I lOVE a barn wedding and they are a common choice for country loving couples. There are though misconceptions that once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all. There are so many different options out there including some truly unique locations. I’ve written this article to help you navigate your way through the decision making process.
Is a barn wedding for you?
You may still be undecided as to whether a barn wedding is suitable for you. I have previously discussed about choosing a venue type which may help you.
In general though barn weddings suit country loving couples who want to be in the great outdoors. There are hip, funky modern barns and historic rustic barns. So don’t write them all off if you’re not a boho couple!
As you can probably imagine the majority of barns are located in the country side, and most on a farm in some form. Some are more accessible than others but accessibility is important. But don’t think farm has to be rustic. Many have had undergone complete renovations, no longer are they working farms, now they are high end gorgeous venues. Others can be found on the grounds of country houses, or even more commercial locations such as golf courses! No two barns are the same, you really should investigate each one individually.
If a fair way out of town you will have to check and possibility book transport options for guests to allow them to enjoy a drink or two. You could hire a coach to bring guests from a local town at the beginning of the day and return them at the end of the night. Or you could just find somewhere with accommodation on site or camping options. You may be surprised by how many offer accommodation options of some sort.
Full service or dry hire?
As with all venue types you will get a range of services. Most of the higher end barns, notably those with licences will offer a complete bespoke service but there are more options for blank canvas dry hire venues, especially if you don’t mind those which are a bit more rustic. Think car parks in fields! This doesn’t mean they aren’t amazing venues. In fact anything but, they just offer more flexibility to put your personal stamp on the day. For more about dry hire venues read my previous blog.
Historic or Industrial
As mentioned above barn venues come in all manner of forms, some you wouldn’t even think as as barns in the traditional sense.
Take the Barn at Avington in Hampshire. There isn’t a wooden beam in sight! The industrial metal framed barn along with clean white walls has immense versatility.
But if wood is your thing Silchester Farm is gorgeous. Beautiful styling which has had a lot of thought put into it.
A different take is a venue like Kingsettle Stud where the stables and surrounding barn have been converted into a wedding venue whilst retaining key features. The old internal stables remain, as do elements of the harness room which doubles as a chill out and social room. The semi open air cobbled corner even houses a disco ball. It may look out of place when walking round of an average day, but works perfectly for a wedding to dance the night away on a summer’s evening.
Space to get ready
In general the higher end a barn venue the more likely there is also accommodation on site that can be utilised for preparations. Lots of barn weddings venues though don’t have preparation space. If your preferred venue doesn’t make sure you are either close to home or can find a suitable alternative close by.
Given the location of most barns you will struggle to be without beautiful surroundings. Serene country lanes, woodland, grassland, fields and more could well be at your disposal. Some more unique venues like the Lamer Tree which is a modern barn like structure includes some other amazing focal points like their historical stage (pictured).
A bigger consideration will be what wet weather contingencies are available. Beautiful countryside is great, but if the British climate throws a blinder and you can’t get outdoors is there anywhere for photos? More importantly is there sufficient space for your guests to mingle, especially if a room change round is required?
Wish list barn wedding venues
I’m not going to lie, I have some wish list barn wedding venues I would love to shoot weddings at in the future, especially as I am now as good as based in Devon just south of Exeter (under 6 weeks as of early January). If you are planning a wedding at any of these venues I would love to hear from you. But equally I would love to hear about you country barn wedding whatever the venue, as I am yet to discover some of the best hidden gems. As always I am also happy to travel outside of the area as well.
Somerset Barn Wedding Venues
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