Rustic weddings hosted in barns and on farms are popular for a reason: The cozy venue location provides a certain sentimentality and allows couples to embrace the beauty of nature in a down-to-earth way. But having a barn wedding doesn't mean you have to sacrifice the glamour of your special day. Here, experts in the wedding industry share tips on how to strike the perfect balance between simple and sophisticated for your barn wedding. Get their genius ideas for planning your own rustic-chic celebration.
Use the Ceiling Height
"Hang gorgeous crystal chandeliers from the ceiling of the barn to create an interesting design moment and draw guests' eyes up. This will make for a stunning backdrop to your photos!"
- Erin Sprinkel, Co-Owner, Sterling Social
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Dress It Up
"Barn weddings provide an excellent backdrop for intense décor inside; the use of draping, lighting, and greenery can all be combined to create an elegant atmosphere without looking overdone."
- Elizabeth McKellar, Owner, The Nouveau Romantics
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"Depending on the barn and your guest size, sometimes a barn can feel cavernous due to high ceilings. Soften the edges by bringing down the ceilings by hanging fabric. This helps with sound/acoustics and makes the room feel more intimate."
- Maya Katz, Partner, Alimay Events
Venue is Cedar Lakes Estate
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Don't Be Afraid of Color
"Barnwood has a wonderful neutrality; this is your chance to use bold color, soft fabrics, dressmaker details, and lovely tabletop to dress up your affair against a woodsy backdrop. You can work with any shade—from velvety greens to rich pinks—to elevate the otherwise greige environment."
- Calder Clark, Owner & Creative Director, Calder Clark
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Use The Barn as an Alternative Altar
"Though barn receptions are ever so popular at the moment, consider hosting your ceremony inside the barn instead. Consider adding twinkle lights to the ceiling, lining the aisle with candles, and creating a soft structure that will serve as the focal point for your ceremony."
- Alicia Caldecott, Owner, A Day in May Event Planning & Design
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Elevate Your Food
"Forget buffets, BBQ, or family-style meals. Think sashimi starter plates, adding in a cheese course and more contemporary plated dishes."
- Xochitl Gonzalez, Creative Director, AaB Creates
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"Use an abundance of foliage and tall floral arrangements to evoke the outdoors. For this wedding we draped a canopy full of foliage and lined the aisles with tall arrangements of flowers to bring romance into the space."
- Frances Liu, Creative Director, Charmed Events Group
Flowers by Precious & Blooming Floral Design, Rentals by Blueprint Studios
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A Little Bit Country, A Little Bit Rock & Roll
"Reserve your barn for dancing only, it can make for super romantic photos and not make your whole wedding feel too "country" ... You can add beautiful lighting and also be out of the chill if temps drop as the night progresses."
- Amy Nichols, Owner, Amy Nichols Special Events
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Take Advantage of More Than the Barn
"Make the most of your rustic setting by utilizing the landscape (and its accessories!) for bridal party photos."
- Jen Stiebel, Founder, SoCo Events