In this article, learn ways to make sure you receive the portraits of your dreams when you choose to tie the knot in a farm or barn wedding and events venue.

Non-tradition reception venues are a recent trend among the newly engaged.  Formal black-tie weddings have decreased 20% in recent years.  Homemade chalk board signs, distressed vintage furniture all reflect the charm of “rustic chic”.

Barn Wedding
Barn Wedding
Barn Wedding
Barn Wedding

As a result of the trend away from the more formal wedding locations, a wave of faux barns have become popular around West Virginia and the surrounding areas.  Like many generations before them, young brides want expensive weddings, but instead of the formal venues, churches, restaurants, ball rooms and hotels, millennial instead wants barns, metal pole buildings, and breweries.

The new approach to weddings is to personalize one’s wedding.  Millennials choose to make the wedding an expression of their identity.  As a result, we see the rise of themed weddings, weddings in unique locales such as historic homes, vineyards, farms, and mountaintops.  According to recent articles, cost is not the deciding factor as to whether to choose a formal venue, or choose a farm wedding.

Farm/Barn Wedding
Farm Barn Wedding
Farm Wedding

Pros and Cons to Having a Barn Wedding


  •   Picturesque. Rolling fields of golden grass set on the hills of the Appalachians are masterpieces when paired with professional artistic wedding photography.   A wedding ceremony set among a meadow of waving grass with dramatic clouds in the distance, makes for a masterpiece portrait you will treasure all your life.  
  •   A Blank Canvas.  According to Wedding Wire, many couples choose to tie the knot in a barn venue because they can truly capture the rustic chic trend.  A bride may have a “hands-on” experience with all the little delightful aspects of decorating her wedding day to express her personal style and capture the charm in all the ways she has always dreamed to encapsulate a rustic chic wedding.  
  •   On the other hand, a more formal venue or church will have restrictions on the decorations.  Many formal venues have their own professional decorators who add cheer to the venue for holidays, etc.  Additionally, some venues charge extra to come the day before the wedding in order to decorate, or charge for cleaning, etc.
  •   Privacy.  A wedding in a faux barn will offer privacy for the reception party.  Sound that a live band or a DJ might produce, will not be hindered by the fear of keeping the music down low.
  •   Space.  In a barn wedding, the guests will have plenty of space to dance.  The little children at the wedding will have enough space to run around.
  • Furry Friends. From dogs, to horses to cows, your furry friends will have no problem being a part of your ceremony and reception.

Cons to Having a Barn Wedding:

  •   Paving and wheel friendly.  Make sure the venue has paved area for the cars of your guests.  You don’t want anyone getting stuck.
  •   Portrait opportunities.  Many newly made “barn” wedding venues, are just a pole building with a parking lot.  Little consideration has been taken for beautiful landscaping.  If the venue is not placed in a beautiful field or surrounded by landscaping, make sure you arrive a day before to scout out perfect location for you and your photographer to go after the wedding to take portraits.  There is only so much a photographer can created with metal siding, parking lot and parked cars if there is no flowers, grass, trees, or space where there are points of interest.  Driving from A to point B after the wedding may take time away from timely getting to the reception and may throw your wedding time frame off.
  •   Wheel chair and handicap accessible.  Make sure the faux barn wedding venue is handicap accessible and has handicap accessible bathroom facilities in place for your guests.  If not, you may have to rent portable bathrooms.  We have photographed weddings at barn venues where there was only one bathroom with steep stairs for all the guests.  You don’t want the elderly or handicap to trip and fall.
  •   Finished or unfinished flooring.  Does the barn have a dirt floor or finished floor?  With dirt, hay and dust, many of your guests may have allergic reactions.  Spiders love to live in barns.  We recently photographed a barn wedding where the bride stepped on a nest of spiders which flew up into the floods of her lacy gown.
  •   Can you bring your own photographer?  Some barn venues require you to use their own photographers.  You may experience a loss of quality photography if you have to rely on the barn venue’s hired photographers.  The photographers may not be experienced qualified wedding photographers and may not capture the romance of your wedding of which you had dreamed.  If you choose to have your wedding at a barn who insists on their own photographer, ask to see entire weddings the photographer has photographed.  Speak with the photographer beforehand and ask how many weddings he has photographed.  You don’t want to be stuck with disappointment after your wedding day by receiving blurry, dark, and poorly composed images of the most important day of your life.  
4 T Arena, Fairmont, WV
4 T Arena

If you’re having a barn wedding, call us today and tell us your ideas!  We would love to speak with you regarding your wedding.  Call us for current wedding sales and specials.

Why Hire Tim Ray Photography to Photograph Your Wedding?


Stefanie Ray is a professional photographer, owner and operator along with her husband, Tim Ray, of Tim Ray Photography. She is highly involved in all the color enhancement of the wedding photography. Tim Ray Photography is a family owned and operated business and has been in the wedding photography business for more than 30 years.

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