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A Comprehensive Guide to Planning Your Dream Barn Wedding

Are you dreaming of a rustic barn wedding? Planning the perfect wedding can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to a unique and enchanting theme like a barn wedding. But fear not! With this 12-month...

12 Month Guide to Planning Your Perfect Barn Wedding

Are you dreaming of a rustic barn wedding? Planning the perfect wedding can be overwhelming, especially when it comes to a unique and enchanting theme like a barn wedding. But fear not! With this 12-month guide, you'll have a step-by-step plan to ensure your special day goes off without a hitch.

12 Months Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Find the Perfect Venue

Find the Perfect Venue

  • The first step in planning your barn wedding is choosing the right barn venue. Take your time and research different options. Look for venues with proper permits and amenities like bride and groom suites and indoor plumbing.

2. Book Your Wedding Date

  • Since the best barn venues are in high demand, it's essential to book your wedding date as early as possible. Consider being flexible with your date to secure your favorite venue and potentially save money.

3. Set Your Wedding Budget

  • The wedding budget is a crucial factor in planning your perfect day. Start by determining how much you can afford to spend on the venue. Visit each barn in your area to find the one that offers the best amenities within your budget.

4. Begin Making Your Guest List

  • Once you have your budget, you can start putting together your guest list. Consider the maximum occupancy of your chosen venue when deciding who to invite. Be strategic about who you include and don't forget to leave room for backup guests.

5. Book Your Photographer

  • Wedding photographers book up quickly, so it's important to secure one early. Ask for recommendations from friends and family or check out websites like SnapKnot.com or PhotographerCentral.com to find the perfect photographer for your special day.

6. Plan Engagement Party

  • Celebrate your engagement with an engagement party. Decide on a date, venue, and guest list for this joyous and intimate occasion.

7. Begin Shopping for Your Dress

  • Start shopping for your dream wedding dress early to ensure you have enough time to find the perfect one. Create a Pinterest board for inspiration and try on different styles until you find the dress that speaks to your heart. Don't forget to bring your close friends and family to make the experience even more enjoyable.

10 Months Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Select Wedding Party

  • Take your time when choosing your wedding party. Consider those who are closest to you and who you want by your side on your big day.

2. Choose Your Wedding Colors

  • Your wedding colors will tie your entire wedding theme together. Browse Pinterest for inspiration and choose colors that reflect the mood and style you want to create.

3. Book Officiant

  • If you're a member of a local church, schedule a meeting with your pastor or priest to discuss officiating your wedding. If not, consider a local officiant, a justice of the peace, or even having a close friend become ordained.

4. Finalize Guest List

  • Review and finalize your guest list now that you have an idea of your budget and venue capacity. Make any necessary cuts or additions and consider the preferences of immediate family members.

5. List of Wedding Addresses

  • Start collecting guest addresses to save time. Ask friends and family for their addresses via text or email, or simply claim you need them for a new address book or Christmas cards.

6. Plan a Bridal Shower

  • The bridal shower is a special event to celebrate with your closest friends and family. Delegate the planning to someone close to you or get involved yourself to make it a memorable day.

7. Choose Your Save the Dates

  • Send out save the date cards to give your guests ample time to plan and make travel arrangements. Choose a design that reflects your wedding theme and is easy to place on a guest's fridge.

8 Months Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Send Save the Dates

  • Send out your save the date cards to notify your guests of your wedding date. Give them plenty of time to make travel arrangements and plan for your special day.

2. Book Florist

  • Research and book a florist who can provide beautiful flower arrangements and bouquets that fit your budget and style. Ask for recommendations from recently married friends or check online for options.

3. Taste and Book Cake

  • Schedule cake tastings with local bakeries to find a delicious cake that fits within your budget. Look for a bakery that offers both great taste and affordable pricing.

4. Book Music

  • Decide what type of music you want at your wedding and start looking for the perfect band or DJ. Attend bridal shows or use websites like GigMasters or WeddingWire to find the right music for your special day.

5. Register for Gifts

  • Create a wedding registry that includes items in various price ranges. Consider both your needs and wants and provide options for your guests based on their budgets.

6. Book Hair/Makeup

  • Find a professional hair and makeup artist and book their services for your wedding day. Look for recommendations from your local hairdresser or use websites like BeGlammed or ThumbTack to find the perfect artist.

7. Find Groom's Attire

  • Choose the groom's attire based on your wedding theme and style. Consider formal suits or vests and slacks depending on the level of formality of your wedding.

6 Months Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Book Caterer

  • Start researching caterers and book one that fits your budget and offers delicious food. Consider the type of food you want to serve and provide a per-plate budget to help narrow down your options.

2. Order Invitations

  • Select and order your wedding invitations based on your budget and theme. Include RSVP cards for guests to respond and consider including reception information if it's held at a different location.

3. Shop for Attire

  • Start shopping for the wedding party's attire, including bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, and ushers. Choose attire that reflects your wedding colors and theme.

4. Plan Honeymoon

  • Determine your honeymoon budget and discuss what you both want out of your honeymoon. Decide on a location and book accommodations in advance to get the best deals.

5. Order Wedding Favors

  • Choose wedding favors that thank your guests for attending your special day. Consider your wedding theme and budget when selecting unique and thoughtful gifts.

6. Buy/DIY Centerpieces

  • Decide on your wedding centerpieces and determine if your venue provides them. If not, consider purchasing or making your own centerpieces that reflect your wedding flowers and theme.

4 Months Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Send Out Your Invitations

  • Mail out your wedding invitations to give your guests ample time to respond and make necessary arrangements. Include proper postage and return addresses on RSVP cards.

2. Purchase Shoes

  • Choose comfortable and stylish shoes for the wedding party. Consider each individual's preferences and ensure they can walk and dance comfortably.

3. Schedule Alterations

  • Schedule alterations for the wedding dress and all members of the wedding party. Ensure everyone wears their undergarments and shoes during fittings to achieve the perfect fit.

4. Find Wedding Party Gifts

  • Select thoughtful and personalized gifts for your wedding party members. Consider their individual preferences and choose something that shows your appreciation.

5. Buy Wedding Bands

  • Choose your wedding bands together based on your budget and personal style. Ensure they complement your engagement ring and select the same metal for a cohesive look.

6. Plan Rehearsal Dinner

  • Schedule and plan your rehearsal dinner, a time for your wedding party and families to get to know each other before the big day. Consider the location and make reservations well in advance.

3 Months Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Bridal Shower

  • Enjoy your bridal shower planned by your loved ones. It's a time to celebrate with your closest friends and family and share the joy before your wedding day.

2. Confirm Vendors

  • Check in with all your vendors to confirm the details of their services and provide any final instructions. Ensure everyone is aware of the timeline and expectations for your wedding day.

3. Write Vows

  • Take the time to write personal vows for your wedding ceremony. Keep them short, true, and heartfelt, incorporating promises and memorable moments from your relationship.

4. Choose Music

  • Provide your wedding DJ or band with a list of songs you would like played during your wedding. Consider the different genres and styles that represent your taste and those of your guests.

5. Wedding Program

  • Create a wedding program or sign that outlines the timeline of events for your guests. Include all wedding participants and a personal message from the bride and groom.

1 Month Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Call Non-RSVP Guests

  • Follow up with guests who have not responded to your invitation to ensure an accurate headcount for your wedding day.

2. Give Caterer Final Count

  • Provide your caterer with the final guest count to ensure they prepare enough food for everyone. Avoid any last-minute surprises by confirming the precise number of attendees.

3. Marriage License

  • Apply for a marriage license at your local city hall or town clerk's office. Ensure you have all the required documentation and understand the validity period of the license.

4. Confirm Rehearsal Plans

  • Confirm the rehearsal details with the venue or restaurant where it will take place. Ensure all members of the wedding party are aware of the time and location.

5. Complete Seating Chart

  • Create a seating chart or assign tables based on your guest count and relationships. Consider the dynamics of your guests and create a seating arrangement that fosters a pleasant atmosphere.

6. Create Place Cards

  • If you're assigning seats, create or purchase place cards for each guest. Ensure your seating chart and table numbers are clearly displayed to avoid any confusion.

7. Purchase Guest Book

  • Decide on a guest book that reflects your wedding theme. Consider unique and creative options that commemorate your special day and the guests who shared it with you.

1 Week Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Pick Up Your Wedding Attire

  • Ensure that everyone in the wedding party tries on their attire and make any necessary alterations. Store your dress and the groom's suit in a safe place to keep them in pristine condition.

2. Pack for the Honeymoon

  • If you're leaving for your honeymoon right after the wedding, pack your bags in advance. Remember to pack any bridal shower party gifts you want to surprise your spouse with.

3. Organize Final Vendor Payments

  • Prepare separate envelopes with final payments and tips for your vendors. Label them accordingly and assign a trusted wedding party member to handle the exchanges.

4. Bachelor/Bachelorette Parties

  • Celebrate the last days before your wedding with your friends and loved ones. Plan a memorable bachelor or bachelorette party that suits your personality and preferences.

5. Review Your Checklist

  • Take the time to review your wedding checklist to ensure everything is in order. Write down completed tasks and double-check the remaining ones. Ask for help from family or friends if needed.

1 Day Before Your Barn Wedding

1. Manicure/Pedicure

  • Treat yourself to a relaxing manicure and pedicure to pamper yourself before the big day. Take this time to unwind and enjoy some self-care.

2. Rehearsal Ceremony

  • Conduct a quick rehearsal of the wedding ceremony with the entire wedding party. Walk through the order of events and ensure everyone knows their roles and responsibilities.

3. Rehearsal Dinner

  • Enjoy a delicious meal with your loved ones at the rehearsal dinner. Use this time to relax and celebrate before your wedding day.

4. Give Wedding Party Gifts

  • Present your wedding party with their gifts at the rehearsal dinner to show your appreciation for their support and involvement in your special day.

5. Get a Good Night's Sleep

  • Say goodnight to your fiancé and get a good night's sleep. Rest well, knowing that your big day is just around the corner.