The Magic of Barn Weddings

Two autumns ago, I posted some snapshots of a cozy weekend getaway I enjoyed at our friend’s warm and inviting rustic family barn.

This summer, that same friend married his lovely long-time girlfriend at that barn. I thought it was so meaningful for them to choose to get married there, and being the event planning enthusiast that I am, I was excited and intrigued to see how they would transform their family barn into an elegant wedding venue. As I predicted, they delivered magic. And they did not fail to overlook every singe little detail to make their wedding cozy and comfortable for their guests (read: a DIY phone charging station and overnight tents). If I could sum up the wedding in a few words, it was intimate, elegant, simple, fun and magically cozy.

There are so many creative places and ways to celebrate a wedding, and although barn weddings have become increasingly popular the past few years, this particular one was uniquely personal and had a lot of sentimental value, which made it a little more special. Here are some snaps of how beautifully they designed and executed their wedding, with a little help from their wedding planner at Food Dudes and Mother Nature.

Side note: regretfully, I did not take any photos of the tasty cocktail hour hors d’oeuvres or the delicious family-style dinner that was served (that mushroom truffle risotto though) since I was gleefully indulging them with my camera tucked away, so this post is mainly focused on set-up, decor and theme inspiration. 

The Set Up

IMG_0140The signature raised barn surrounded by a gardened seating area for cocktail hour. I loved that the seating was haystacks covered in fabric. Adorable.

IMG_0158Another side of the pampered garden with a shaded bar nestled in the back.

IMG_0139More cozy and rustic seating scattered around, including warming stations that came in handy at night.

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img_0021-e1504460866684.jpgCentre stage: the ceremony area and the reception tent.

IMG_0129The coziest bar I’ve seen.

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A “help-yourself” canoe cooler filled with ice cold beer.  This was my boyfriend’s favourite spot.

The Dance Floor

Inside the raised barn is where the party happened with an open dance floor lead by an awesome live band and a DJ for the late night segment. There was also a midnight snack bar that served mini tacos, ice cream sandwiches, candy, coffee, tea and continuous drinks.

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IMG_0120Later in the night, the dance floor suddenly became a rave-inspired party. There were lasers.

The Accommodation

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IMG_0170Designated campsite with portable bathrooms with showers and an outdoor grooming station for adventurous guests staying overnight.

IMG_0174DIY phone charging station built by the tech-savvy groom.

The Little Pretty Details

IMG_0177I absolutely loved the bouquets of wild flowers that stood brightly against the beautiful pastel bridesmaids dresses.

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The floral wedding arch was probably my favourite decor detail because it was the only decoration in the ceremony area yet the bright colours of the arch was a gorgeous focal point against the natural surrounding greenery. Also, it framed the bride and groom beautifully as they recited their vows and shared some laughs.

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The wedding’s elegant simplicity continued onto the reception, with pastel satin napkins and golden cutlery. The centrepieces were also very simple: tea light candles and a vase of wild flowers. I liked that the tables weren’t cluttered with too many accessories. It made room for what really mattered: the food.

IMG_0137A picture collage of the bride and groom’s travels and memorable years together displayed on an old barn door.

IMG_0176Although this swing was always part of their barn, it definitely provided a playful accessory on the dance floor.

IMG_0055Cute directional signs of the cities the bride and groom’s friends and family came from.

Barn Wedding Outfit Inspiration

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This is the outfit I wore that happened to fit nicely with the rustic wedding theme: floral and flowy dress, pink chiffon rose clutch and nude ballerina flats. Pro tip: do not wear heels at a barn wedding. You’ll thank me later. Also, bring a shawl because it gets chilly at night even on a perfect summer day.

In summary, this was one of my favourite weddings I attended in terms of how a space can be transformed into a magical event with a good eye, tasteful ideas and thoughtful consideration for your guests.

Putting the decor, food and fashion aside, love was tangibly felt between the bride and groom all day and night, and love was also felt amongst their families and friends. That kind of love is truly what’s meant to be celebrated at weddings, and that will always be remembered at the next visit to the barn.

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