Barns have become increasingly popular in the last few years, with 28% of couples choosing a barn setting for their wedding in 2019. (Source: hitched.co.uk) What’s attracting couples to a barn style wedding? Versatility. This industry is changing, long gone are the days of traditional weddings in hotels, couples are now looking to personalise every aspect of their day and they need a venue that lets them do that.
So, how do you plan the perfect barn wedding? First, you need to consider the look and feel of your day. Do you want a luxurious affair, something rustic or an all-out wedding festival? Your answer to that question should help you choose that perfect setting, as some barns are more suited to certain style than others. Barns such as Bridal Barns and Barns & Yard are much more manicured, with dainty décor and lots of renovations to make the space purpose built for weddings. These kinds of barns make a fantastic backdrop to a luxury wedding. Barns such as Pimhill Barn and The Grange Barn however, are much more of a blank canvas; therefore suit a variety of styles, including rustic and festival-themed.
Once you’ve chosen your style, you need to settle on a budget for your wedding. Something often missed when planning a barn wedding budget is that most of these venues are dry hire. This means you are only paying (and getting!) the use of the barn. £2500 may look like a cracking deal for a venue, but when you factor in the cost of feeding and watering your guests, it soon increases that spend! Before saying yes to your dream venue, research key areas like furniture hire, catering and décor to ensure your budget can accommodate. We usually budget £70-£150 per day guest for catering.
Budget looking great and perfect barn chosen; you are now ready to firmly put your date in the diary! As soon as you have confirmed your date with the venue, I’d recommend securing your caterer and bar first. They are arguably one of the most important suppliers for the day and you do not want to miss out on those you researched earlier. Next, you will want to secure furniture for your venue (unless you’ve got lucky and have it included!) There are some fantastic companies all over the UK that supplies a wide range of styles for your special day. Be sure to order extra tables for your cake and cards to go on and anything extra your suppliers may need!
Many dry hire barn venues do not operate with an events team and most do not appoint someone to oversee the whole day. This unsettles a lot of couples and can be off putting when searching for a dry hire venue. However, fear not! This is where a wedding planner comes in! We don’t just plan weddings, we manage them too! A wedding planner will become your own personal events team on the day of your wedding, ensuring your day runs smoothly, to time and any hiccups are resolved discreetly and efficiently. This is a service I offer and I would say 80% of our Wedding Day Management bookings take place in dry hire barns.
Lighting is often something that is missed when planning a barn wedding and it can create such a dramatic change to the look of your day. Uplighting trees around the venue, the walls inside, hanging fairy lights and festoon lights around the barn are all effortless ways of really highlighting the beauty of the venue. While you’re discussing lighting with your production company, be sure to also discuss audio options. Nobody wants to be shouting their speech across the barn or sat in silence during dinner! Alternatively, if you are having live music, you can ask if the band would be able to provide an amp and speaker system for you to use earlier in the day.
Finally, always make sure you have a bad weather contingency plan. Many barn venues utilize the outdoor space around them and you can often find couples and their guests relaxing in the courtyard or in a nearby field when the weather is nice. However, we live in the UK, beautiful sunshine is never promised and that is why we always need a back up plan! In the past we have used tipis attached to the barn, separate smaller barns and stretch tents as ways to keep couples and guests dry.
If this sounds like too much planning but you still want that incredible show stopping barn wedding, please head on over to Amy Roberts to view my portfolio and discuss how we can turn your ideas into a reality.