These days Appalachian weddings are dream weddings where couples choose to say, “I do” in one of the most beautiful parts of the country. If you dream of having a destination Blue Ridge mountain wedding, you have probably considered having a barn wedding, or an outdoor wedding with a barn reception.

There are some misconceptions about barn weddings being “country” or not as sophisticated as their more traditional counterparts. That could not be further from the truth. There are plenty of ways that you can elevate your barn wedding and bring in elegant accents to create a wedding celebration that seems as if it appeared in a Hollywood movie.

Barn weddings do not have to mean that your wedding will be the latest version of a hillbilly shindig. Here’s how you can create an elegant barn wedding that will be sure to impress even the high falutin’.

1. Start with the Right Invites and Stationary

When you are planning your wedding, you might be thinking that having a barn wedding may make your special day a little bit more laid back, but it does not have to be if you would like it to be a bit more sophisticated and romantic. You can begin by choosing the very best thick stationary cardstock and personalized wedding announcements and invites. Many brides are going the distance and having an artist or graphic designer friend design custom stationary for their wedding theme. The extra details like this will really take things up a notch.

2. Advise Guests on What to Expect

Create a special website for your event and tell your guests to visit it for more details about your wedding weekend. On your website you can explain the details of your events and express how you would like for them to dress and what to expect. When you leave these details out, guests tend to be left to their own devices and opinions. Expressing yourself in greater detail will allow them to feel more comfortable with your events.

3. Take Advantage of the High Ceilings

When you are planning your event details and décor, think about the high ceilings of the barn. Whether you are planning your reception in the barn venue, or bringing the alter inside, you should take full advantage of a barn’s high ceilings by hanging stunning chandeliers from the ceiling, or draping lots of whimsical fabric from the ceiling. Hang long flowing florals from the high beams for ultra-impact.

4. Use Lots of Drapery & Lighting

As previously stated, drapery can really add elements of sophistication and drama to your barn venue. Draping fabrics from locations throughout the barn will create quite the impact when paired with proper lighting throughout. You can hang twinkling lights for a wedding reception that extends well into the night and use candles throughout for added effect. Locations throughout the venue where your guests will be snapping selfies should be well lit with great quality lighting so that their photographs look exactly how they would expect them to.

5. Upgrade the Florals

When you want to make a huge impression, always go with added florals. You can never really overdo flowers in a barn wedding. There are so many great places to accentuate with florals. Think about having a massive floral wall display, florals hanging from the ceilings, florals for each chair and of course centerpiece statement florals. If you are having your ceremony outside, you can create amazing floral alters and arbors and create borders with flowers.

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6. Choose Rich Fabrics

Much like flowers, when you choose rich fabrics in indulgent blends, you can’t go wrong. Barn weddings need the soft touch of fabrics and when you are draping everything under the barn, you’ll want to choose the best types of fabrics. When it comes to bridesmaids’ dresses, choose light and airy fabrics that work well with the outdoors. For weddings in a cooler time of year you might want to opt for a thicker fabric choice, but still incorporate an element of whimsy to play up the scenery outside.

7. Liven it up with Color

Barnwood is a neutral palatte that can be filled with deep color including pinks, greens and blues. Some wrongly assume that you should pair the barnwood neutrality with other neutrals to exude elegant, however if you love color, you can pair a barnwood setting with complimentary color and the venue will come alive.

8. Alter It Up

Many couples get married outside and then move their reception indoors to the barn. You can dare to be different and alter it up a bit by having your wedding alter located inside, even if the weather is perfect outside. Creating a wedding alter inside of a barn is really easy and can offer a lot of romance.

9. Enliven your Menu

Everyone remembers the food at a wedding, for better or for worse. Forget the ho’ hum usual barbecue plates and easy sides and opt for higher end choices in food if you can. Splurging on your rehearsal dinner and wedding reception food is never a bad idea. Guests always love trying new things. If you are sushi fans or a steak lover, make sure to incorporate some of your favorite foods as a couple into your event plans. Spring for the extra because the food that guests eat will be memorable.

10. Featured Extras

Wedding extras that create memories at the reception are always fun. Think about having a smore’s bar that guests can sit around while waiting on the photographs to be taken after the ceremony and before the reception. Have them make their own smore’s and fire them over the firepit. Choose fun yard games such as cornhole and giant Jenga and have them set out about the property. Think about incorporating a photo booth where guests can don funny getups and take their own personalized photos while waiting on the party to start. Offer the best wedding favors that you can think up for your guests. Some favorites include, party favors that take the night up a notch such as offering your own Moscow mule mugs with your wedding monogram and other fun items that light up to get the late night party started if that is your thing.


The Barn on New River hosts elegant weddings and parties near one of the oldest rivers in the world; the South Fork of the New River. You will not find another property as remarkable as ours. It hosts a 4900 square foot barn with 30’ ceilings on 100 beautiful acres and a cabin and honeymoon suite.  We’re located in the High Country in the Blue Ridge Mountains near Boone and West Jefferson North Carolina. Take a deeper look at the venue, availability, and packages.

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