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Everything You Need To Know About Planning A Barn Wedding

by Abbie Lawson

Barn weddings are very popular. Couples love their rustic charm and casual elegance. The juxtaposition of sparkling chandeliers against the backdrop of decades-old timber appeals to the modern wedding aesthetic. There are many things to consider, however, before you sign on the dotted line and commit to hosting your big day in a barn.


Barns are typically located in rural areas. If you or the majority of your wedding guests live in the big city, your barn wedding may be too far of a drive and could force some guests to book a hotel room. While there is nothing wrong with a destination wedding, the distance your guests will have to drive to attend your big day is something you should definitely consider.  


While some barns are built for the sole purpose of hosting big events, like your wedding, others started life as a working barn. Parking may not have figured into the planning. Ask the site's wedding coordinator about parking for your guests. You want to know how many cars they can easily accommodate, where the parking lot is located, and how guests are expected to travel from the parking area to the ceremony site. You do not want your guests to be forced to trek through a muddy field in the rain. 

Commercial Kitchen

Whether you are planning on a formal, sit-down dinner for 300 or a strolling hors d'oeuvres party for 125, you need access to a commercial kitchen for your catering staff. If you have a caterer picked out, ask what their requirements are for a kitchen. If you do not have a caterer yet, ask the barn's wedding coordinator for a list of caterers that have worked on-site before.


While most modern barn wedding venues are climate-controlled, ask for specifics. You want to secure a location that not only has heat for a winter wedding but also air condition for summer heatwaves. In fact, ceiling fans to circulate the air are helpful for airflow year-round. 

Rain Alternative

Many couples plan for a ceremony on the grounds, either in a nearby meadow or under a towering oak tree. While this plan may fit all your romantic notions of a barn wedding, you need to have a rain backup. While no couple wants rain on their wedding day, your barn wedding site needs to have a contingency plan. 

A barn wedding can be the rustic, romantic wedding of your dreams if you ask the right questions and select the right location for you and your guests.