Having your wedding on a farm means that you don’t have to stick to the traditional “cookie-cutter” type wedding. Whether you want a wedding for 20 or 200 people, you can customize it any way you’d like. From elegant to rustic, farm weddings are a great way to show off the couple’s combined styles and personalities. Your farm wedding can be as laid-back or as formal as you want it,
What makes the barn venue search fun, is there is something for everyone. Some barn venues are brand new facilities and some are historical and there is so much more to know than most realize. So the question is what do you need to know should you choose a barn wedding venue? We’ve come up with the 5 key questions you’ll need to answer to pick the perfect barn wedding venue for your wedding day.
You need to have an idea of what size wedding you are going to have or you will not be able to pick a venue confidently. No firm count is needed to look at venues, but one of the first questions the venue will ask a couple is how many guests you’ll be hosting. Having a rough idea of your wedding size — whether it be 60, 125 or 300 guests — will allow you to cross venues off your list without having to go look at them in person since almost every venue lists their facility size online.
Plenty of Space.
Most Barn venues offer almost unlimited space and often sit upon large farmlands with acres upon acres of usable event space. Expansive lawns not only give you a sense of spaciousness, they also provide room for your guests to move around.
Even if you have a never-ending guest list, some barn venues can accommodate all your family, friends and more. Many wedding barns also have enough parking space for all your guests too. So, there's no danger of getting a parking ticket mid-way through the ceremony!
And, with an abundance of space inside and outside, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy the rural setting of your barn wedding. Swings and slides will keep the little ones entertained while the adults mingle. Lawn games such as jumbo checkers and horseshoes are great ways to have fun outside for both adults and children.
Those country settings typically mean there's plenty of room for exterior bars and appetizer carts. This means that your guests can socialize while enjoying the scenery at the same time. Also, if there are any guests who don't get along the larger wedding venue means that there's less chance of them running into each other. Less drama more fun.
It will be special even if it rains.Of course, in an ideal world, it would never rain on your wedding day. The best part about having your wedding venue at a place like Lakota’s Farm is that no matter what you can rest assured knowing you will have a gorgeous ceremony rain or shine! Should the skies decide to open up on your wedding day you can always move things inside one of the barns. WHich of course leads us to the next question.
Is the inside of the Barn big enough to move the ceremony indoors or do they have a covered area to move the ceremony to? If the barn or covered area doesn’t have walls, do they have a way to shield rain from blowing in from the sides? Again, you have enough things on your mind, praying for perfect weather shouldn’t be one of them. Choose a rustic venue that also can handle a rainy day with ease.
Nearly 60% of all wedding ceremonies in the United States are held outside. And for most times of the year in Upstate NY, outdoor ceremonies go off without a hitch. Sometimes the couple is so enamored by the venue that they ignore this fundamental question. Make sure you ask yourself if the barn you’re looking at has a rainy day plan.
A full-service barn venue usually offers everything you’ll need for the big day. If a venue is full-service that means they also provide you with Day-of- Coordination wedding planning. Day-of-Coordination involves taking care of all the logistical details of the wedding on the day of the wedding itself.
Not to mention, your wedding day is one of the most memorable of your life, but it can also be stressful. You want everyone to have a good time and you want things to run smoothly. Your D-O-C can be anywhere from 2 or 3 team members, orchestrating the details of your entire day. They will manage your vendors, venues, timeline and all the nitty-gritty details that go into planning a wedding. An experienced wedding planner is going to be familiar with the best local wedding vendors to fit your style and budget.
While Barns are supposed to be rustic, you don’t want them to be THAT rustic! Most barn venues that do not have indoor plumbing (or enough of it) will require you to rent port-o-potties or those portable restroom trailers. And while those can be a suitable alternative, they usually cost an additional $1,000-$3,000 per day, and if it is raining, what a mess it can be for your guests to have to use the facilities in an outhouse rather than inside the Barn. Your best bet, of course, is to choose a Barn that has indoor plumbing.
This will assure that you have indoor bathrooms and sinks for you and your guests, running water for you and your vendors, and most importantly water for your caterers and the cooking facility catering area.
You may already have a budget finalized that you need to work within. Chances are, it’s slightly lower than what’s needed for the perfect wedding of your dreams. Farm weddings are typically what vendors would consider an “off-premise” event, meaning you will need to bring in or rent many extras. Because of this you will need to set aside extra $$$ for a farm wedding. This goes for any venue that isn't “full service” — but especially for barn wedding venues.
In order to nail down your budget, you will need to know what the venue includes in their rental price and what will you need to be responsible for.
-Does the barn have a generator and bathrooms, or will I need to rent them?
-Does the barn include, the tables, chairs, dishes and other extras.
-Is the dance-floor and ceremony set-up included?
-For those early May and late October/November weddings, is the barn heated?
-Am I responsible for cleaning-up or is it included?
-Does the barn have adequate electrical service and outlets throughout?
Does it have a place for the caterers to cook and prepare the food?
If any of these items are not included you will need a plan to get them on site. You will need to consider the additional costs of renting generators and lighting. Tables, chairs, catering tents, a backup tent for the ceremony, vendor tents, a commercial cleaning of the barn and access to water and perimeter lighting. Not to make you nervous but one more thing to consider: make sure the barn is licensed and insured to be open to the public.
Even with the best budget set in place you usually end up needing more than you thought and more of each item than you expected. Rather than choosing a venue that has the lowest base price and does not include the items above, you are better off choosing a farm that is well equipped with all or at least many of those items.
It may seem counterintuitive but in some cases choosing the more expensive venue up front can save you money in the end.*************************************************************************
My advice to you is to breathe, enjoy the process and just always remember it is still a farm. Even though a venue like Lakota’s Farm is a state of the art barn venue, we are still a 248 year old farm. ~ Warmly, Kimberly Finney www.lakotasweddingbarn.com
Written by contributing writer, Kimberly Finney