OK, so when we set out on our search to find the perfect DIY wedding venue we had one thing in mind: BARN! We knew we wanted a barn just so gosh darn bad. You might understand a little more if you google search “barn weddings” the images are just too beautiful for words and the result is such a casual happy atmosphere that we so desperately are looking for. We do not want a stiff wedding, maybe a stiff drink, but NOT a stiff wedding.
Now, after about three months of searching Westchester for barns we realized, wow barns are popular, duh! Since barns are popular the prices are through the roof if you want a nicely manicured clean-slate of a barn. Especially if a wedding has been thrown there in the past, then they know they can get you for a good penny. So that was that, we decided to nix the barn idea and search for a sweet B&B that has a nice outdoor space so we can have a tent and an outdoor wedding.
If you google search “B&B CT” or “B&B NY” you come across a lot of really nice B&B’s however if they are advertising like that, and have an SEO friendly website chances are they know what they are doing, and they have “wedding event pricing” that is 7 times what they would normally charge. In order to find an off the beaten path B&B that was similarly nice I went to google maps and typed in B&B. Then I zoomed in on the NY/CT area. The result was this:
See all those tiny little red dots? I continued to zoom in from here to zero in on my town and then slowly move out and away from there checking in on all of the red dots. If they had a website I opened it into a new tab check the photos, and either moved on to the next or sent them an inquiry email.
The inquiry email went something like this: My name is Jennifer and I am interested in throwing an event at your B&B next year in June. The event would be outdoors under and tent and consist of about 100 guests, it is like a casual BBQ affair. Would your B&B and property be suitable for such an event? Please let me know and send pictures of your property so we can get a better feel for the environment.
Notice how I do not mention the “wedding” term. The second you say that, Mrs. Jane B&B owner turns to her husband and says, “ohh a wedding!, how much should we charge?” and the devise a plan right then and there.
Long story short I emailed over 20 B&B’s and received polite declines from about 10, pricing from 9, and then there was Bob from the Inn at Mount Pleasant that simply said “Come on up and stay for a free night, the place will sell itself! Oh and we are dog friendly” So up there we went.
Believe it or not, all of the rooms look similar to this. Which is the exact opposite of most Mom&Pop B&B establishments. They usually have doilies on every table, dusty old furniture, and a myriad of landscape paintings on every wall. This place was different. It was fresh and modern and clean.
We wanted a B&B because I love the idea of getting ready on site, the bride and bridesmaids in one room, and the groom and groomsmen upstairs. Those photos of everyone nervously, happily getting ready are some of my favorites. Plus we don’t have to get in a car or a limo to be at our wedding.
It was gorgeous, and Bob couldn’t be any friendlier. The B&B is actually a restored 18th Century New England Farm House, and to our dismay conveniently accompanied by a restored…you guessed it…BARN! Bob will tell you all about the deep history of the farm house if you want him to, he told us all about it. He took us for a tour around the 70 acres of undisturbed rolling hillside, and we asked “Can we see inside the barn?” He said “sure, if you want?” We did.
The barn was recently painted a year ago a fresh classic Barn Red to bring it back to the vitality it once had when it was up and running.
Here is a side shot of the barn so you can see how long it is. Those doors on the far right are where we will be entering for our wedding ceremony.
Now, mind you that the inside isn’t so pretty just yet. The biggest thing about throwing a DIY wedding is that you have to have vision. This barn might look like this now but the bones are awesome, the natural light that floods this space is gorgeous. The layout is perfect, and the views are awesome. We have a couple of options as to where we will be standing for the ceremony and this is one of them.
This is the view from up in the hay loft. It gives you a better idea of the lighting. We asked “Can we have our ceremony here?” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “Sure if you want to!?” Haha. He said he would happily move some of the mowing equipment out of there and sweep it all up for us.
We imagine the space being all lit up with globe lighting and ribbon like this…or this
Right? You getting the vibe now? The decorations are going to be simple. Lights, ribbon, and flowers. Buckets of white flowers everywhere, cafe globe string lights hanging from the ceiling, ribbon tied to the chairs, white chairs will form the aisle and so forth.
Now as you come out those same doors and around the other side of the barn you see the rolling hillside. Over there we plan to set up a DIY photo booth (Detail on that to follow).
As you continue back toward the B&B on the right side of the back yard we will have a 30×60 white pole tent.
This photo gives you a really good idea of the atmosphere that we are going to try to mimic for our outdoor wedding reception. On this nicely groomed FLAT lawn. He has had a frame tent installed here before by a local vendor that he referred us to so that was a relief. We knew who to call.
Ok, so this quick sketch gives you an idea of the wedding layout. Mind you that this is not to scale, AT ALL! The dotted line is sort of the path that will be followed as the wedding flows throughout the afternoon. the rolling hillsides are at the bottom of the sketch, so virtually every point of interest has an awesome view.
Is anyone else crazy enough to map out their wedding space? How did you book your venue?
For TWO DAYS (Wedding Rehearsal & Wedding Day) with no hourly limitations Bob is charging us $500.00. This is an absolute bargain. It really pays off to do things differently and to go off the beaten path. Additionally, we will be booking the B&B for 2 nights. 1 night for all four of the rooms is $660 x2 = $1320 + $500 = $1820
Our total for the Venue itself and some of the accommodations for our Bride, Bridesmaids, Groom and Groomsmen is $1820.
We will keep you posted on the rest of the planning. Bridesmaid outfits to come next week!