For the past couple of years the barn backdrop has been embraced by several love stories and weddings.  The heart of North Carolina has several barns and farms to choose from.  Some private farmers have restored barns and have opened them up to the public.  These give you all of the rustic elements with modern day twists.  Some even are still working farms and have livestock in the background.  Just remember if you are invited to use a private farmer’s barn and land to respect that it’s more than a venue to the owners, its HOME.  They are inviting you into their backyard and technically into their family.  Always ask what decorations are allowed, areas that are off limits and times the property are available for use the day of your event.  Let’s explore a few of the local barns and farms.

L’A Brie at Linwood is a large pole barn that will put you in a country mood the moment you begin to drive up to it.  It has a porch that is great for the buffet line and a large patio off the back; which is perfect for cocktail hour and yard games.  We’re planning on renting a few wine barrels for an upcoming wedding instead of cocktail tables to add to the rustic vibe.  It includes tables and chairs for up to 200 guests in the barn.  One of the best parts of this venue is no extra uplighting is needed, they’ve done an incredible job in planning the “look” of the barn.  There is even a side barn for your vendors to use as a “working and prepping: area away from your guests.  There’s plenty of parking and although they have a golf cart, we recommend renting a few extras for the day due to the size of this property.  They have an entire wing of their home that is used for the bridal party to use to get ready and a separate house for the groomsmen to use prior to the wedding.  And if you are looking for a water feature for your ceremony, they’ve even got a fountain in the middle of a large pond that makes a beautiful backdrop for your “I dos.” 

Traveling through Kernersville, we found a farm house turned into a wedding venue.  Dewberry Farm is still a working farm that allows weddings from April through October.  They have a barn that is a beautiful ceremony backdrop.  While most choose outdoors the inside is just as beautiful if liquid sunshine shall fall upon your wedding day.  They offer a changing area for the wedding party to get ready in their private home.  The backyard is the best feature of this amazing venue.  The flowers offer such a beautiful backdrop, wedding decorations are a minimum.  The

owners have selected a variety of flowers and greenery to accent events all wedding season.  Dewberry Farm has a large porch and patio to use as the reception area that can seat up to 150 guests.  Just around the corner is a cement patio that is normally used as the dance floor.  The balcony from the upper porch offers a great place to throw your bouquet from.  This venue offers tables, chairs and linens for a 7 hour rental (more hours for an additional rental), which means more savings in your budget.  So if you ever wanted to feel like you were having a wedding in your backyard without all the stress, this country farm is just what you are looking for! (photos are Dewberry Farm)

We didn’t make it far before finding our next local farm.  Surrounded by country living makes it easy to find amazing places to accent with sunflowers, babies breathe, burlap and lace.  Our next venue is located in Mebane North, Carolina.  If you are looking for a large farm house as a ceremony backdrop, Merry Hill Farm is your destination!  You have the house to use to get ready in with a private groom’s house on the property to avoid seeing one another.  While most use the lily pad pond as a ceremony spot some have used the front porch.  They can handle weddings up to 300 guests.  With this venue you rent the property and build from there by adding tents, lighting, tables and chairs.  You can make this property your own for the day by adding your own personal touches.   If you like livestock, they have plenty of it walking around.  They have donkeys, peacocks, dogs and cats, but if you are not looking to have animal crashers at your wedding, they will make sure they are pinned up for your event.  However, how cool would it be to take a photo with a peacock in your wedding dress?  (photos are Merry Hill Farm Facebook page)

Looking for a unique venue for a birthday celebration, rehearsal dinner or a small wedding celebration?  Our next venue takes us to Hillsborough to Maple View Farm and Agricultural Educational Center.  While they are famous for their homemade ice cream, milk and fudge they also have a small venue that they rent for small gatherings.  How awesome would it be to have a homemade ice cream party right in the backyard of where even the milk comes from?  They can host events up to 120 people.  Their general store and ice cream parlor also makes a great date night or day trip for the family.  Make sure to take home some of their fresh milk.

Our last stop on our barn tour today takes us to Roxboro to The Gazebo at Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm.  This venue can host up to 200 guests but we personally think this venue is perfect for smaller intimate weddings and events.  It includes tables and chairs for 100 guests.  The Gazebo at Sunset Ridge Buffalo Farm overlooks a large pond full with a large fountain which makes a great ceremony spot between April and October.  While they do offer off peak pricing also during November through March.  This working buffalo farm allows several barns as backdrops in photos and beyond the gazebo.  They have a large tent to use for your reception and your wedding party has large space to get ready in.  This rental has everything you need to host a unique country wedding. 

So as you can tell the heart of North Carolina has all kinds of styles and sizes of barns and farms to add to your country vision.  There are several ways you can add rustic to any venue.  You just have to be creative.  Start going “picking” at flea markets and yard sales.  Start looking for old crates, mason jars, and lace.  Order old signs or farm equipment to use as props.  Use old books or wood slabs to add height on dinner tables.  Look for old frames to add pictures of your courtship or other family portraits to add something for guests to talk about. Wild flowers can add lots of color to your beautiful day.  We love adding farm tables, rustic chairs, benches and wine barrels for furniture for country weddings and receptions.  Hay bales with quilts laying on them make for a great ceremony seat.  Use old doors or an old mantel for your focal point for your “I dos”.   Remember when it comes to rustic, everything doesn’t have to match.  The more eclectic the better.  Any of these venues will lay the foundation for your country wedding all you need to add is your personal touch to tell your story.  Allow the dirt road to start your journey as one.