Keeping Wedding Costs Down

5DM33738 12219320_1091847874193692_4610595053424716878_n 12310509_898174686945057_4278461174092497927_n lauren4 lauren20I’m at WeddingWire World this week and have been shocked to learn that the average cost of a wedding last year was over $29,000.  Should I say sticker shock?  When I got into the wedding business I wanted to offer a venue at a reasonable price.  I am offering a complete rental package without add-ons.  We can also do the flowers for your wedding day without breaking the bank.  The greatest thing about getting married in a barn is that you can be as casual as you like.

Ways to keep cost down

  • Limit guest list to those you really want to share your special day
  • Use flowers that are in-season, roses are available all year
  • Wear your mother or grandmothers dress, if that is not possible shop during sales
  • Make your own veil or buy a vintage hat and embellish
  • Have the guys wear beige pants with white shirts and bowtie
  • Skip the favors, most people don’t need anyhting else-instead make a donation to your favorite charity
  • Make your own programs and menus
  • Or use chalkboards and really save
  • Get married where nature is your decor-mountains in the background and a beautiful arbor
  • Limit alcohol to beer and wine and don’t buy too much and limit the bar time to happy hour and then during the meal
  • Have a simple buffet
  • Use a venue that provides plates, flatware, glassware
  • Avoid the dessert table and serve cake only
  • Don’t like cake, consider cookies or pies
  • Hire a DJ to keep your party going, shop around
  • Hire a day of event coordinator, you will be glad you did
  • Plan early and shop sales
  • Have fun, enlist friends to help

Wedding Timeline

It is important to have a timeline for your wedding.  Remeber you have worked hard to have the perfiect day and you know what is happening but your guests do not.   Plan for your guests to have something to do while waiting for you to have those once in a lifetime pictures,  Games, cocktail hour, popcorn bar, music are some ideas and you might want to use them all.  At Blueberry Hill we want your wedding to be fun and memorable.  An example of a wedding timeline might be.

5:00 Ceremony

5:30 Happy Hour-make sure your guests have something to drink and eat during this time, set out games and provide music

6:15 Bride and Groom announced with wedding party and first dances

6:30 Meal is served; Bride and Groom you need to be first, play conversation friendly background music during the meal.  Make sure your caterer has enough wait staff to clear the dinner dishes, no one wants to party with dirty dishes on the tables.

7-7:30 Cake is cut and toasting

8:00 Dance the night away

10:00 Send Off

Remember to have fun and don’t stress the small stuff.  Your timeline might not go exactly as scheduled but at least your guests will have an idea of what to expect.  Also you need to look at the time of sunset on your wedding day and plan the time of your ceremony so you will have some night pictures.63935_10203674667363711_3245067347083122183_n lauren36

Summer weddings

We are in the middle of the summer wedding season.  It has been over 90 for almost every Saturday this summer.  We have been able to have all the weddings outside that were planned for the outside venue.  Some were betweeen rain shower,  the benches dry fast in this heat.

One recommendation I can give to all couples planning a wedding outside in the summer is to not start before 6pm.  It will be more comfortable for your guests and wedding party.  Your pictures will also be much better in the twilight hours without the harseness of the afternoon summer sun.  You also might want to consider some thing to keep every cool such as fans for programs, parasols, water, sunglasses and popsicles.  Oversize umbrellas will help shade the outside area making it more comfortable for your guests.

Arrive or leave the ceremony in a golf cart for a fun mode of transportation. Setup yard games for entertainment.  Above all have fun and stay cool at your wedding.

FAQs-Barn at Blueberry Hill

What is the barn capacity?    200

How can we use the patio space?     The pation can be used for seating, cocktail hour, dancing or table space.  It does not have a roof and we are unable to place a tent over the area

Will there be another wedding the same day?   There is only one event booked per day at the barn.

Are there overnight accommodations nearby?   There is a Hampton Inn 2 miles from the barn.

Do we have to use the caterer, DJ, baker, photographer, etc. that you choose?  Here at the barn we give you the flexibility to choose all your favorite things for your big day.

What is the clean up process?     The Barn at Blueberry Hill will handle all standard clean up and trash removal throughout and following the wedding reception.

Do you have an onsite kitchen?    We do not have a full kitchen at the barn.  Please inform your caterer that the food will need to arrive hot.  You are welcome to grill at the barn.  We do have a refrigerator, sink and dishwasher.

Do you provide table linens, glassware and flatware?  In an effort to go green we do have over 200 mason jars for drinking, 200 sets of flatware and drink dispensers at the barn.  We do you request that you use these instead of bottles and cans.We do have table lines in a variety of colors for 20 round tables.  We also provide linens for long table to use on the buffet, gift, dessert tables, etc.

If we plan to have our ceremony offsite, does your fee change?  Since we only do one event per day the fee remains the same.

Can I have alcohol at my event?  We do not have an ABC permit but you are welcome to bring beer and wine.   A bartender is required if alcohol is served.  I do have a kegerator and request that you bring kegs instead of cans and bottles.

Questions when planning an outdoor wedding ceremony

With the Outdoor wedding in full swing I thought it was time to post some things to consider when planning your wedding outside.

When you are looking for an outdoor venue for your garden wedding ceremony, find out if tents are permitted, or if there is a building nearby that can accommodate your wedding in case of inclement weather.  The Barn at Blueberry Hill offers the ability to have your wedding in the rustic barn or outside under the arbor.

Visit the venue beforehand. Is it big enough?   The barn will accommodate 200, outside will hold more.

Are there washroom facilities?   Their are 3 bathrooms at the barn.

What about parking?  Parking is located across from the barn and a parking attendant will be there before the wedding.

Ideally, visit the site at the same time of day you plan to have your ceremony. That way, you can figure out how to configure your site so that you and your guests are not blasted by the sun.  In the summer months it is best to wait until 6pm for the ceremony to allow the sun to not be so harsh.
Find out if any other events are being held at the location on your wedding date.   Your wedding will be the only event scheduled on your wedding day.
Find out if chairs are provided. If not, find out if chair rental is permitted. Many garden venues will only permit ceremonies, and some do not supply chairs for guests. If you are looking for a simple garden ceremony this won’t be a problem. If chairs are permitted, choose wooden chairs. Metal chairs get scorching hot in the sun.  The barn has wooden benches for the outdoor ceremony that will seat at least 200.
If you are planning to get married in the summer, find out if there is shade where the ceremony is being held. You might be able to stand up to the 90 degree heat, but what about your grandmother? Also, provide bottled water for your guests to keep them hydrated. You could also offer lemonade or sparkling water before the reception. Parasols for elderly guests are also a nice idea. Or you could make your programs in the shape of fans so guests can fan themselves.  These are all excellent suggestions to make your guests more comfortable. Remember the later in the evening your wedding ceremony starts the cooler the outdoor space will be.
If the venue is in a secluded area, make sure you give your guests good directions and allow for extra travel time for guests to find the venue. If your guests have to take back country roads to find the site, they might need some extra time to get there.  the Barn at Blueberry Hill is conveniently located 2 miles off I-77 with signs marking the turns.
Keep decorations simple. Gardens need little adornment.  The barn has shepherd’s hooks mason jars, sheers for the arbor and tree stumps for you to use during your wedding ceremony.
When choosing a wedding gown, make sure you keep in mind that you will be having a ceremony outdoors. A gown that will bustle or has no train is your best bet.
Don’t choose flowers that can’t stand the heat. If you are working with a florist, s/he should be able to guide you in the right direction. Also, keep several buckets of water onsite in a shady spot to store wedding bouquets so that they spend less time in the sun.  Simple seasonal flowers look great in the mason jars.
Go with the flow. Garden weddings are less predictable than weddings indoors. Be prepared for inclement weather. Even if the weather is perfect, unexpected things like bird droppings, sirens and bee stings are always possibilities.

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Sock Hop and Cruise In Fundraiser October 12, 2014

Blueberry Hill will be hosting a fundraiser for the Children’s Center of Surry, Stokes and Yadkin.  The event will be held Sunday October 12 from 4-8pm.  There will be a DJ playing all your favorite songs.  We will have a hula hoop, twist and shag contests.   The best car will be judged by the children from the center.  Come dressed in your best 50’s attire and plan for a fun afternoon.

A tribute to Patsy Cline will be performed by Jenny Felts at 5pm.  At 7pm Ricky Stanley will impersonate Elvis.

There will be plenty of classic cars to look at and reminisce about the good old days.  A notary will be on site if anyone wants to buy, trade or sell.

$20.00 per car no matter how many people you can get in.  Food will be available to purchase so come hungry.

Adding AC and Heat

I am overwhelmed by the response to the barn.  We have booked 27 weddings so far and some months are full for 2015.  I am even getting some inquiries about 2016.  We have decided to add 4 heat pumps to the main area of the barn to make the venue more comfortable.  We will also be offering the barn for Christmas parties.  Call to reserve your time.  I have several different options for catering with different price points.