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Barn Wedding Reception Venue

Lucas & Olivia

From the moment my nephew, Lucas, proposed to his girlfriend, Olivia, I knew I was going to do something special for the two of them on their wedding day.  I only have one sibling, a brother who is seven years older than me.  His son, Lucas, was the first grandchild on my side of the family and he is the only male of the three grandchildren.  To say that he was admired by his younger sister and cousin when they were growing up would be an understatement.  He was a bit spoiled by all of us until his younger sister arrived, but he grew up to be a fine young man who is a talented, up and coming country music artist.  Did I mention he also saves lives on a daily basis as a paramedic?  Lucas has worked extremely hard to get where he is today and I wanted to make sure their wedding day was extra special.  

Season and Location


Olivia knew immediately she wanted a fall wedding, so October it would be!  The venue?  A barn.  A rustic, brown wood siding, brown wood floor, barn.  The minute I laid eyes on this barn, I knew with a little creativity and vision, it had the potential to become a beautiful location for a lovely wedding reception.  I told the two of them that my husband and I would take care of the reception décor, but I needed to find out what they had in mind for colors, style and overall design so that I could begin my work by pulling together all the tiniest of details.

 Olivia’s style was colorful and with a bit of rustic elegance.  She selected flowers that were red, orange and burgundy in color, with just the right touch of dark and muted green to pull everything together.  She wanted some burlap, but not too much, with a touch of ivory lace to bring a hint of romance and elegance into the overall theme.

The stage was the focal point in the venue, so it needed to be striking as to distract from the vents suspended from the ceiling.  Sheer fabric was draped on the sides and over the top of the stage.  Floral arrangements were attached to create a romantic backdrop.  Scattered throughout the venue were gold, plum and burgundy chrysanthemums as well as large ferns.

To achieve a rustic, yet elegant design, I wanted the venue to be full of roses; over 500 of them in red, orange, and a beautiful orange, yellow and red variegated.    I also chose to include red and burgundy Gerber Daisies, beautiful green Bells of Ireland, a gazillion stems of grapevine, and eucalyptus in the florals.   

My husband, who makes a great partner with event planning, took my design idea for the containers and ran with it.  He created the tall wooden containers used to hold the large table centerpieces.  We stained these with a beautiful Americana stain. 


He also constructed the shorter wooden boxes used to hold the lanterns and florals.  I chose to do two different types of centerpieces, one short and one tall, on the twenty guest tables because it is more interesting to the eyes as you look across the venue.

The table design included white floor length tablecloths, burlap and ivory lace runners crisscrossed on each table.  We chose gray linen napkins, silver flatware and gray dinnerware.  Instead of stemware, Olivia really loved the idea of using mason jars, so these were provided for each guest to use and take home with them at the end of the night. 

There were a slew of details that had to be thought through.  The use of photographs, koozies, table number signs, the gift table, placement of potted plants, lanterns, table runners, you name it.  Luckily, I had help!  My sister-in-law, Lucas's mom, did a phenomenal job keeping up with many of the particulars that really made a huge impact in the overall design.

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