When choosing a wedding venue of any kind there are a lot of things to keep in mind, but booking a barn venue comes with a unique set of features to look for due to the often very old and historical nature of the structures themselves and the fact that well….they really weren’t built to hold weddings in. But the very things that can make them a challenge, are what make them cozy and nostalgic places to hold special celebrations. Below I will highlight some of the important things to be on the look out for and keep in mind while selecting your barn venue, while showing off some images from PS We Capture Love of one of my favorite barns the incredible Historic John P. Furber Farm.
Heating and Cooling
This may seem very un-glamorous but a 100 degree day in June is going to seem really un-glam if you’re planning to put 200 people in a barn that does not have adequate cooling available. Depending on the construction of the barn, it may naturally keep itself cool by the use of cross ventilation using doors and windows, if this is the case keep that in mind when planning decor as there will (hopefully) be a breeze in the space. The owners of Furber put in air conditioning when they overhauled their space so it stays LOVELY even on the warmest days. Alternatively, on those gorgeous 40 below zero days we are so lucky to experience here in MN it is important to know what options are available for heating the space as well and if there is extra cost associated with those methods such as propane for propane heaters etc.
Is there prep space for YOU, your fiancé, your bridal party? This is important if you would like to be on site all day (also be sure to check the time you’re allowed to arrive at your barn for hair and makeup). Is there any area at all reserved for your caterer? Is there space for your florist or decorator or you to stash containers/boxes/allthethings so that your wedding can be easily broken down at the end of the night? These are just a few things to think about when looking at barn venues.
The bridal suite at Furber Farm is ev-ery-thing you could want in a bridal suite. Seriously. I’ve threatened to move in several times.
Many barns are in extremely picturesque locations so often they also come with beautiful spaces to hold your ceremony. Things to think about when looking at a barn venue include; seating for guests (is it included /available or do you need rentals), is there power for sound, is there a covered space available incase of inclement weather, is the terrain suitable for all guests, will the sun be in you or your guests eyes at the time you want your ceremony? Remember that pretty doesn’t always mean perfect.
Our winter bride made use of the indoor flexibility at Fuber Farm to hold her ceremony indoors and then guests headed up to the second level for cocktails while the team flipped the room to a gorgeous reception space.
Barn venues can sometimes present a tricky environment for caterers. From odd prep space to no prep space, no running water, no electricity in the prep space, outdoor buffet lines, tight squeezes for serving, etc. If a venue has an established list of caterers it prefers, it’s important to take a look at those options and I highly recommend choosing one from that list. This makes things easy further down the road and will prevent unpleasant situations on the day of the wedding. There is also sometimes a need to have the caterer provide water for the guests as part of their NA beverage services and that is something you will want to note in advance. You will also want to discuss bar/liquor as you’re looking at barns as all of them have different policies. Bottom line…A preferred caterer has worked in the space and has already mastered the logistics of the barn. PS- if you’re getting married at Furber Farm or even thinking about it…..This Little Piggy is a bomb option from their required caterer A’Bri’Tin because well….MAC AND CHEESE….believe me that’s all you need to know.
Tables, chairs, linens, lighting, set up, etc. All of these things may or may not come with your venue rental fee. So these are things you want to consider while taking a look at the barn venue of your dreams. At Furber, they have beautiful wooden tables which look great with no linens at all or can be covered if the wood isn’t your style.
My bride left the tables bare and used wine bottles from special occasions in the relationship as vases for the beautiful florals from Sweet Peas Floral. The groom’s last name is Roth so naturally some of the Roth brand wine bottles had to make it into the decor!
As a wedding planner I talk about restrooms more than I ever expected too, but duty calls (lol). Indoor plumbing is definitely not something that was installed in most barns that are now wedding venues…but most have addressed this situation by adding some type of facilities. Check them out to make sure you’re ok with whatever the facilities may be from indoor plumbing to portable units.
So there you have it loves. A few things to think about when searching for the big, beautiful, barn of your dreams! There are certainly an incredible amount of them in the state of MN, each with their own unique features and story. Which is part of what makes them such incredible spaces for weddings!
And without further ado….the usual overshare of amazing images from Tori and Sam’s amazing wedding day:
Big thanks to Tori and Sam for letting Amber Terese Events be a part of their very special barn wedding, and to John P. Furber Farm for being so incredible to work with/at/in 😉
venue | Historic John P. Furber Farm
coordination | Amber Terese Weddings & Events
photography | PS We Capture Love
floral | Sweet Peas Floral
catering | This Little Piggy (A’Bri’Tin)
bar | Hitch & Sip
dj | Adagio
gown | Posh Bridal