The Must Have “Barn Wedding” Checklist

Barns are the latest trend and rage these days for romantic, intimate weddings!  However, they come with their own set of challenges.  Unlike the standard banquet room, barns do have special opportunities and limitations.  Here are some things you might want to check out:

The Must Have “Barn Wedding” Checklist

  • How many guests can the barn comfortably accommodate?
  • What does the rental fee cover?  Some barn venues provide only the space.  Some provide tables, chairs, linens, and more.)  Be sure to ask.
  • Are there restrooms on site?  Are there enough to accommodate all your guests.  Where are they located.
  • Is the barn equipped with electricity or do you need to bring in a generator?
  • If there a plan for excessive heat or cold to keep your guests comfortable?
  • Is there get ready space for the wedding party.   If not, is there a hotel close by?
  • Does the venue have a liquor license?
  • What are the additional fees?
  • Does the venue have a list of preferred vendors?  Can you choose others that may not be on their list.
  • When can the vendors set up?  Can décor and rentals be picked up the next day. 
  • Is there an on-site wedding coordinator?
  • Is the barn rain-proof?  If you are planning an outdoor ceremony, is there a plan for weather contingencies.
  • Is there enough onsite parking space?  Can guests easily walk to the event area for the parking lot?
  • Is there room to play outdoor games?
  •  Are there great areas for scenic photography?
  • What other options are there such as bonfire, hay wagon, etc.?

Today weddings in a barn offer the bride and groom a chance to hold their wedding in a very personable and unique location. A barn wedding can be dressed up or dressed down to match the style and decor of your wedding and offer endless charm.

Photography compliments of J. Graeler Photography and Patrick Pope Photography.

Top 2017 Country Wedding Songs

As you know, this month we are all about “country”.  So, we wanted to share with you the 2017 Top 42 Country Songs that are perfect for your wedding ceremony or reception.  Stomp your boots on the floor, wipe the tears from your eyes  – this playlist has something for everyone – upbeat, slow and sexy.

And how well do you know the lyrics from your favorite country wedding songs?   Brush up because you just might win one of our many prizes, if you are the first to answer some of our “trivia country music” questions at our October 22nd Harvest Bridal Show at Valley Farms.  Keep watching our Facebook page, because we will be sharing some of our questions on Facebook here and there before the October 22nd Harvest Bridal Show, and then you’ll be one of our in-the-know brides.

Ain’t Always Pretty – Logan Mize

All On Me – Devin Dawson

Black – Dierks Bentley

Body Like a Back Road – Sam Hunt

Break On Me – Keith Urban

Chills – James Barker Band

Cinderella – Catherine McGrath

Circles – Jana Kramer

Criminal – Lindsay Ell

Die A Happy Man – Thomas Rhett

Expensive – Sammy Arriaga

For Her – Chris Lane

From the Ground Up – Dan & Shay

Give Up Your Heart – Levon

God Gave Me You – Blake Shelton

God Made A Woman – Jerrod Niemann

Good Time To Be Alive – Lady Antebellum

Greatest Love Story – Lanco

H.O.L.Y. – Florida Georgia Line

Happens Like That – Granger Smith

Head Over Boots – Jon Pardi

Heartbeat – Carrie Underwood

Hometown Girl – Josh Turner

I Could Use a Love Song – Maren Morris

In Case You Didn’t Know – Brett Young

It All started with a Beer – Frankie Ballard

Legends – Kelsea Ballerini

Love Someone – Brett Eldredge

More Girls Like You – Kip Moore

She Does – Jackie Lee

Sleepin’ Around – Austin Burke

Small Town Boy – Duston Lynch

Speak to a Girl – Tim McGraw

Still Fallin – Hunter Hayes

Strip It Down – Luke Bryan

Tennessee Whiskey – Chris Stapleton

To Learn Her – Miranda Lambert

Today – Brad Paisley

We Do Us – Ryan Hurd

What I Wanna Be – Jacob Davis

Yours – Wedding Edition – Russell Dickerson

Yours If You Want It – Rascal Flatts

Song List Courtesy of Popsugar Entertainment

Top Planning Tips for a Destination Wedding

Photo Credit:  Jessica Claire Photography


More couples today are turning to destination weddings from beach locations stateside to international locations such as Riviera Maya, Punta Cana, Montego Bay.  The majority of couples who choose destination weddings are doing so to find extra unique opportunities for themselves and their guests.  While many people assume the average duration is equivalent to a long weekend, most destination weddings average six days.

When choosing a venue it is important to keep your guests in mind.  Will the destination be affordable for guests to fly to and are there multiple hotel options at different price points.   Because of the extra expense of a destination wedding, you will find that your guest list will filter down to your core group of friends and family.

Most importantly it is important that you invest time and money to visit in person early in the planning process.   You will want to schedule venue site visits, do taste testings, and plan layouts and floor plans.  Depending on the size of your wedding, it may be easier to hire an event planner to help coordinate other vendors such as florists, photographers, DJs, etc.  And most importantly, if you are doing an international wedding in another county find out what the marriage license requirement are.  It might mean that you’ll have to tie the knot locally for it to be legal.

Know your destination and communicate information to your guests.  Share any special opportunities and travel ideas with them.   Communicate dress code and perhaps even send a basic vocabulary list in the local language.  Most important – have fun planning your special day.

Are you considering a Wedding Hair Wreath?

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Romantic hair wreaths are one of my favorite new trends that you see more and more. It’s a great alternative for an offbeat bride who cares for something fresh and youthful for her wedding. It’s especially good for that “organic” garden style wedding in an open meadow or backyard. Couple your wreath with a casual relaxed dress, perhaps some ruffles and soft flounces, and then add a pair of comfortable sandals.

We like these wreaths because they are cute, ultra feminine and very couture-like. Fresh flowers and herbs available during the summer months offer a huge selection of colors, flowers, and styles. You could also add some twigs, vines, cherry blossoms, and berries. Make it small and delicate or create a more whimsical style. And circular wreaths symbolize marriage – a complete circle.

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Receptions with a Different Twist

Are you the kind of bride that wants to see your guests and friends having a great time and mingling at your reception?  A reception is a party and creating a party atmosphere can be easily accomplished with food stations.  From a carving station to a pasta station, guests can enjoy a night to remember that is truly special.  Here are some ideas of different food stations that you might consider:

Carving Station – Smoked Turkey, Honey Ham, Prime Rib

Mashed Potato Bar – Provide toppings such as cheese, bacon, spices, blue cheese, sour cream, onions, green peppers, etc.    Add seasonings for French fries and sweet potato fries.  How about some homemade potato chips.  The possibilities are endless.

Pasta station – mostaccioli, macaroni and cheese, chicken with bow tie pasta, etc.

Barbeque Station – Ribs, Pork Steaks, and Brats to name a few.

Nachos Station – Build your favor nachos with Mexican toppings.  Add a pitcher of margaritas for more fun.

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Hot Dog Station – Wow!  I love this.  Include a variety of sausages as well.  Put toppings in clear glass jars.  Provide a variety of homemade pickles, pepper rings, sauerkraut.  Maybe have a selection of local microbrew beers.

Bread Station – What about lots of different breads, rolls, jellies, peanut butter, almond butter, honey butter.

Popcorn Station – Yes, lots and lots of great choices here.  Be sure to check out Poptions in Kirkwood for a wonderful selection including Gooey Butter, Chocolate Pecan Praline (my favorite), Aged White Vermont Cheddar and many, many more.

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I think you get the idea.  It is lots of fun.  Guests love it.  Be sure to forego the ordinary and try to think of fun ways to serve everything!  Vintage dishes can be used for many of the stations.

These mini buffets are scattered throughout your reception area and are the perfect solution for non-traditional reception spaces.  Don’t be afraid to implement your own ideas.  Have fun.

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The Unplugged Wedding – A Great New Trend

More and more brides are insisting that guests turn off their cell phones because all the ringing and flashing can be very disturbing during their wedding ceremony.  And in addition, many professional wedding photographers are very outspoken about how cellular devices get in the way of capturing some great photos.  With guests holding up their I-pads, Cell Phones and Consumer Cameras, many great moments are totally ruined.  Technology allows people to take photos at a moment’s notice, but there is no way that you can compare the quality of those images to that of a professional photographer.  In addition, most couples really want their guests to be sharing the “experience and emotions” of exchanging those vows.

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Here are ways to gently ask your guests to honor your wishes:

  1. Have a sign created that is placed at the ceremony entrance requesting all technology devices be turn off, and to refrain from taking photos during the ceremony.
  2. Ask your wedding officiant to remind guests to silence their phones and not to take photos – leave it to the professionals.
  3. Add a note to your invitations – letting guests know that you will be having an “unplugged wedding.”