Transform a barn into a chic reception space

When deciding where to host your wedding reception, think outside of the box! A barn can be the perfect venue to pleasantly surprise your guests. It takes some creativity to completely transform the space into a wedding-worthy venue, but with a little effort and inspiration, anyone can pull it off. Here are some simple ways to let your creativity shine:

Set the backdrop

Walls –  First you want to give the barn a good cleaning – especially if animals were kept inside. You can clean up the wood panels and by leaving them exposed, you can create a rustic look. You could even drape satin fabric along the walls if you would rather add an elegant touch. Or you could try both by hanging satin fabric from the ceiling over the dance floor to create a rustic, yet still elegant, venue like at The Dana-Powers House, photographed by Michael Stephens Photography.

Lighting – If the barn you select isn’t as well lit as you imagined, add some small overhead lighting fixtures. You may try using them sparingly so you can create an intimate setting. You could drape strands of holiday icicle lights along the beams for a whimsical effect or you could even hang a few chandeliers for a subtle touch of elegance, as seen this Nebraska barn wedding, photographed by Laura Benitz Photography.

Arrange the seating
The style of seating you settle on depends on the layout of your barn. If the building is wide you can bring in round tables that have become popular at many weddings, similarly to this reception at the The Dana-Powers House, captured beautifully by Sarah Kathleen. If space is limited you could opt for long rows of banquet-style seating, as seen in this gorgeous, peachy wedding, photographed by Lisa Lefkowitz.

Design your centerpieces
As a rule of thumb, design your table decorations around the theme of your wedding. For example, if you are embracing a rustic style then you could place wicker baskets in the center of each table with fresh flowers, like in this lovely Napa Valley wedding reception, which Braedon Photography did a wonderful job capturing. If you want your reception to be a little more on the simple side, rows of vases with fresh tulips are a great choice as well.

Incorporate personalized accents
A great way to put your own custom spin on your wedding decor is by adding names to your favors. Custom coasters, napkins and place cards all show that the space is just for you and your loved ones, so be sure to add a special personalized touch to the decor items where you can.

Bonus design tip
If you have limited space in your barn because you have a large guest list, create the illusion of a larger venue. This could be done by introducing clear, “ghost” chairs that blend into the background when not in use and add a posh look to your wedding decor. Just because they are clear, doesn’t mean they can’t add elegance, as seen in these lace-patterend plexi liners from and Jill Thomas Photography.

Be sure to check out all of our personalized favor options to make your rustic barn wedding reception a hit.

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