By Debora Gordon
Barn weddings give you so many great elements: a gorgeous outdoor space for the ceremony, romance, sweeping country views, and a charmingly rustic reception space that is gorgeous AND keeps the possibility of rain from being a huge concern. Barn weddings are the whole package for brides looking for a little something different. Now, finding a barn to use can seem pretty simple — your grandparents or a neighbor may have a barn that they’re more than happy to let you transform into a fairytale wedding space! There are, however, some things you should consider before selecting just any barn for your wedding venue.
Is parking easily accessible and what are the options if it rains? A field full of cars could turn into a muddy mess! You might consider hiring a transportation company that can drop off and pick up guests at your chosen venue.
Does the property have ample electricity? Make sure your venue has dedicated circuits for entertainment. There is nothing worse than to go dark during the reception!
What type of lighting will you have for your event? Bistro lighting provides great visibility, and there are lighting designers to help make your event perfect. They can light the poles, beams, etc. with LED lights to add a little romance. Just be sure to consult with the venue to see if there is ample power available.
Does the venue have handicap-accessible bathrooms? It is so important to have these things for anyone with disabilities. Plus, brides appreciate a large, clean bathroom for their beautiful gowns!
Are there plans in case it is extremely warm outside? Bugs, birds and critters enjoy warm weather (and the food and cake)! Make sure your event planner and caterer have a plan to deter the outside elements as much as possible.
What does your caterer need at the venue? Communicate with the caterer to be sure that they can prepare the menu you want with the amenities available at your venue.
What is provided by the venue? Make sure you know everything that is included in your contract. That way, if you have to rent a tent, tables, chairs or anything else you can adjust the allocation of your budget.
Who will be obtaining the ABC license? If you are serving alcohol, you must have one. You can talk with your caterer about whether you or they will be supplying it. It is dependent upon who is supplying the alcohol. If you do decide to take the risk, minimize it and get a supplemental $1 million liquor liability policy for your wedding day. Make sure your caterer has a bartender to serve (as opposed to having one of your friends or family members serve) to limit your liability.
When planning your outdoor barn or farm wedding, it is helpful to know the do’s and don’ts from others who have been there and done that. Do your research – you may find it easier to use a barn venue that specializes in weddings rather than using just any barn!
Debora Gordon is the Owner of Fairview Farm Events, 30 minutes west of Midlothian Virginia For more information visit www.fairviewfarmevents.com.
Photos courtesy of Lisa Ross Photography