A Barnhouse Wedding - Minus the Barn

My friends Samantha and Brock are planning a fall 2011 wedding on Granville Island in Vancouver. The couple envisions a barnhouse-styled wedding with elements that are both classic and whimsy. Suffice it to say I was a little excited to put some inspiration together for them. Below, I've broken down some of my favourite barnhouse weddings into details that can be executed anywhere: barnhouse or otherwise.


Whether guests are organized in large long tables or smaller round ones, I love the intimacy evoked by a barn wedding. The rustic details and simple table decor enable guests to relax and enjoy a "family-style" reception.

Details: I adore that burlap runner; it would be stunning on either a rectangle or round table. To accentuate to the elegant-yet-rustic decor, skip chair covers and rent chairs that stand on their own. The paper lanterns add a playful touch of whimsy and work as a contemporary addition to classic details. The place settings are best left simple; there is no need to overdo tabletop details for this style of wedding.

Photos (top - bottom): W. Scott Chester via Once Wed, Landon Jacob via Southern Weddings, Sarah Yates Photography via Once Wed


Alright. There are many, many, (many!) creative ways of incorporating "barn" style into an event. Below are several that I particularly enjoy; however, get ready to see much more on this one in the coming months.

Details: The vintage candelabras offer a touch of elegance against the backdrop of rustic details (I think this one is my favourite). Candlelight defiantly creates the perfect romantic atmosphere. I LOVE the old repurposed door used here as a welcome/ escort card display; however, it's safe to say I'd love an old door used in almost any context. The final two examples are clever and cost effective ways of displaying table numbers - vintage house numbers are perfection. Rustic & vintage lanterns are the perfect pairing with the elegant candelabras and I really like the idea of bringing "outdoor" elements (like this wind dial) in doors.

Photos (clockwise from left): Sarah Yates Photography via Once Wed, Beaux Arts Photographie via Once Wed, Sarah Yates Photography, Leigh Miller via Once Wed, and Braedon Photography via Once Wed.


It is quite easy to style a barnhouse wedding in venue that is not a barn. By playing off the natural elements of the existing venue, adding strategically placed rustic details and candlelight to evoke romance, a classic barn wedding is within your reach. These photographs depict the overall effect: from the smallest detail to the grandest scale.

Details: The use of apothecary and mason jars in home and wedding decor is undeniably en vouge which makes it very easy to accumulate a pretty collection of mismatched jars. Hint: If you choose a linking factor to the "type" of jar you're looking for (for example, white milk glass) you can quickly assemble a uniquely charming collection. On a grander scale, the lighting as depicted below, is clearly of utmost importance. Chandeliers and paper lanterns add the final touch, linking the classic with the whimsy.

Photos (left - right): Braedon Photography via Once Wed, Sarah Yates Photography via Once Wed, and Beaux Arts Photographie via Once Wed.


Click photos to enlarge.


Callie Grayson said...

awesome wedding details!!
Their wedding is going to be perfect with you helping them out!!


Courtney said...

Aww, thank you so much, Callie! You're the sweetest. This is my favourite part of wedding planning: the styling.

Sam said...

I totally agree with Callie! With friends like Courtney looking out for us, how can our wedding be anything but amazing?

I know it goes without saying Court, but I LOVE everything that you've done here! I have to start looking for my eclectic mix of apothecary and mason jars right away...

Jen said...

What a fabulous montage Courtney! (I really like the simplicity of these decorations). Sam do you think you can bring some of these elements into Granville Island? I LOVE the LONG tables (which is something I know you mentioned before)

Anonymous said...

Hey there, I really love the ideas that you found for the wedding! I am looking at doing some similar things in my upcoming wedding and I was wondering if you would know where I would be able to find a weathervane stand like the one in this picture: http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_h_ife0Sq560/TNCjUkDLDmI/AAAAAAAAC5A/zK0uvZcYnaA/s1600/barn-wedding-12a.jpg

I have been looking high and low but cannot for the life of me find it! Haha.

Courtney said...

Hi there,

Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

Your best bet to find an antique weather vane similar to the one in this photo would be a barn sale (like a garage sale but on a farm) if you're close to one, flea market if your city has one, or eBay. The only thing about eBay is that because of the weight it may be a little pricey. That being said, it would be a special keepsake that you could display in your home or on your patio for years.

Good luck and do let me know if you find one!

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