Spanish Oaks Ranch barn

Rustic Barn Weddings

I would imagine than most people don’t think of a wedding when they think of a barn, but they can really make the most amazing wedding venue! Of course, a working barn will need a bit of creativity and some decorating, but it can absolutely work. A little elbow grease can go along way in transforming an ordinary barn into something magical for your wedding.

How do you spruce up a barn for a wedding?

There are many things you can do to transform a barn into a beautiful wedding venue and they don’t have to cost a lot.

Adding drapery can make a huge difference in the overall look of the barn. Most wedding rental businesses will have drapery available, so you don’t need to go out and purchase yards and yards of fabric.

Adding greenery to simple vases or even large planters or wine barrels is an easy way to spruce a barn for a wedding.

String lights can make an enormous difference in any space and this is especially true for rustic barn weddings. Soft, but adequate lighting is key for any space and string lights are a great way to accomplish this in a beautiful way.

Color is essential for any rustic barn wedding. Barns are naturally dull. After all, they weren’t built for weddings. But adding pops of color can make the whole place feel cleaner, brighter and more like a place people want to be, rather than animals.

Barn decorated in fall colors for a wedding at Loma Grande Ranch
wedding guests posing for a picture in front of a rustic barn

What do guests wear to a barn wedding?

Rustic barn weddings allow for a wide variety of clothing choices. Those that want to wear jeans will fit in just as much as someone who wears slacks and a tie. Your guests might not want to wear a ballgown, or pajamas, but just about anything else goes at a barn wedding.

I would recommend clearly stating any suggested attire on the wedding invitation so people know exactly what to expect. No one wants to show up feeling over dressed or under dressed for such an important occasion.

Pros of a barn wedding.

There are many good things about having a barn wedding as well as some drawbacks. Let’s map this out and take a look. Here are some great things about a barn wedding.


Barn weddings tend to be significantly less expensive than other weddings. The limited maintenance and rustic nature of a barn dramatically decreases the cost of this type of wedding venue.


Since there are no finished walls or carpet to keep nice, you can really let your creativity shine in a barn. Virtually anything could be hung on the wood walls or from the support beams. The dirt or concrete floor could be decorated almost any way you want. Rented rugs could be added or you could leave it bare without worrying about guests spilling drinks or food.


Barns are typically massive structures, which would allow for any weather. Your ceremony could easily be moved inside if were to rain and the walls are solid enough to keep out the wind, but open enough to allow for adequate air flow. No matter the weather conditions, barns were designed to keep the occupants comfortable.


If you want your wedding dress to remain perfectly white, a barn wedding is not your best bet. No matter how much you clean it, a barn is dirty, plain and simple. It wasn’t designed to be a clean space and without some major modifications, it never will be.


Barns are dark. Farm animals don’t care about this, but I guarantee your wedding photographer does. Barns can be difficult to light sufficiently and your guest will likely need additional lighting above the tables to be able to see each other properly. Your wedding photographer will be able to use a flash inside the barn, but I can assure you that your pictures will be much more beautiful if the inside of the barn is very well lit.

Decorating costs

Since a barn is much more rustic than almost any other wedding venue, it will cost more to decorate. Rentals will keep the cost down a bit, but plan to spend a great deal of your budget on improving the aesthetics of the barn.

Cons of a barn wedding.

There are some drawbacks to consider as well with a rustic barn wedding. Let’s check those out here.

candle centerpiece for a wedding at Loma Grande Ranch

Rustic fall wedding colors

Rustic barn wedding seem to fit perfectly with fall colors. Maybe it’s because barns are used to store the fall harvest or maybe it’s just in my mind, but I think fall is the perfect time for a rustic barn wedding

I’ve seen several rustic fall color patterns for barn weddings and I really love the shades of orange and yellow. The oranges are a rusty shade and the yellows are more mustard than bright, sunny shades.

Dried grasses work really well for adding dimension to the fall colors and if you can get your hands on some pampas grass, you’re well on your way to having some of the most gorgeous wedding colors ever used. The great thing about the dried grasses is that you don’t need to assemble the arrangements withing a few days of the wedding. These can be assembled weeks or even months in advance, which will save you a ton of money! What’s not to love about that?

Rustic Fall Wedding Colors

Below, you’ll find some inspiration for your own fall wedding in your favorite barn. I love the warm, fall colors and the creativity of each wedding!

The view down the aisle for a wedding at Higuera Ranch

Southern California barn wedding venue

Higuera Ranch is an amazing wedding venue in the foothills of San Luis Obispo. Learn more about this venue on their website! Click the picture to visit the site.

Main house at Fallen Oaks Estate

Fallen Oaks Estate

Learn about this barn wedding venue in Paso Robles.

groom waiting for the first look while the bride walks up behind him

First Look Ideas

Not sure if you want to do a first look or not? Here are some ideas.

bridesmaids tending to the bride before the wedding ceremony

What Does A Maid Of Honor Do?

Ever wonder what those maid of honor duties really are? Here’s your list!

Similar Posts