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!