Your caterer can make or break your wedding. While some barns have houses with working kitchens, your caterer may need more space. They may be able to bring in their own catering tent or trailer, but you'll have to answer questions like "Where can we get water from?" "Where do we store ice?" "These are the things you have to think about beforehand," notes Hlywiak. They should also know that they shouldn't bring out your cake too early, or it could melt in the summer heat. And if you're having a buffet meal, that should only be presented right as guests are ready to eat; otherwise, the bugs could get to it first.
Breakdown: Unlike traditional venues in cities, barn weddings have to abide by certain town ordinances, so things tend to wrap up earlier. "You have to follow the town ordinance, so be sure to check when loud music has to be shut down," says Boruta. You can still stay at the barn, she notes, and have a bonfire or other nighttime activities; just be aware that some staff should stay behind to help out. "Many couples don't realize they have to clean up the property after they're done," says Hlywiak. Be sure you ask about breakdown when you're meeting with your venue. Is there a cleanup fee; do you have to rent a Dumpster; what are you responsible for doing after everything's said and done? Maybe you're renting vintage china—you can't send that back without rinsing it. But maybe your caterer isn't willing to do that. Make sure you know all those little details, like who will wash those dishes and where they can do that.
The Bottom Line
While all these details sound overwhelming, barn weddings are just like any other wedding: There will always be countless moving parts. Trust that there will be another set of hurdles to consider with ballroom and banquet halls, too.
When your family and friends come together for a destination barn wedding, the experience is unforgettable. From the premarital dinner to outings over the weekend, the wedding itself, and the brunch the next day, your guests will be entertained and at ease at the same time. By the end, your guests will be telling you, "This was the best wedding ever!"
Apple Barn Farm Applebarnfarm.com
Cindarella for a Day Cinderella4aday.com
Shadow Lawn Shadowlawnny.com
Stone Tavern Farm Stonetavernfarm.com
Tralee Farm Traleefarm.com