10 Things to Ask When Visiting Barn Venues

1) Do you have bathrooms?

Most barn venues do not have restrooms and require that you rent porter potties. Before you jump to conclusions and move on to another location you may want to research porter potties as there are rentals designed specifically for upscale events.


2) Do you have a photographer recommendation?

Having a photographer that is familiar with the location has many benefits. The photographer will feel more comfortable shooting at your venue and will know all of the best spots to get the best results from your photos.


3) Do you have any decor restrictions?

Many barn venues do not allow candles, and have locations that you can not decorate as they may become a fire hazards. Be sure to ask what is allowed. You wouldn’t want to get your heart set on candlestick centerpieces only to find out you can’t use them.


4) Is there a time we have to stop loud music by?

At most venues hotel and barn alike loud music has to stop by 10 or 11pm to avoid disrupting locals and neighbors.


5) Where will the caterer set up?

Caterers have lots of luggage to store, food to heat, and assemble before it is served. They need a space to be able to take care of these needs out of the space of guests. It is important to know they have a place to be able to do this, otherwise you may be required to rent a catering tent.


6) How many guests can the barn hold?

You may be surprised that barns often don’t hold as many people as you think. While it is open and spacious when you visit things get crowded quick with food tables, and a dance floor. It is not uncommon to see those having barn weddings renting a tent for dinner and having dancing and drinks in the barn.


7) Do you have any partnerships with rental companies?

Very few barn venues have tables, chairs, and linens available for use so you will have to rent these items. If a venue requires you to use a certain company or can recommend one you might get a special discount because of the location.


8) Are their any required vendors?

Some venue locations require you to use their preferred vendors. This can raise the costs of the wedding especially if they are more expensive than you prefer to go with.

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9) How long will we have to set up?

3 or 4 days of barn usage is suggested for set up and tear down. You won’t want the added stress leading up to your wedding if there is limited time to get ready.

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10) What is the history of the barn?

Most site managers will tell you this on your visit but don’t forget to find out. Knowing the history of a venue can make it even more charming and you might even have a special connection to the history.

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pictures from Pinterest.com


The Barn at Silver Oaks Estate

all photo credits to Bonnie Harrison Photography
This Summer I had the privilege to take part in styling a shoot at the new Barn at Silver Oaks Estate in Winthrop Maine. Veronica, and her husband Gene, are the owners and creative artists behind this rustic chic wedding venue. A couple years ago you would not have recognized this barn but the two have poured their lives into turning the old barn into a thriving business.
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The 10 acre property includes a ceremony alter, a bar, bridal boudoir, bon fire pit, and views of Maranacook Lake. There is plenty of space for your extended family to join in the celebration. The barn itself can seat up to 400 guests and with 10 acres there is plenty of room for lawn games and other outside activities.
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The attention to detail that Veronica has brought to the space and business is something to admire. Not only is the Barn at Silver Oaks bringing tourism to Winthrop but special efforts have been made to recruit local vendors and new businesses to partner with the venue. This Fall the couple hosted a wedding show and invited vendors to display free of charge.

If you are looking at having a barn wedding in 2018 or beyond don’t hesitate to check this awesome space out as spaces are filling up fast.

Wedding Barns; a Non-Traditional Alternative

Wedding Barns; a Non-Traditional Alternative

The average twenty first century bride has much more to consider when planning her wedding than her mother did. Forty years ago it was not uncommon for weddings to be held in the house of the bride’s parents. Cake and punch would commonly be served afterwards to the small crowd. Today’s modern bride wants more than just a pretty dress and a semi-edible wedding cake.
Today weddings are all about personalization. You can’t blame her, there are just so many options. First you pick your colors and than you pick stationary, flowers, a guest book, the list could go on forever.

The modern bride is faced between picking between a vintage globe or a personalized puzzle for the guests to sign as an alternative to the book.

For some it is because they genuinely enjoy making each and every piece of their big day special and representative of them as a couple, some brides have the pressures of their friends weddings to live up to, and most see all the pretty options on the internet of what their wedding could look like and cling to these ideas.
The modern bride is fluent in all things Instagram, Facebook, and of course Pinterest. Pinterest, being the biggest wedding site, is like a personalized never ending wedding magazine that does the clipping for you. Yes, wedding barns are all over these channels, but why exactly have they grown to this level of popularity? Wedding barns are almost completely customizable.

Most of these barn venues are simply a building and a piece of land versus the common hotel reception with included chairs, catering, and the same wallpaper to match every Saturday’s wedding. Do you see my point? Most barns are a blank slate inside and purple drapes hanging in a barn won’t clash like it would with the red paisley wall paper at the hotel.
Wedding barns are often owned by locals of the couple. The average price of a wedding in the United States is $26,645. Many couples are conscious of the fact that they have the opportunity to support many small business in the market of their wedding.

Paying a hefty price for a wedding venue might just be a little easier when paid to a local business rather than just another Marriott. Couples feel a much stronger connection to a barn than a hotel utilized by thousands.

Many wedding barns have a very charming historical past and some are beautifully restored to mirror their original state.
Some other benefits to a barn wedding might be the photo opportunities, they are kid friendly, or that cocktail hour might include a wild game of corn hole to entertain the uncles.

While they might not include bathrooms I don’t think barn weddings are a fad that is going out anytime soon. Weddings are becoming more and more unique and personalized and barn venues cater to this very desire of many.


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