Hey future brides! You probably clicked on this article because you're engaged, planning your dream wedding, and are considering becoming a #BarnBride. I'm here to tell you; you've come to the right place! Booking your wedding at the Barn at Aspen Acres will truly be one of the best decisions you make surrounding your celebration. It'll lift an enormous weight from your shoulders- - trust me, I speak from experience!
Our wedding at the Barn was nothing short of a dream come true! My husband Titus and I got married on October 3rd, 2020 in the midst of the pandemic, and while it didn't end up exactly as we thought it would the year prior (thanks covid!), we can now genuinely say that it was even better than we could have imagined.
After some consideration, we decided to have our beautiful fall wedding in the rolling Black Hills of South Dakota, and we didn't want to change our date. October was a bit of a gamble - it was either going to be full of golden sunshine or a be blizzard, but we were willing to risk it for the gorgeous fall colors in Spearfish. (Besides, the Barn looks beautiful in any season because of its classic, modern design!) Titus and I were engaged for a year and a half, and were ready to move on to the next chapter of our lives. While I originally thought that the pandemic wouldn't affect our wedding much, as the date drew nearer it became obvious that it would. In less than a week, our guest count went from 200 to 70, and we had already paid the caterer and other final bills- - nonrefundable!
We chose to stay positive though, and while we knew we would miss our friends and family who were not able to attend, we respected their decision and instead focused on those we knew would be there. This was going to be the best day of our lives, without a doubt!
One of my favorite things about the Barn is the vast, open floor plan and the versatility of the space. Since almost everything is white, there's a clean, blank slate for each bride to come in and make her vision come to life. Each wedding is unique, as each couple leaves their special touch. Our wedding was a combination of all the styles I love; I couldn't choose just one! I would describe it as modern and classic, with an unexpected touch of chic bohemian vibes. I wasn't entirely sure how it would turn out, but I think it's safe to say that we're completely in love with the end result!
Our vendors pulled the whole event off effortlessly, and as a consequence, we still haven't been able to decide on what pictures we want to put in our house as prints! I'll be linking information to all of them at the end of this article; they're the best of the best!
Since our wedding, Titus and I have sat down and talked about some of the little things that helped our day feel like a dream. Here's a few of our favorite tips!
1) Find time in the day to be together. This could happen during your first look or a quick cocktail hour after your ceremony; whatever works for you! But prioritize this- - I can't emphasize this enough. While it's important to greet all of your guests and catch up with those you may not have seen for a while, we recommend doing it together! So often the bride and groom end up (unintentionally) getting separated, and if you get sidetracked talking to someone for too long, you'll miss out on the small precious moments of the night with your new husband/wife. It's important to introduce your spouse to your loved ones who they may not have met yet; so be intentional about doing it as one. Never let go of their hand- - after all, you're supposed to be inseparable, you lovebirds!
2) Have your caterer send you off with a to-go box at the end of the night. This is a little tip, but I promise you it will make all the difference! Chances are that you've barely had a chance to eat (if at all), and you're going to be exhausted by the time the festivities are done! Our caterer packed up the sweetest little boxes of leftovers for us, and we were sooooo thankful when we got back to our Airbnb and realized how hungry we were!
3) Make a rule about the three most important things to you for your big day. These are the three things that you have a right to be upset about if they happen, and you can be as assertive about these as you feel you need to be. However, also keep in mind that if it's not on your list of three, you've got to shake it off! These can be serious, silly, or unique to you (For example, mine were: 1) Be on time for all events over the weekend 2) Don't become disrespectfully intoxicated, and 3) Don't make fun of how orange my hands are from fake tan- - haha!).
*This is the key to not becoming a bridezilla! Nobody intends to be - - but I get it! Weddings are stressful, and they can bring out the worst in us before we even know it (especially when we're dealing with our spouse and closest friends and family...not exactly who you want to be yelling at since you love them so much!). Not only do you want to remember your wedding weekend as a blissful, joy filled time, but you most likely want other people to remember you that way too!
4) Invest in your photographer. Whether or not you also choose to have a videographer; at the end of the day, those captured memories are (almost) all that you're going to have left for years to come. You've spent months planning, saving, and budgeting - - and this is one area where we would definitely recommend the splurge! If you know exactly what you want, save to make it work! The best photographers are worth the money (i.e. Don't let your second cousin shoot your wedding just because she got a new digital camera for Christmas and is only going to charge you $100. It's just not worth it, friends!)
5) Focus on the people in attendance. You can't change what you can't control,
and while it may be necessary in today's world for some to shower you with love and well wishes from a distance, others that you love will be there to celebrate with you in the moment! Choose to focus on them and be in the moment instead of pining for what could have been. It will still be perfect, and everyone who is supposed to be there will be there (plus we have incredible technology to help make that a little more real thanks to live-streaming!). Remember, someone's availability due to a global pandemic and health concerns is not a measurement of their love for you!
6) Save to tip your vendors. While you hire them and choose to pay their fees, your vendors put in a lot of time and effort behind the scenes to ensure that things run smoothly and that your unique vision comes to life. Take the time to talk with your spouse and plan in advance to give each of your vendors a little bonus. Depending on the industry, a certain percentage may be appropriate; but anything is appreciated, especially by those vendors who are often overlooked! It's (hopefully) common sense to tip your caterer or photographer, but also think about your venue staff, florist, makeup artist, and officiant, etc.!
7) Write thank you notes. To your vendors, to your parents, to your bridal party, and to your soon-to-be spouse! When you focus on gratitude, you'll have a relaxed, care-free wedding day; and those you take the time to say thank you to will remember your graciousness for years to come. While your wedding day is indisputably about you and your partner; it's also about everyone who has loved and supported you throughout your relationship. Don't be so focused on yourselves that you forget about who has shaped you in the past to become the people that have now made the decision to commit your lives to one another (and that's a BIG deal!).
Well, that's it guys! If you follow these tips (+ book with the Barn at Aspen Acres), your day will be something straight out of a fairytale, and you will leave with absolutely no regrets! Ultimately, we wouldn't change a thing about our wedding day, and I think that's largely because we were intentional about our attitudes going into it. So much of this is about reframing your mindset and accepting that while this day might not go "perfectly," it will be perfect if you're focused on what really matters- - the beginning of forever. Be gracious and soak up the bliss of this once-in-a-lifetime day; it truly does fly by!
Wishing you many happy years together and that all of your wedding celebration dreams come true!
Cheyenne & Titus
P.S. A HUGE thank you to the Barn + all of their staff for making our day so special! Your venue is filled with love and gratitude from all the people you celebrate with. We appreciate your flexibility, helpfulness, and generosity more than we can express.
We highly recommend all of the following vendors + are linking their instagram handles below too, as all of them are willing to travel!
Photography: Molly with For the West and Wild (@forthewestandwildphoto)
*all photos featured in this blog are by her!
Makeup: Lezly with Bonita Beauty Studio - Gillette, WY (@bonitabeautystudio)
Florals: Kayly with Kayly Shae Floral- Spearfish, SD (@ksfloraldesign)
Venue: The Barn at Aspen Acres- Spearfish, SD (@blackhillsbarn)
Catering: Bonafide Food Truck & Catering - Sheridan, WY (@bonafidefoodlove)
Dress: Once Upon A Story Bridal Boutique - Sheridan, WY (@onceuponstory)
Suits: Main Street Menswear - Rapid City, SD (@mainstreetmenswear)
Reception Music: The Dugan Irby Band- Sheridan, WY (@dugan.irby.band)
Special Effects (First Dance Sparkler Lights): DJ Marek - Rapid City, SD