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Rain on your Wedding Day, No Problem

Many newly engaged couples consider a wedding venue’s ability to handle inclement weather a top concern. At the Barn at The Barn at Blueberry Hill, we understand this and assure you that we can accommodate your wedding regardless of the weather conditions. Our flexibility is your peace of mind. Look at locally-owned wedding venues to get that personal touch.

Rest assured in your decision. We are fully prepared to support you if you decide to proceed with an outdoor wedding. We have many umbrellas for your guests and can quickly dry the benches in case of a sudden shower just before the ceremony. Your wedding day is in safe hands with us.

What if it rains on your wedding day? It would help if you always had a plan B. Some couples embrace the rain and use umbrellas. Others move inside the barn to the climate-controlled space. On a rainy day, having a barn wedding can be a great option. You can utilize the climate-controlled space to ensure the weather doesn’t dampen the festivities. The rustic backdrop of a barn can be charming and create a cozy atmosphere for your special day.

Many engaged couples are concerned about how the venue will handle lousy weather when choosing a wedding venue. At the Barn at Blueberry Hill, we understand this and want to assure you that we can accommodate your wedding regardless of the weather. Our flexibility is designed to give you peace of mind. If you move the ceremony inside the barn, we can set up the space in as little as 30 minutes. During the social hour, our staff can quickly arrange the space for your reception in less than 15 minutes

Conditions might also be too hot or cold on your wedding day if the ceremony is outside. Just be sure to have a backup plan in case of unexpected showers! Rain is one of many reasons for a plan B. Having the ceremony outside might be too hot or cold on your wedding day. Plan B should always be in the back of your mind

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#barn wedding #ncweddingvenue #locallyownedweddingvenue

10 Years and Counting

On July 11, 2014, The Barn at Blueberry Hill hosted their first wedding. It was 86 degrees that day, and we had no air conditioning then. Thank goodness for an afternoon thundershower to cool things off. We learned that we needed to add air conditioning quickly. Bryon and Erica Kennedy were excellent to work with. It was a heartwarming family affair, with everyone pitching in to make it a perfect day. The groom was so happy he danced to the front of the steps to meet his bride. Since that first wedding, we have constantly added amenities to the barn. The barn remains rustic with modern comforts.

Air conditioning and heat were added in the late summer of 2014, making the barn climate-controlled. That fall, we hosted several barn weddings, but winter was the time for more improvements. We added insulation and a bead board ceiling during January and February of 2015.

By the winter of 2017, we had outgrown the original barn space and needed to add a wing on the side of the barn. That January, one of our friends wanted to get rid of a pack house in Pilot Mountain. It had beautiful German siding, which I knew would be the walls in the new addition. Rogelio, Miquel, Nabor, and I were off to Pilot Mountain to harvest the wood. We were then ready to start the addition. Samuel Johnson and Jamie Davis constructed the addition, and we were prepared to finish it with recycled materials. This added much-needed space upstairs and a gathering spot for appetizers before the reception. We updated the bar and photo booth on the middle floor. A groom’s suite was added during this renovation as well.

In 2018, we saw the need to improve the outdoor space. Nic Robson and his crew installed pavers on the walkway to the arbor. With all the traffic, the grass would look dead by midsummer. The pavers made it easier to walk down the aisle.

In 2019, it became apparent that the bridal suite was too small, so it was time for another addition. Samuel was back to the rescue. We turned the old bride’s room into a gathering room, and the new bride’s dressing room was equipped with mirrors and plenty of counter space for makeup. We added outlets at each station for all the hair styling tools.

We all know what happened in 2020. We bought rental property below the venue to offer our couples and their guests housing. We purchased this property in January and finished the farmhouse renovations by March, then Covid hit. We canceled or rescheduled 17 weddings that year. It was a challenging year for everyone.

2021 wasn’t much better, but we were still trying to accommodate the 2020 weddings and could only book a few other weddings that year. We finally managed to finish the other rental property and turn it into a bunkhouse. It was ready in August 2021.

We had our last Covid scheduled wedding in April of 2022. We added an arcade to the barn’s bottom level, which has been a hit for the youngsters and the young at heart. We paved the parking lot and marked off the parking spaces. It is amazing how many cars you can park if there are lines to define the space.

In 2023, we celebrated 50 years of marriage by taking the entire family to Puerto Rico and had a blast.

2024 is going strong. We have refinished the barn floors and cleared around the pond so it can be seen from the wedding venue. It has been a lot of hard work and lots of money, but I would not change a thing. I have been able to preserve the barn and keep up the farm. I have also been able to spend time with family and friends. My dad was sick with dementia when I started renovating the barn in 2013, but he got to see it completed before he died in 2017. I am grateful that I could retire from nursing to help care for him. We lost my father-in-law in 2023. Time spent with family and friends is always well-spent, and we must make the best of our time together.

#barnwedding #ncweddingvenue #affordablewedding

Shrinkflation in the wedding industry

We at Blueberry Hill are always trying to improve our services and add quality to our wedding package.

While many wedding venues are reducing the quality or quantity of their services/products and still maintaing or increasing their prices. This is a response to inflation and the costs of maintaining their venue.

Examples of shrinkflation at wedding venues include:

  • Reducing the number of staff, we on the other hand have added staff and will have a minimum of 3 staff members at your wedding. We have added the DJ and bartender as part of the package.
  • Substituting cheaper flowers for your bouquets. We will offer you different quotes and allow you to chose how much you want to spend.
  • Some venues have decreased the number of hours for the rental period, we still give you 2 full days so you can have a less stressful wedding weekend.
  • Other venues have decreased services, we now offer onsite housing for the wedding party and guests. We offer tables, chairs, linens, place settings and decor as part of the package as well.

It is essential to be aware of shrinkflation and carefully review contracts. Our contract is transparent and you will have listed everything to make you wedding day special.

“I’m looking for someone to share in an adventure that I’m arranging, and it’s very difficult to find anyone.” —J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

How to Plan your wedding

Newly engaged couples, where do you start planning the wedding of your dreams? We have helped plan over 300 weddings during the last 10 years.

When planning a wedding, you can start by considering:

  • Budget: How much can you afford? Will you have any help from family?
  • Guest list: The more guests the more expensive the wedding. Larger weddings will need a larger venue and you will need to feed all the guests.
  • Venue: The tone of the wedding is set by the type of venue. Some venues book up quickly so start booking your tours. Consider local wedding venues that are on private property and are more secure than corporate wedding venues. Local venues are small businesses and offer a more personal experience. You need the venue booked with the date before you can hire other vendors.

Choose a venue that includes tables, chairs, linens, DJ, housing onsite and decor to save money.

Barn wedding Price & Availability

Keeping Wedding Costs Down

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I’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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