Barns set the scene for romance so effortlessly, truly embracing the whole ‘less is more’ philosophy, which is why they’ve become so popular among couples. With a few sparkling chandeliers, votive candles, mason jars filled with wildflowers and exposed wood ceilings, a barn is instantly transformed into a whimsical stage to say those two little words … “I do.” Even celebrities have taken to the trend, including Kate Bosworth and Michael Polish who took their nuptials to a breathtaking countryside barn in Montana. Kelly Clarkson and Brandon Blackstock also made us swoon with their country-chic wedding at Blackberry Farms in Tennessee.
The beauty of barns is that they offer such a beautiful blank canvas for you to create the wedding of your dreams. If you’re after the same laid-back, rustic elegance found on your Pinterest board (we know you have one), then these six Chicago barn venues surely will not disappoint:
The vintage details of the 6,000-square-foot Emporium are truly unmatched. Antique, reclaimed barn wood exude natural beauty while chandeliers and stringed lights hang from above to create a warm, romantic ambiance. The magnificent views of the Fox River Valley produce the perfect backdrop for a first look, or to capture your first few moments as newlyweds. An alluring brick patio is complete with a stone fireplace where you can cozy up to your spouse and continue the celebration with your guests well into the night.
One of the added perks of The Nagel Emporium at Abbey Farms is that it’s heated and air conditioned, allowing you to get married even on Chicago’s hottest or chilliest day. After all, winter barn weddings can be just as magical as warm weather nuptials – especially with Abbey Farms Christmas tree farm nearby. And it doesn’t hurt to know that if you’re presented with a humid, 90-degree day, your makeup won’t be melting off of your face. That’s a win in our book.
Last, but certainly not least, we have Yorkville’s Ashley Farm. This historic venue dating back to 1825 is truly Instagram worthy. Dazzling, 1920s-inspired chandeliers adorn the open-beamed ceilings of the reclaimed, white barn. Just outside on the veranda, you and your guests will find radiant, stringed lights that illuminate a chic bar nestled between two country silos so you can toast to your new life under the stars. The indoor and outdoor event spaces at Ashley Farm both offer an authentic, country feel for your wedding day.
We know there’s a lot to think about during your big day, but all you should really be focused on is marrying your spouse-to-be. That’s why Ashley Farms provides you and your partner with an on-site wedding coordinator, giving you peace of mind that every last detail will be taken care of.
Danada House is yet another barn venue on our list that offers truly unforgettable views for an unforgettable wedding day. Able to accommodate up to 250 guests, you and your partner can exchange vows inside the breathtaking glassed-in atrium complete with sparkling, hanging lights or outside with views of lush gardens and vast greenery. There are endless backdrops for taking memorable photos, including a historic stone fountain and an intimate gazebo.
The venue provides you with a list of approved, trusted caterers in the area, so you can select a caterer that best fits your needs. Next door is the Danada Equestrian Center, which offers group tours as well as plenty of outdoor activities ranging from hiking and fishing to boating and horseback riding—perfect for out of town guests!
If you’re a country girl at heart, you’ll love Minnoka’s Ellis House Equestrian Center, which offers panoramic views of its 45 magnificent acres. Guests can admire horses grazing or stop to watch the breathtaking sunset while gathered around the crackling stone fireplace. From the neutral tones splashed throughout the venue to the warm, natural light streaming in from the windows, it’s no wonder this is a sought-after destination for brides. You don’t need much additional decor when Mother Nature is such a good stylist! An event coordinator will work with you to adorn the venue as you please, whether you choose to keep it rustic or opt for a more glamorous feel.
You’ll also have your choice of approved caterers to ensure your wedding menu is everything you hoped for. Go with a Chicago-themed buffet, equipped with all the fixings for a Chicago dog, or offer your guests delicious tapas plates so they can get a little taste of everything. Before and after the wedding, out of town guests will have plenty of activities to choose from, with biking and hiking trails nearby as well as Farmer’s market and a local pool.
This picture perfect venue located in Oswego sits on seven breathtaking acres of farmland to set the mood for elegant, rustic nuptials. The barn looks like it came straight out of a countryside fairy tale, as it’s adorned with charming details like shimmering chandeliers and weathered, wooden beams. If you’d like some assistance bringing your barn Pinterest board to life, Emerson Creek has personal stylists available to help you create a space that’s unique to your wedding vision, whether it’s sunflower centerpieces adorning the tables or rustic lanterns lining the aisle.
Despite the venue’s intimate feel, the barn can accommodate up to 225 guests. After the ceremony, you and your friends and family can continue the celebration outside on the beautiful, furnished stone patio where guests can watch the sunset and enjoy the warmth of the fire pits. The Emerson Creek Tearoom is also perfect for a bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, or even a private post-wedding brunch with you and your loved ones.
Located in Long Grove, just north of Chicago, Galway Farm blends timeless elegance with simple country allure to create a unique ambiance for your most memorable day. When you select Galway Farm as your wedding venue, you’ll be the only bride on the farm on your big day. All the time and attention of the staff will be dedicated to making sure your nuptials go off without a hitch. Choose between multiple spaces for your event, including a spacious tent and pavilion as well as two beautiful, rustic barns complete with a silo.
The cuisine is just as outstanding as the scenery at Galway Farm. North Shore Catering & Events brings farm-to-table organic fare to you and your guests, allowing you to dictate the custom menu that’s served at your reception.
Tips for Pulling off the Ultimate Barn Wedding
No matter which venue you choose, these tips can help you plan for the perfect barn wedding:
- Have a decor plan: Before you book, speak with the venue coordinator to find out if there are any restrictions as far as decorations go. For instance, if you’ve always dreamed of hanging weathered white lanterns from the wooden beams of the barn, it’s important to make sure this vision can actually become a reality.
- Set your budget: This tip goes without saying no matter where you’re tying the knot, but some barn venues may not come already equipped with things like lighting, tables, chairs, plates, linens, etc. Therefore, it’s important to make sure you have room in the budget for all of those items.
- Check the noise ordinance rules: If you’re planning on celebrating late into the night, be sure to ask your barn wedding venue about the noise ordinance rules for the area. This way, you can plan for an after party at a different location if you have to shut down the party earlier than you would like.
- Prep for bugs: You’re dancing with your other half, basking in the newlywed glow. Nothing can ruin this moment. Enter: mosquitoes. Do you really want your wedding photos to document you and your guests swatting bugs away? Probably not. It may be a good idea to have some bug spray on-hand that guests can easily access. If you want to disguise your bug strategy, set the mood once the sun goes down with some Citronella candles or tiki torches to let bugs know they’re not welcome at your nuptials, while still keeping the romantic ambiance.
- Inspect the grounds: The natural scenery at barn venues is one of the draws of choosing that location to tie the knot. However, keep in mind the grounds may be uneven for your guests to walk on. Talk to your venue about wheelchair accessibility and whether or not they can accommodate guests who may have trouble walking. Of course, this goes for you and your wedding party as well. Grass + heels just don’t mix. Thinking about these details ahead of time will save you from frustration on the day of your wedding.
Ready to tie the knot in any of these six beautiful barn venues in Chicago? More information about each venue can be found here. Now get planning!