How to Have a Unique Barn Wedding

If you’ve fallen in love with a beautiful barn wedding venue, but the idea of decorating with bunting, lace and hessian completely turns you off, we’re here to give you a helping hand with how to make sure your barn wedding is completely unique.

“We often see couples getting stuck on the idea that their barn wedding has to be centred around bunting and jam jars, but there are lots of different approaches to complement a barn venue and avoid a twee day,” says Sarah Loughrey-Jennings of Hiding in the City Flowers.


A lot of people feel that barns only lend themselves to the afore-mentioned, shabby chic theme, but this is far from the case, as wedding expert Julie Daukes of Ash Barton points out.

“Having a barn wedding doesn’t mean you have to lose the lavishness of a traditional wedding. The fun is in the decoration and there are plenty of ways to make your barn wedding stand out from the crowd.”

The beauty of a barn venue is that they’re often a blank canvas, allowing you to decorate however you want, be it an opulent theme with lots of gold and deep reds, a modern, minimalist day with geometric stylings and leafy botanicals or anything in between.

“Don’t get fixed on all the other barn wedding images,” advises luxury wedding planner Aimee Dunne.

“Googling barn weddings and scrolling through Instagram might be nice for inspiration but try and make it personal. Take the venue and make it unique to you, not a copy of a styled shoot.”

How to Decorate a Barn Wedding Venue

“Barns usually have such an expanse of space that you really need to think about how you segregate the different areas to prevent it looking empty,” advises wedding planner Linzi of That Black and White Cat. “Think of the best places to put your bar, dancefloor and tables.”

Couples getting married in barn venues have the benefit of very high ceilings, providing plenty of scope for elaborate suspended decorations, which is a huge trend this year.

Image: Emma-Jane Photography

“Use the ceiling height to your advantage by draping down décor from it,” advises Julie. “This will draw your guests’ eyes up, and frame the space, making for an elegant atmosphere.”

“Incredibly tall ceilings with formidable beams can feel daunting to dress, and people often struggle with how fill the space, and end up stringing up bunting to add a level of embellishment,” says Sarah. “Bunting does add interest and reduces the ceiling space, but it can create a village fete feel, rather than an elegant vibe.”

In place of bunting, invest your budget in dressing your ceiling with an abundance of suspended, cascading floral décor, such as hoops and arches, and keep your tables more minimal to balance out your spending.

“At Hiding in the City Flowers, we’ve had couples that have invested in lots and lots of trickling foliage garlands or beautiful material canopies for their barn venue, that can be strung up like bunting, but add to the natural organic feel of the venue and add a softness,” adds Sarah.

We all know flowers can be rather pricey, so another option to decorate your barn ceiling is lots of paper lanterns – the round IKEA lamp shades are cheap enough to buy lots without denting your budget too much, and are very effective at creating an enchanting look. Head to Etsy for different coloured lanterns and paper pompoms for a pastel hued wedding.

If your barn has low, cosy ceilings as opposed to vaulted ones, enhance the rustic vibe with bunches of hops and dried flowers strung up along them instead. Continue this theme onto your tables for cool coordination with dried flower centrepieces.

For something a bit different, but equally as showstopping as flowers, why not opt for balloon installations?

“Balloons look great in vaulted ceilings,” says Sarah Kellum of Millbridge Court. “Consider aspects of the barn, from the corners to the height, and use the theme of your day to highlight these features.”

Similarly, glitter balls add something very special to barn weddings, creating an instant air of glamour and a fun party vibe.

An easy way to create laid-back elegance for your barn wedding is the use of wedding signs.

We’d normally expect barn weddings to have rustic wooden signs directing guests where to go, with the words painted on for a kitsch homemade feel. Eschew this in favour of perspex or mirrored signs for an instant glam upgrade, and follow this through for the seating plan – gold frames are an easy way to add a luxury vibe to barn weddings, taking the vibe from boho to high end with little effort.

Embrace classy calligraphy for your stationery, including the menus and place names for a departure from shabby chic barn style.

Wedding Centrepieces for Barn Weddings

While ceiling decorations are undeniably striking, and very on trend, if your budget doesn’t stretch to suspended floral arrangements, go all out with your tables instead.

“If your wedding budget doesn’t allow for ceiling décor, simply leave it alone and concentrate on dressing your venue from the tables up,” says Sarah.

“Having a mixture of tall and low floral arrangements helps to absorb some of the height of the barn, making the room seem more intimate and full.”

“Tall table arrangements are generally more expensive than lower ones, but you only need a few to make the room feel smaller and less imposing.”

Avoid the kitsch barn wedding look with gorgeous glass centrepieces for a classy feel.

The Best Flowers for Barn Weddings

When you’re choosing your wedding flowers it’s important to consider if they’ll gel with your venue; a barn wedding venue works best with unruly, untamed blooms as opposed to perfect spherical arrangements.

“A barn is very connectioned with the outdoors, therefore flower arrangements should be light, colourful and naturally styled,” say Michal J Kowalski, master florist at Blooming Haus.

“Choose wild blooms, such as rugged roses, fragrant peonies, saturated zinnias, spiky rudbeckias, echinaceas and unusually shaped scabiosas. Play with the contrast sin your arrangements.”

Scroll down for serious barn wedding decor inspiration.

Image: Kit Myers Photography at Millbridge Court, balloons courtesy of Bubblegum Balloons


Unusual wedding table plan idea for weddings

Ash Barton barn decorated for a summer wedding
Ash Barton barn decorated with fairy lights
Image: Emma-Jane Photography
Image: Philippa Sian Photography at Millbridge Court, glitter balls by Creative Spark.
Suspended floral arrangement, shot by Emma-Jane Photography

For even more wedding decor inspiration, check out our round up of the most amazing floral wedding arches, sure to add extra interest to a barn wedding venue.

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