Planning a barn wedding can be a fun endeavor but it also can be a challenge. Thanks to women of Rambling House, a New Hampshire based event company, we have some valuable lessons for hosting a barn or outdoor wedding. If you missed the post that these ladies did on ways to keep the kids at your wedding entertained you will have to check it out for sure.
1. Beware the weather
While not every bride and groom will be holding a wedding in New England, where the weather changes on a whim, any outdoor event should be planned with the season and forecast in mind, and a general flexibility for weather surprises. When you’re setting up, keep the following in mind:
- Inclement weather? Always try to have a Plan B lined up! We always promote positive thinking, but we applaud careful preparation. Does the tent have sides that can be rolled down, to avoid wet linens and guests? Is there a designated dry-zone for the band or DJ?
- Depending on the season, do you need space heaters for temperature change? What if it’s too hot? Make the programs into personal fans in the case of a hot afternoon.
- Will it be buggy? Consider an all-natural mosquito control visit to get the venue space misted before the wedding.
2. Consider comfort
While many guests love the laid-back atmosphere of a barn or outdoor wedding, you should always take special note of the comfort of the elderly and young children. Keep in mind seating, access to the venue, and the weather. For example, while quilt-covered hay bales are a creative and pretty seating choice, will they be too low and lack in back support for the older folk? Where is the barn? If it sits in a beautiful field, how long is the walk? What is the terrain like? Will new mothers have difficulty trekking to the tent or barn with their small children? What’s the weather going to be like? Heat exhaustion should not be on your guest list.
3. Keep things fresh
If you’re having an outdoor wedding, you must consider “freshness.” Flowers are apt to wilt, and food can become soggy in the humidity or expire in heat. If you’re doing the setup and décor yourself, consider creating a timeline: in order for everything to be ready for your guests at the reception, the area must be set up before the ceremony. Consider keeping the flowers somewhere cool until the last minute, and have a plan for keeping food covered and at the right temperatures. With a little bit of planning everything will look and taste perfect for the big day.
4. Stay in “power”
While there will be plenty of electricity between the bride and groom, there probably isn’t enough to keep things running. Every outdoor wedding should have three dedicated circuits, as to not blow out the power for the entire reception: one for the band, one for the lights, and one for the coffee. (We’re serious about that last one. Don’t mess with the coffee reserves.)
5. Guide the way
Unless you plan on reserving stables for the guests, consider the logistics of transportation. If the ceremony and reception are at different locations, how will your guests get from one to the other, and then back to their hotels? Will there be room for parking at your barn venue? Will your guests have to walk? Will you hire an end of the night shuttle? A horse-drawn wagon from a parking lot to the reception venue could be a nice touch.
6. Above all, relax!
You don’t need to do everything you planned. With a venue like this, the structure and the natural setting will lend themselves to the décor. Give attention to detail, but don’t spread yourself thin or extend yourself beyond your skillsets; in doing so, it is easy for rustic to cross the line into kitsch. Remember, you chose a barn wedding because it is the perfect venue for a low-key, relaxed reception.
Get your hands dirty and have fun! All of these photos are from a barn wedding that we designed this past summer.
Rambling House – Rambling House is an event and food design company that specializes in personalized event décor and unique culinary products with a local focus. A traditional Irish “Rambling House” is a family home where localsgather to share in good conversation, storytelling, and song and dance. We strive to bring that spirit of community, tradition, and celebration together with each personal touch we add to your event, from handmade décor to our quality dishes produced from local food sources. Above all, our mission is to make your family and friends feel right at home. Visit Rambling House Events on Facebook.
Rambling House is an event and food design company that specializes in personalized event décor and unique culinary products with a local focus.
Sources – photography: Jazz Martin