By: Jessica Robinson
I am in LOVE with barn venues. Of course, as a true farm girl, born and raised in Connecticut on a small farm. I just love the earthy environments of farms and open airy space of a big barn. Empty the barn out and that gives this farm girl turned event designer a great open area to design away to her little hearts content. Hosting your wedding in a barn does not necessarily mean that you’re going to have some backyard wedding. To me, it means gorgeous chandeliers, lots of textures and adding romance to a blank space. Do it up how you like it.
That brings us to Maine, where you will find the absolutely stunning property: The Barn on Walnut Hill. Oh, how gorgeous the grounds are and the barn has been completely renovated.
My daughter and her fiancé were living in NYC when they announced their engagement. They thought they would like to get married there but after spending three months trying to find a venue that felt personal, was unlike anything their friends had ever done, could be fun and was a reflection of who they were, my daughter called and asked if they could be married at our home in Maine. I just needed to remove the cow stalls from the barn as well as the horse stalls. And then the floor needed to be replaced. It was truly, however, a labor of love.
How long have you been hosting weddings?
It will have been two years come the end of October. Last year we hosted 17 weddings and a cancer fundraiser at The Barn on Walnut Hill. This year we will have hosted 24 weddings. Our season runs from May 1st until October 31st so you can see that we were nearly booked for the entire season.
How many guests will the barn accommodate?
The barn can accommodate up to 200 guests for a standing reception. However it’s best to limit the number of guests to 130 for a seated and served dinner. This allows you to keep the center aisle of the barn open for dancing.
What is the rental fee?
It ranges from $8,500-$10,000 depending on the date. Apart from the barn what makes us different is that we rent the farmhouse which comfortably sleeps 12 and is fully furnished along with the barn from Wednesday to Sunday. What we hope is that the bride will arrive with her family or loved ones on Wednesday, get settled, relax and then begin to build memories over the course of the next few days that will last a lifetime. Her wedding won’t consist of just the rehearsal dinner and then the day of the wedding but several days spent again among family and loved ones.
Are their bathrooms onsite? Or do clients renting the property need to rent them?
Because we are on septic, you do need to rent portable toilets or a restroom trailer.
Do they need to bring in items such as caterer, tables, chairs? etc.
What do you get with that rental fee?
Rentals are the responsibility of the bride. We do provide parking attendants. We have various items like farm tables made out of reclaimed barn wood that guests are welcome to use as well as galvanized tubs, glassware, flatware and dinner service for up to thirty guests in the event someone wanted to host a Sunday brunch, etc.
What advice would you give a bride planning her wedding?
Remember to have fun! There are plenty of people there to assist you with all the details and they will do so gladly.
What do you love about weddings?
While it can sometimes bring out the worst in people, it’s usually only for a short period of time. Otherwise it is such a joyous event. Everyone is happy!
What makes your property different from others?
It is at once rustic yet elegant. When the light fades and the barn is lit from within, it is magical. It too reflects the past and holds the promise of a bright future for the couple being married.
How soon should a bride or couple contact you to discuss the details of their wedding?
I have had couples reserve dates as early as a year and a half in advance of their wedding date so the earlier the better. As I mentioned I am able to host events from May until October.
Is there anything else that you think our readers would be interested to know??
I received one of the nicest, most gracious handwritten thank you notes from a mother of the bride who wrote that while it was a lot of work, the family was able to spend some much needed time together. It was a gift they hadn’t counted on.
(photo credit: Sharyn Peavey)