If you’re just starting out on your wedding planning journey or you’re making your final choices and changes for your 2019 wedding, bank holiday weekend is the perfect time for a bit of wedmin! So grab your notebook, a cuppa, a slice of cake and take a look at your wedding to do list over the 3 day weekend.

17% of UK weddings take place in barns. Barns are the second most popular wedding venue choice (after Country/Manor Houses) for 2019 weddings. This week therefore we’re focussing on the best way to style your barn!

The first thing to say, is that each and every barn is completely unique, making them the perfect canvas for creating yourself a wedding day exclusive to you and your tastes. Some barns are old and rustic, some have been newly built or renovated and some are stripped back. We’ll guide you on what works in which types of barn too!

Lighting in barns

Traditionally, barns aren’t naturally light venues and therefore it’s really important to ensure you add lighting in some form, regardless of the season of your wedding.

Fairy lights 

There are various options for adding fairy lights in a barn.  We love installing fairy light canopies which add a twinkly romantic look and gives the sense of the ceiling being slightly lower.

Either choose to run the fairy lights along the length of venue, zig zag across the beams or hang the lights from the middle of the barn and spread the fairy lights out towards the edge of the barn.

Styling and lighting by Not Your Average I Do / Photography by Stephanie Palmer Photography

Hang lights to create a gorgeous backdrop for your top table, perfect for those all-important speech photos.

Fairy light top table backdrop. Venue Patricks Barn  / Lighting and Styling by Not Your Average I Do / Planned by Inspired by Susie Evans / Florals by Katherine Bly Flowers  / Photography by Marcel G Photography

Hang fairy lights in a way that matches the swag of drapes used on alternate beams.

Draping and lighting by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Southend Barns  / Florals by Bettie Rose Flowers  / Photography by Bella Kotak

Wrap fairy lights around the horizontal and vertical beams.

Draping and lighting by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Southend Barns  / Florals by Bettie Rose Flowers  / Photography by Bella Kotak  

Festoon lighting 

Festoon lighting is ideally suited to rustic laid-back barns. We love creating something a little bit different for our couples – the best way to do this with festoon lighting is to install it in a sporadic layout.

Festoon lighting at The Sussex Barn  / Styled by Not Your Average I Do  / Photography by Modern Vintage Weddings

Styling, florals and on-the-day management by Not Your Average I Do / Photography by SMP Wedding Photographer  

Uplighters 

Uplighters are great for adding a soft glow to the dark corners of your barn.

Battery powered fairy lights

Battery powered fairy lights are great for adding small elements of sparkle to difficult to reach spots.

Add them to foliage installations and hanging glass baubles.

Foliage wheel with battery powered copper wire fairy lights in glass baubles at Cissbury Barns. Lighting, Styling and Foliage by Not Your Average I Do / Venue Cissbury Barns  / Photography by Sarah Wenban Photography

Use battery pack fairy lights to decorate your table centres or cake table. Pair with wood slices to give a rustic outdoor feel.

Gold Terrarium, lighting, props and styling by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Cissbury Barns / Photography by Sarah Wenban Photography

Lighting, props and styling by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Cissbury Barns / Photography by Sarah Wenban Photography

Outdoor lighting 

Don’t neglect the outside of your barn. If it’s a working barn – add festoon lighting which will match well with the stripped back look.

Outside festoon lighting at Chapel Barn.  Lighting and Styling by Not Your Average I Do / Photography by Manon Pauffin

Outdoor lighting is both practical for your guests and also gives a gorgeous glow once the sun has set.

Lighting and styling by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Warborne Farm / Photography by Tom and Lizzie Redman Photography

 Hanging Lanterns

 Add lanterns to lighting to add an ethereal look that will look great both during the day as well as adding a twinkle at night.

Attach lanterns to either fairy lights or festoon lighting.

Lighting and lanterns by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Hendall Manor Barns

Festoon lighting and lanterns by Not Your Average I Do / Catering by The Garden Chef / Venue – Patricks Barn Sussex / Photography by Dale Weeks Photography

Draping

Ceiling draping 

You can completely transform a rustic venue into a romantic haven with draping that swags from the middle of the barn and drops to the floor. Add fairy lights and foliage to really set off the look.

Chapel Barn with draping & fairy lights and battery powered copper wired fairy lights in glass baubles hung from a foliage wheel. Draping, Lighting, Backdrop and Foliage by Not Your Average I Do / Venue Chapel Barn / Florals by Katherine Bly Flowers  / Planned by Inspired by Susie Evans / Photography by Lauren Henson

For a modern twist on classical draping, opt for flat panelled draping. It works perfectly in a high vaulted ceiling and looks dramatic with white voile against a dark metal roof.

Draping by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Chafford Park Estate / Florals by Katherine Bly Flowers / Photography by Parkershots Photography

Beam draping

For a romantic look, opt for beam draping that falls elegantly to the floor. Perfect for a wedding ceremony in a barn.

Draping and altar by Not Your Average I Do /  Venue – Cissbury Barns / Photography by Sarah Wenban Photography

 Barn door draping

If you’re choosing to marry in front of your barn doors, adding draping can create a stunning romantic backdrop for your “I Do’s”. Add foliage to the draping to bring the outside in.

Barn door draping by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Ratsbury Barn / Florals by BloominGayles / Planned by Utterly Wow / Photography by Tarah Coonan Photography

 Foliage

Using fresh foliage within the barn is a beautiful and natural way of working with the venue and bringing the outdoors in. It works perfectly with both old, rustic barns and new, renovated barns. Adding a splash of foliage softens the space and adds a dash of colour in a natural way. You can also tie in the foliage in your venue to the foliage you include in your bridal party flowers which gives a beautiful feeling of continuation for your day.

 Beams wrapped in foliage 

Hang foliage from your barns beams or trail foliage up the upright beams.

Foliage wheels 

Foliage wheels add a gorgeous focal point for your barn ceiling.  Place in the centre of the barn where guests will walk in to give them that WOW factor.

Barn door draping by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Ratsbury Barn / Florals by BloominGayles  / Planned by Utterly Wow / Photography by Tarah Coonan Photography  

Large foliage plank installations

Decorate large wooden planks with foliage for a dramatic effect in any venue. This current Pinterest trend looks amazing in any venue. Choose to only use foliage or add some flowers in to add a softer touch.

Hanging foliage plank installation at Chafford Park Estate  / Styling and props by Not Your Average I Do / Flowers and foliage by Not Your Average Flowers / Catering equipment by Co-ordination Catering Hire

Other ceiling décor

 Ribbon Wheels

For something a little bit different, suspend large wooden or metal wheels from the beams and hang ribbons from them in colours that match your colour scheme.

Lighting and ribbon wheels by Not Your Average I Do / Florals by Katherine Bly Flowers / Photography by Marcel Grabovski Photography / Venue – Patricks Barn  

Hanging Planters

We love this creative idea that one of our brides had at their wedding, hanging planters from the beams in the barn. They could be given as gifts to family and friends after the wedding too.

Draping and lighting by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Southend Barns / Florals by Bettie Rose Flowers / Photography by Bella Kotak

 Table Centres

If your barn has vast high ceilings, sometimes this can make it feel less cosy. By adding ceiling decoration in any of the forms as described above, you will naturally give the feeling of lowering the ceiling and therefore making the space feel more intimate.

Another tip is to use tall stands for your table centres to give height to your decorations.

Draping, props and styling by Not Your Average I Do / Catering equipment hire by Co-Ordination Catering Hire / Photography by Parkershots Photography 

 Other Décor

 For a rustic look – use barrels dotted around the venue. You could use them as poseur tables, a cake table or to display floral designs.

Barrel bar provided by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – The Sussex Barn / Styled by Not Your Average I Do  / Photography by Modern Vintage Weddings

Use pallets to create an order of the day, table plan or photo wall.

Styling by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Brookfield Barn / Photography by Lemonade Pictures

Use chicken wire to create a table plan and to give a small nod to the farming roots of your barn.

Lighting and styling by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – The Sussex Barn / Styled by Not Your Average I Do / Photography by Modern Vintage Weddings

Pile up rustic crates and add flowers in jars and pots to decorate.

Styling by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Brookfield Barn / Photography by Lemonade Pictures

Use rustic wooden signage dotted around your venue.

Styling by Not Your Average I Do / Venue – Brookfield Barn / Photography by Lemonade Pictures

Use wellies as a ‘vase’ to plant your flowers.

Lighting and ribbon wheels by Not Your Average I Do / Florals by Katherine Bly Flowers / Photography by Marcel Grabovski Photography / Venue – Patricks Barn

Get in touch with us if you’re looking to add that something extra special to your barn wedding. We can book an inspiration consultation at our Wedding Warehouse to see how we can help you bring your dreams to reality.

We are so lucky on the South Coast of England to have some gorgeous barns – both rustic and modern. Our favourite local barns are Yoghurt Rooms, Gote Barn , Chafford Park , Hendall Manor , Sussex Barn and Tythe Barn. Get in touch with us or them to see how we could bring your barn dreams to life.