Best Wedding Barn Venue in the Southeast 2017

I’ve attended more than my fair share of weddings throughout the southeast over the years. Sadly, only as a guest most often and a few bridesmaid situations but never as the bride.  These events were in locales that varied from beaches, to ornate historic churches, to mountainside retreats, and other various locations.  My favorite recent wedding was down in a little town in Laurel Hill FL over in the Florida PanHandle called  “The Barn at Water Oaks“. Unlucky for me, my phone was at 7% to start for the morning so I didn’t take any photos that day.  The 400 guest barn wedding venue is only 1 hour away from the popular Destin, FL beach destination and 10 minutes away from the relaxing Lake town of Florala, AL. I can imagine this would keep most guests happy to consider this a vacation wedding!!

I have selected this venue as the “Best Wedding Venue of the Southeast for 2017“.  They have earned it and I hope they continue to add on and provide 5 star service to their guests!!

top rated barn wedding venue southeast
The Barn Wedding Venue at Water Oaks in Florida – Copyright Stephanie Rhodes Photography

Let’s talk about what perks this place has: Unlike other wedding barns in the Southeast this location allows up to 400 guests to be in the indoor/reception area with either air conditioning or heat.  I’m sure if you are familiar with “barn” type venues having the ability to climate control is of substantial importance. If it decides to rain on your wedding day, they’ve got you “covered” without the need for unsightly white tents and such!!

The reception area at the Wedding Barn at Water Oaks in Florida
The reception area at the Barn at Water Oaks in Florida – Copyright Stephanie Rhodes Photography

The property itself sits on 20 acres in the countryside. Plenty of photo opportunities include a tractor, bales of hay, antique white cinder block building, horse & white carriage (what I imagine Cinderella would show up in) and a pond with bridge and gazebo soon to be completed in 2017.

outdoor barn wedding venue
Plenty of room for anything you can dream of on 20 acres – Copyright Stephanie Rhodes Photography

They also have amazing locations to just lounge in that help your guests relax and truly enjoy themselves. Many venues have large open main areas for dancing and eating without much else for your guests to get into except just going outside.  This location includes some other intimate locations for 25-30 guests to break away and not feel so overwhelmed and claustrophobic.

lounge area barn florida
Every good wedding venue needs smaller areas to help guests have room to talk without feeling overwhelmed

This premier wedding venue also had plenty of parking available for me and as soon as I walked to the back side of the barn I was taken aback with the ceremony area.  It was almost like a classic Baptist church setup in the outdoors.  White pews lined up with fresh cut flowers leading up to a raised platform for the ceremony so all could easily see.

bridesmaids groomsman barn wedding venue
Outdoor wedding ceremony that mixes the comfort of the countryside with your wedding
white pews outdoor wedding venue
White Pews leading to the wedding alter – Copyright Stephanie Rhodes Photography

So many opportunities to take photos for the bride that she will cherish forever and even share with her own daughters in the future.  This is a location that you will never forget. Use some of their antique furniture with permission or bring your own piece for a perfect photo op in the country.

A bride poses in an antique couch in front the Barn at Water Oaks wedding venue.
A bride poses in an antique couch in front the Barn at Water Oaks wedding venue – Davis House Photography
vintage bride candles bouquet
Vintage style bride holding a bouquet of flowers while surrounded by candles.
bride groom red velvet couch
Bride & Groom posing on a red velvet couch with a bouquet of flowers

Impressed with the location, how smooth everything went from the start until the finish when I walked off the property.  The bathrooms were clean, the location perfect, the “wow” factor of the interior of the barn….. I think I’ve found a place for my fairy tale wedding….. Now all I need to find is the man to ask me…. sigh…. Even my father has been picking on me this year.  He said if I don’t get married in the next 5 years he might not be able to walk.  “Do you want to wheel me down to the alter”, he said. I may always be the wedding blogger and never the bride, hopefully I’m wrong!!

A father daughter dance at a premiere barn wedding venue
A father daughter dance at the Barn at Water Oaks, north of Destin, FL, a barn wedding venue

If you want to see other barn wedding venues in the SouthEast take a look at this article over at The Celebration Society. They review their selection of 8 different wedding venues, but personally I think this one is the best.

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