Monthly Archives

November 2016

Event Planning, Weddings

Alternative Ceremony Seating

November 30, 2016
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A wedding day won’t mean anything without the presence of family and friends. In order to make your guests comfortable, you must think about the seating. The fact is that where every guest sits is important.

The wedding ceremony is essential and the most important part of every wedding. This is the reason why every guest must be seated in the right way. They must feel comfortable and respected while the ceremony lasts.

In the past, people didn’t have many dilemmas about ceremony seating. Namely, they have always opted for straight rows. The truth is that most couples choose this option even today. Even though this seating option has proven to be practical and simple, this doesn’t mean that you can’t go with an alternative ceremony seating plan. In case you are wondering why you should do this, we will give you one simple answer – to unleash your creativity. Making your ceremony stand out is easy when you have a good alternative ceremony seating plan. This change won’t cost you anything except your time. With the right alternative option, you can rest assured that all your guests will be more excited, which means that you spiced up this special day from the start.

People have used many different alternatives to the traditional ceremony seating and some of these alternatives we more successful than the others. That’s why we have decided to highlight a few ideas that might help you find the best alternative ceremony seating option.

First of all, you can choose a spiral formation for the chairs. You arrange the chairs in only one row and set them in a spiral shape. This is an excellent way to see and greet every guest as you and your partner move to the center of this spiral. Keep in mind that this is a good solution in case you have a small ceremony because creating very long spirals is not practical for the couple.

Furthermore, you can also try the so-called horseshoe plan. As the name suggests, the chairs are placed in a way that resembles a horseshoe or a simple semi-circle. The aisle leads right in the middle of this area. With this alternative ceremony seating solution, you can rest assured that you will face all the guests. This is a common problem with other seating plans because in most cases you will have to turn your back on some of the guests.

Finally, instead of choosing one side, why not use all the sides around the altar? This means that you can place chairs on each side and place the altar in the center of this area. There is no better way to feel surrounded by the people you love and respect than this.

These are just some alternative ceremony seating ideas that you can use. When you are thinking about changes, you should take these things into consideration – the sight lines, wedding party size, sound, accessibility, taking photos and the position of the aisle.

Weddings

Everything You Need to Know About Your Wedding Veil

November 29, 2016
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Wedding veils are one of the most underappreciated wedding accessories, but much of that comes from the lack of understanding about the differences in veils. It can be tough to know what style of wedding veil you want, and when you figure out the style it can be tough to find out how to purchase it too!

Here’s everything you need to know about your wedding veil:

Veil Tiers

You can choose between single tier, two tier, and three tier veils. Each tier will have a slightly different length so you can get the best of each world. If you want your veil to stand out, having multiple tiers (or layers) will help you achieve that.

Veil Lengths

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Veil lengths make the biggest difference in appearance when considering a veil. It’s definitely the most important part of choosing your veil as it can change your entire appearance. Depending on the length of the veil, you may even find a slimming effect. The shoulder length veil (obviously) goes to shoulder length, elbow to elbow length, wrist to wrist length and fingertip to fingertip length. The only lengths that don’t conform to the actual length are intermission, chapel and cathedral length veils.

Veil Edges

There are many different types of edges for veils, but they boil down to 6 key styles:

veil edges

Obviously there are different variations on these styles, but in general you’ll be able to find one based on these six styles.

Where to Order Your Veil

Like most other wedding decorations and items, you can find and purchase a great veil on Etsy. If you’re looking to buy a veil off of etsy make sure you look for a shop with a high number of reviews with 5 stars.

Blanca Veils is a very highly rated Etsy shop with great veils at a great price. You can check out their shop here.

Another great option is Your Heirloom Veil, which also features great veils and a great price. They have several hundred 5 star reviews as well making it another great Etsy shop to buy from. You can check out their shop here.

Parting Thoughts

Your wedding veil is such a small detail, but it makes a world of a difference. Your veil will help you achieve not only the perfect look but to feel perfect too. It completes everything. It’s like the dressing on the cake. That’s why it’s so important to get the details like the length, edge design and tiers correct.

Weddings

8 Times You Won’t Want to Wear Your Engagement Ring

November 28, 2016
engagement ring

The desire to wear your engagement (or wedding) ring at all times is completely normal, but if you want to protect the ring you’ll want to avoid wearing it in several, sometimes surprising, situations.

You don’t only need to worry about losing your ring, but about damaging the ring or simply putting it in situations where the gem or the metal will lose its shine. Here are the times that it’s best to go without your engagement (or wedding) ring:

1. The Beach

Besides the obvious risk of losing your ring in the ocean or even just in the sand, you’ll want to avoid taking your ring to the beach because you risk damaging your ring or the stone. The abrasive sand could result in scratches along your ring’s band and even the stone. This’ll cause your ring to lose some of it’s shine. You may also get sand in between stone and the setting, which could cause major damage.

2. Working Out

When working out, you’ll run the risk of a ring slipping off of a sweaty finger and being lost. Plus depending on the type of exercise you’re doing, you could damage the ring significantly.

3. Taking a Shower/Bath

Wearing your rings in the shower or a bath is a perfect way to lose a ring. It’s so easy to take the rings off during this time that there’s really no excuse for protecting your rings.

4. In a Pool/Hot Tub

Wearing a ring in a pool or hot tub makes it easy to lose it as well. Hot tubs will be worse when they are on, but at least they aren’t as much ground to search. One thing that few consider is the effects of chlorine on their rings. Chlorine will cause a filmy look on your stone making it lose it’s luster.

5. Cleaning Anything

For similar reasons as the chlorine in the pool. You won’t want to clean with your rings on as the chemicals in the cleaning products may cause your gem to lose it’s shine. You could research each cleaning product to ensure it’s safe to use, but it’s easier to just take the rings off and store them someplace safe.

6. Moisturizing

This may surprise some of you. Moisturizer will actually leave a filmy layer on your gemstone and will require you to have your rings cleaned in order to restore their luster.

7. Playing Sports

Playing sports doesn’t only risk losing a ring, but also damaging it. In sports with swinging motions you may have a ring fly off and if so it may be difficult to recover and even damaged if recovered.

8. Gardening

Gardening can result in a buried ring, which is one of the worst ways to lose a ring. Even if you don’t lose the ring, particles can get in between the setting and cause your gem to come loose, and you don’t want that!

Tips

Why You Should Honeymoon in Your Hometown

November 28, 2016
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While many couples envision travelling to faraway countries for their honeymoon, you may be better off taking a staycation for your honeymoon.

Honeymooning in or near your hometown is an appealing prospect for many couples, especially if you live in or near a large city. Here are all the reasons you may be better off staying rather than going for your honeymoon:

1. You know the it!

One of the biggest benefits of honeymooning in your hometown is the fact that you know the area. Because of this, you can easily pick the best places to eat, check out the most exciting areas, the most romantic scenes, and the best sites and activities.

Have all of your friends been to a restaurant and insist you must go? Is there something on social media that you’ve always wanted to try/do in your hometown? Maybe there’s a location that you’ve never visited. Take the time to play tourist in your own town.

Tip: You want to make sure you’re trying new things, but it’s okay to mix a few of your favorite destinations as well. Especially if you’re going to locations that have significance for you and your partner.

2. You can save money on travel expenses

Rather than spend a couple hundred (or a couple thousand) on plane tickets, put the money towards a neat activity, fancy restaurant, or other fun thing to do. You’ll save money on the cost of travel and won’t have to deal with long flights and or jet lag.

You could also spend the money saved on gifts or memorabilia to remember this special time.

Tip: Rather than spend your money on a plane ticket, choose an activity to do each day. You’ll find that you can afford to have a longer honeymoon, do more and eat out at nicer restaurants.

3. You’ll discover new areas to visit on the weekends

Another plus of honeymooning in your own town is that you can take the time to explore the areas. You may discover a new mall or a new area that you just love. You can also find new activities and explore new hobbies that you could end up doing frequently.

Tip: Try to do a mix of exploring in city with exploring parks, nature preserves, etc. Balancing city exploration with some time in nature will give you a balanced feel and help you find cool new things to do on the weekends! Who knows, maybe you and your partner will both be really into kayaking or something similar and take it as a hobby together!

A few parting words

Honeymooning in your hometown can offer you a chance to skip out on the cost, jet lag, and stress of a traditional honeymoon. It can also give you the ability to find great new weekend destinations when hanging out. One last tip is to stay in a hotel. It’ll be worth the extra cash to get out of the house and be close to activities.

Weddings

7 Engagement Photo Ideas

November 22, 2016
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Taking engagement photos is one of the best ways to document the entire process. Planning a wedding can be exhausting and taking engagement photos can bring the much-needed relaxation. This is also an opportunity to unleash your creativity. At the same time, taking these type of photos lets the couple learn more about their wedding photographer and vice versa. The photographer can learn more about the couple and what they really want when it comes to photography the more time they spend together. Even though professional photographers can provide suggestions about the best engagement photo session, we will present seven engagement photo ideas that may inspire you.

First dates

This is definitely one of the most beautiful parts in every relationship. The initial excitement and the effort to learn more about your partner are feelings that cannot be forgotten. That’s why it is a smart idea to go to the places where you dated and even wear some clothes that you used to wear back then if possible. If you remember this day because of the specific weather (for instance if it was raining), you can get some umbrellas and use sprinklers if you are taking photos on a sunny day.

The special place

Many couples have a special, exclusive place where they don’t go with other people (and we are not talking about the bedroom). It might be some hill or park where you used to visit alone. Visit this place and take some memorable engagement photos.

Athletic photo session

Do you love sports and fitness? If you and your partner are athletic types of people then you can visit the local gym and take some great photos. Don’t forget that you will need to dress adequately. You can also make an athletic outdoor photo session in case you usually use the local park for fitness activities.

Shared hobbies

Every person has specific interests and hobbies, but there is a great chance that both you and your partner share at least one hobby or activity that you find joy in. For example, maybe you both like baking cakes. If this is the case, ask the photographer to come to the kitchen and let them take some fun and interesting engagement photos.

Places abroad that you have visited

Do you remember the time when you enjoyed your holiday abroad? Well, it might be a good idea to visit that place again and take some engagement photos there.

A rustic ranch

Are you a fan of the countryside? There is no doubt that couples can take some incredible engagement photos if they visit some rustic ranch out of town. There is something about nature and the surroundings that make the photos special. In addition, the couple will feel completely relaxed and happy in these calm and peaceful areas.

Run from zombies

The last engagement photo idea is for the brave ones and those who want a completely different engagement photo session. You can use the help of your friends and turn them into zombies trying to catch you and your partner.

Weddings

How to Save up Enough for Your Dream Wedding

November 15, 2016
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Let’s face it. Weddings are expensive, and even if you DIY as much as you can, comparison shop like a fiend and get major discounts, you’ll still be setback a pretty penny. Here’s how to plan so you can save up enough to throw your dream wedding:

Determine Your Budget Before Anything Else!

One of the biggest mistakes couples make when they begin to think about their wedding day, and how to save money, is to start planning their wedding. They’ll begin looking at venues, caterers and more “to get a feel for how much they’ll need to spend”. However, this can be detrimental in the long run as it may make you attempt to save an amount that isn’t feasible.

A better technique would be to determine what you can realistically save each month, and how much your total budget will be 6 months from now, a year from now and 2 years from now. This will give you a good idea of where you’ll stand in terms of your overall budget and can help you plan when to have your wedding.

Plan Your Wedding for Next Summer/Spring

One way to boost your budget is to put your Christmas bonus or tax return into it! If you get both, you may be able to get a big boost in cash to use by waiting and saving both your Christmas bonus and tax return.

Even if you don’t get a Christmas bonus, the tax return will help add a boost to your income, and if you can wait for two tax returns you’ll be in a great place!

Set a Monthly Savings Goal and Stick to it!

Set a goal to save X amount every month. If you’re afraid you’ll spend it, put it into short-term Certificate Deposits (CDs) to both gain some (small) interest and prevent you from taking out the funds early. Make your savings goal ambitious, but not unrealistic. If you can, follow the 50/30/20 rule. This rule is the simplest form of budgeting in which 50% of your funds goes to living expenses, 30% to savings and 20% to entertainment. If you follow this budget, you’ll be able to shell away 30% of your income and even if something comes up you should still have significant savings accumulated by the time of your wedding!

Remember, you’ll want to ensure that you’re saving more than you need for the wedding. It can save you in a wedding emergency!

What are you waiting for?

It’s never too soon to start saving for your wedding. Some even suggest starting on your first date! While it may seem silly, it makes sense. So if you and your significant other are even talking about getting married or approaching that level of your relationship, you’ll want to consider beginning saving. Even if you don’t get married you’ll have a great savings fund!

Weddings

10 Unique, Personal Wedding Favors

November 14, 2016
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Wedding planning can be one of the most exciting and stressful experiences in your life. In the end, you can rest assured that all of the effort you’ve put into this activity will pay off. According to many experts, the small details can make a huge difference when it comes to the success of your wedding day. One of these small details is the wedding favors.

Wedding favors have been used for hundreds of years. Some sources say that they came in the form of small chocolates. Wedding favors are small gifts that are given to the guests of the wedding. In other words, they are used as a sign of appreciation. The best part about these favors is that it is up to the couples to choose them and that there are many different types of wedding favors to choose from. If you want to impress your guests, you should opt for unique, personal wedding favors and we have prepared a list of ideas that can help you.

1.  Maple syrup

Let’s be clear, almost every person likes sweet treats and this is exactly what they will get if you use maple syrup as a wedding favor. Find a suitable bottle and fill it with maple syrup or buy some from the local store. Remember to add a tag that describes the event and highlights your appreciation.

2.  Wooden magnets

Many people are collecting magnets and they can surely use such a favor on their fridge This simple, yet unique item can be engraved with your names or the date and initials of the couple. They can be designed in different forms.

3.  Caramel apples

Now here’s another sweet wedding favor that your guests will love. Wrap a caramel apple into cellophane and top it with toffee or sprinkles to improve the taste and appearance. Remember to tie an appreciation tag to the handle.

4.  Succulent plants

Why not give something that your guests can keep and watch grow over time? Give them a cute succulent plant and ask them to grow and take proper care of it.

5.  Candy favors

If you want to stick to the tradition and add a personal touch to the wedding favors you can use candy favors or small boxes filled with candies to be more precise. Don’t hesitate to use goodie bags and small jars.

6.  Unique personalized ornaments

Use wooden or ceramic ornaments to share some love messages or decorate glass bulbs with pieces of dried flowers. Everyone likes unique personalized ornaments.

7.  Personalized cookies made of sugar

If your guests feel the urge to eat something sweet, they will be amazed by these cookies. Use sugar or other edible decorations to write down your initials on the cookies.

8.  Wedding day soundtrack

Use the help of your wedding DJ to choose the most memorable songs from your wedding and create a CD that you will use as a wedding favor.

9.  Peppermint bark

Put the bark in a wrapping and include a recipe inside the package. Your guests will appreciate this!

10.  Personalized wedding cards

We all use cards every once in awhile, so why not personalize a set of beautiful cards and give these sets to the guests?

Wedding Themes and Colors

7 Popular Wedding Themes in 2016

November 10, 2016
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Having a hard time choosing your wedding’s theme? Take some inspiration from these 7 popular wedding themes:

1. Lush Weddings

Combining green wedding colors with greenery everywhere, these weddings are best described as lush. Usually they’ll take place outdoors or in a rustic venue (like a barn or farm). The highlights of this theme are its use of plants and other greenery to decorate.

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2. Vintage Weddings

Vintage weddings have always been popular, but 2016 brought a more stylized approach incorporating vintage items from Etsy with vibrant, yet royal colors.

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3. Bohemian Weddings

Bohemian weddings are a special kind of wedding that’s become popular in 2016. A sort of mix and match of different wedding styles and eras, these weddings tend to be quirky, creative, unconventional, and carefree.

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4. Twilight Weddings

While this is an unexpected theme for sure, it’s easy to see why it’s on this list. The forest setting with hanging flowers, rustic yet elegant seating, and other fairytale-esque features have made this a beautiful theme and one which is likely to stick around.

5. Fairytale Weddings

Fairytale weddings have always been popular and 2016 was no exception. They continue to be a popular theme and can take many different looks depending on the couple (making them a versatile theme).

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6. Pastel Weddings

Pastel weddings have been one of the biggest trends in recent years, with pastel colors and decorations taking over the wedding industry. Etsy decorations can be found left and right in various pastel hues and many of 2016’s most popular wedding color schemes have been pastel. It’s a beautiful way to incorporate color without being too loud or vibrant.

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7. Garden Weddings

Garden weddings are another example of the movement for weddings to be closer to or a part of nature. Along with the lush weddings we’ve seen, twilight weddings and more, we’ve seen a strong trend of weddings moving from indoors to outdoor venues and for good reason. There is so much beauty and many times you need just a few decorations to make the wedding look beautiful.

Parting Advice

If you’re looking for a wedding theme, you can’t go wrong with something incorporating nature, whether that be a lush wedding, a garden wedding or another theme. It’ll save you money on decorations and, in many cases, you can get these types of venues for less than their indoor counterparts.

Weddings

4 Incredibly Cute Ways to Include Your Pet on Your Wedding Day

November 9, 2016

Dogs and cats have already found their way into our lives becoming welcome at home, in public, on the internet, and at work. But what about a pet at your wedding? Yep, they’ve already inserted themselves into one of the most important days in our lives.

For many of us, our pets are our best friend, so it is a no-brainer to include them, but the difficult part comes when you think about how to include them. Here are four special ways to include your pet in your wedding:

1. Let your pet be the videographer

You can take a unique and adorable approach by strapping a GoPro to your pets’ back and letting them record the big day from their perspective.

This would not be a wedding video replacement because you can’t guarantee that your pet will get the important moments, but it’s a fun way to get some extra video that’s bound to make you laugh, say awe, and give your pet a good hug.

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2. Let your pet be the ringbearer

Giving your favorite pet the rings to walk down the aisle is a growing trend now. Many couples are overjoyed to see their beloved companion bring the rings down the aisle. There are a growing number of items on Etsy which can help you dress your pet up for the occasion.

Most couples let a friend walk their pet down the aisle, but well-trained pets could do this themselves with the proper motivation (hint: treats).

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3. Dress them up and put them in the bridal party

Another growing trend is to include your pet in the bridal party (if they have the patience to stay there the whole time). Finding an adorable dress or suit for your pet is easy and can add to the cute factor. You and your guests may get a good laugh out of it too!

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4. Include them in your wedding photos

One of the most common ways to include a pet in your wedding is to take your wedding and engagement photos with them. It’s a cute way to include them, and one that will guarantee some great candid shots.

A Parting Thought

When incorporating pets into your wedding it’s best to embrace the slip ups.There’s going to be awes, a few gasps and plenty of laughs, but that’s part of the joy of including your pet in your wedding.

Featured, Unique Venues, Weddings

Wedding Venue Trends: 2011 to 2017

November 3, 2016
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Wedding venues come and go, but these last few years have been full of surprises. Couples are choosing new, unconventional wedding venues and at the same time, are moving away from venues which were long the most popular choice.

Here are our 5 key findings in our Wedding Venue Trends Report:

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Beach Weddings

Beach weddings have long been the most popular wedding venue, but in the last 5 years, they’ve been on the decline. How much have they declined? Beach weddings have dropped in popularity by 27% over the last few years.

Beach weddings still remain the most popular type of wedding by far, but in 2-3 years we could see another venue at the top, and we may already know which venue…

barn

Barn Weddings

If the last couple years have proved anything, it’s that barn weddings aren’t just a fad. They’ve been steadily growing in popularity these last few years proving that they’re here to stay. If current trends hold true, barn weddings will become the most popular wedding venue by 2020.

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Hotel Weddings

Hotel wedding venues haven’t seen a major increase or decrease in popularity in the last few years. Any change in popularity has been insignificant, meaning that hotels remain a common choice for many couples.

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Castle Weddings

Castle weddings have always been rare. Even though they make for a fairy-tale wedding, their cost is often prohibitive for many couples. 2014 and 2015 saw a rise in their popularity, and things were looking promising, but their increase in popularity was short lived and they returned to pre-2014 levels of popularity this year.

summer camp

Summer Camp Weddings

After several years of relatively low popularity, summer camp weddings appear to be on the come up. There have been small examples of summer camp weddings and they make for epic wedding venues, but many couples may be reluctant to try such a radically new type of venue. Still, many couples are leading the way and thanks to their courageous choice in wedding venues, we are seeing an increase in summer camp wedding popularity. 2017 should see even more summer camp weddings, and we can’t wait for this unique type of venue to get the credit it deserves.

The Data

In order to find these key points, we analyzed search queries across the U.S. using Google Trends. Here is the raw data for those interested in seeing the facts for themselves:

Google Trends Research

Event Venues

2 Wedding Venues We’ll See a Lot More of in 2017

November 3, 2016
summer camp

We don’t often see new types of wedding venues, but with inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, and wedding forums, couples have been exploring new, unconventional wedding venues and loving them.

Two venues, in particular, have stood out, offering couples unique and unexpected scenery while also being easy to turn into their dream wedding. Here are the two unconventional wedding venues that we will see a whole lot more of in 2017:

1. Summer Camps

summer camp

A Summer Camp Wedding may not be the wedding you dreamed of growing up as a child, but you’ll fall in love with their whimsical style, fun activities, intimate feel, and scenic location.

Summer camp weddings can’t be thrown in the summer (since the camp is being used during that time), but they make an affordable choice for couples looking to wed during the fall, winter or spring.

One of the best parts about summer camp weddings is their unique blend of destination wedding like activities, accommodations, and scenery with an intimate feel. From canoeing on the lake, hiking, volleyball, and other outdoor activities, there is plenty of fun to be had for you and your guests. The camp can also provide overnight accommodations for guests and serve as a honeymoon destination for the couple.

Just like other venues with rustic charm, these venues can be dressed up to provide a charming atmosphere for your wedding worthy of Pinterest and Instagram fame.

Summer Camp Pros:

  • Affordable
  • Rustic, charming, intimate
  • Lots of fun activities
  • Accommodations for guests
  • Can also serve as your honeymoon destination
  • Beautiful surroundings, especially in fall and spring

Summer Camp Cons:

  • Not available in summer and not recommended in winter since the buildings are often poorly insulated

2. Barns

barn

Barns are quickly becoming a favorite wedding venue for couples. According to VenueCenter’s Wedding Venue Trends Report , they are set to become the most popular wedding venue by 2020.

Many of you are likely already familiar with barn weddings as they’ve exploded on Pinterest and wedding forums, and with good reason. Their unique combination of rustic charm with a wide open layout create a versatile wedding venue that’s suited to almost every style of wedding.

They look great year round and if you find an authentic barn (rather than a venue) you may find a great rate. (Note: If you’re willing to pay the extra for a barn turned wedding venue you’ll find much greater convenience! For example, a professionally run barn wedding venue will likely have all electrical outlets set up for you where a regular barn may not.)

Barn Pros:

  • Large open space that has a similar versatility to a marquee wedding
  • Rustic, country charm
  • Often surrounded by a picturesque countryside
  • Perfect for large weddings while still retaining an intimate feel
  • Affordable
  • Great year round venue

Barn Cons:

  • If you choose an authentic barn, rather than a barn already converted to a wedding venue, you’ll have a lot of work on your hands preparing the space