Barns are increasing in popularity as wedding venues, and it’s not really surprising; the simple charm and understated appeal of the settings make them perfect for decorating to personal tastes, while their rural surroundings are ideal for beautiful photos of the big day.
Essentially a blank canvas, a barn can be decorated in a wide variety of ways, catering for all tastes. For some ideas on getting a barn ready for your nuptials, read on.
The design of barns as wide open spaces with bare decor lends itself well to a minimalist-style wedding, where the main feature of the venue is the building itself. Historical barns with traditional features like old stone and wooden beams ooze understated charm and can help focus everyone’s attention exactly where you want it.
You might decide to dress the venue with a few statement elements, rather than go all out with drapes everywhere and crystals hanging from the ceiling. A floral arch at the end of the aisle, a single white rose in a tubular holder at the end of each row of seating and some fairy lights in the rafters may be all that’s necessary to decorate the venue for the ceremony, and you can keep things simple for the reception too, using white as your backdrop and accessorising with elegant but understated pieces and a little colour.
Barns traditionally have a rustic appearance, which means they are ideal for a vintage wedding. You could decorate the venue with handmade bunting, lace drapes and flowers in vintage shades like dusky pink and cornflower blue, placing mismatched teacup stacks in the centre of dining tables atop patchwork tablecloths.
Strings of pearls, antiquated bird cages and enamel brooches can all give the barn more of a vintage twist, so poke around your local charity shops and haberdashery stores to pick up bits and pieces for little outlay.
For a sleek and sophisticated barn wedding, choose a venue that has been modernised. This will usually mean the barn looks rustic externally, but has had elements added, such as a reinforced glass window on one side, or a conservatory extension. Inside, the barn will often have been made over to reflect modern standards, and you can add to the sophistication with glamorous decorations.
Think silver or gold, and materials like glass to really add glamour to your celebration. Crystal champagne flutes with gilt edging, shimmering gold trim on crisp white tablecloths, and gold plate captured in glass vases and filled with flowers can be ideal for dressing tables at the reception. Silver, meanwhile, is perfectly complemented by diamonds, so cover tables with diamante-strewn tablecloths and scatter handfuls of clear glass pendants around your centrepieces.
Relaxed and Rustic
If you want your wedding day to be relaxed and informal, a barn is ideal. Often set in the midst of the countryside, you could get your guests to dress appropriately in more casual clothing than they would for a more formal venue. Get everyone involved in your big day by asking friends and relatives to help you make decorations and give proceedings an informal, homemade feel.
You could blow up some pastel-coloured giant balloons to place in a rustic wedding barn, and hang garlands of old silk scarves tied together around the barn’s pillars or rafters. Avoid dressing chairs for the ceremony, leaving their wood on show and perhaps accentuating it with a simple sage of burlap tied around each and finished with a wildflower.