general, catering, planning, setup, day of
What is the rental fee and what does it include?
Pricing details and what’s included can be found here.
What is the building capacity?
Maximum of 200 guests, including the wedding party.
Do I need to schedule a tour or can I just stop by?
All tours are by appointment only, which allows us to give you a private showing and devote our full attention to you. You can request a tour here.
What dates are available?
Please see available dates here.
How do I reserve a date?
Our favorite question! To reserve a date, email us at email@example.com and tell us you are ready to book your preferred date. Dates are reserved on a first requested written basis. Whoever has requested to start the contract process by email first for a specific date will be first in line.
What is the average budget of a couple getting married at Back Acres Farm?
Total Cost at The Barn
Rental frees are $4500 for a Friday, $5000 for Saturday, and $2750 for Sunday. Sales tax is an additional 5.5%, and we also require event insurance, which runs between $100-$150. All told, your total cost for The Barn venue will run at or under $4900 for a Friday, $5425 for a Saturday, and $3050 for a Sunday.
Total Overall Budget
Food, photography, bar, DJ, etc. are not included in the The Barn venue rate. (You can learn about what’s included here.) Once you add these costs on, we believe that the average budget of a couple getting married at The Barn on a Friday or Saturday is around $15,000 for total wedding expenses. Some creative couples with smaller guests lists have spent under this amount, while some couples have gone significantly over it. With the natural beauty of the farm and our inventory of decor items, there are many opportunities to either save on costs or further enhance your day.
Is there a booking fee? When are the additional payments due?
For Friday/Saturday weddings:
If your wedding is 9+ months out from the contract due date, we require a $1,500 non-refundable booking fee to continue holding the date, due when the contract is signed. Nine months prior to the event, $2000 will be due. The final installment + sales tax (5.5%) will be required 60 days prior to the event.
If your wedding is 9 months or less out from the contract due date, we require half of the rental fee to continue holding the date, due when the contract is signed. The final installment + sales tax (5.5%) will be required 60 days prior to the event.
For Sunday weddings:
When the contract is signed, we require half of the rental fee ($1375) to continue holding the date. The final installment + sales tax (5.5% or $151) will be required 60 days prior to the event.
You are welcome to send smaller, partial payments of any amount prior to the specified due date, in effect creating your own payment plan on your own schedule. Full payment is due by the specified due date. We also reserve the right to request a credit card on file for any damages to the facility or grounds.
Is there a food and beverage, or guest count minimum?
No. Minimums often drive up your cost because the venue receives 10-15% commission from the caterer based on how much you spend on food/drink. We choose not to do this because we want your selections to be as affordable or as fancy as your budget allows.
Do we have to utilize the caterers on your list?
Yes, and we’ve got some very good reasons why! After initially allowing any caterer to come through our doors, we started to see some things we didn’t like, things that spelled disaster for our couples’ big day… We had caterers run out of food, cancel at the last minute, leave couples to clean up their messes (who wants to do that in a wedding dress?), show up late, provide unprepared or unqualified and even no event staff (meaning, cold or burned food, food that runs out), change seating arrangements or menus without notifying couples, and the list goes on. We know that there are other excellent caterers out there, but our couples have invested too much in their day to risk the unknown.
So we carefully selected a list of caterers who have consistently delivered to our couples. They have good food, good service, and a range of affordable options. They’ve been to our venue, they know their way around, and they like it here—all of which goes a very long way in making your day run smoothly. Like us, they’re small business owners, which we’ve found to mean that, also like us, they go the extra mile to make your day the best day.
Do we have to utilize the bar services on your list?
Yes. Several of the caterers on our list include an optional bar package, or you can hire a separate bartending service. Both of the bartending services on our list give you the option to purchase alcohol/beverages through them or on your own—meaning, you can purchase your own beverages and utilize their bartenders for serving only. We require use of these bartending services because they go beyond having just licensed bartenders: They have their liquor license and are fully insured, which provides liability and legal coverage for us, you, and your guests.
Do we have to utilize any other vendors off of your list?
No, the only vendors off of our list that we require you use are catering and bar. All other vendors are suggested.
Will there be another wedding the same day?
Back Acres Farm only hosts one event each day. This allows your day to be uniquely you, and for us to give you our full attention.
Are there overnight accommodations nearby?
You can find a range of options in any of the nearby towns, including Fontana (7-min drive), Lake Geneva (15-20 min drive), and Delavan (20-25 min drive). We’ve listed a few of these options on our Vendors page.
Because we live in a popular summer resort area, we encourage you to reserve a room block as soon as possible.
How many cars will your parking lot accommodate?
We can accommodate up to 80 cars. We encourage you to coordinate with your vendors on the number of cars they will be bringing to get a better sense of how many spots will be available for you and your guests.
Many couples have arranged alternate transportation through shuttle busses. UBERS from nearby Lake Geneva, WI and Woodstock, IL have also been a popular option with many guests.
Can I use a shuttle service? What hotels in the area provide a shuttle service?
Yes, we allow shuttle services to drop off at Back Acres Farm. Some hotels and resorts in the area may provide a shuttle service, but this can be hit or miss. Most couples prefer the more flexible option of arranging this independently. You can find a list of shuttle services in the area on our Vendors page. Uber and Lyft out of Lake Geneva are popular options that also serve our venue.
Do you provide table linens, cups, silverware, etc.?
No. Back Acres Farm provides a charming venue, tables and chairs with setup/takedown, and an inventory of decor items that together provide a great foundation. Linens and dishware can usually be arranged through your caterer, or you are welcome to bring your own linens, etc.
What happens in case of rain?
In case of inclement weather, your ceremony can be held in the large reception area of The Barn, working within your reception layout and without requiring that the room be completely flipped. Tent rentals without floors are also allowed with prior approval by Back Acres Farm. Generally, we’ve found that couples who have fallen in love with the space and all that it offers make it work, especially when they plan ahead!
We plan to have our ceremony offsite, or only plan to have our ceremony at Back Acres Farm. Does your fee change?
Because we only host one event a day, our rental fee remains the same whether you have your ceremony and reception onsite or off.
Do you allow dog(s) to play a part in our wedding day?
Absolutely! We are dog-friendly and want you to be able to have all important guests (furry and otherwise) be a part of your day. You’ll need to get approval from us, and we have a separate agreement that lays out specifics (e.g., dogs must be leashed, be attended at all times, etc.).
What form of payment does Back Acres Farm accept?
We accept check, cash, or money orders.
My preferred dates are unavailable. Do you have a cancellation waiting list?
If your preferred date is unavailable, we will put you on a waiting list and contact you should the date become available. We will also post the date here. As with reserving a date, we honor the first written request we receive for a particular date after it becomes available again. This means that you’ll have to confirm with us by email that you still want the date and start contract process before we’ll hold the date for you. To reserve a date, email us firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us you are ready to book your preferred date.
Where can I find pictures of the decor available?
You can find images of all the decor in our inventory and select the items you want to use here. You are also welcome to make an appointment for a subsequent planning visit to look over the inventory in person once you reserve your date.
What time will I have access to the venue to decorate?
You will have access to the venue during the times listed in your contract. With a well-organized plan and a team of family and/or friends to help out, couples have found that the time allotted provides plenty of breathing room. You will be responsible for informing your vendors that they will only have access to the venue during this time as well (i.e., no drop-off/pick-up outside of your allotted time). Please note that we do not allow drop-off during rehearsals.
Do you include a “wedding day coordinator”?
We do not provide wedding or day-of coordination, but we highly recommend hiring a professional or finding a willing friend/family member to fill that role for your day. Our team, including a venue manager and up to two additional staff members, will be onsite during the entirety of your rental, ensuring that operations run smoothly and offering assistance (from an extra set of hands decorating to praying to the weather gods).
CATERING & BAR
What are our catering options at Back Acres Farm?
We have selected six caterers to work with exclusively. Please see our answer above for the reasons why we’ve moved to an exclusive list, but the short answer is: They consistently deliver for our couples, and offer a range of options at different price points. They include:
What is the policy on alcohol?
We have selected two bartending services to work with exclusively. They include: Bar Stars Bartending and Drink Inc. Several of the caterers on our list also include an optional bar package, which you can choose to use instead.
Both of the bartending services on our list give you the option to purchase alcohol/beverages through them or on your own—meaning, you can purchase your own beverages and utilize their bartenders for serving only. We require use of these bartending services because they go beyond having just licensed bartenders: They have their liquor license and are fully insured, which provides liability and legal coverage for us, you, and your guests.
For the safety of you and your guests, we cannot allow glass bottles. All alcoholic beverages must be served by a licensed bartender. Last call is at 11 p.m.
Does Back Acres Farm handle the catering orders for these caterers, or do I work with the caterer directly?
We’ve found that the most efficient way to go about this and ensure you get what you want is for you to work with the caterers directly, especially as they often create custom menus and quotes for each couple.
Do I need event insurance?
Yes. We require that you take out a minimum $1 million dollar insurance policy for your event and name The Barn at Back Acres Farm LLC as additional insured on it. Don’t worry—it’s super easy! We have several companies who provide this type of insurance on our vendors list, and the cost of a policy runs around $100-$175 for an event. We require that you submit this with your signed contract (which can be actually very helpful this early on in your planning in case something goes wrong with another vendor).
What time do you suggest we start the ceremony?
Couples usually start their ceremony after 3 p.m. Given that your ceremony will likely be outdoors, we’ve found that late afternoon offers the best light. If outdoor photography is important to you, we suggest talking with your photographer about timing and the best light.
What kind of tables do you offer? How many do they seat?
60-inch white resin rounds (17 tables available). Each table can seat 8-10. A layout of all rounds can seat 170.
8-foot by 30-inch white resin banquet tables (25 available tables). Each table can seat 8. A layout of all banquets can seat 200.
How will the tables, chairs, etc. be arranged for my sized event?
A few months before your wedding, we’ll provide access to our exclusive Online Planner tool, which includes recommended layouts and table style based on guest count. If you need access to layouts sooner, just let us know!
What size linens will I need to provide?
For 60” rounds: Full-drop is 120 inches. Half-drop is 90 inches.
For 8-foot banquets: Full-drop is 156 x 90 inches. Half-drop is 126 x 60 inches.
If we choose the one day option, will we be able to access the location early to rehearse our ceremony?
We offer a one-hour rehearsal by appointment on the Thursday before your wedding. Once you’ve reserved your date, reach out to let us know what time you’d like to do your rehearsal. Alcoholic beverages or food consumption are not allowed during your rehearsal, nor can we allow setup/drop off of any items prior to your event.
What kinds of send-offs are NOT allowed?
For insurance and environmental reasons, we cannot permit the following types of send offs:
Can vehicles be left overnight?
Given that parking is limited and Back Acres Farm may host multiple events in a weekend, no vehicles may be left overnight. Please advise your guests of this policy.
What time does the music need to end?
Music must end by 11 p.m on Fridays/Saturdays or 5 p.m. on Sundays to ensure that you, your vendors, and your guests have the time to pack up and depart by close.
We are using a rental company. Can they drop items off or pick them up outside of the rental period?
All deliveries and pick up must happen during the agreed-upon rental period. Please advise your vendors of this policy.
Are candles allowed?
For insurance reasons and because we want our barn to stick around for generations to come, we cannot allow candle or other open flames. Caterers may use sterno as long as it attended.
How far in advance do you need our final headcount?
Please provide your final guest count at least two weeks in advance of your wedding date.
SETUP & DAY OF
Can we have food outdoors?
The outdoor patio just off the barn entrance is actually an ideal place to have a cocktail hour, and we allow food and drink to be served on the patio as long as it is provided by your caterer/bartending service. We have an outdoor bar available for your use, as well (just make sure to add it to your decor closet order!). S’mores bars may also be served outside (a popular option to put over by the fire pits!). The main meal must be served inside the barn. Glass bottles may not be served to guests in any location.
Can we bring in our own snacks/lunch prior to the ceremony?
Yes, in fact we want to be sure you remember to eat! Outside food and drink (i.e., not provided by your caterer) is permitted prior to the ceremony. No drinks in glass bottles are allowed. After the start of the event, all outside food and drink must be packed away.
What is the event clean-up process?
Back Acres Barn team members will handle all standard clean up and trash removal throughout and following the wedding reception.
Can we take photos around the farm on our wedding day?
Yes, please do! There are many fantastic photos ops, from the intimate seating nooks (our silo was made for this!) to the open doorway at the front of the barn to the lush woods. Our trusty tractor has even served as a great prop! We’re happy to provide other suggestions too.
Can we nail or hang decorations to the walls?
If you need a way to hang a decoration, just ask us! One of our owners is a former carpenter and usually has a trick or two up his sleeve.