Etiquette for Wedding Guests

Let's talk about something that's kind of boring, yet extremely important: etiquette! We get a lot of questions about invitation etiquette and bar etiquette, but there's another etiquette topic that needs to be addressed. If you're attending an upcoming wedding and you need to brush up on your wedding guest etiquette, this post is for you! I understand that wedding etiquette is kind of tricky, especially because every couple, venue and wedding is different. Whether the wedding you attend ends up being totally relaxed or really fancy, here are a few good rules of thumb to follow! 

Stephanie Parsley Photography , from  Amber + Matt 's wedding at  The Barn . Notice that there are no cameras or phones being held up in this photo... Thumbs up to that! 

Stephanie Parsley Photography, from Amber + Matt's wedding at The Barn. Notice that there are no cameras or phones being held up in this photo... Thumbs up to that! 

Be respectful with your phone and/or camera. Unless the bride and groom are extremely laid-back, they probably don't want every single detail from their wedding posted on social media until their professional photographer posts them. Even if they don't specify that they're having an unplugged ceremony (which means that no cameras or phones are allowed during the ceremony or certain parts of the reception, like the first dance or cake cutting), you should stay out of the way if you're going to take photos. No one wants to see someone standing in the middle of the aisle taking photos during their reception, or a bunch of phones blocking the photographer's perfect shot during their first dance. Trust me. (Some couples create hashtags for their big day, which means that you're free to post photos on Facebook, Instagram or other social media and tag it with their hashtag. But it's always better to leave some things to the imagination! Don't post 500 photos from your friend or family member's big day... Leave that up to the photographer. ;)

Shingleur Photography , from  Cassie + Kyle 's wedding at The Barn. Kids having fun and behaving... this is what we like to see! ;)

Shingleur Photography, from Cassie + Kyle's wedding at The Barn. Kids having fun and behaving... this is what we like to see! ;)

Watch your kids! At The Barn, our team doesn't enforce this rule to be mean or uptight. I mean, have you seen this venue and our weddings?! The Barn and everything around it is beautiful, and every wedding and reception of ours is detailed and absolutely gorgeous. Please keep an eye on your kids... We want them to have a great time, too, but we also don't want a damper put on a couple's big day because something pretty got knocked over or destroyed! Sorry not sorry, y'all. 

Martin's Photography , from  Monica + Luis 's wedding at The Barn

Martin's Photography, from Monica + Luis's wedding at The Barn

Don't show up three hours early. This has seriously been a problem lately. Once again, we are not trying to be rude. But our team is still making every detail perfect three hours before a wedding begins, and the bride probably doesn't want you seeing her in her wedding dress before the ceremony! Our couples often schedule first looks for a couple of hours before the ceremony, and that's a very private time for them... Having an audience sort of ruins the moment! Not to mention, you're probably going to be bored, because our team is going to be too busy to make sure you're enjoying yourself! 

Melissa McCrotty Photography , from  Bayley + Lucas 's wedding at The Barn

Melissa McCrotty Photography, from Bayley + Lucas's wedding at The Barn

Please, please, please RSVP. Here's how most weddings work: you've got to get your final headcount to your venue and caterer at least a couple of weeks ahead of time to ensure that there are enough tables (complete with decor, of course), seating at the ceremony and reception, food and cocktails. Also, if you say you're coming, show up unless you absolutely can't! And if you say you're not coming, stick to that response unless you make sure the bride and groom are okay with it. Another thing: unless the bride and groom have specifically stated on your invitation that you can bring a plus one or your children, just don't! (If you're a bride or groom and you're not sure how to deal with guests who don't RSVP, don't worry, because I already wrote a post about that!) 

Danielle Davis Art/Photography , from  Emily + Blake 's wedding at The Barn

Danielle Davis Art/Photography, from Emily + Blake's wedding at The Barn

And just a few more common sense, self-explanatory rules that any good wedding guest should follow: Don't get obnoxiously drunk. Turn your phone on silent. Dress according to the invitationDon't talk to the bride and groom forever... they've got lots of other people to visit with! Never outshine the bride and groom. Stay out of the photographer's way... we know you want photos, but that's what the photographer is there for! Show up on time. Take your favor... the bride and groom have put time and effort into them. Don't wear white. Have a good time! 

Follow these rules, and you'll be the best wedding guest ever. :)

Casey + Awni's Fun Rainy Day Wedding

This couple is one of our all-time favorites. They and their family and friends traveled to The Barn from Houston and California, and they won our hearts when they all showed up to their rehearsal dinner wearing old denim overalls! That pretty much explains how fun this group was; they managed to have the best time, even though it poured (and we mean poured) on their wedding day. They were SO joyful and smiled literally all day, and they fully embraced the less than ideal weather and didn’t let it dampen their spirits for a second. This amazing, laidback couple, plus their gorgeous details, made this a wedding that we won’t forget! Stephanie Parsley captured this wedding so perfectly… shooting weddings in the rain is hard, but these photos are beautiful, full of emotion, and pure magic. They’re some of our favorites of the year!

Photographer: Stephanie Parsley Photography | Venue, Coordination, Design, Florals: The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch | Makeup: Brittany McMahon | Hair: Suzanne at Serenity Skin Care and Salon | Bridal Gown: Amazon | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Mori Lee from Belle Saison Bridal | Cake: Kneading Hands Bakery 

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Casey and Awni were married at The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch on April 6, 2019. They didn’t choose a specific theme or color palette, but instead went with a beautiful combination of all the styles they love. “I have a very eclectic taste,” Casey said. “I love rustic, vintage, modern. For that reason I had a hard time choosing a theme. Fortunately for me, though, Lesleigh didn’t make me choose. She was able to pull bits of each and combine them into something I never could have put together myself. I was so happy with the use of mixed metals, vintage glassware, succulents, and flowers.”

Casey’s florals were so beautiful. She chose a combination of pink and peach David Austin roses, ranunculus, and succulents and had it all tied off with the sweetest mementos. “I found a bouquet on Pinterest that I loved,” she said. “Lesleigh and her team made me my very own perfect version of it. It had just the right combination of peachy pinks, whites, succulents and other greenery. It was girly without being too girly, just the right balance for me. From it hung 3 very special charms, photos of all of my grandparents on their wedding days.”

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Casey purchased a bridal gown from a salon in Austin, but several weeks before the wedding, she tried it on and realized she just wasn’t in love with it. “It was too tight and I was having major buyer remorse,” she said. “It just wasn’t right! I took a chance and ordered a dress I found on Amazon. It arrived quickly and was perfect. About a week or 2 before the wedding I was looking through my Pinterest boards and found a picture of a dress I had pinned months before that was almost the exact same dress I had. It was meant to be!”

The dress was such a fairytale dress, and we’re so glad Casey decided to take a chance on it! We can’t imagine the first one would have been any prettier. Here’s proof that you can change your mind on any wedding detail, even something as major as the dress, if it just doesn’t feel right. :) Casey, you were such a gorgeous bride, and your joy is contagious! We’ve never seen a more joyful bride. <3

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Casey’s bridesmaids wore Mori Lee dresses in the color Dove, and they were simply lovely. “I let each of the girls pick a style they felt comfortable in and I love each of the ones they chose,” she said. Can’t you tell this is the most fun group ever?!

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Casey and Awni had their first look in the pouring rain, and their joy in these photos is palpable... plus the umbrellas were such a cute detail! These two had such a great attitude about the less than desirable weather on their wedding day, and we loved this quote from Casey: “[Our wedding day] was absolutely perfect! It was everything I could have asked for and more. Sure, I wasn’t anticipating the rain. But the mud and bare feet added an element no one could have planned. Sure, we didn’t get to get married outside amongst the trees, in front of the beautiful hexagon altar. But the romantic indoor lighting was just as beautiful.” Future brides, take a note from this girl!

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I will always remember my sense of peace and ease throughout the entire day. (The entire planning process, really!) The wet weather forecast early in the morning could have been enough to stress out any bride. The heavy downpour that hit us on the way to The Barn could have had me in tears and no one would have blamed me for it, but it didn’t phase me for a second. I knew, deep in my heart, that Lesleigh and her team would do whatever it took, make whatever changes necessary to make our celebration seamless and amazing. I knew, deep in my heart, that regardless of the weather, the end result would be the same....I was going to marry the man of my dreams!
— Casey
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Casey and Awni planned to tie the knot in front of an outdoor hexagon altar, but the rain pushed their ceremony indoors - and it was every bit as pretty! They exchanged vows in front of stacked wooden crates, peachy pink florals, and lanterns… the candlelight and pink rose petals on the floor made their ceremony so romantic. They were all smiles and just so happy to be marrying each other!

This couple and their family and friends are from Houston and California, but they still managed to bring a touch of Arkansas to their ceremony (and the hilarious overalls at their rehearsal!). “When we were first considering traveling to Arkansas for a most unique destination wedding, I got a lot of grief about my choice of locale based on some Arkansas stereotypes (particularly hillbillies, marrying cousins and banjos),” Casey said. “Instead of letting the stereotypes stop me, I chose to embrace them. While I didn’t marry my cousin, I chose a banjo player for our ceremony instrumentalist (which was a surprise for my groom) and we had a hillbilly good time in our overalls at the rehearsal. I only wish I could have enjoyed the banjo more myself. By the way, people quickly changed their tune about Arkansas once they saw its beauty and experienced the fun we all had at The Barn.”

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One of the most unique details from this wedding was their guestbook… or guest quilt, rather! “I love quilting,” Casey said. “I decided to incorporate that by making a mini quilt to use as a ‘guestbook.’ So instead of a book collecting dust somewhere, the quilt now hangs beautifully in our home.” This is one of the best guestbook alternatives we’ve ever seen!

After they said I do, the rain let up enough to take some photos outside, and would you just check. out. that. newlywed. glow!!! These two, y’all. We’ll probably never meet another couple like them. They fully embraced the muddy landscape and just went with it. Casey’s bare feet and muddy dress made for some of our favorite wedding photos ever! Plus, the redbuds and dogwoods were blooming on this day, and it was just so pretty out there. So much magic in these.

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Casey and Awni’s reception was full of an eclectic mix of vintage, rustic and modern details. Their tables were covered in pink florals in various mixed metal and glass vases, lanterns, and a few geometric details. They had simple white and gold place settings with vintage glassware. The lighting inside The Barn, from the chandeliers, string lights and candles, made this reception so dreamy!

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Our time at The Barn went by so fast I feel like I didn’t really have a chance to soak it all in, to really appreciate all the little details. Even if I had, though, I don’t think I could choose a favorite. I loved the decor, I loved the flowers, I loved the ambiance, I loved the food, I loved the cake. I loved the fact that we were able to just show up to party...no set, no tear down, no watching the clock. Easy for us as the bride and groom, but also easy for our family.
— Casey
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We loveloveloved Casey and Awni’s simple scraped cake, with its peach flowers and rustic wooden backdrop. And we have to say, this was probably the funniest cake cutting ever!

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One of my personal favorite details of the day was Casey’s embroidered denim jacket that she wore during their first dance and throughout the reception. This is the coolest wedding detail ever! I’m in love. And I totally wish I would’ve thought of this for my own wedding!

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Casey and Awni didn’t send their guests home with favors from their wedding, but they did welcome bags in their guests’ hotel rooms instead. “They included some of our favorite family treats and snacks representing our California roots and Texas home,” Casey said. We love this idea!

The newlyweds haven’t gone on a honeymoon just yet, but they have a couple of options in the works. “The original plan was an Alaskan cruise, but we’re now considering Scotland for a double duty trip...honeymoon and a friend’s wedding,” Casey said.

Finally, this bride had the sweetest things to say about us when I asked her for feedback on her wedding planning process. Here’s what she said! “Lesleigh and the team were everything! I found The Barn through a Google search for all-inclusive wedding venues. The Barn truly is that, all-inclusive. Planning a wedding long distance can probably be a nightmare, especially in a destination you’ve never even been to. But from the first moment we met Lesleigh I knew it was the right choice. She was so kind and welcoming. Her attention to detail from the very beginning was impressive (at our planning meeting she knew what time sunset would be on the day of our ceremony). She had suggestions for all the extras we would need, photography, hair and makeup, DJ, rehearsal dinner. She happily responded to all the little questions or requests we had. I didn’t get a chance to meet the rest of the team, but I am so thankful for all of them. I would recommend The Barn to anyone looking for the perfect low stress, super friendly, dream wedding location!”

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Casey and Awni, y’all are the BEST, and we are so thankful we got to celebrate your marriage with you! We truly LOVED every detail of your wedding day. Come back and visit! Best wishes! xoxo

Barn Elopements Three Ways

Elopements at The Barn have gotten sorta HUGE. In fact, I am emailed about our elopement collections more than anything else! Barn Elopements are romantic, inexpensive (they start at $1,850... say what?!), and super easy. As with all of our other collections, the only thing our elopement brides and grooms have to do: show up and have a great time! Our elopements are perhaps even less stressful than our other wedding collections (which are already the least stressful weddings EVER), because our team does literally all the planning, coordinating, decorating, etc. If you haven't read about our elopements before, this is a quick rundown of how they work: you tell us the colors and overall theme you like, and our incredibly creative team just runs with it. Our elopements are always some of our prettiest weddings, because our team gets to go all out with the details, and it's always such a wonderful surprise for our couples! 

I've written about our elopement collections many times... if you need more info, check out these posts: our Classic Elopement Collection, our new Sip-Sip Celebrate Collection. and 10 reasons to elope at The Barn. We also have an Elopements section on the blog, where you can see all the gorgeous details from every elopement we’ve blogged so far! Just click “Elopements” over there on the sidebar! 

Here are three of our favorite, most talked about elopements... they’re all a few years old, so if you’ve recently started following us, you may have missed them the first time around! They all vary in style, colors, themes, etc. And they are ALL amazing! 

Intimate, Simple Fall Elopement

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Ali and Lee's intimate fall elopement was perhaps the most simple one we've ever done, but it was just as beautiful as every other one we've done! These two have such a sweet love story, and they wanted a wedding that was as laidback as they are. The love they have for each other was definitely the most beautiful detail of their wedding day. They had a beautiful, rustic altar, the prettiest pink florals, the sweetest cake of all time, and a beautiful fall setting. My absolute favorite details were Ali's dress and accessories. Sometimes simple weddings are the sweetest and most beautiful of all! 

Colorful Rustic-Cowboy-Gypsy-Chic Elopement

If you've been reading The Barn Blog for very long, you've undoubtedly seen this elopement a time or two... I can't stop talking about it! Morgan and Wager's elopement was super detailed, and it was one that we will never forget. Morgan loves all things bright, rustic, cowboy and gypsy inspired, so our team took all of those things and made THIS gorgeous masterpiece elopement. We're never, EVER gonna be over that altar (rusty tin, pallets, steer heads, hanging florals and lights, a cowhide, etc.) orrrr that macaron-topped cake. This elopement was right up our alley! It was a little bit rustic, a little bit cowboy, a little bit gypsy, and a LOT fabulous.

Colorful, Whimsical Balloon Elopement

Sujey and Jeffrey were married over two years ago, and I still can't get over their sweet, creative, adorable Up-inspired elopement. It's been on this blog a lot, and I'm sure I'll continue to bring it up, because I'm obsessed. (Sorry, not sorry!) When this precious couple told us they wanted an Up theme and a bright, bold color palette, our team went to town blowing up balloons and making the most epic altar ever. Other highlights from this elopement: colorful florals, adorable tiny naked cakes, and a balloon arch behind their cake table. 

Holly + Alfred’s Pastel Spring Elopement

I’ve been looking forward to this day for a while! It’s the day that I finally get to begin showing off our spring 2019 weddings! So far we’ve had five weddings this spring, and we have several to go, plus an amazing event coming up this weekend. I’m so excited that the first one I get to share with y’all is this magical elopement. It was so romantic and pretty, in part because it took place on the most gorgeous spring day, when the dogwoods were in full bloom and looked absolutely stunning. It included the prettiest spring color palette, the dreamiest altar set up right underneath a dogwood tree, and so many other pretty details. Crystal Malloy is one of our absolute favorite photographers, and we couldn’t stop swooning when she sent these photos over! 

Photographer: Crystal Malloy Photography | Venue, Coordination, Design, Florals: The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch | Makeup: Kristen at Affinity Day Spa | Hair: Ashley at Affinity Day Spa | Bridal Gown: Claire Pettibone Couture | Bridesmaids’ Dresses: David’s Bridal and Birdy Grey | Cake: Kneading Hands Bakery

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Holly and Alfred were married at The Barn at Twin Oaks Ranch on April 12, 2019. This bride drew some inspiration for her color palette from none other than Steel Magnolias! “Pink is one of my favorite colors so I enjoyed talking about my ‘two colors of blush and bashful’ in the weeks leading up to the wedding. Of course I said this in my best southern accent! Seriously, I wanted the colors of spring, so blush, lavender, muted blue and gray worked well together! My shoes were even a pale blue.” It was the pastel color palette of our dreams! 

Holly’s pastel florals were hands down some of our favorite details from this wedding. They were the ultimate spring florals! They were full of soft purples, pinks and blues, and they included hydrangeas, roses and dusty miller. 

Holly also included a super sweet detail in her bridal bouquet. “Because I didn’t have anything of either of my grandmother’s, one of my girlfriends loaned me her grandmother’s antique rose pin and I had it attached to the ribbon wrapping the bouquet for my something old,” she said. 

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We loved the gorgeous simplicity of the guys’ lavender bouts!

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Holly’s bridal gown was from the Claire Pettibone Couture Romantique collection, and it was jaw-dropping. The silhouette and neckline were timeless, and the delicate beading and lace were so beautiful. Holly, you were the most gorgeous, classic bride!

The bridesmaids wore the prettiest pastel dresses from David’s Bridal and Birdy Grey. They were romantic and feminine, and they fit so well with the colors and romantic, spring-inspired theme of this wedding.

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Thanks to Lesleigh we had no stress and no worries over any detail. She was readily available by text, email or phone anytime I had a question. That made the day and anticipation leading up to the wedding so much more enjoyable than if we had been doing everything ourselves.
— Holly
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Holly and Alfred’s ceremony was one of our dreamiest ceremonies ever, all thanks to the dogwood trees that make The Barn pure magic in the spring. We tucked their altar right into a dogwood that was in full bloom, and it was so, so lovely. We added a little bit of purple draping, our signature chandelier, and some of those gorgeous pale pink, purple and blue florals. Holly said the ceremony set-up was one thing she’d never forget about her wedding day. “One day I’ll tell the story of how Alfred and I were married beneath a blooming dogwood tree on one of the prettiest days April has ever had,” she said.

“The ceremony and day was perfect,” Holly said. She said her absolute favorite thing about getting married at The Barn was “the quaintness of the Barn, the little details brought from a Pinterest idea board to life by Lesleigh.”

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Holly and Alfred’s cake display was springy and sweet. We topped an antique desk with lots of pastel florals (the arrangements in the drawers were my favorites!), some purple fabric, and an adorable cake. We always love this simple style of cake, and it was topped with one of Holly’s favorite details of the day. “I made the peg people cake topper to look just like me and Alfred,” she said. “I’ll treasure it forever.”

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The newlyweds spent a week in Isla Mujeres following their elopement, and they’re planning to have a big barbecue with their extended family and friends at their home in the near future.

Holly and Alfred, thank you so much for allowing us to plan your beautiful elopement! We loved every bit of it. Best wishes! xoxo

FAQ About The Barn

There's a whole long list of questions that couples ask us frequently, so we wanted to answer several of them in one place! If you have a question that we don't cover below, holler at us on Facebook or via the contact page listed above! xoxo

Paxton Goates Photography, from  Jessica + Eli 's wedding

Paxton Goates Photography, from Jessica + Eli's wedding

Where are you located? Can I stop by to see The Barn? We are located right outside of Dardanelle, Arkansas, on over 35 acres of gorgeous land! Due to our very busy schedule, we do not allow drop-in visits. If you are interested in seeing The Barn, please contact us to set up a time! 

Do you have my date available? How far in advance should I book my date? Hopefully so! We book up way in advance for larger weddings, but since we can plan elopements so quickly, we can often book an elopement with only a few days’ notice. (Literally, as long as we have enough time to get your flowers in, we can pull off an elopement. We've put elopements together in as little as three days!) 2019 is almost completely full, and 2020 will fill up quickly. Our best advice... don't wait! If you think you want a date, go for it. :)

I’m interested in The Barn, and I have a wedding date chosen. I'm just not sure if The Barn is my final choice, so can you hold my date until I decide? Our dates are in very high demand, and for that reason, we do not hold dates. They are booked on a first come, first serve basis. If you think you want it, book it. That's our best advice. Many of our couples book The Barn without ever seeing it!

What is the fee for renting The Barn? This totally depends on the collection you choose. Our elopements start at $1,850. For larger weddings, we prefer not to list our pricing online, because every wedding is so drastically different. Contact us with your wedding needs, and we’ll be happy to give you a precise quote! And just an FYI, you can’t rent our venue! (This means we don't rent just the venue... it's all or nothing, y'all!)

What exactly does the price include? Every collection we offer is all-inclusive. For elopements, this means designer florals, ceremony decor (including a gorgeous altar), a cake and cake display are all included. For full-on weddings, this means designer florals, ceremony and reception details (including linens, dinnerware and all decor), an instrumentalist for your ceremony,  cake, catering, entertainment, a bar, and so much more. Each collection includes planning, coordination, set-up and tear-down. We are happy to add stationery, favors, and even honeymoon planning to your collection as well. We are truly a one stop shop! We offer just about everything but the dress. :)

What does The Barn not provide? You will need to bring your photographer and officiant, and we are happy to help you find the perfect ones! Check out our list of preferred photographers to find one that fits your budget and style.

What collections do you offer? Classic Elopements. Sip-Sip Celebrate Elopements. Simply Sweet. Rustic Chic. Pearl Snaps. Diamond Horseshoe. We offer a collection for everyone, and they are all completely customizable! Contact us for all the details!

How many people can The Barn hold? We can accommodate up to 200 folks!

How many hours will we get to be at The Barn? Couples who book our Classic Elopement collection get The Barn to themselves for two hours. For the Sip-Sip Celebrate elopements, it’s three hours. And our full-blown wedding collections allow for five to eight hours onsite, depending on the collection you choose. 

Where should our guests park? We have a large, grassy lot that’s just a short walk from The Barn. It’s marked with lots of cute signs, so your guests can’t miss it!

Do y'all do set up and tear down? Yes, for EVERY wedding! Having someone to set up and tear down your wedding decor is worth its weight in gold, if you ask us. 

Is there a back-up location if the weather is bad? Yep! We will move your ceremony inside The Barn if the weather doesn’t cooperate on your big day. It’ll be just as pretty and even more romantic and magical, promise!

If our ceremony and reception are held in the same area, how will you quickly transition the space with guests present? Unless the weather is just straight up crazy, we will ask your guests to go out on The Barn’s lawn or out to our covered patio while our team quickly and flawlessly transitions The Barn from a ceremony into a reception. Your guests can have a cocktail and maybe some hours d’oeuvres while they wait, and we promise it won’t take long! Our talented team has this process down to an art!

Is there a bridal suite or a groom's suite? Yes, we have both! Our Bridal Suite is the perfect place for a bride and her entourage to get ready for the big day. There are restrooms, mirrors for primping, a comfy chaise, a kitchen and plenty of seating inside. We even have a closet stocked with wedding day essentials and emergency items! Our Groom’s Room is such a fun hangout for the groom and his guys to have a couple drinks in while the ladies get ready. ;)

BnBauman Photography, from  Alyssa + Matt 's wedding

BnBauman Photography, from Alyssa + Matt's wedding

Do you have a website?Yes, we sure do! We are also on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram!

Is there a charge to use The Barn for regular portrait sessions? We currently only allow Barn Couples to use The Barn for portrait sessions.