How We Launched a Barn Wedding Venue

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photo by Heart & Dash

Non-profit Delaware Greenways hired Heart & Dash to help them transform the barn at Historic Penn Farm into an event space. The barn sits on a 112-acre farm in New Castle, Delaware that has been operating for 200+ years. Delaware Greenways — which manages the farm — decided to open the barn as a venue for weddings, non-profit events, and community programming. Though they're experts in the non-profit world, they were new to the world of events, so they enlisted Heart & Dash for our knowledge about the weddings and events industries.

photo by Heart & Das

We began our 12-month holistic approach to launching the venue by establishing the vision for the property and goals for the venue. Because Delaware Greenways is responsible for managing the farm itself, creating educational programming, and maintaining its other projects throughout the state, we knew the next most important to-do was to establish clear processes, roles, and responsibilities. For example, the outdoor ceremony space is maintained by the tenant farmer, who also maintains the corn and soy fields, so it was essential to establish a system to keep him in the loop (so he knows when machinery needs to be stored away in time for weddings, for example). We also provided a list of recommended priorities for construction and venue amenities to boost the value of the space.

photo by Heart & Das

Delaware Greenways also enlisted our help in creating a brand identity that would appeal to their ideal clients — for both weddings and other types of events. We designed a logo that incorporated a nod to the past (corn) and the future (a meadow lined with sunflowers). In addition to the logo, we created a color palette, letterhead, a sales kit, and a special favor to give all who visited the barn for a tour. You can read more about the brand launch here

photo by Heart & Dash

Next, we focused on paperwork for clients and vendors. This included everything from establishing the first draft of the rental agreement and walking through policy decisions, to vetting a list of approved caterers, to double-checking who needs to provide what forms of insurance. Having been in the industry for 15+ years and working with all types of venues, we were able to anticipate questions and proactively craft answers prior to launch.

Sharyn Frenkel Photography

Sharyn Frenkel Photography

photo by Sharyn Frenkel

To drum up buzz for the venue launch, we planned and styled a photo shoot of a faux wedding (also known as a "styled shoot"), wrote press releases, and got the shoot published on a national wedding blog as well as a top local blog. Read more about the shoot here.

Sharyn Frenkel Photography

Sharyn Frenkel Photography

photo by Sharyn Frenkel

Lastly, we worked with Delaware Greenways to host a bridal show at the barn so that couples could begin seeing the progress and the potential for weddings and events. We carefully documented all questions and delivered feedback and recommendations to Delaware Greenways to help them continue to improve the venue.

Brittney Raine Photography

Brittney Raine Photography

photo by Brittney Raine Photography

We are happy to say that the venue opened this past fall, had an average of five booking inquiries a week, booked six weddings, and hosted its first two! We look forward to hearing stories about weddings at events at Historic Penn Farm for years to come.

Brittney Raine Photography

Brittney Raine Photography

photo by Brittney Raine Photography