Actually, I had two weddings with barns.
At my first wedding, we held our reception inside/outside of a family-owned barn in my home state of Ohio.
My second wedding, the entire wedding, and reception were held in a barn in the suburbs of Chicago.
That should be like a world record or something, having TWO weddings in or around a barn.
I need to research that.
During my first wedding, my suburban friends were all, “so a barn? That’s one way to go, I guess.”
But when they got there and saw the gorgeous property, the pond, and the little white twinkle lights, they fell in love.
The second time around, the barn was not in the country but a cool little subdivision of homes with organic farms that they tended to. The barn was a working barn at one time from the early 1900s and they moved it from another location in our county.
Mike and I loved it because of the history, because of my rural background and farm ancestry, but mostly because it was the cheapest place to hold a wedding in the area we live in.
I have so many people who still to this day tell me how beautiful and fun both weddings were.
Maybe because of the atmosphere, people really let loose and had a good time.
It wasn’t in a mansion or at an upscale restaurant, but in a place where animals used to eat and poop.
This trend on Pinterest of barn/farm/white twinkle lights/chalkboard signs have been everywhere for the past several years and I honestly love it, but it makes me a little mad.
Because WHERE IN THE HELL WAS PINTEREST WHEN I WAS PLANNING NOT JUST ONE BUT TWO WEDDINGS?!?!?!
AND WHY DIDN’T I THINK TO DO A CHALKBOARD?!?!
Since this was my second and hopefully last wedding, I wasn’t in need of a big to-do. But it was Mike’s first and hopefully only wedding, so I wanted it to be special for him. We paid for most of our own wedding because we were grown-ass adults at the time, but we were on a budget as we had just bought a home six months before.
Those centerpieces cost me only five dollars apiece, if that, to make. I got the white metal containers at Dollar General for $1.50 each. The hydrangeas I bought at Hobby Lobby on sale and with a coupon. We added florist foam to the bottoms and stuck the flowers in.
My mom, my brother’s godmother Laura, Rebecca, my sister-in-law Kristy, and I spent a Saturday afternoon churning out decorations for the wedding: candleholders (mason jars filled with birdseed and candles stuck in the middle), the hydrangea centerpieces, and the bridesmaid and bridal bouquets.
I would just like it noted that I had mason jars at my wedding before Pinterest as well. Ahem.
So much fun visiting with these amazing women and making stuff for the wedding. These are the people in the background who were essential in helping this wedding to look as pretty as it did. Thank God for women who just pitch in.
We had our ceremony and reception inside the barn, as we had the option to have it in the courtyard adjacent. We actually had our first dance in the exact spot we took our vows, and it made it so much more special to us.
I got the hydrangea idea from Martha Stewart Living magazine but her version was, like, a gazillion dollars each, so no.
We also stole the table number idea from Martha but again, I didn’t want to spend what I pay for my car each month on table numbers so I found these in the wedding section of a craft store.
The holders were metal picture frame easels I found at Hobby Lobby 60% off.
I did all of this on the cheap, so if you think you can’t afford a pretty wedding, I am proof that you can. The biggest piece of advice I can give newly engaged couples is this: don’t spend all your money on the wedding, even if it isn’t your money that is being spent.
Use that money on things like the honeymoon or your apartment, or put it away for travel or fun stuff.
A wedding is only one day.
Rebecca and I made that archway the week before our wedding with fake flowers from Hobby Lobby, the actual arch from Michael’s. That thing was in a box and assembled by hand, but it was fun to put the flowers in it.
We left this behind after our wedding, which you can read about here.
If you want to know how to plan a cheap wedding, come ask me and I will help you! If you want to know how not to get married twice, don’t come to ask me. I wouldn’t know how to do that.