Over the past few years, barn weddings have become extremely popular in the wedding industry. In 2015, Vogue released a list of eleven stunning farm wedding venues across the country stating, “It makes perfect sense: The country settings—isolation, simplicity, and natural beauty.” If a rustic-chic venue or a casual-but-elegant barn setting is on your dream wish list, below are a few things you need to know such as a wedding budget, date availability, and venue amenities while planning a barn wedding.
Establishing a reasonable budget should be your priority when planning your wedding. Start by breaking down your wedding budget from most to least expensive costs. Categories to include are catering, rentals, florals, photographer, venue, attire, entertainment, and miscellaneous items. Allocating a percentage for each expense is important so you don’t overspend.
Once you’ve established an amount you can comfortably spend for each category, explore the options available for you to help cover those fees. Have you been setting money aside as a couple? Do you have family members offering to chip in? Weddings can add up fast so it’s essential to have a plan on how to pay ahead of time. One option that’s a safe and low-risk way to help pay for your big day is utilizing your home’s equity (if you have one). This is a common funding option for homeowners because you can borrow money to help fund big expenses such as a wedding. Once approved, you’ll receive the money in one lump sum so you’ll know exactly how much you’ll be able to allocate to your wedding expenses. If you don’t own a home, start by putting aside money each week into a “wedding fund” account well in advance. You should also cut costs on other things such as dining out, expensive subscriptions, or not taking the vacation you plan once a year. You’d be surprised just how much extra money a month you’ll save. Your dream wedding should not sink your financial standings which is why planning accordingly with a budget is crucial.
For the past two years, weddings have been postponed or canceled due to restrictions. Because of this, some venues are booked out well in advance. When selecting the date, there are many aspects to consider. Do you have a sentimental date in mind? Do you have your heart set on a specific date? Are you willing to change your ideal date around the venue’s availability? These are all important questions when selecting the venue and date.
Don’t overlook the time of year you’re looking to book your wedding. Weather is a huge factor, especially when planning a barn wedding. Although summer weddings are popular, an early fall date might be a great option. Holiday weekends are also something to keep in mind. If the guest list is smaller, try to avoid a big holiday weekend like the 4th of July, because many people make plans well in advance for these holidays. Don’t be discouraged if the venue you’re seeking doesn’t have a date available for a few years. The plus side is you have more time to plan and save without feeling overwhelmed.
When planning a barn wedding it’s significant to know what amenities the venue has. A multi-stall bathroom is a must-have. The last thing you want is for your guests to have to use a porta-potty or an outhouse. If you’re planning to rent the venue during the summer, make sure to ask if they have air conditioning available or other ways to cool down your guests. Parking should be figured out ahead of time because if there’s a limited amount of parking, transportation might be something to configure into your budget.
If possible, try to find a venue that offers packages that include tables, chairs, accessories, and decorations. Depending on your guest list, having handicap accessibility or accommodations for handicapped guests is crucial. Lastly, the most important part some might say is whether the venue offers a stocked cocktail bar package or if you have to supply the beverages yourself. An open bar for your guests can add up fast, so make sure you plan accordingly ahead of time so you are prepared. No one wants to run out of alcohol halfway through their reception.
There are many things to consider when planning a wedding but knowing the three key points above will help you prepare for planning your dream barn wedding. The planning process should be a memorable experience, so don’t rush and enjoy each step of the way. Congratulations on your engagement, and good luck!