barn large enough to accommodate both a ceremony and reception? Will tenting be required if it rains? Is the barn structure itself weather-proofed to be able to withstand the elements?
Photo via Crooked River Farm Weddings LLC in Lawson, Missouri
Does the venue have a curfew or noise restrictions?
Local towns may have sound ordinances that your event must follow, and your wedding coordinator also will want to be mindful of any neighbors who may live close by. If there are any time restrictions, communicate that to your DJ or band early so that there’s no confusion on the big day—and so they can make sure they have plenty of time to make it through your wedding day playlist.
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How long is the rental?
Because they host only one event at a time, some barns offer a multi-day rental, which means you can have the rehearsal dinner and wedding all in one spot—and even have extra time for decorating before the big day. This not creates a super convenient schedule for your event, but can save you money, too.
Photo via Palm Meadows of York in York, South Carolina
Are there accommodations available nearby?
A barn wedding venue often (but not always!) equals rural. As you research venues, make sure to spend some determining what accommodations are available and how close they are to the property—especially if you expect a large number of out-of-town guests. Once you’ve nailed your options, arrange for room blocks early—if they are a limited number of accommodations in the area to begin with, you want to make sure that another event doesn’t scoop up the date you want.
Does the barn offer restrooms?
Not all barns do, and if that’s the case for your dream venue, you’ll need to make sure you add the cost of portable bathrooms to your budget. Many such vendors offer fancier options with amenities such as sinks and lighting, so your guests will feel comfortable even in their wedding finery—and you won’t feel like you’re at summer camp.
Ready to start planning your barn wedding? Find thousands of gorgeous barn wedding venues across the country here.