Your wedding vendors can make or break your wedding. When your venue has a required or preferred list of vendors, it is usually to protect their couples from bad experiences. Most venues would rather couples use vendors they are familiar with, have had good experiences with, are reliable and good at what they do. A bonus is they are affordable too.
There are so many wedding vendors that are doing there service as a hobby. A really good clue is that they do not have liability insurance and some will refuse to get liability insurance. A vendor that is serious about their service and treat it like a real business will have no problem with providing insurance but that alone does not make them a good vendor. Venue owners and managers have seen it all if they have been around for any length of time. I know I have seen a lot of good and bad and try to keep track of the bad to put them on our black list and keep track of the really great ones to consider adding to our preferred list.
We have found that there are two vendors that are notorious for delaying weddings. One is a make-up artist. They either don't bring enough help to get the job done on time or they are just slow. We recommend only a few that have never held up a wedding and do incredible work. The other vendor that will hold up a wedding is a DJ for multiple reasons. We have had DJ's show up late or not show up at all, have bad equipment, forget equipment, need batteries, need cords and even show up drunk. We have had so many issues with DJ's, that in order to protect our couples, we have made the decision to go with an exclusive DJ.
The Barn at Lacey Farms has 3 exclusive vendors that we require. One, Stephanie Gavin, our Wedding Coordinator is included in every package we offer. Franny's Bartending Service is our exclusive bartending service and now DJ Dan Holt is our exclusive DJ. By doing this our couples are going to get really great and reliable vendors at very affordable prices.
Believe me we did not start out with these required vendors, but quickly learned from experience with a bartender that took payment and then ghosted our couples, we decided to bring our couples the best and most reliable bartending service as exclusive. We had so many problems, even disasters when couples chose not to have a coordinator, that we decided to include the coordinator in our packages. With all the DJ problems, we decided to work a deal with our best DJ, with the best equipment and most reliable, to get our couple a really great deal.
We still have a great list of preferred vendors and although we do not require our couples to choose from this list, we highly suggest they do for the very best experience. We do not take a penny from any of exclusive or preferred vendors. We only do this to help limit the issues our couples could encounter on their wedding day.
Choose wisely and go with your venue suggestions.
When we were designing our venue, we kicked around a lot of ideas to cross our rocky creek from the parking lot to the wedding venue. We considered a flat railroad car, a 55 foot cargo container and cut windows in the sides, an engineered metal bridge and old fashioned covered bridge. We had an architect do a 3d rendering of the entire venue and his vision of the covered bridge seemed to be what the family really liked.
So I started designing a bridge similar to his vision. Once we had the steel beams in place we started building the wooden covered bridge on top of the steel beams. We bolted 4x4's across the beams every 16" and 2x10 planks for the decking across the 55 foot span. We built the side panels over at the garage with the help of my son's, Fourth and Brent, and brought them out one by one, bolted thru decking and into to the 4x4's. Once we started putting the metal roof on, I let the youngsters handle that while I cut the tin. What we ended up with is a beautiful covered bridge that has been the focus point of so many weddings.
Covered Bridge Wedding Photos
Quite honestly the question of indoor or outdoor wedding doesn't come up very often here at The Barn at Lacey Farms. Most every couple wants to have a wedding at our beautiful outdoor ceremony site under the 150 year old oaks. We are blessed to have a completely shaded area by mother nature.
There are many factors that can affect the decision of outdoor vs indoor weddings, some you control, some you don't. Let's look at some of the reasons to have an outdoor wedding first.
One of the great things about having a beautiful natural setting is that Mother Nature does a lot of the decorating for you with trees, sky, creeks, ponds, leaves falling, natural lighting, etc... This also gives you and your photographer during and after the ceremony for more photos opportunities.
Other than the ceremony itself, an outdoor venue may have spaces for games, fire pit, surrounding scenery like the horse and cattle pastures surrounding The Barn at Lacey Farms. We have a huge fire pit and supply the wood and start the fire for our weddings. Even on hot days we have had the fire pit going for S'mores.
Now the thing you can't control in having an outdoor wedding, Mother Nature. Rain, cold, heat, snow, etc... So you better have a backup plan. We have a beautiful air conditioned and heated timber frame barn that can double as wedding and reception venue. We have had 117 weddings at this writing and have only had 7 weddings indoors because of rain. We still had beautiful weddings and the couples were able to enjoy their day.
Couples may choose an indoor wedding venue to better control the environment, lighting, theme, etc... Greater emphasis can and will be put on decorating the facility to match your theme or vision of your wedding.
Couples may want a more formal wedding at a more traditional setting such as a church. This type of setting will also be limited to more formal pictures as the outdoor setting may not be available. A more intimate wedding might be more appropriate indoors where you and your guest could be in one location for both the wedding and reception.
Fortunately for our couples, we have a beautiful indoor facility to use for both wedding ceremonies and receptions and a beautiful outdoor wedding ceremony site. Click Here to Schedule a Tour.