A barn wedding is a popular choice and for good reason. Think vaulted ceilings, beautiful exposed beams, rustic brickwork and rolling countryside views; it’s a fantastic setting for a magical wedding. You’ll be happy to know it’s also an excellent budget option, perfect for DIY couples.
Hiring a barn wedding venue for your reception party is generally a lot cheaper than your average hotel or manor. Furthermore, most are available to hire as a blank canvas, allowing you to decorate and personalise it in any way you wish.
All that you need to pull off a DIY barn wedding reception are a few creative ideas, and some talented friends and family willing to help turn your dreams into reality. Oh, and our tips will certainly help you along the way!
Below are just a few ideas to help you save money whilst still creating a beautifully rustic atmosphere for yourselves and your wedding guests.
Barn Wedding Venues
Firstly, here are just three fantastic barn wedding venues that have been carefully selected from our site. There are also plenty more to look through in your area via The Wedding Secret!
Rivervale Barn, Hampshire
Standing on the site of the old Yateley Water Mill, Rivervale Barn is a contemporary barn wedding venue. The building was built using traditional methods for authenticity and has a tall, vaulted roof. This barn can give you the church feel you may be looking for but as a civil wedding venue.
The barn can sit 150 guests for your ceremony and reception. Moreover, you can spend your first night as a married couple just a stone’s throw away at the 450 year old Cornerstone Cottage.
Chaucer Barn, Norfolk
Voted 6th in The Independent’s 2011 list of top wedding venues, Chaucer Barn offers a blank canvas. This is ideal for anyone trying to do their wedding on a budget as you aren’t restricted by what caterers you use. The venue staff give you free reign of the building as well as the 16 acres of parkland.
With a capacity of up to 100 guests and plenty of bedrooms on site, this is your venue, your way. You greet the first guests as they arrive and say goodnight to them at the end of the day.
The Barn at Barons Hill Farm, Devon
It isn’t often that you can honestly call an agricultural barn beautiful, but The Barn at Barons Hill Farm has managed to do just that. If a 60 acre farm is where you want to tie the knot, this is the perfect venue for just that. Use some decorations that the venue provides, including bales and bunting, or bring your own.
Up to 120 can dine at this barn wedding venue, and another 50 can party without tables. With a Bridal Suite and Stable Cottage on site, and plenty of space to set up camp, you can fully enjoy the lifestyle of a barn wedding.
Create Your Own Stationery
If you have enough time, why not design and create your own invitations? Whilst hiring a designer to print bespoke stationery would be wonderful, there are plenty of bulk supplies for wedding invites. Similarly, you could handwrite your wedding stationery. If you are interested in art you could watercolour a wash on to the paper, or if not then use patterned stamps to personalise. Perhaps you could ask a few friends to get involved and turn the process into a social event!
Hire a Buffet or Prepare Food Yourself
Buffets are a lot cheaper than a traditional sit-down meal as you don’t have to pay as much for waiters and waitresses. Moreover, your guests will be able to put on their plates exactly what they want to eat. Likewise, a hog roast might be a fun, rustic touch.
If you’re planning an intimate wedding celebration, you could even consider getting together with friends and family beforehand to prepare the food yourselves. This way, everyone feels like they have helped you for your special day. Importantly, remember that caterers often provide cutlery and crockery, and you may have to bring your own if you choose to go without.
Hand Make Decorations
Even though you may be able to find reasonably cheap decorations in shops, the costs are bound to add up.
Paper lanterns will look wonderful in a rustic country barn, and are easy and cheap to make! Paper chains make wonderful bunting and could brighten your venue easily. Or, raid your house to find items to use as table centrepieces. Furthermore, you could take inspiration from the environment around you and bring the outside in. That being said…
Arrange Your Own Flowers
Flowers are an inexpensive way of adding colour to a room. If you’re not sure how to make arrangement, one of your relatives or guests likely will! In addition, the internet is full of tutorials today – search YouTube for some instruction in building a bouquet. And, save money by purchasing your wedding flowers from a local market instead of from a florist. Buy them a couple of days before the wedding for freshness.
Dress the Venue Yourself
Hiring a company to dress your venue will set you back quite a lot, especially if there is a surcharge payable if you or one of your guests stains a tablecloth. An effective solution is to bulk-buy white paper tablecloths, and decorate the reception venue yourselves. Paper tablecloths are very cheap, but can still look elegant under table decorations, and as they are biodegradable you can simply throw them away at the end – easy!
You can save money on flower vases by searching charity shops, or you could simply use wine-bottles. Charity shops are also a great place to look for decorative vintage china that you could creatively arrange on each table.
Are Any of Your Guests Musical?
Live bands can be expensive, especially if the inexpensive barn you have found is in the middle of nowhere. Anybody could perform at your wedding, maybe as a wedding gift to you.
If not, you could consider hiring a band from your local school or college to perform. They are sure to be cheaper than a professional band. On the other hand, check your venue has speakers and employ a tech-savvy guest to create a playlist.
Follow the above suggestions and you could potentially save yourself thousands, whilst still creating a lovely rustic barn wedding with a homely, hand-made touch. Do let us know if you have tried any of these at your own wedding.