In Kokomo, Indiana, the Legacy Barn has been serving Hoosier couples’ weddings for about four years. Built in 1884, the venue was a dairy farm and a grain operation in the 1900s before being renovated and transformed into its current beautiful structure by owner Colin Craig.
Today, Colin was kind enough to stop by and answer a few questions about the Legacy Barn and working as a wedding venue in the modern wedding industry.
Tell me, how did you get into the wedding business?
The wedding business discovered me. I was trying to save the family barn with renovations, and the more we worked, the better it looked. After the Amish crew finished laying down a new floor, the crew leader said to me “Ya know…. They’re rent’n these for wedd’n’s!” So we looked on the web to see what was possible, and we soon discovered that we had everything we needed to make a beautiful venue. From there, we decided to put all the pieces together, and we’ve been blessed with success ever since.
What is special about your venue?
The Legacy Barn property was established in 1884 and includes 10 acres of manicured park-like lawns, flower beds, mature trees, and a walnut grove. It is located 6 miles away from town, on a well-maintained state road making it easy to find. A calming effect comes over every visitor as soon as they enter the driveway and make their way onto the property. The pure authenticity of the barn and property continue to impress my guests throughout their stay.
What do you love about this job?
I have a big ego, and am very proud of the history and beauty of this property. I love preparing the barn and the grounds for my guests and seeing and hearing how much they enjoy being here. I pride myself in having “thought of everything” to make their weekends the absolute best they can be.
What is one of the biggest challenges you face working at a wedding venue?
As the owner of a wedding venue, your life is changed forever. Your schedule is controlled by the events, and your weekends belong to your guests. You must be willing to change your lifestyle and still be happy with everything that you do. I have adapted well and I enjoy my new lifestyle.
What is something you’ve learned from experience in the wedding industry?
This is a non-stop industry that has many moving trends and so much creativity. As a wedding vendor you must be flexible, innovative, and willing to accept and adapt to new expectations in order to make all of your bride’s dreams come true.
What is something couples should ask their wedding venue but rarely (or never) do?
Many couples and guests have children who are old enough to play on their own, but not old enough to respect other people’s property. It would be beneficial for couples to ask about policies regarding bringing children to a farm property where they are inclined to run and play without supervision. Outside babysitters are the best solution, but they are rarely considered.
People talk a lot about the expense of weddings, a large portion of which goes toward the venue. How are prices determined?
The Wedding Barn industry helps establish competitive pricing.
What is involved in that expense?
A quality venue will have significant overhead expenses that are needed to provide safety, quality, and liability protection. Monthly overhead costs include fire alarm monitoring, liability insurance, utilities, advertising, grounds maintenance, management fees, linens service, trash disposal, cleaning expenses, restroom supplies, accounting fees, loan servicing, property taxes, facilities maintenance and improvements.
Do you have any funny, crazy, or unique stories to share from weddings at your venue?
Crazy: We had groomsmen who brought Tasers with them and were shocking each other for fun. That ended as soon as we discovered it.
Unique: A wedding was planned to be outdoors, but it rained, all weekend. We implemented plan B and the indoor pictures were unique and beautiful and would have never been possible if the ceremony had been outdoors.
What should couples look for in a wedding venue?
If the venue is a barn, make sure they have modern, indoor restrooms for everyone. No bride will be happy in a portable restroom or a porta-pot! Is there heat for cold months or chilly nights? Is there a plan B for rain outs? In general, the couple should be able to feel comfortable with the staff and the venue, and be able to easily communicate their dreams and decide together is they can come true.
What are some of the biggest wedding setbacks the venue has dealt with?
As a relatively new venue, fourth year in 2019, we find some weekends don’t get booked because people still don’t know we are here for them.
How did you handle those?
We accept open weekends as a time to rest and share Saturday nights together or use the time to add improvements to the property or the barn. We are also planning new marketing plans to attract additional clients.
What should couples know before touring or booking a wedding venue?
Couples should have a good idea how many guests they want, how large the bridal party will be, and what month they hope to be married. They should study the venue’s website completely, understand the pricing framework, and review all of the amenities that the venue offers. Look over the Facebook page to get a feeling for the venue’s “personality” and see what other people are saying about the location and get to know the people who own and manage it.
Thank you so much for coming, Colin! Best of luck with the 2019 wedding season.
To my readers — what questions would you like to see wedding vendors (venues, florists, photographers, etc.) answer? Is there a certain state or vendor you’d like me to feature? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll see what I can do!