It's Dear Season!

This week is the official start of dear season, and we couldn't be more thrilled! Yes, we said dear season, not deer season... That one's alright too, but dear season is more up our alley! If you're unsure of what dear season is, it begins the week of Thanksgiving and ends on Valentine's Day. It's when your Facebook newsfeed is filled with "engaged" statuses, proposal stories, and pictures of diamond rings! More couples get engaged during the holiday season than any other time, thanks to the magic of Christmas lights, snowy days and romantic evenings by the fire. Dear season... See what we did there?! ;) 

If you're one of those lucky ladies who gets a big ol' rock put on her finger on Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, or anywhere in between, you'd better hurry up and shoot us an email! Our 2019 dates are already going quickly! We book weddings extremely fast during this time of year, so holler at us ASAP. You can email us at barnattwinoaksranch {at} yahoo {dot} com, or send us a Facebook message. We look forward to hearing from y'all! Happy Dear Season! 

Also, we hope you have a HAPPY THANKSGIVING! We're super thankful for all of our brides and grooms, their wonderful families, our AMAZING/insanely talented/inspiring vendors, and each one of YOU, our darling Barn Blog readers. So much love to all of you. I sure hope you have a lot to be thankful for this week and always! xoxoxo

Thanksgiving Tablescapes

It’s officially one week until Thanksgiving, and if you aren’t yet sure how you want to decorate your dinner table, we have you covered! These tablescapes would be perfect for fall weddings, as well, and a few of them are from some gorgeous fall weddings at The Barn. The best part: many of these items are probably things you already have, or they're things you could snag on a quick trip to Hobby Lobby! None of these would take very much time or effort to put together, so even though you've only got a few days left before the big day, you've still got plenty of time to pull them off! Here are some Thanksgiving tablescapes that are (almost) as yummy as your Turkey Day dinner! 

 From our  Instagram

From our Instagram

  Photos by Manda , from  Leah + Parker 's wedding at The Barn

Photos by Manda, from Leah + Parker's wedding at The Barn

  The Kindred Collective , from  Jordon + Nick 's wedding at The Barn

The Kindred Collective, from Jordon + Nick's wedding at The Barn

Transformation Tuesday

Can you believe that The Barn has been open and creating dream weddings for more than SIX years now?! We can't believe it either! Our first styled shoot took place back in the fall of 2011, and our first wedding was the following spring... it is absolutely crazy to look back over the last several years and see how much has changed since then. We've been in love with every single wedding since the beginning, but we've definitely made some improvements, and we continue to do so. We have a "Barn Way" of doing things, and our team has worked hard over the past few years to really perfect the way they do things. We're ALWAYS learning and trying to be better than we were before. Looking back on those first few styled shoots and weddings, it's easy to see how far we've come. Things look pretty different out here these days! Just for fun, let's take a look back on just a few things that have changed at The Barn since the beginning!

The Barn: Before

After

The Barn has been gorgeous since the very beginning. With its chandeliers, the famous barn doors with their drapes, and rustic barn wood, it's never been anything but jaw-dropping! After the first couple of years, we added a few strands of cafe lighting inside The Barn. They add such a romantic touch, and they look magical in photos! They make every reception at least 50 times prettier. :) We’ve also added some gorgeous draping above the dance floor, and occasionally we will do draping throughout The Barn. It is STUNNING!

Ceremony Site: Before

After

Our ceremony site has changed SO much since the beginning. Back in 2011, before The Barn was even built, we had a styled shoot that included a little ceremony set-up in the area in which the ceremony site would eventually be. As you can tell, there was NOTHING there. Then we put up our rustic altar that you've seen so many times, but we still didn't have our famous gold chiavari chairs, so we had hay bale seating at our first wedding! (We can still do hay bale seating if that's your style!) Next, it was rows of gold chairs alternating with rows of old church pews. So pretty! These days, we've got the prettiest wooden benches. Which look is your favorite?

We’ve also added a few new ceremony sites since those first years!

 Paxton Goates Photography, from  Jessica + Eli ’s wedding

Paxton Goates Photography, from Jessica + Eli’s wedding

Love Swing: Before

After

We've been through a few blue swings since the beginning, and they just keep on getting prettier! First, it was our pretty blue chair swing. Then the "love" swing that was rustic chic and so fun for photos. And then we sorta combined the two by painting "love" on an old, distressed blue chair! 

Tipping Your Vendors

Brides, here's a quick reminder about a super important topic: tipping your vendors! 

Something we get asked by many of our Barn Brides: should I tip my vendors? And if so, how much? In short, this is what we tell them: if you're happy with the services provided, by all means, tip! Here's a quick summary of who you should tip, how much and when (as well as a few photos from past weddings at The Barn that have nothing to do with tipping!). 

  BnBauman Photography , from  Alyssa + Matt 's wedding at The Barn

BnBauman Photography, from Alyssa + Matt's wedding at The Barn

For your caterer, you should tip between 17 and 20 percent of your catering allowance. (If you're spending $1,000 on your catering, tip somewhere between $170 and $200.) Tip your servers and bartenders, as well. Wedding experts recommend tipping $20 to $25 per server or bartender.  Tipping your DJ or musician is also a good idea. Experts recommend tipping $20 to $25 per musician, or $50 to $100 for a DJ. At The Barn, we're happy to take care of these things for you, so you don't have to worry about it on your big day. You can give cash or a check to your planner on the day of your wedding, and they will pass it along. Or we can include your tip amounts on your final bill, so you won't have to think about it after that. Our job is to make your wedding day easy and completely stress-free!

  Tryston Hines Photography , from  Breanna + Bryan 's wedding at The Barn

Tryston Hines Photography, from Breanna + Bryan's wedding at The Barn

Just as you would in a salon, tip your hair stylist and makeup artist 15 to 20 percent, depending on how satisfied you were with their service. The best time to tip: after they finish your hair or makeup! 

Another important person to tip: your officiant. Ministers make nothing (or practically nothing) when they officiate a wedding. You should be prepared to pay for their lodging or give them a nice tip. If your minister is from a specific church, consider making a donation to their church. For a nondenominational minister, a $50 to $100 tip is plenty. Many couples completely forget to tip their minister, but it's an absolute must!

  Photos by Manda , from  Paige + Dorian 's wedding at The Barn

Photos by Manda, from Paige + Dorian's wedding at The Barn

Many of our brides choose to tip their wedding planner, or give them a nice gift. This isn't a necessity, but it sure is a nice gesture that lets our planners know how much you appreciated their hard work! When you've had time to chill out after your wedding and honeymoon, consider sending your wedding planner a tip or gift. These ladies work incredibly hard to make your day perfect, and if you ask me, they totally deserve to be shown some love!

Barn Brides, if you ever have questions about tipping, don't hesitate to ask our team! That's what we're here for. :)

Whitley + Victor's Star Wars Themed Wedding

You are the droid I’m looking for...

Every once in a while, a couple comes along that asks us to do something totally different for their wedding. And we love it. We are obviously head over heels for a gorgeous, “normal” wedding, but we LOVE when we get asked to do something a little crazy! Whitley and Victor chose a Star Wars theme for their elopement, and they specifically chose R2-D2 and BB-8 as their inspiration. And it turned out AMAZING. There were lightsabers (duh), an R2-D2 suit (obviously), and a whole bunch of pretty blue and orange details! Our team managed to create a wedding that was fun and quirky, but also still totally gorgeous. We’ll always remember this one! Whitney from WDPhotography took their photos, and we love them! 

Photographer: WDPhotography | Venue, Coordination, Design, Florals: The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch | Bridal Gown: David’s Bridal | Cake: Kneading Hands Bakery | Hair & Nails: Jessie Miller | Decals: Stephanie Swatzel

***

In a galaxy far, far away... Whitley and Victor were married at The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch on October 18, 2018. Their colors were orange and blue, and their theme was Star Wars! “I was the BB-8 to his R2-D2,” Whitley said. LOVE! 

Whitley said her favorite thing about her entire wedding day was the theme! We agree... it was such a fun theme, and every detail was very well thought out and fit in flawlessly. “It was better than I could have ever imagined,” she said. “It was absolutely perfect.” 

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Whitley and Victor were our coolest couple of all time. Their outfits were SO good and fit their theme perfectly. Whitley wore a tea-length, strapless bridal gown with an orange petticoat underneath (inspired by BB-8, of course!). We very rarely see short wedding dresses, but they are so fun and perfect for a fun, lighthearted wedding! Victor wore the most epic R2-D2 suit. These two rocked their theme through every detail of their wedding, including their attire! Did we mention that Whitley even had orange streaks through her hair?! These two went all out. So dang awesome. 

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Whitley had some of the brightest, most fun florals we’ve ever done, and we are crazy about these! “My favorite is sunflowers so there were those, as well as orange and blue flowers,” Whitley said. “Just a big colorful mix that was gorgeous.” There were pops of silver and loads of greenery, too… so, so pretty!

Whitley said she and Victor “gave full reign to the team for the location of the ceremony on the property, the altar, and the cake.” Our team set up their ceremony off to the side of The Barn’s front doors (they were the first couple to tie the knot in this exact spot!). We used our hexagon altar with a silver glitter drape, orange and blue florals, and a whole bunch of lightsabers! Their aisle was lined with small orange and blue floral arrangements in mason jars.

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Whitley and Victor asked some of their closest friends and family to participate in their ceremony, which made it extra special. Their friend Alahna Martin performed a song, and another friend, Ryan Swatzel, was ordained so he could be their officiant. They also had a fun, unique unity paint ceremony. As they walked back down the aisle as newlyweds, a few of their guests held up lightsabers, which made for the coolest grand exit ever!

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The Barn did an amazing job. It was absolutely better than I could ever have imagined. It was out of this world — pun intended.
— Whitley
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Whitley and Victor had a small, intimate reception full of Star Wars inspired details! “We had many Star Wars figurines and knickknacks that we had scattered throughout,” she said. “We had a Star Wars photo booth prop set up.” They also sent their guests home with several Star Wars themed favors, including decals, stickers and temporary tattoos. They had a simple white cake with orange and blue details and a Star Wars topper, of course!

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Whitley and Victor, your wedding was one to remember, and we’re so glad you chose us to plan it with you! We wish y’all the very best! xoxo