We’ve all seen the gorgeous Pinterest photos of barn weddings: the rusticity and vintage charm, the faded beauty of farmland in all its glory. As a fad, the barn wedding has been gaining traction and creating lots of opportunities for great wedding photos.

While we enjoy this look as much as the next wedding expert, this new fad does have its drawbacks. Any wedding venue can work with the right amount of planning and preparation, but not every wedding venue should be on your shortlist—especially if you’re planning on hosting a large reception or need to make accommodations for those who aren’t as mobile as they used to be. When it comes to planning a realistic wedding that everyone can enjoy, it’s important to step back and look at the larger picture. (And yes, we mean a larger picture than that great barn panorama.)

Things to Look for in a Wedding Venue

There are certain types of wedding venues that can be more fun than others. You want beauty and charm, as well as a unique touch that will set your photos apart. You also want plenty of room for people to enjoy themselves, making memories that will start your marriage off on the right foot.

However, it’s important to remember that this is a wedding. Even though it should be fun and stylistically beautiful, your reception also needs to be suitable for all ages and meet specialty guest requirements. When you set a wedding in a location not intended to handle crowds, parking, or even not in accommodation with ADA standards, you are creating opportunities for personal liability and could be denying many of your relatives a chance to partake in your big day.

Safety considerations you want to keep in mind when choosing a wedding venue include:

  • Access for the aging and those in wheelchairs
  • Uneven walking surfaces
  • Liability for large crowds (including insurance issues and the legal capacity of various buildings)
  • Professional oversight
  • Restroom accessibility
  • Health conditions related to air quality
  • Safety for young children

There’s more to a wedding venue than safety, as well. The comfort of your guests is also important, especially when you’re asking them to travel to your wedding or if part of your event will be taking place out of doors. For example, a barn or other outbuilding often looks great by day, but can quickly get cold as soon as the sun goes down or more often can be dangerously stifling in the heat of summer.

Comfort issues to include in your decision-making process include:

  • Temperature and climate controls
  • Excessive travel required to reach the venue (and the difficulty of finding the location)
  • Location of parking (and whether or not it’s even included at the venue) 
  • Restroom quality and quantity (Minimum of 3)
  • Food prep and service spaces
  • Cleanliness of the venue (especially since your guests will be dressed in their nicest clothes)

Making the Right Wedding Venue Choice

There’s no reason why you can’t enjoy all the vintage charm of a barn wedding as well as the convenience and safety of a modern venue. By choosing a location that combines historic beauty with modern-day amenities, you get the best of both worlds. We promise your wedding photos will still be worth looking back on and you won’t have to explain to your children why your wedding was in a barn!