There is just something about a beautiful, old farmhouse sitting on a gorgeous piece of land that seems to go on forever. Having a wedding on a farm with a rustic feel is one of the big wedding trends this year. Before you start planning on how to maneuver around the bales of hay to make your dream wedding come to life, there’s a few questions you need to ask about the venue.
1. Does your dream farm look like the actual farm?
Your idea of a farm wedding may be the cute red barn sitting on a lush piece of land with you posed perfectly in front of it as the sun sets. In reality, you might be looking at a totally different picture. Make sure you know all of the design details before booking your dream wedding on a farm. A Pinterest farm wedding may look perfect, but that means you have to get married at the exact correct time. If you want dense cotton fields, you have to get married before the cotton is plowed so it’s during a certain season. If you want bluebonnets lining the road, there’s only a few weeks in spring to get married. Visit with the owners of the farm to ensure all of your design dreams fit their design details.
2. Is the farm easy to find for wedding guests?
Farms are often far off the main road, so you need to ask where people will park, how far they need to walk to get to the venue, and how easy it is to navigate around the area. There needs to be a parking place that will hold the adequate amount of guests for your wedding. The farm may have a blank piece of land where guests can park, so the next step is to determine if this is rocky or barren land. Some people bring in dirt to make it easier to park and walk so guests aren’t falling in their high heels on rocks. Other people hire a valet or shuttle service to get people to and from the actual wedding site. Make sure the address will match any online map. If not, give each guest a detailed map to the location. Sometimes, farms are off the map with a strange address that isn’t easy to find. You don’t want guests missing the wedding because they’re off in a pasture!
3. Are there working bathrooms?
It might sound like a silly question, but many farms perfect for a wedding might not actually have modern plumbing. This means guests could face walking a long way to the main house or another location. If you don’t want your guests walking a long distance or using an outhouse, you may want to rent a few portable bathrooms. It may not sound classy enough for a wedding, but guests will be happy they aren’t squatting in the cotton field!
4. What do I need to rent for the ceremony and reception?
Just because you’ve found the perfect farm in your mind doesn’t mean it will easily come together as a wedding venue. You have the structure, the land and the ideas, but you need the concrete things to bring it to life. You will need to rent tables and chairs to ensure enough seating. Some people put out bales of hay with blankets for seating along the dance floor at the reception. You will need to bring in a caterer or make accommodations for whomever is serving the food. This means you may need to also rent dinnerware and linens. Lighting is a big deal, so as the sun sets and darkness falls, you may need to rent extra lighting. Some people even string white lights along the trees for that magical feel that still provides a bit of light for photos. You have a basic blank slate, so start from nothing and build your dream wedding.
5. How do we deal with pests?
Pesky pests like mosquitoes and flies are part of any outdoor gathering. To keep these flying critters away from guests, bring in some citronella candles, bug zappers, and bug spray. Guests will be happy when they leave without bites. One thing you do need to be on alert for are snakes, depending where the farm is. Other critters like possums and raccoons will probably be too afraid of people to come close to the wedding. If they do, they won’t hurt anyone, so don’t hurt them!
6. What about other animals that live on the farm?
The odds are that if you are having a wedding on a working farm, there may be pigs, cows, or other animals making noise in the distance. Ask the owner about the protocol for the farm animals. You probably don’t want to be hearing or smelling them during your wedding ceremony! Ask the owner how far away they are kept and what they do during the time you plan to get married.