S T O RY B Y A M A N DA B L A C K / P H O T O S B Y H I L L A RY H A RV E Y & J E S S E T U R N Q U I S T
Saddle Up! HOW TO SAY “I DO” TO A HUDSON VALLEY BARN WEDDING
There’s something very romantic about saying “I do” in a barn. Lisa and Tom enjoy their first dance as newlyweds at Owl's Hoot Barn in Coxsackie. Photo by Hillary Harvey.
The exposed wooden rafters, the sunlight peeking through the wooden slats, that rich, old musky smell that you couldn’t duplicate if you tried—it’s all there. Brides love barn weddings because they can be as rustic or as elegant as you want, says Karin Hlywiak, owner of Kingston-based Cinderella for a Day. Barns allow couples tremendous room for customization. Favor a backyard barbecue or a sit-down dinner? Either will work in a barn venue. After the music’s over, light a bonfire and roast marshmallows. Hlywiak once arranged an outdoor lounge area, complete with a projector screen, to create a drive-in theater vibe, so guests could watch movies late into the night. Although some barns’ décor includes antique cars or tractors, there’s no precious art to worry about, like at a museum venue, or a ballroom floor to avoid scratching up. “Guests relax and have fun,” says Daniel Giessinger, co-owner of Shadow Lawn in High Falls. “The setting shakes off a formality that people expect at a wedding, and that makes for a great party.”
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