Farm-themed weddings are at the top of today’s wedding trends, featuring rustic charms such as hay bales covered in burlap and Mason jars wrapped in twine. Even couples who didn’t grow up in the country are jumping on the “hay-wagon” and adding a bit of Southern charm to their nuptials.
Gone are the days of cookie-cutter glitz and glamor. Instead, more couples are opting for a more casual way to celebrate their union. According to the Bridal Association of America, 35 percent of all weddings in 2012 were held outdoors.
Kelly Brown, co-owner of Homespun Parties and Events in Chattanooga, said she is excited to see the rustic-style trend getting more recognition and growing in popularity.
“Rustic weddings appeal to a broad age range,” Brown said. “They appeal to anyone who wants to step outside the norm.”
The average wedding, according to the Agricultural Marketing Research Center, costs up to $24,000. Couples that choose outdoor venues can cut costs considerably.
Farm weddings showcase a type of simplicity that can only be found in the country. The barn atmosphere allows guests to disconnect from their busy lives and focus on the natural beauty around them.
“I think couples are looking for something that lends itself to a more fun party atmosphere, rather than a reception hall,” Brown said.
What better place to create this fun, unplugged atmosphere than in the beautiful countryside surrounding Chattanooga? This region is home to a variety of farm and barn wedding venues:
Black Fox Farms
2724 Varnell Road
Cleveland, TN 37311
Black Fox Farms in Cleveland offers a 130-foot-by-33-foot barn that seats up to 250 people. The barn, situated on the grounds of a nursery, can be decorated with fresh hand-picked flowers and shrubs. Services include setup and takedown of all seating, and a shuttle is provided to take guests from the designated parking lot to the ceremony area. Pricing for this venue varies between $2,500 and $3,500, depending on the time of year.
Fillauer Lake House
Fillauer Lake House Road
Cleveland, TN 37312
The Fillauer Lake House of Cleveland features a country property that includes a large white mansion and a traditional red barn where couples can tie the knot. The 1888 colonial-style house is surrounded by a spacious lawn, gazebo, patio, water fountain and stone bridge. The barn has plank floors and classic brass chandeliers. Pricing for this venue ranges between $1,200 and $2,800.
The Barn at Drewia Hill
16703 Andy Thomas Road
Sale Creek, TN 37373
The Barn at Drewia Hill in Sale Creek can seat up to 250 people inside a luxurious vintage barn, which sits in the middle of an open field atop a hill overlooking the rural landscape. Across from the barn is a beautiful peach orchard that couples can use for outdoor photos when the trees bloom in the spring. Pricing for this facility begins at $1,300 and includes many decoration options.
Hidden View at Lee Family Farm
16868 Downey View Drive
Sale Creek, TN 37373
Hidden View at Lee Family Farm in Sale Creek features a large, customizable barn for couples looking for an elegant yet comfortable wedding location. The barn is surrounded by gardens and offers a secret view of the gorgeous Tennessee landscape. Rental pricing for Hidden View starts at $2,500.
657 Kell Ridge Road
Signal Mountain, TN 37377
Laurelwood on Signal Mountain offers views of a pasture containing a small herd of llamas. The perennial gardens surrounding the venue are perfect for outdoor photographs, and a stunning pipe organ lends an elegant, gothic-inspired aura to the ceremony space. Pricing for this facility starts at $4,000, which includes the use of the property from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.
A & J Farm
994 Choctaw Trail
Chattanooga, TN 37405
A & J Farm in Chattanooga offers a wedding package that includes use of the stunning barn-wood pavilion and cottage for the entire day. The traditional red pavilion sits in the middle of an open field with a rose garden and oak grove, giving guests a truly organic experience. An off-site parking lot is provided, so the couple’s wedding pictures accurately represent the country atmosphere. The package price for this facility is $1,500, which includes tables, chairs and hay bales for guest seating.
The Ocoee River Barn
1889 Highway 69, Old Copper Road
Benton, TN 37307
The Ocoee River Barn in Benton features cobblestone siding on each side of the barn that contrasts against the red exterior, giving this location a unique appearance. Inside the barn is a dance floor, kitchen area for catering and stage for live entertainment. Pricing for this facility starts at $600 and includes the use of the space for the rehearsal and wedding festivities.
The Homestead at Cloudland Station
9862 Highway 139
Chickamauga, GA 30707
The Homestead at Cloudland Station puts a spin on the Southern-chic experience with its Amish-inspired venue. The 450-acre site features an original 1871 Amish barn that was relocated from Lancaster, Penn., and has been renovated to include hardwood flooring, rustic chandeliers, a kitchen for catering and a covered veranda. The area surrounding the barn continues the old-fashioned theme, with a carriage house and blacksmith shop for photo backdrops. Pricing for this location starts at $8,500, but the venue is offering a limited-time grand opening price of $6,500, which includes dressing quarters, a horse-drawn carriage and wedding coordination.
The Barn at High Point Farms
263 Parrish Lane
Flintstone, GA 30725
The Barn at High Point Farms in Flintstone offers a distinctive barn and multiple outdoor locations for couples to tie the knot in rustic style. The barn is decorated with hanging lights and a unique chandelier, but there are plenty of opportunities for the bride and groom to add their own style. The outdoor spaces vary from open fields with views of the rolling hillside to a whimsical grove of trees. Pricing for this location ranges from $4,500 to $5,500.
Mayfield Farm & Nursery
257 Highway 307 East
Athens, TN 37303
Mayfield Farm & Nursery in Athens offers several options for a beautiful farm wedding and reception, with covered options in case the weather doesn’t cooperate. Two barns are available, and both are original Mayfield family dairy barns built in the 1930s. Handmade pews seat up to 140 people in the 3,200-square-foot white barn with a red roof. Pricing for this location ranges from $2,300 to $5,000.
Grandview Mountain Cottages and Farm
2392 Possum Trot Road
Grandview, TN 37337
Grandview Mountain Cottages and Farm features a large farmhouse from the 1800s located on a 145-acre property with a spring-fed pond and open pastures full of wildflowers. Surrounding forests and mountain vistas offer a gorgeous backdrop for wedding pictures. Pricing for this location begins at $300, depending on the number of guests.
Gardens of Sunshine Hollow
198 County Road 52
Athens, TN 37303
Gardens of Sunshine Hollow offers a choice between a 5,000-square-foot Kentucky horse barn with a high ceiling and ballroom floor or a stunning outside arbor that gives guests a view of the countryside. Each location can seat up to 225 guests, and a ballroom is available if the outdoor ceremony is rained out. Venue rental, which includes tables, chairs and linens, starts at $1,495 for five hours. Catering is also available.
Gianetta Reno is an intern for the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Association and is studying English with a concentration in American language and literature at UTC. A Chattanooga native, she enjoys writing about historic towns and events in rural areas of the Southeast.
Updated @ 1:10 p.m. on 9/16/14 to clarify: High Points Farm is actually called The Barn at High Point Farms.