Fine Art at a Countryside Barn Wedding



Fine art is so often associated with faint colors in decor, accessories and attire, but what about the venue? Clients ask me if I can still preserve a fine art feel through photography if they reserve a trendy barn for their wedding. My answer: absolutely.

Fine art weddings will pull in soft and delicate pallets of texture and color, but they can absolutely be complimented with bolder, deeper tones. In this case the couple selected a countryside barn for the beautiful setting, interior style, layout, and services. The barn was red and did not share any tones with the wedding color pallet.

We determined that we would focus our attention on her favorite areas: the white rooms, the open fields and rolling hills, and her off-site photo location (a small forest near the church). This gave us a lot of variety and preserved the fine art aesthetic she was going for, while incorporating the exterior of the venue to set a tone, without making it the center of attention. There are definite visual principles to follow if you are trying to create the look of a fine art wedding. Download the Wedding Planner and Guide, for a comprehensive planning and design guide start.

Fine art weddings are an absolute art. Dreaming of them, planning them, photographing them, all of these components take an artistic eye. Through my years as a photographer, I have seen art manifest in so many different ways. There are the obvious formats such as paintings and sculptures, but I have seen art ring through in many many different forms. Home decorators, architects, gardeners, museum curators, mass scale textile buyers, these are all artists who are pulling together macro and micro elements to produce beauty. Not all of these individuals can create a single tangible piece of art like a vase or painting, but they create designs that bring spaces to life. Your role as a couple planning a wedding is to channel this inner artist that live in you, and start to create a cohesive space in which you will host your fine art barn wedding.

Barns are an uncommon choice for fine art venues, but they are not not unheard of. Barns often offer a very comforting and romantic ambiance that twinkles with bistro lights and warmth. Fine art photographers generally prefer neutral tones so inherently steer away from the warm wood colors barns often provide, but each of us photographers recognizes the beauty and availability of barn wedding atmospheres. In order to pull it into a fine art realm, there are a couple of areas couples need to focus when planning the event. Let’s take a deeper look into these now.

A barn atmosphere allows a casual tone to be set for the wedding very easily. Guests will assume it is a casual event and will treat it as such. So while the barn is not inherently an issue on any level barn reputations precede them and as the couple you must consider making a commitment on eliminating all other barn wedding associations. A list of definitely to avoid are as follows:

  • Burlap

  • Mason jars

  • Doilies

  • Hay bail seating

  • Baby’s breath bouquets

  • Chalkboards

  • Any elements that are visible DIY

  • Cheap picture frames as holders

  • Props (ampersands, ropes, umbrellas, etc.)

  • Bubbles

  • Any items that have a country or Western flare to them

  • Lace (other than in the wedding dress)

  • Popular Trends (smoke bombs, colored powder other than for cultural traditions, funky lipstick colors, bird cage veils, etc.)

  • Old or weathered wood

  • Wood trays

  • Anything bohemian styled

  • Macrame

  • Tin

  • Inexpensive tea lights in or out of a container

  • Many strong or bright colors

  • Rusty metals of any sort

  • Inexpensive suiting or tuxedos

  • Western Boots and Hats

  • Over decorating An aisle runner on grass without a base

  • Country lanterns

Instead, consider adding old world, elegant and classic elements that do not have even the scent of a DIY project. Consider the following staples of fine art weddings

  • Fine metals

  • 19th century-styled floral vessels made of marble, stone or clay

  • Layered linens of silk, cotton and linen

  • Pastel tones

  • Old world calligraphy

  • Wax seals

  • Water color embellishments on your paper suite

  • Gold foiling

  • Extra tall and narrow candles (under 1 inch / under 3 cm at it’s widest; approximately 18 inches tall)

  • Floral or leafy garlands

  • Fruit as part of your tablescape decor (figs, peaches, plums and papaya are common)

As you plan your fine art barn wedding, know that will you have a very beautiful day ahead of you that will be full of fine art if you stick with the recommendations above. If you care to dig deeper into fine art weddings and their composition, visit our Fine Art Weddings 101 article that takes you through each critical element to create the wedding of your fine art dreams.

This wedding couple used these suggestions and created an elegant celebration, in a red barn. See what you think of the style and design. Does it feel fine art to you? If not, note which elements you would exclude to achieve the fine art aesthetic we spoke of above.








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