A barn wedding usually plays on natural, rustic beauty.
The venue is as simple as a wedding location can be.
It can be dressed up or dressed down.
Once you have found your barn wedding venue, the next step is often to buy the dress.
While some brides buy their dresses before selecting a venue, many bridal consultants and shops will dissuade the newly engaged from doing so.
Certain styles and fabrics of dresses don’t always work for every wedding venue.
If you are clueless as to what to look for in a wedding dress for your barn wedding, you are not alone.
The wedding dress is not only a big investment, but also a big commitment.
It will be seen in photographs for decades and often leaves that lasting impression with guests.
In hopes of helping those brides bound for a barn wedding, here are a few features to look for in a wedding dress that you might want to consider for your barn bonanza.
A giant ballgown tends to work well in grand cathedrals and large palatial estates. However, the ball-gown doesn’t always fit into a rustic barn. It can overwhelm the venue and contradict the feeling of the wedding that you want.
For many brides, the ball-gown is the princess dream. Even if you are getting married in a barn, you can still have your cake and eat it too.
Some designers make dresses with an overskirt. This is a great option if you want a ball-gown for the ceremony, but something more form fitting for the reception. The gown typically consists of a skirt over a sleeker gown. It can be removed when you need to start dancing in the barn rafters.
Many brides who have barn weddings resist the ball-gown style and go with something more form fitting. One of the advantages to this look is that you don’t have to worry about overwhelming your simple wedding venue. A more streamlined gown will be easier to move around the barn and outdoor surroundings.
Barns can be precarious places where your photographer might have you posing on hay bales and against rusted old barn doors. A dress that doesn’t have as much volume tends to work well in these sorts of spaces.
If you have seen photographs of barn weddings, the bride almost always has some sort of lace detailing on her gown. Lace wedding gowns make for an ideal material for a barn wedding.
Barns can be rustic yet vintage spaces. Lace harks on those classic ideas of romance. A lace wedding gown also creates a soft feminine look that tends to go with a barn wedding style.
Having tried on many lace wedding dresses for my own wedding, I would still be careful with the amount of lace that you choose for your barn wedding. Lace can be extremely heavy, especially if the dress is completely covered in lace.
If you are planning on a summer barn wedding and your venue doesn’t have air conditioning, you might want to go with a dress that is composed of a lighter material.
At the same time, just because you are getting married in a barn doesn’t mean you need to buy a lace dress. There are other options if you aren’t a fan of lace.
Barn weddings tend to be more relaxed and carefree just by design. Your gown’s material should reflect this. A soft and flowing material like chiffon lends more of an ethereal look that is still easy to move around in from different points in the barn.
For those antique barn wedding venues with buckling gray doors and wooden beams, your wedding dress can also match the venue merely by the color that you choose. An ivory gown tends to compliment those antique settings.
Soft ivories might blend in better with vintage and antique decor that you add to your wedding venue. An ivory wedding dress is a nice option for brides that don’t want to wear white, but also for brides that might want to add more embellishments to their dress.
Even if you are getting married in a barn, your dress can still be detailed. The color of the dress can carry the theme of the wedding venue and the dress details can reflect more of your style.
If you want to wear more of a white gown, you don’t need to change venues. A white wedding dress also works well with certain barn weddings.
If you are going for a more classic look with that typical red barn, a white gown will compliment the style of the wedding.
If you are going to pick a white wedding dress, it is important to consider the style.
Simple and classic designs will work well with the barn.
However, those dresses with over the top with beading and details might clash with your classic wedding style. Dresses with cleaner lines in white work well with a barn wedding.
Just as a big ballgown might look out of place in a barn wedding, a dress with a long train might also be problematic for the barn ceremony.
If you are getting married in a barn, your ceremony might be taking place right outside of the barn on a grassy lawn. A long train will be difficult to keep from getting dirty on your wedding day.
If you want to have a little train, you can. Just be sure that there is a bustling option so that you can move about the barn without tripping over your gown.
Some brides with barn weddings decide to forego tradition and pick a short dress. If you are going for a more country style barn wedding, a short dress creates a more relaxed tone.
Some brides like to pair these types of dresses with cowboy boots to further the style of a country wedding. A short dress will also be easier to move around a barn location than a long dress with a long train.
Some wedding experts will tell you not to buy a dress that doesn’t go with your wedding venue. While you should consider your venue when you purchase your dress, you shouldn’t let it completely dictate your choice.
Your wedding dress should fit your personality and style.
Brides should stand out on their wedding day. If standing out for the bride entails wearing a giant ball-gown, you can make it work in the barn wedding venue.
Ultimately, you need to go with the dress that you want and not necessarily the best dress for your venue. The venue can help guide you as you shop for your dress, but it should never have the last word.
Brides should select a dress that looks good on their figure. You should feel comfortable, special and yourself on your wedding day, no matter if you are getting married in a barn or a ballroom.
What do you think is the best type of dress for a barn wedding?
Share your ideas with us in the comments 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+.