Here Comes The… Wide Open Space
Sure, a barn may not be the first type of venue that comes to mind when considering where to tie the knot, but the wide open space provided by this type of post-frame building lends itself well to large events.
For instance, the Ashton Hill Farm’s Grand Barn boasts 6,800 square feet — more than enough room for dining and dancing — as well as an 1,800-square-foot veranda with outdoor furniture, lantern lighting, two bars, heaters and overhead fans. Plus, in addition to its charming farmland setting, Ashton Hill offers luxurious interior details, such as sparkly chandeliers and a baby grand piano.
While its décor is perfect for weddings, Ashton Hill Farm’s spacious interior also works well for corporate meetings, holiday parties, fundraisers, retreats and other types of big gatherings.
“The interior is mostly open and inviting,” says Matt Greiner, president of Greiner Buildings Inc. “There’s a short corridor as you enter with rooms on each side — lounge to the right and restrooms to the left. Then the main area is wide open — all painted white — the truss system, underside roof system, ductwork, sprinkler system and walls alike. The walls are a composite material, while the roof system remains open and exposed, with the spray-foam insulation painted white also. The floor is bare concrete with just a coat of clear sealer and requires very little maintenance — just cleaning. Above the rooms at the main entry is a neat loft space with another double door to access the Juliet balcony.
“The exterior and interior are all designed very carefully by a professional interior designer who coordinated all colors, styles and shapes to make the perfect look, which helps attract brides from all over the area to this wonderful venue.”
The post-frame structure of Ashton Hill Farm’s Grand Barn was built with wood posts in the ground protected with Green Post wraps, which shield the wood from decay and offer added strength.
The building’s dimensions are 52 feet wide by 120 feet long by 18 feet tall with a lean-to on each side — one for the kitchen area and bridal suite, and one for the outside lounge area with fire pits. The front of the wedding barn has a 1-by-18-foot inset area to give the main entry some texture, which utilizes vinyl siding to offer variation. The lower half of the front walls is covered in Versetta stone, while the remainder of the building is made up of 70 percent PVDF-painted metal panels, which is typical of post-frame construction. (PVDF stands for polyvinylidene fluoride, which is a protective polymer coating.)
“There are three designer cupolas on the roof with textures and glass that complement the wedding barn theme on this project,” Greiner says. “The doors are all double doors — 6 feet wide by 8 feet tall with three-quarters glass and grids between the glass. This was a special request by the designer in order to get the type of look and feel he envisioned. We made each door 1 foot taller than the standard 7 feet because that was part of his vision for the structure. All are painted black and compliment the color/grids style of the windows.”
I Do… Want To Get Married In A Barn
Rustic-themed venues have gained enormous popularity over the past few years, with celebrities including Kelly Clarkson, Kate Bosworth and Allison Williams choosing to say their “I Do’s” on country farms and ranches.
Do a quick Google search for wedding barns, and you’ll get about 800,000 results. Do the same search on Pinterest and you may develop carpal tunnel syndrome from the endless scrolling of infinite photos and ideas.
With countless pastoral locales across the country, Greiner and his company are proud to have constructed two of the most popular wedding barns in Iowa. In addition to the Ashton Hill Farm in Cedar Rapids, they also built the Red Acre Barn in Martensdale.
Located just outside Des Moines, Red Acre Barn sits on 24 acres of country land — including a 2-acre vineyard — with a 5,632-square-foot venue space that seats up to 300 guests. Inside the barn, reclaimed wood from old Iowa barns was used to create an endless variation in color, texture and grain.
Happily Ever After
No matter how simple or elaborate, barn weddings don’t seem to be losing their appeal anytime soon. In fact, Country Living magazine says old barns and farm sheds are “totally on trend” for 2017.
Also, in Glamour magazine’s “10 Hottest Wedding Trends of 2017,” The Knot notes that some couples are even incorporating farm animals, “from bunnies and donkeys to llamas and pigs” into their rustic-themed ceremonies. (So, maybe wedding parties actually can dance until the cows come home!)
For more information about post-frame construction projects, find a provider in your area.