The barn wedding venue is a couple’s blank canvas.
You must play the part of Picasso and Rembrandt to dress up that blank space into your wedding masterpiece.
As the barn beams are the limit in terms of what you can do to the setting, barn weddings come in many different styles from elegant to country chic.
The look all depends on what route the bride and groom want to go with for décor and accents.
Décor for a barn wedding is one of the most crucial aspects to achieving the unique wedding style.
You want the space to be both inviting for guests but also special for your big day.
From casual and comfortable to elegant and vintage, we have listed below some classic barn wedding décor ideas.
Chalkboard and Handmade Signs –
Chalkboard and handmade signs compliment the barn wedding theme. You can use chalkboards to tell guests any number of messages from what’s on the menu or where the wedding favors are located.
Chalkboards can also be used for seating charts. They make for a relatively inexpensive decor item.
If you don’t want the chalkboard to appear overly rustic, you can dress it up with an ornate frame.
By their very nature, chalkboards are also easy to customize as you can handwrite messages and sayings to extend your wedding theme.
Handmade signs can also be used at barn weddings. As a popular décor idea for barn weddings, handmade signs often point guests in the direction of all of the night’s events from the ceremony location to the dance floor.
Again, these wooden signs can be inexpensive for the bride on a budget.
String Lights and Chandeliers –
Barns are not always known for their lighting.
Most wedding venues with barns on the property will dress up the space with string lights. String lights create a more romantic and soft ambiance to a dark and dimly lit barn.
You can hire a lighting company to execute your vision. You might think that the cost should be low to hang up a few strings, but some companies will quote high bids. It’s best to get lots of bids before committing to one company.
If you are cash strapped, you can always string them up yourself if your venue will allow it (however not recommended). String lights are often at their most affordable just after the holiday season.
For brides looking to get away from the cliqued décor notions of a barn wedding, you can do so easily with the lighting. To add a more elegant and opulent feel, chandeliers can be added to the barn venue instead of or in addition to string lights. You can also hang lanterns from the barn beams for additional lighting.
Barn walls and ceilings are generally plain and wooden. Just like any room that is blank, drapes are added to enrich the space. You can add more visual interest and color to a barn with drapery.
Drapes soften the space and in turn can make barns more sophisticated at first glance. You can also use drapery to add drama to your space by adding fabric to entryways and across beams.
If you don’t want to use such heavy fabric, but you still want to adorn the walls of your barn with some sort of visual interest, buntings also work with the barn theme. Buntings come in all sorts of fabrics and materials so that you can cater to your level of formality.
Burlap Accents and Twine –
Barn and burlap tend to go together like chocolate chip cookies and milk. A burlap table runner or burlap wrapped around jars always goes well with barn décor. Burlap is also inexpensive for brides watching their wallets.
In addition to using burlap accents, twine also harks on the barn theme. You can tie jars, programs and menus with twine to promote that rustic look and feel.
Mismatched Tables, Chairs and Dishes –
You might cringe at thought of mismatching, but an eclectic mix of furniture for your barn wedding can also contribute to the overall theme.
Chairs and tables don’t necessarily need to match for a barn wedding. The setting is already a bit hodge-podge.
Antique and colorful chairs and tables don’t just contribute to the style of a barn wedding but they also help your barn wedding look and feel unique. You can rent from companies with vintage furniture or see if your venue has a mix of tables and chairs.
If you can’t do mismatched furniture for your wedding, you can still create that eclectic look elsewhere. Mismatched dishes are an easy way to lend rustic chic and set a more casual tone to your barn wedding. The unmatched look provides a suggestion that this wedding is unique and not like every other gathering.
Glass Jars –
Aside from decorating the walls and ceiling of the barn, you have to come up with centerpieces to suit the barn.
Colored glass jars go with the blank barn canvas. You can place flowers or candles in colored glass jars, staggered across the tables.
The classic Mason jar is always a barn wedding staple. To find these key centerpieces, you can look at antique and vintage stores, garage sales and online bidding sites. Your florist might also have Mason jars that you can use. You can find colored glass jars in all sorts of shapes and sizes to create a more assorted and unique look.
For a more sophisticated feel, you can stick to clear glass jars. For a more country look, you can try tin cans and pitchers as centerpieces. Also, for a different feel, you can suspend the jars from the barn beams for a floating presence.
Hay Bales and Wine Barrels –
For guestbook tables and the like, you can accent the empty spaces around your wedding with hay bales and wine barrels. While hay bales aren’t for every wedding, if you want to create a country look, they work well as accents when you need to fill vacant spaces.
Brides looking for a more elegant alternative to hay bales can use wine barrels. You can construct bars and dessert tables with the help of a few wine barrels and an old antique door for the tabletop. They can also be used to fill empty spaces, similar to a hay bale. Barns are big after all.
Back at the barn, lighting that is truly classic is that illuminating from candles. You can stagger candles on the table to lend that rustic feel with a romantic glow. Candles provide soft lighting that you might want instead of the string lights.
However, if the barn is composed of wood, your wedding venue might have restrictions on open flames. If this is the case, you can try battery operated candles or covered lanterns instead.
Barn wedding décor is truly an open book. You can make it fancier with drapery on the walls and ceilings, accented by crystal chandeliers. You can make it more comfortable and casual with just a few barnyard staples like twine, hay bales and burlap.
The important aspect is to have the décor all add up to the vision that you had in mind for your wedding day.
What’s your favorite décor item for barn weddings?
Share your ideas with us below.
About the Author
Suzy is a freelance writer, largely penning travel and lifestyle pieces for a number of online publications including the Estate Weddings and Events blog. With a redheaded temperament she travels the globe in search of sarcasm, stories and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. You can connect with her via LinkedIn or Google+.