Design Inspiration

Design Inspiration | Styling your venue: Rustic Barn

As a Wedding Planner based in the heart of the Oxfordshire countryside, rustic barn wedding venues are somewhat a wedding staple and I’ve worked with many couples over the years who come to Oxfordshire and the Cotswolds to get married simply for the gorgeous barns we have to offer! It’s certainly a trend which doesn’t appear to be going anywhere…and why should it? A barn is a quintessential English building and part of our heritage… they tell a story, and well, who wouldn’t want to get married surrounded by beautiful buildings and rolling countryside hills?


The simplicity of a rustic barn means that they’re a perfect canvas for your styling ideas; they can be dressed up or down, depending on your wedding style, theme and colour palette. If you’re planning a down to earth, natural style wedding, or planning to incorporate a lot of DIY into your wedding day – a barn would be the perfect venue for you. If having a traceable history and being sustainable are of importance to you, then a barn would also work well – the venue owners should be able to tell you all you need to know about the history of the barn.

Consider the height of the ceiling in a barn… there are almost always gorgeous wooden beams, and venues are usually happy for you to use these to your hearts content, to dress with foliage, florals, lighting or bunting. Use them to create a beautiful feature for your Ceremony or Reception. Last weeks post on the VRW blog featured Miriam from Chic Rustique, who was offering her advice on creating spectacular hanging installations, and what better canvas to work from than a high barn ceiling with beams to hang from?! Dreamy installations speak for themselves, and will really pull everything together.

If you’re going for a super rustic barn, keep things simple with wild meadow floral displays, but remember to add height to your table flowers if you’re not having anything hanging from the beams, as low arrangements can start to feel a bit lost. However if you’re going for a modern style barn, such as the Thyme at Southrop, go for something a little more contemporary and “wow” with your floral design! Think clean lines and symmetry for maximum impact.

Some barns can be quite dark inside, so be clever with lighting; add fairy lights, lanterns and/or uplighters where you can, and there’s nothing more romantic than showering a venue with candles. Remember to discuss the lighting with your photographer, and they can also make recommendations on where to add light for your images.


Here’s a selection of my favourite wedding barns in Oxfordshire:

The Tythe Barn, Launton

Oxleaze Barn, Nr Filkins

Thyme at Southrop

For more inspiration for your wedding styling, visit Vanilla Rose Weddings on Pinterest, and I would love to hear from you if you would like some professional advice and guidance on styling your wedding barn!


Jeni x