John Lewis published research findings in a 2019 press release which highlighted some very interesting changes towards barn weddings and weddings in the countryside as an alternative to traditional hotels. DIY weddings are on the up!
Getting married isn’t a cheap exercise. Even the simplest of weddings can turn out to be one of the largest spends you ever make. Although marriage is worth celebrating and we recommend that you enjoy it (it’s likely to be the biggest party you’ll ever host) it can involve some tough decisions.
Spending all that cash on an event has led to some not wanting to get married at all and others deciding to drop the traditional wedding present list for a donation towards the party.
Hotels as venues remain great options, but they’re not for everyone – particularly if you’re on a tight budget. Although the attraction of ‘a wedding all under one roof’ appeals to many, times are changing, according to recent research.
Photo credit: Andrew Craner Photography
John Lewis: “Wedding ceremonies held in barns or farms have doubled”
In the research, John Lewis laid out the trends they’re seeing from data in their wedding insurance as well as their well-known wedding list service.
“The number of wedding ceremonies held in barns or on farms has doubled in the past five years, with one in eight taking place in these venues compared to one in 15 in 2014.”
Other indicators included:
- A 35% rise in outdoor fairy lights so far in 2019
- One in six booked for this year will be a barn wedding or a farm wedding, up from one in eight in 2014.
- One in 10 weddings now involves a marquee
It’s right there in the data – we’re moving to the barns and farms.
Photo credit: Andrew Craner Photography
It’s expensive to eat in
Another reason to move into the barn or marquee is the ability to reduce the cost of the wedding breakfast and drinks.
Spiralling costs from venues are another reason couples are moving to marquee weddings at home, with caterers and drinks supplied from the cash and carry or a quick trip abroad.
When you add up the cost of caterers, food, drink, marquee, and the other areas that come together it starts to look like a very attractive idea indeed.
That’s not to say it’s vastly cheaper, but then you have more control – assuming you’re happy to take charge of more arrangements.
Gaining access to your venue early is vitally important, too. If you’re dressing the room and you don’t want to be doing that on the morning of your wedding, a barn might be far easier to get into whenever the need arises.
As some traditional hotel venues are booked during the week, you often find that the room is in use the day before, leaving you and your bridal team no choice but to head to the venue early in the morning.
Hire a marquee and you have a few days, on your terms, to rock up, dress it, and hopefully relax a little more on the evening before and morning leading up to the ceremony.
The personal touch…
Having been delivering and collecting catering hire equipment to marquees for 20 years we’ve seen and visited 1000s of marquees and we can tell you this:
Marquees and venues offer fantastic options for you to personalise your wedding.
Marquees, barns, farms, and hotel alternatives are a really exciting option for your wedding venue and as the research shows you won’t be alone in your choice.
Fancy getting married in wellies? Well, maybe it’s not for everyone, but we’ve seen it done!
Barn wedding ideas
A marquee wedding in a barn can still be that dream wedding. It doesn’t have to be wellies and raincoats (although some do opt for the full hog!). You can mix the trends and incorporate some of the ideas, opting for a theme that embraces the farm, rather than resides in it!
A marquee wedding with some country chic might be your style instead, or maybe some bunting, bare marquee poles, and herbs on the table?
Getting married in a barn can bring a real sense of tradition and a rustic feel without all that mud and farm animals. Think more country house, more countryside getaway. A wedding barn can be the perfect blank canvas for a wedding venue and save you having to spend a fortune dressing the room.
We’ve got plenty of ideas on how to make your wedding venue look great, but most wedding barns have some much character and style, they need very little to be added to them.
Photo credit: Andrew Craner Photography
Barn wedding equipment
Clearly, a barn wasn’t purpose-built for a wedding, or even for humans necessarily, so you’ll need a little help when it comes to the catering side. Getting married in a barn does come with a few issues that you’ll need to consider, even in the most prestigious of venues.
Does your venue have everything you need? Ask the venue what equipment is included in the price to hire the event. Many are fully equipped in a ‘one booking covers it all’ style, but some need to add on the extras.
Some of the obvious areas to put into your wedding plan and shopping list are:
Crockery is a key part of any meal and not all barns will have this on site. Some do - but they’re not quite what you’d want for your wedding breakfast. It's good to know what crockery you need for your event. Check what’s included with the venue and if you’re not happy, you can hire them from us.
Wedding receptions need some lubrication so if you’re supplying your own drink or asking the caterers to take care of this, then you’ll need to think about glasses. We’ll help you choose the right glasses for your wedding and we’ll deliver, collect, and even do the washing up!
Cutlery needs to be cleaned and hand-polished ready for your wedding. Wedding barns do a fabulous job of hosting the event, but they might not be as good at this specialist area of weddings. We can supply, deliver and collect without the need for your caterer (or you) to have to clean or polish anything.
The wedding barns should have tables. Even if they do, do they have fresh, pressed tablecloths and matching table linen? It’s worth an ask. And if not, you know who to call! You can also check out our tablecloth size guide and table linen hire tips here.
Not all barns will have the tables and chairs included. Even if they do, it’s worth taking a look at them before you accept them as ideal for your perfect day. We pay special attention to what goes out and replace and repair any damage. A wedding barn will either hire theirs in or hold stock of the same furniture, so check that out before you sign on the line.
We’re award-winning and SafeHire Certified, too, so you can trust us to provide your event furniture. We’re here to ask you the right questions to help you hire the right furniture.
Catering at an event without a permanent kitchen can be a challenge. Luckily you can hire your kitchen equipment for your barn wedding. If your barn isn’t complete with a kitchen or a caterer able to cook in the kitchen supplied then don’t worry – we can build one!
Photo credit: Andrew Craner Photography
Barn wedding venues
There are now venues like Burcombe Manor in Salisbury who hire out their own lawn for marquee weddings, so you needn’t worry about the lack of space. Or you could look at nearby venues such as Alveston Pastures Farm, which has a beautiful barn conversion which is hired out for weddings, or Mickleton Hills Farm, or the stunning Wethele Manor near Leamington Spa.
Here are just a few of the fabulous barn wedding venues in Worcestershire, Warwickshire and the Midlands that offer the idyllic setting for your wedding.
Exclusive, unique, and privately owned, this stunning wedding venue sits on a 250-acre estate in Warwickshire. Wethele Manor gives you everything for the perfect wedding venue with accommodation, fabulous grounds, and a full sound system to boot.
Glass House – Jephson Gardens
Set in the stunning gardens in Royal Leamington Spa, Jephson Gardens’ Glass House isn’t quite a barn, but we wanted to include it here as a non-hotel option. Set in a 200-year-old garden you’re surrounded by beauty!
Located just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, Alveston Pastures Barn is simple but beautiful barn conversion complete with garden and even a maze! With a local church and even an airfield at nearby Wellesbourne, the options are rather exciting here.
Mickleton Hills Farm
Complete with on-site accommodation and bridal suite with en-suite, Mickleton Hills Farm is far from the agricultural image most have of a barn wedding. Offering Cotswold countryside with breath-taking views, this is one of our favourite venues to visit.
Shushtoke Farm Barns
Shushtoke Barn is a stunning 18th-Century red brick barn with many of the original features which give it that traditional, authentic feel that's perfect for your farm wedding. It comes complete with a well-kept courtyard, ideal for your reception drinks, and is licenced for civil ceremonies.
Blackwell Grange can cater for up to 150 guests for a civil ceremony and wedding breakfast and then up to 200 for the evening party.
This recently restored 16th century oak-beamed Thatch Barn is stunningly contemporary with huge areas of glass and rather dramatic from the outside. It’s in very close proximity to eight picturesque churches. It comes complete with a stylish bar and beautiful staircase which leads up to a mezzanine snug. You can stay overnight too, but this is limited to the happy couple.
The Cart Shed, Park Farm
Back to the more traditional barn set-up here, with The Cart Shed, you’ll find a 120-person capacity wedding venue with an additional 9m x 8m tent available outside.
Looking for a quirky farm wedding reception? Well, the lambing shed is available for blessings or a drinks reception and comes with extensive views of the historic rolling Warwickshire countryside.
This stunning lakeside barn wedding venue is set in a 360-acre valley surrounded by beautiful landscaped grounds, gardens, and woodland. When you get married here, you get full exclusive use and stunning photo opportunities.
Set in a luxury 16th-century farmhouse, you even have the opportunity to stay in the on-site glamping pods!
Swallows Nest Barn
Stunning Warwickshire views and tall ceilings are the order of the day at Swallows Nest Barn. It can seat 120 for the wedding breakfast and cater for up to 150 guests for the evening party.
The stunning 19th Century brick barn has the sought-after exposed beams, and plenty of glass to give a light and airy feel. You’ll find plenty of photo opportunities in the courtyard, farm, meadows, and the quaint kissing bridge.
It’s licenced for civil ceremonies, but they can accommodate your wedding breakfast and party if you choose to get married elsewhere.
The Barn at Stratford Park
This 14th-century country house hotel comes complete with a 26th-century Elizabethan barn that can cater for up to 120 guests. Situated in Snitterfield, just outside Stratford-upon-Avon, this venue has stunning views from the courtyard and terrace over the picturesque grounds of nearby Stratford Park Hotel & Golf Club.
The adjacent hotel has 32 spacious, en-suite hotel rooms where you and your guests can stay after your wedding day.
Bishops Barn, Bordesley Park Farm
Smaller wedding? Bishops Barn, set on the grounds of Bordesley Park Farm, puts you and your wedding party of 60 max in the grounds of the picturesque grounds with panoramic views. The barn can be turned into an evening venue for up to 120 and boasts a light, airy feel with more modern decor.
Two traditional barns with a twist of contemporary styling greet you at Redhouse Barn. The red-bricked barn can cater for 105 or head to the timbered barn for the full 160 guest catering. They’ve mixed traditional with modern using cutting edge sound and sustainable materials in this interesting yet stunning wedding venue in Stoke Prior, near Bromsgrove.
Need to hire your crockery, cutlery, tables, chairs or linen?
With our event hire services, we’ll help you to create the perfect barn wedding alongside your caterers, entertainment, venue and other suppliers. We work closely with the venue and our clients so no matter who you are, we’re ready to serve.
We’d love to be involved in your barn wedding so please do contact us or get a quote right here.