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Tips for Planning an Affordable Wedding Reception in a Barn

A wedding is one of the most special times in a person’s life, but it can also be one of the most expensive investments of their life. While shocking for some people to learn, the average budget for a wedding in the United States is $31,213. Although a wedding is an important event, this budget can be incredibly overwhelming for many people. Thankfully, planning your dream day without an enormous budget is possible. With this guide, you can plan an affordable and stylish wedding reception in a barn.


Placing a few tables and chairs into a barn may provide your guests with places to sit and dine, but your wedding guests will require a few more amenities that you may not have thought of. In most cases, your barn will not have electricity or plumbing, which can be problematic in extreme temperatures and when your guests need to use the bathroom.

To heat the barn, you will need to bring in portable heaters. Gas and electric heaters are good options to consider, since they are available in a variety of sizes and designs. If you are choosing electric heaters, you will need to run cords from the barn to an outdoor power source. This can clutter the barn and increase the risk of guests tripping and falling.

Renting flushable portable toilets or mobile bathroom trailers will also be necessary. Unfortunately, these rentals can increase costs tremendously, so consider standard portable toilets to conserve your wedding budget.

Many couples plan their ceremony and reception at night. While this is romantic, bringing in enough lighting for evening barn weddings can become expensive. To cut costs, consider a morning ceremony and an afternoon reception. Traditional and battery-operated candles placed all through the barn will provide sufficient light for your daytime barn wedding.


A full-course dinner is too formal for a rustic wedding reception in a barn, so consider cutting the formality and the costs by serving appetizers on your special day.

Bite-size versions of your favorite comfort foods will add style to your wedding while curbing the cravings of your guests. Small cups of macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders, or even grilled steak and vegetable kabobs are fun and affordable options for your dining needs.

Fill dispensers with lemonade and sweet tea as well. Allow your guests to prepare their beverage in a mason jar that they can take home as a wedding favor. Tie burlap ribbon, a piece of lace, and a special cardboard tag with your name and the wedding date to the mason jar.

Talk to a catering company to get more appetizer ideas.

Having a rustic wedding in a local barn is smart if you want style and affordability. With these tips, your wedding reception will be personalized, romantic, and memorable.