So, you are recently engaged; congratulations! One of the first tasks on your to-do list is choosing a fabulous ceremony and reception venue. Since you are reading this, you are obviously interested in a barn/farm venue. Before you sign anything, make sure your first choice checks off all these boxes. Other than that just-right feeling of finding "the one," there are several things you should look for in a farm wedding reception site. Here are some helpful tips to help you narrow down your list.
A Roomy Fit
It sounds obvious but make sure the venue is large enough to accommodate the activities and the number of people on your guest list. Heritage Farm has over 6 acres of open lawn, ceremony, reception and parking space that creates an open feeling for even a large number of guests.
Now for the reception area itself. It may look enormous when it's empty, but wedding essentials—tables, chairs, a buffet, bar, the band or DJ setup, the dance floor—will fill it quickly. Our 40’ x 80’ reception tent on a concrete floor can easily accommodate up to 200 guests and still have adequate room for dancing, your DJ, and buffet tables. If your quest list is larger than that, we can set up another tent that will increase the capacity to 250.
The best way to assess the spaciousness of a site is to go see it when another wedding (with an equivalent guest list size) is all set up. We can let you know of a similar size wedding at Heritage Farm and you are welcome to check out the set-up before the wedding begins.
Eating, Drinking and Partying Areas
There should be logical places within the venue where guests can eat, drink, mingle and dance. When you're check out a farm venue, try to envision where each activity would happen (especially if your ceremony will also be there).
A few steps from the reception tent at Heritage Farm is the Welcome Barn & Bar. This rustic barn is an ideal space for people to mingle before and during the reception. Use it to set up a memory table or photo both. The possibilities are up to your imagination!
Privacy varies widely by venue, as does the importance couples place on it. Some farm/barn venues are located near a busy highway where noise and on-lookers could be an issue. Heritage Farm is located at the end of dead-end county road. Privacy is certainly not an issue here!
Light can make—or break—the mood and space. If you're marrying during the day, double-check that your reception barn or tent has plenty of light. Who wants to spend six hours in a dark space when the sun is shining? If it's an evening affair, make sure the space is not too dim—or that the lighting can be controlled for the big entrance, dinner and dancing. If you're marrying outdoors, say, at dusk, will you be able to set up candles or string lighting?
With the sides off, the reception tent at Heritage Farm allows plenty of natural light to filter in during the day. Even with the sides up due to cool or rainy weather, the cathedral style windows placed every ten feet allow natural light to filter in. When evening comes at Heritage Farm, warm vintage style string lights in the tent and around the venue provide just the right amount of light for a romantic atmosphere.
A Great View
You not only want to get married outside but you also want a beautiful, well maintained venue with lots of natural scenery and backdrops for great wedding photos. The gently rolling landscape and historic buildings at Heritage Farm provide a variety of interesting photo spots for your treasured wedding pictures.
Do a thorough check around the venue for plenty of power outlets—especially if you're partying in a place that's doesn’t usually host weddings. You’ll want to make sure that your entertainment crew has all the power they need to keep the party going. This means taking note of all the electrical outlets in your reception area and supplying them with more than enough extension cords that they can use safely.
The reception tent at Heritage Farm has 5 double outlets spaced every twenty feet on one side of the tent. The Welcome Barn & Bar has plenty of outlets to meet your decorating and entertaining needs.
Plenty of Parking
Make sure the site has an adequate, well-lit parking area. Can guests be transported from the parking area to the ceremony to then to the reception? Inadequate parking isn't necessarily a deal breaker, but it may mean spending more time and money to figure out a viable transportation alternative.
Heritage Farm provides free parking for up to 100 cars in well-lit, grassy lot. We also provide parking attendants to get all yours guests parked in an orderly fashion and manned golf carts to transport guests needing assistance.
Face it, port-a-potties are fine at a construction site, but who wants to use one at a wedding? Many farm venues only supply this type of facility or require you to rent a nice trailer restroom (for a lot of money) yourselves. The two restrooms at Heritage Farm may look like charming, rustic outhouses on the outside, but inside you will find a standard flushing toilet and small sink with running water.
These are just a few of the things you should look for in an outdoor venue. You probably have a few more of your own to add to the list. Just remember ample planning and diligent searching will help you find the venue that is perfect for you!