Barnes' Place: A Wedding Barn and so Much More
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"Let our dream barn make your dreams a reality"
Barnes’ Place, a wedding barn located in Adel, Iowa, strives to live up to its motto, “Let our dream barn make your dreams a reality."
The venue offers four outdoor ceremony locations, an indoor ceremony and/or reception area, and oozes country charm with handmade furniture and rustic characteristics. Located on farmland, the wedding barn is surrounded by countryside scenery with pastures, a pond and even livestock.
Owners Paula and Ernie Barnes go above and beyond to give the bride and groom a day they’ll never forget by providing extra accommodations to tailor to the vision of each wedding.
Not only is Barnes’ Place a wedding barn, but it also comes with multiple seating and table arrangements, ceremony locations, golf carts to chauffeur guests, a photo booth, fireplace, fire pit, fully-equipped kitchen and decorations for the bride and groom to use as they wish.
“I think that is what really makes us unique from others,” says Paula. “It saves couples time and money. Some say the venue already has the character they want and they don’t feel the need to decorate very much. They’ll put down a table runner and some candles and call it good.”Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
Putting the plan into motion
Paula’s dream was to run a wedding business of her own some day and eventually build a wedding barn. Paula is a wedding assistant at the Lutheran Church of Hope in her community, and before building Barnes’ Place she says she would quiz brides to see if they would drive to the country for a wedding.
“I’ve just always had such a passion for this,” says Paula.
When Paula and Ernie’s daughter announced her engagement, plans of building a wedding barn sprung into motion to accommodate the October 2012 ceremony.
The business took off faster than Paula could have imagined.
“We were hoping to be blessed with maybe 10 weddings the first year ,” says Paula. “But when our daughter walked down the aisle in October 2012, we’d already had 2013 booked for the year. We didn’t even have the barn done yet.”
Right now, Paula has all Saturdays from March through November 2016 booked for weddings, and is now booking for Fridays and Sundays. As of May 6th, she already had four dates reserved in 2017.Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
A personal touch
The wedding barn can accommodate 300 guests with an area for a DJ or live band, dance floor and a head table area with handmade Mr. and Mrs. chairs. Seating can be bench, chair or bench-to-chair, depending on the guest count.
The inside of the barn is decorated with handmade wooden chairs, tables and other uniquely crafted artwork that adds to the ambiance of the wedding barn. Old lids from pig feeders and other ag-related items are upcycled and incorporated in the barn’s decoration and design. The handcrafted items are made by Byron Devries with Devries Woodcrafters in Earlham, Iowa.
“I can put designs on paper and he can make my visions come to life,” says Paula.
Handmade pieces in the barn include chairs, tables, and a bar and tables on wheels that can be easily adjusted to the room’s arrangement.
The inside fireplace adds lighting and is great for cold weather weddings and receptions. The wedding barn is used for weddings year-round. The only month there is not a wedding held at Barnes’ Place is during February, to give Paula a break.
However, the weekend of Valentine’s Day she hosts an open house that brides and grooms can attend and bring family and friends. Paula provides a blank table and brings out decorations for them to create mock displays.The open house in February is for both those who have already booked a date with Barnes’ Place and couples interested in taking a tour and booking that day. When a couple books the venue, a final meeting will be made two to four weeks away from the special day.
“I try to get into their head as much as I can during that final meeting, so I can get a good idea of what they want and set up the venue accordingly,” says Paula.Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
The wedding barn has a loft with two changing rooms for the wedding party and an area to cut the cake and/or for the bride to throw her bouquet to the guests below.
“If you look up into the loft, between the two windows is a great place for them to cut the cake,” says Paula. “It gets really magical at night with all the lights.”
All of the decorations are stored in the loft, which the couple are allowed to use. Decorations include chalkboards, antiques, dried flowers, table runners, lanterns, mason jars of all sizes, candleholders and over 400 candles.
“I have everything labeled and inventoried,” says Paula. “On their day we have a form they fill out, and they just check the decorations out like a library. At the end of the night they put it on a shelf for us, and then we go through it to make sure it’s all there.”
Couples can use the Barnes’ Place decorations, their own decorations, or a mixture of both.Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
There are four outside areas where couples can be married if they choose to not have an inside wedding. Ceremonial locations on the property include in front of the barn, on a grassy hill, on a flat area behind the barn, and by the pond.
“First choice is usually by the pond,” says Paula. “Then, they will use the flat area for outdoor games between the ceremony and the reception.”
Surrounding the outside of the barn is also a fire pit, smoking area, and photo booth where guests can create fun, memorable pictures at the wedding.
Paula and Ernie decorate for outside ceremonies with mason jars, candles, lanterns, windowpanes and draped rope lights.
“We’re so much more than a venue because we do all the setup inside and outside, too,” says Paula. “We try to incorporate whatever they’ve used to decorate with inside the barn and bring it out here as well."
They also help coordinate the wedding party and guests the day of the wedding. When guests first arrive, they are actually parked away from the barn and are brought down on golf carts by Paula, Ernie and the Barnes’ Place staff. This is so vehicles do not get in the way of any wedding pictures being taken around the venue.
While Barnes’ Place itself is a gorgeous backdrop for wedding pictures, Paula and Ernie also have large, round hay bales out in their field and other rural landscaping that makes for beautiful, memorable wedding day photos.Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
First look moment
There is a small bridge built for the bride and groom to have that first look moment.Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
“Every wedding truly is unique, and I think that’s what keeps me on my toes,” says Paula. “Every bride has a different vision that brings a challenge for us.”
In 2014, one couple, both veterinarians, had an outdoor wedding ceremony at Barnes' Places. They wanted the farm’s cattle, located in another pasture, to be in the background of the pictures taken during the ceremony.
“Ernie was coaxing them with some feed to get the cattle in the background,” recalls Paula.
“The cows started to beller when they saw I had feed,” said Ernie. “I apologized to the bride and groom for the noise, but they said they loved it. The videographer got the bellering on video, and they were thrilled about it.”Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
Staff and accomodations
Barnes' Place is also equipped with a great staff of people that Ernie and Paula know from the community and from their years of being 4-H leaders. There are eight people that help out, four main people that always help during the wedding and two that help mow and manage the outside vicinity. There are also security officers from Earlham, a nearby town, at every wedding.
"We’ve been blessed with a great team," says Paula. "We started out first thinking we could do it on our own, but we quickly realized that we couldn’t."
There's a cake bakery and florist conveniently located in Earlham, close to the Barnes' Place venue. One mile away you'll find a campground with cabins and full-size campers for rent, and there's also a Hampton Inn that provides a shuttle service for wedding guests.Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
Paula is always looking for more decorations to add to the venue and is constantly thinking of new ideas for the business. Someday, she hopes to have a bouquet garden where couples can pick their wedding flowers.
"I really want to keep it fresh and new," says Paula. "It’s fun when a couple comes back six months after booking and is awed at new, updated features. I want that feeling to continue."
For inquiries, you can email Barnes' Place at: firstname.lastname@example.org.Date Published: July 14, 2015Date Updated: August 20, 2015
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