The thing I love most about this wedding was that the bride and groom weren’t scared away by their working farm wedding location choice. They took a risk. They knew it would be a lot of work. They knew some people may look at them funny. But that didn’t stop them. And the results are gorgeous! Ashley Forrette Photography captured all the rustic, DIY elements while Coastside Couture handled all the day of coordinating…a total must for an unconventional wedding venue! Click here for even more.

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From the Bride…I always knew that when I got married, I wanted the event to be real and not a cookie-cutter, wedding factory-type production.  Aside from the marriage itself (which of course was the #1 thing!), the things I wanted the most were a place that reflected our values and conveyed a real sense of place, excellent local organic food, a killer band, and a hint of vintage style.  After looking at several places and not feeling quite right about them, we almost accidentally ended up with our venue: a working farm whose mission is to educate kids about sustainable farming.  I was nervous about the working farm part…. we’d need porta-potties, lighting, signage, people would certainly be covered in dirt and dust and mumbling under their breath about the chickens and goats, and it wasn’t exactly centrally located.  But in the end, all those things were what made it so special.

Inspired by the recent “farm dinner” phenomenon happening in our area, we had a family-style dinner outside in the field and the caterer used an outdoor wood-fired oven to roast chickens and fall veggies.  We didn’t add a lot of extra decor.  We hung ribbons along the fence lines, made signs out of old wood, used a mix of inexpensive fabrics to cover the hay bale seats, had amazing wildflower-esque arrangements, and hung old family photos.  We left the funky old barn and all its contents alone and didn’t add or take away a thing.  We had pies made from ingredients on the farm, and in lieu of favors, we donated to a local land trust that had helped preserve the farm and surrounding area.  I think our favorite thing was dancing the night away in the barn to one of our favorite bluegrass bands.  Our wedding date was exactly 3 years to the day that we met, at a bluegrass festival, where that same band was playing!

I would advise anyone toying with the idea of a venue that doesn’t have all the typical wedding infrastructure and amenities to go for it.  If you feel that the place is special and has meaning for you, it’s worth the little extra stress and work to make it come together.  And it may seem obvious, but my #1 tip for an unconventional venue: hire a day-of wedding coordinator.  I was able to pull off planning the whole wedding myself, but I stressed a lot about how it would all come together and flow smoothly on the actual day.  It was worth every penny having a professional there to run the show!

Venue: Pie Ranch / Wedding Photography: Ashley Forrette Photography / Caterer: Feel Good Foods / Floral Design: Studio Choo / Hair + Make-up: L’Atelier Salon / Stationery: Cheer Up Cherup / Day-of Coordination: Coastside Couture / Rentals: Alexis Party Rentals / Wedding Dress: J.Crew

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