Weddings - Harvest Nuptuals: Barn Weddings

By Caroline Wolfe Papocchia on November 1st, 2010

As the sun sets, the sky is aflame in shades of orange and gold that edge into delicate purple. Inthe distance, a round yellow moon slowly appears above the horizon. The soaring wood barnhas been draped with twinkling white lights. Inside, empty tables and a patient string quartet iswaiting. The air is as crisp as a fresh apple plucked from the nearby tree.

Could there be a more romantic moment in which to say “I Do?”

Farm and barn weddings are becoming one of the most popular ways to celebrate fall nuptials,and with good reason. A bucolic setting chock full of rustic charm and cozy, rough-hewnbuildings is hard to turn down at harvest time. All of the colors and splendors of the seasonare realized on the farm: pumpkins, apples, squash, and wheat; hot cider, maple syrup, sweethoney; freshly-baled hay and gold, red, and brown leaves. It’s impossible to not be inspired.

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Barns are the definition of rustic, and possess myriad qualities that appeal to engaged couplesand wedding planners. The original purpose of barns as storage for animals or dry goods meansthey are usually quite large, and always spacious – allowing plenty of floor space for tables,bars, and food stations. Farms that rent barns for events often have other buildings or sites onthe property that have been conscripted into service as guest accommodations, or as a perfectceremony location. Of course, farm venues also boast catering menus of the freshest and mostdelicious food.

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However, when it comes to events, the real appeal of a barn is its rustic aesthetic. Often builtof wood, worn by years of use and weather, and lacking any kind of ornamentation, a barn is the complete opposite of an ornate ballroom – and this is how it sings. Some brides and grooms let the rustic aspects of the barn inform the atmosphere and décor, but for others those bare beams serve as a raw canvas.

The barn interior allows for all kinds of lighting options, and sturdy roof beams and wall joists are perfect for supporting anything from garlands to chandeliers. Twinkling string lights, paper luminaria, beeswax candles – it doesn’t get simpler or more romantic than that.

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On the other hand, what better way to take advantage of a 20’ high ceiling than hitting it with washes of bright, bold color?

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Centerpieces and flowers for a barn wedding can also vary according to the taste of the couple. Wildflowers in mason jars and wispy bouquets are apropos, as are Provence-inspired bundles of lavender, or Gothic candelabra draped with flower chains.

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Couples can also go with the symbols of the season and use sheaths of wheat as centerpieces, and incorporate design motifs such as corn, oak leaves, acorns, or pumpkins into everything from invitations to tabletop décor.

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As the temperature cools and the sunlight fades, we cannot help but be tempted by the richness of harvest season on the farm – and where better to celebrate an autumn wedding than in an iconic barn?

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