How to Plan an Unforgettable Barn Wedding


Barns are an incredible venue choice. Endlessly customisable, each one is bursting with its own unique character and charm and is the perfect canvas to create gorgeous memories and photos! Embrace the natural beauty with your own bespoke details for the homespun wedding of your dreams. Read on to learn how to plan an unforgettable barn wedding!

Image by We Do Photography + Design at Tarureka Estate


Barn weddings tend to be a bit “off the grid” which can throw a few spanners into the planning works. We know it’s boring to think about logistics (especially when there are DIY decorations to plan!) but the extra planning is more than worth your time.

When choosing the perfect barn, make it easy for yourself and pick one that’s hosted at least a few shindigs before yours. Ask for a list of amenities from the owner, and get their advice on what you will need to supply. Your responsibilities might surprise you; electricity, lighting, running water and bathrooms don’t come standard in most barns. Make sure you have room in your budget for these crucial details before falling in love with your venue.

Your barn looks gorgeous in the middle of pristine pasture now, but how are you going to get there? Just like any venue, a rainy day back-up-plan (in case the paddock turns to mud), a secure walkway for guests who have trouble with uneven ground and close parking are essential to ensure things run smoothly.

barn wedding

Image by Anna Munro Photography

barn wedding

Image by Sarah McEvoy Photography

barn wedding

Image by Candy Capco Photography


There is no rule book when it comes to ‘barn décor’ so let your venue guide your choices. Take cues from your surroundings and reflect that in your styling. For working farms, like dairy or drystock, why not include country accents like hay bales and bunting and pop on a pair of cowboy boots for the reception. If you’re working with an orchard or vineyard, showcase the bounty by incorporating a harvest theme; bowls of apples, grapes or cherries make stylish (and delicious!) decorations.

Your table scape sets the tone. Guests spend a fair amount of time at the table listening to your speeches and sharing the meal, so creating a gorgeous table display is really worth the effort. Get your guests in the country mood with mismatched vases and place settings for simple, stylish tables. Tiny flowers make a sweet statement – use pretty wild flowers in rustic milk jugs or mason jars.

Be sure to include some do-it-yourself details. Point your guests in the right direction with quirky signposts made of wooden boards nailed to a post. Use a larger slab of wood or a chalkboard to write out the programme of the day or the menu for everyone to see.

Easy to work with and super affordable, burlap or hessian fabric is your best friend for simple decorations that wow. It’s easily cut into triangles and strung up for bunting, lined with lace and laid on the table or even tied around chairs.

barn weddings

Image by Sarah McEvoy Photography

barn weddings

Image by We Do Photography + Design

barn weddings

mage by Candy Capco Photography


When planning your feast, look no further than the surrounding farmland for your inspiration. Keep things simple; think barbeque, spit roast or other easy-serving styles. It can be difficult to provide the space and amenities caterers need to prepare a fine dining experience. Luckily these country style options blend perfectly with your venue and décor!

Colourful fresh salads, locally sourced meats, fresh fruits or a cheese selection showcase the gorgeous products of the farm. Comfort or home style food fits seamlessly with the no-fuss, causal vibes of your barn. Serving some of your household’s favourite dishes is a personal touch that gives your guests fun insight into who you are as a couple. Serve it family style for fun sharing that encourages your guests to mingle.

barn weddings

Image by Anna Munro Photography

barn weddings

Image by Sarah McEvoy Photography

barn weddings

mage by Candy Capco Photography


Cutting edge and creative, Jason and Aneta aren’t your usual wedding photographers. They specialise in clean and crisp modern documentary style photography with a creative flair. They’re dedicated to capturing unique images while making you feel like rock stars!


Walking the line between fly on the wall and instructor, Anna Munro knows all the tricks to capture the best parts of your day (and to make you look your best!). Seeking out memories big and small, she’ll find the little moments that often sneak past unnoticed; the ones that make up the full story.


A huge sucker for love, Candy Capco blends vintage with modern romance, finished with a documentary twist. It’s all about capturing the sweet moments and gestures that only come from letting the day naturally unfold. Candy is a natural light photographer who loves soft colours, warm tones and capturing emotion in every photo.


Passionate photographer Sarah McEvoy will capture the spirit and emotions of your day through journalistic, documentary style photography.  She’ll capture both the gorgeous portraits and the natural unscripted events. She’ll be there to notice all the hugs, the laughter and animated conversations while you have the best day of your life.


The lovingly restored barn and homestead makes Tarureka Estate one of the most beautiful barn wedding venues in New Zealand. The Loft can comfortably hold up to 120 guests and boasts a chapel, a sit down banquet area with a bar and dance floor below. Enjoy a cosy wood fire and sparkling lights in winter or make the most of the stunning wedding grove with lush native trees in summer. This unique historic spot is perfect for your dream barn wedding (and is featured in most of the images above)!

tarureka estate

Image by We Do Photography + Design

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