Must-Haves for a Barn Wedding

Barn weddings remain popular, especially in areas like Michigan where there are so many beautiful barns to choose from. These rustic settings provide a lovely backdrop for nuptials and wedding receptions alike. Despite their beauty, however, barn weddings can be a little bit tricky because they require some extra planning. The same rustic charm that makes barn weddings so desirable also makes them more challenging. Rustic barns tend to have fewer amenities than traditional indoor venues. So, if you’re planning an upcoming wedding, ensure you have these must-haves for a barn wedding to make your big day go smoothly:

Tables and Chairs

Some barn venues provide tables, chairs, and other necessities. However, some do not! Ask about what’s included when booking the venue so you’ll know exactly what you’ll need to bring in for the day. While you’re at it, ask about restrictions or constraints. The owner should be able to elaborate on exactly what’s included and what can be brought in. They should also be able to tell you who they typically work with or recommend for rentals. If essentials like tables and chairs aren’t included, find out how much it will cost to bring these items in.

Portable Restrooms

Most barns don’t have enough bathrooms to accommodate wedding guests. Even barns that have indoor restrooms usually only have one or two, but many do not have any indoor plumbing at all. Without supplementing what’s on site long lines can form as guests wait. This is frustrating to people who are trying to enjoy the event because it can cause them to miss out on special happenings like toasts and first dances.

Since portable restrooms will need to be rented, it makes sense to price out luxury bathroom options. Luxury restroom trailers add an elegant touch to a special day, meeting basic needs while also giving guests something exciting to talk about. These units look and feel like using a fancy indoor bathroom with all the practical functionality of being a portable solution. Individual trailers also have themed interiors, making it easy to match their aesthetics with different wedding themes. As a result, they should be at the top of your must-haves for a barn wedding list!

An Area for the Wedding Party to Get Ready

For barns that are on private property, members of the wedding party may be able to use a nearby residence to get ready on the big day. However, in many cases, getting ready will have to be done before arriving at a nearby hotel or other venue. A great way to provide an on-site option is to rent a spacious luxury restroom trailer to provide a location for getting ready as well as freshening up during the event. For larger weddings, brides and grooms can opt to have multiple bathroom trailers – one (or more) for guests, and one solely for the wedding party. This is a great way to cut costs for budget-conscious planners.

Food and Drinks

Catered food and beverages will almost certainly need to be brought in. However, the on-site amenities can vary greatly. Find out whether there is a kitchen, refrigerator, or other catering essentials before talking to catering companies. Some companies may require that certain basics be on site to cater an event, while others can bring everything in themselves to prepare and serve food. If you’re unsure about what a catering company requires, ask them to speak with the venue manager directly to iron out any details and avoid any miscommunication.

Heaters or Fans

Even climate-controlled spaces can have air flow issues or struggle to keep up with extremely hot or cold temperatures. Ask whether heaters or fans are allowed. These can help warm or cool guests to keep them comfortable so they can enjoy the event. Think about how you will provide heat or cooled air across all areas of the day, especially if the wedding ceremony is outside and the reception is indoors. It can be a struggle to keep both places comfortable. Consider renting patio heaters to keep guests warm in the cooler fall or spring months, or a tent to keep hot sun rays off guests in summer months.


One of the big advantages of a barn wedding is the ample parking. Wide open farmland is usually conducive to allowing guests to park freely. However, the specific location may have parking restrictions related to the number of cars or the duration that cars can be parked due to local ordinances or agreements with neighbors. Check with the venue so you know what to expect when it comes to parking. If you need to shuttle guests in, start planning right away to find an affordable transportation solution that fits your needs. Some shuttle companies may charge a premium for more rural areas because they are more difficult to service. Additionally, more remote areas will likely have fewer choices, making them more likely to get booked up quickly for the busy wedding season.

Weather Contingency Plans

If any part of the day will be outside, make a contingency plan in case there’s bad weather. Planning is definitely ones of those must-haves for a barn wedding that you really can’t do without. If you plan on having the ceremony or reception outdoors, find out if both can be held indoors. You’ll need a plan if it rains or is too cold to keep guests outside. The venue manager should be able to provide options that will work with your plans and guest list size.


Barn weddings tend to be spread out over a larger area, making signage a must-have. Direct guests to where they should park, wait, leave their gifts, go to the bathroom, sit for the wedding, go to the cocktail hour, and attend the reception.

Kerkstra Luxury Portable Restroom Service Inc. provides portable restroom service across Michigan and luxury restroom trailers for all of the states surrounding the Great Lakes. Take a look at our mobile restroom trailers and request a quote today!