14 Barn Wedding Venue Ideas Every Bride Should Know

Feature image by Kelsey Frey Photography

From breathtaking photography backdrops to fresh-picked florals, a barn wedding venue can be the perfect place for a rustic and romantic wedding. Whether couples want a laid-back, boho-chic atmosphere or a high-end, Southern-charm aesthetic, anything is possible!

If you’re interested in learning more about all the possibilities that come with a barn wedding, Port Farms, northern Pennsylvania’s premier barn wedding venue, has compiled this list of ideas to help enhance your special day.

1. Styled Invitations

Styled invitations give your guests a little glimpse of what to expect at your wedding. Neutral colors, floral details, and tasteful illustrations of the barn itself can give your friends and family a peek at your day-of aesthetics. Plus, your guests will welcome the heads-up when dressing themselves for your big day.

2. Embrace the Season

If you live in the northeastern region of the U.S., you’ll probably agree that winter isn’t a great time to have an outdoor-themed wedding. But spring, summer, and fall come to life with beautiful florals, enchanting skyscapes, and bursts of natural color. With so much beauty in the landscape, you can minimize your decor for a clean, natural look or upscale it with personalized additions and features to lean into all the seasons have to offer.

3. On-Site Rehearsal Dinner

We all know the pre-wedding schedule can be stressful, but having your rehearsal dinner at your wedding venue can save you a lot of headache. You’ll eliminate the need to make one more dinner reservation for a large party and better understand how your wedding day will flow. Don’t be shy about checking with your hosts to see if there’s space for the wedding party to stay the night at the farm. If there’s space, it’s likely there for you to use.

4. Get Ready in the Farm House

Having the entire wedding party together on the big day is essential, but keeping it all on-site offers a more relaxed, easy experience for all involved. Invite your hairstylists and makeup artists, pop open a bottle of bubbly, and let the celebration begin the moment you arrive on site.

Wedding party standing on bridge over small stream surrounded by green meadows

5. Dazzling Photography Backdrops

Whether your location has rolling hills, gorgeous meadows, or pristine farm views, barn weddings come equipped with a natural photo backdrop that makes every moment picture perfect. Your guest will enjoy exploring what the scenery has to offer, and you’ll be thankful to have so many memories that perfectly capture the joy of your wedding.

6. Create Your Own Aisle

Lean into your decor choices by creating your own aisle for you and your love to walk down. Floral edges, manicured hay bails, or barrel planters can help you maintain the rustic ambiance while highlighting your personal style.

7. Rustic Tablescapes

Go DIY with Mason jars and watering can bouquets, or let your florist get creative with a pure green tablescape. Add a few candle tapers at varying heights for the perfect balance of rustic decor and elegant touches. No matter the vibe, a beautiful table set in a wooden barn is sure to take your guests’ breath away.

8. Decorate with Greenery

Natural decor is the perfect accompaniment to a barn wedding. If you’re going for a minimalist style, we recommend soft greens to compliment the barn’s natural wood tones. If you want more color and excitement, consider working with a florist who uses locally sourced, fresh flowers to give your guests a different kind of farm-to-table experience.

Don’t forget: wreaths aren’t just for the holidays. A few floral wreaths on barn doors or walls can dress up the space in an instant.

9. Ambient Lighting

Twinkle lights, Edison bulbs, candles, and more. The soft lighting of a barn wedding keeps your celebration intimate and peaceful. Enjoy the natural glow of your day with lighting that matches your atmosphere and mood.

10. Creative Rentals

Consider renting vintage couches and chairs to create a lounge area for your guests. If the weather complies, you might consider setting up on the property for more outdoor options. Alternatively, reserve a small corner of the dance floor or standing area to drop a few welcoming couches and give your guests some time off their feet.

11. Family-Style Meals

Serve up a family-style meal, and your guests are sure to feel right at home. If you can, find a caterer who offers farm-to-table cuisine to really take the experience to the next level. Your friends and family will love the chance to get to know their tablemates, and you’ll maintain the authenticity of a barn wedding throughout the entire celebration.

12. DIY Photo Booth

A DIY photo booth is a fun, welcoming way to keep your guests entertained. You can hire a photographer to stay close by or let guests get creative with their own snapshots. Either way, you’ll end up with a scrapbook’s worth of photos to look back on.

13. Upscale Your Bar Area

It’s no secret that wedding guests love a good bar, so don’t be shy about dressing yours up for the evening. Whether it’s a rusted-out wheelbarrow full of beer (a beer barrow, if you will) or an old wooden canoe full of bottled water and soft drinks, there are many ways to get creative with your drink station. If you’re hiring a bar service for the evening, consider crafting a bar table out of old pallets, wooden ladders, or vintage tables.

14. Grow the Perfect Party Favors

If you have a favorite local flower, consider growing seed starters to give to your guests as party favors. Put them in simple clay pots, and they can double as placeholders for seating arrangements. And if you’re not a green thumb, don’t worry–instead, consider offering your guests seed packets so they can grow their own gardens as you grow your life as a happy couple.

Say “I Do” to a Barn Wedding

Barn weddings bridge the gap between indoor and outdoor weddings. You’ll have the peace of mind of knowing there can always be a roof over your head while also having the flexibility to enjoy an evening outdoors. The food, decor, and atmosphere can all be tailored to your tastes and preferences, ensuring your special day is just what you dreamed it would be.

If you’d like to learn more about hosting a barn wedding at Port Farms, check out our weddings page today. Alternatively, you can visit our website to see what Port Farms has to offer for you and your wedding guests to make your special day the best it can be.

8 Events You Can Host at a Farm

Many small farms have created a multi-functional event component to their business. This feature of some local farms, such as Port Farms, opens up a myriad of opportunities for people looking to make their next event stand out. From weddings and baby showers to corporate events and luncheon meetings, Port Farms lists eight events you can host at a farm.

1. Anniversary Parties

If you have an anniversary coming up, make it a celebration by finding a unique farm venue. Getting creative is a great way to keep the passion burning between you and your partner.

If you’re going by anniversary traditions, the fifth anniversary typically involves something wooden. Trees are a symbol of prosperity, strength, and wisdom. There is no better way to celebrate your fifth anniversary and recognize the significance of the day than with an event inside a wooden barn.

2. Baby Showers

If you’re looking to make a baby shower extra special, consider hosting it at a barn and having an engaging farm theme. Farms have a versatile setting that often allows you to have your event indoors, outdoors or both.

A couple having a pink-themed baby shower on a farm.

Depending on the season, you’ll want to book your barn/farm venue at least two months in advance. If your plan is in the heart of the summer, consider booking it three to four months ahead of time since you’ll be competing with the height of the wedding season. That said, you should also consider whether or not the farm offers cooler spaces or air conditioning.

3. Charity Events and Fundraisers

With the popularity of barn events, many farm owners have updated their amenities to ensure that they’re able to accommodate your vision, especially if you want a rustic barn vibe and an elegant evening. Such amenities include lighting, air conditioning, and plumbing. For companies and organizations looking for a space for their next charity event, a farm should be at the top of your consideration list.

Not only will it make your event stand out, but you’ll also be helping out a local farm! While it may seem like a small gesture to work with a small business, it makes a big difference. Currently, many locally-owned American Farms are in crisis mode due to extensive commercial farming and automation.

4. Classes and Workshops

Are you looking for a unique venue to host your growing classes and workshops? A barn can hold a significant number of people while still maintaining an element of closeness that is often necessary for instruction. From gardening and homesteading to creating a healthy corporate culture and improving leadership skills, we’ve seen classes and workshops about almost everything! Our spacious land and events barn allow for a wide range of activities to take place.

Woman in white t-shirt and red and white plaid pants holding brown and white bird.

The length of workshops vary considerably. According to the University of Kansas, a short workshop is between 45-90 minutes, medium-length is 90 minutes-3 hours, and long is 3+ hours. Port Farms can accommodate a range of class times — from short to half-day sessions, all the way to to all-day sessions.

5. Corporate Events, Luncheons, and Meetings

Need to get out of the office and stretch your legs? Your local farm will provide you with the perfect opportunity to get back to nature and out of the confines of a cubicle. Here at Port Farms, we offer a number of team-building activities that will inspire creativity and get your team pumped for the upcoming work season.

Should you choose Port Farms for your next corporate event or luncheon, know that you’ll have the option to enjoy a catered, farm-fresh meal. Just give us a shout, and we’ll do the rest.

6. Weddings and Wedding Showers

Most farms have a barn on the property, but not all are created equal or fit the same purpose. We at Port Farms have designed our barn in such a way to make it a perfect place to have your wedding. From the rustic look of the wood to the venue’s picturesque views, all of a farm’s features add charm to your special day.

Bride, groom, groomsmen and bridesmaids exiting a barn

But don’t feel like just because farms are out in the country that the wedding itself has to be country-themed. You can dress up or dress down as much as your heart desires.

7. Family Reunions

There’s nothing quite like coming together for a family reunion. On top of coordinating the time and date, determining the right location can be challenging, especially if you have a large number of people to accommodate — or even a smaller number of pickier people.

Farms can often accommodate small to large groups and offer affordable packages. Farm venues are exceptional for providing a relaxing, laid-back atmosphere where everyone can simply enjoy the company of their loved ones.

8. Field Trips

What better way to get kids engaged in their education than to take them to an outdoor learning farm? According to a study conducted by Emilyn Ruble Whitesell, Ph.D. at NYU Steinhardt, students who went on and participated in a science-based field trip improved their state test scores.

Young children investigating animals while on a field trip at a farm.

Field trips often provide students with a few hours—or even a full day—of relaxation while still ensuring that they’re learning along the way. Not only can field trips increase a student’s knowledge of a particular subject or experience, but they may also create new memories and friendships to last a lifetime.

Plan Your Next Event at Port Farms!

If you’ve been searching endlessly for a destination that will accommodate all of your needs, look no further than Port Farms. From a timbered barn venue with air conditioning and electricity to spacious land available for a number of different events and activities, we have it all. For more information on what we have to offer, subscribe to our newsletter or get in touch by filling out our contact form!

7 Factors that Impact the Cost of a Barn Wedding

From a barn’s exposed wood to the venue’s pastoral views, there is a clear reason why barn weddings are becoming so popular. They’re romantic, rustic, and picturesque. And they’re also perfect for couples who want to showcase their DIY-skills.

But if you’ve started researching venues, you’ve probably noticed that barn weddings, while seemingly simple, come with their own set of complications. Does the venue have electricity? Are there bathrooms? Is the barn climate controlled?

You’ve probably also noticed a significant difference in costs between venues. Simply put: The more amenities the barn has, the higher the price. But, the more amenities the barn has, the less you’ll be renting to bring on-site.

To help make your wedding planning a little easier, Port Farms reviews seven important factors to consider when it comes to the cost of barn weddings, what we feel is essential to have, and finally, a venue that we think fits the bill.

1. Air Conditioning and Heating

Many barn venues don’t have heating and air conditioning. Because of this, both the wedding and reception must be planned according to the weather and season. The lack of A/C and heat in most barn venues is also why they get booked in late spring and early fall as the temperature and weather are milder.

Unfortunately, this means that many couples miss out on the opportunity to hold a barn wedding in fear of guests being too hot or cold. But when venues have heating and air conditioning accommodations, the options for when your wedding can expand significantly.

But if barn venues do have these features, the upfront price point will be higher. Keep in mind that if you can budget accordingly, heating and air conditioning are well worth it because it widens the window of when you can host your wedding and help you ensure your guests are comfortable when celebrating your big day. There are few things more uncomfortable than wearing a full suit in the heart of the summer, getting your makeup done while wiping sweat from your forehead, or on the flip side, shivering in your dress in heels because it’s blistering cold. And, you won’t be asking yourselves whether you should be thinking of renting heat lamps or fans to accommodate your guests.

2. Restrooms

Like heating and a/c, in-door plumbing isn’t a feature common in many barns. In fact, barn venues often utilize portable toilets or restroom trailers for weddings. And these are no cheap dates, with prices ranging from $300 to $15,000 depending on the units you choose to rent.

If you find a barn venue with bathrooms, consider booking it. You may even be able to save money and have a better experience by eliminating the need for portable toilets and restroom trailers that tend to be more costly and kind of an eyesore. Remember, you want the bathrooms to blend in, not stand out!

3. Decorations

Decorations are an integral part of setting the scene for both the wedding and reception. ValuePenguin has estimated that for floral arrangements alone, couples spend about $2,141. Of course, though, the price will fluctuate depending on the type of flowers chosen and the number of arrangements.

Port Farms indoor barn wedding reception decorations

Other wedding decoration costs, as Zola reports, are:

  • Centerpieces: $50 to $500 per table
  • Tablecloths or runner: $20 to $80 per table
  • Candlesticks: $10 each
  • Welcome sign: $10 to $50
  • Aisle runner: $30 to $200
  • Ceremony arch: $75 to $1,000 (with flowers)

Finding a barn venue with a pleasing aesthetic that also provides decor will help you minimize the time-sink of piecemealing your decorations. Just know that the price point for booking these more inclusive venues will reflect these accommodations, so while it may seem initially pricier, it may save you time and money in the long-run.

4. Catering

Foodservice is often one of the highest priorities for wedding receptions, and catering prices can depend on both what you serve and what you’re serving to how many people. WeddingWire estimates that “the average wedding catering cost in the U.S. is about $4,000, with most couples spending between $1,800 to $7,000.” There are, however, venues that include catering in their wedding services, so you won’t need to go out of your way to search for the right caterer!

5. Electricity and Lighting

As is the case with plumbing and restrooms, many barns haven’t been built with electricity. More often than not, lighting is added months or years after the building is constructed and repurposed. If wiring hasn’t been installed, you’ll need to rely on bulky generators to power the lights at your wedding.

Bride and groom posing between barn doors at Port Farms' wedding reception venue

However, premier barn venues have working electricity, which eliminates the need for generators, provides functional lighting and power, and has decorative lighting. It can set the mood for the wedding and the reception, too. And don’t forget: Capturing your wedding-day memories in photographs plays a significant role in your big day. What lighting you have will play a big role in that.

When looking for barn venues, electricity and lighting will likely inflate the cost of booking the venue. However, it will be less costly compared to renting a generator. All in all, knowing your special day will be well-lit is priceless.

6. DJ / Sound Equipment

Some venues may come with sound systems readily available. In other cases, renting sound equipment may be necessary.

When it comes to wedding receptions, some couples often choose to hire a DJ. According to WeddingWire, couples typically spend between $780 to $1,495 on hiring a professional DJ, with the average being $1,000. When hiring a DJ for your event, remember to double-check the sound ordinance rules for your area, and make sure your DJ knows the venue—and its capacity—they’ll be working in.

7. Season

Wedding season is typically between late spring to early fall, roughly from May to October. According to WeddingWire, the most popular months to get married are June, September, and October.

Booking costs may increase during this time due to high demand. BrideBox suggests having your wedding during January, March, April, or November to save on costs. Prices are lower given that more vendors have more available and less demand.

Bride and groom posing for a wedding photo outside at Port Farms

Your Wedding Destination

If you’ve been searching for a rustic, personal, and romantic wedding destination, consider Port Farms’ barn for your venue. From temperature control and catering to on-site restrooms and electricity, our venue has everything you need to make the most of your special day extra special while staying within your desired budget. Visit our site for more information on what we have to offer, or contact us to request our wedding package guide! You can also stay in touch by subscribing to our newsletter!