The year 2020 marks our fifth year in business. We have learned many things since we started, but one of the most important was guest comfort. For our first year and a half we did not have air conditioning. We found that most couples wanted the very rustic barn and that meant hot, sticky air as well. We quickly realized that having only fans in the barn was not going to work long term, not only because we were sweating, but the young and elderly were suffering even more. With a barn as large as ours, simple household air conditioners were not going to work. We invested in several commercial units to install in the barn. The first wedding we used them for was September 23, 2017. Now when you hear that date, most people will think cool and pleasant. The weather that day was mid 90's and humid. We couldn't believe how cool the barn was with the air conditioners running and the guest response said it all -- they were comfortable in the upper level of barn on a hot day. For anyone who has had the "joy" of filling a barn with hay/straw bales in summer can understand how miserable it would have been. Fast forward to the next weekend when you needed the heaters going!
Fall and spring wedding weather can be so unpredictable. Last year at this time we had snow inches in the double digits. This year, we have green grass instead of snow. In 2019, we had our first winter weddings, and this year - even one on February 29 (leap day). The only reason we were able to extend our season was for the simple fact that the barn is fully heated. Some wedding guests arrive all bundled up in their coats. They see coat racks in the downstairs (which is also heated), but very few will hang them up as they are assuming it will be cold or at least drafty upstairs. As they get upstairs the quickly realize they can take off their coats and have a relaxing evening. Both our heaters and air conditioners are on thermostat so we can adjust the temperature. Even for a few of our May weddings we can have the heat on for one wedding and then the air conditioning the next weekend. This option provides a comfortable environment inside the barn, no matter the weather outside.
While our fall seasons book the fastest, having a wedding during the summer heat is still an option with air conditioning inside the barn. Most of our weddings will also have their ceremony at the barn. There are multiple outside locations for an ideal weather day. Occasionally, we move to "Plan B" for an inside wedding due to rain, heat, cold or snow. Many of our ceremonies are still outside even if the weather isn't ideal, but having the stable environment to come back into for the rest of the wedding is something everyone appreciates.
As you begin to look for a venue, please consider your guests comfort as well. We are often reminded by our renters and guests that family and friends who leave a wedding early because of being exposed to the elements probably didn't care how rustic the venue was. While your wedding is "your day", your family and friends will remember if they were sweating or freezing the whole wedding..... that sounds like another blog topic!