Venue Profile: Owls Hoot Barn
Venue Profile: Owls Hoot Barn
Tell us about your venue. How long have you been holding weddings and how many weddings do you hold per year?
We are in our 5th year, or season, at Owls Hoot Barn but i have personally been hosting barn weddings for about 18 years now so i've pretty much seen and done it all. Hurricane's, snow storms, 100+ degrees...knowing and being able to solution the in's and out's that the weather can throw at you is as important as the grounds and barn! We run events here starting in May and through October, with only one event per week.
Why should a couple consider your venue over other venues?
First and foremost it would have to be our ability to pass safety measures required by law. NYS compliance for fire suppression, septic facilities for a banquet hall, commercial electric capacity and proper egress swing doors on the main exit might not be 'sexy' things to talk about but in a day and age where many people with beautiful properties are hanging a shingle to rent out their barns you can run the risk of a venue being shut down for not meeting code requirements. I've had those desperate calls from brides whose venue got shut down only a month or so prior to the event...it's not a fun situation for anyone. We operate in a zoned commercial use property and have met all NYS and town laws.
Another value we bring to our clients is our ability to provide accommodations onsite/walk-able for upwards of 40 guests as we move into 2019. This is certainly a way we differentiate ourselves from other venues. The farm itself has the original 200+ year old historically registered farmhouse and we've crafted a separate cabin out of the farms original summer kitchen, both have been completely restored with historical integrity in mind and are outfitted with antiques and vintage furniture. Many couples will stay with us off season to manage planning and meetings with vendors. Additionally through the purchase of several adjoining properties we will be able to provide further accommodations. Having the option of hosting your family and bridal party right on the property just adds to the entire experience in being filled with lasting memories. Many of our couples come back to stay in our farmhouse (circa 1804) or cabin (the owls nest) each year in off season via our Air Bnb rentals and we are now enjoying meeting their children! We love this aspect of our growing owls hoot barn family.
Additionally when looking to find the perfect location, we knew it was equally important to find one that could also work for the rest of the guests so that getting to and from the venue was close enough to major roadways and hotels. With 2 major chain hotels only 5 minutes away transporting guests to and from the venue is an easy, smart and safe choice so guests can arrive, have a good time, and get back safely to their final destination without having to sit on a bus or shuttle for 45 minutes+. One shuttle making continuous trips saves the couple significant cost too.
Our property being on the historical registry means you are getting a truly 'rustic' barn. Our barn is considered a bank barn, a very common style found in the hudson valley region, it was built into a hill so that you have 'ground level' entrance on both levels! In our reception level you have the original hay loft with 30' ceilings, hewn beams with post and peg construction, lots of original windows that let beautiful rays of light shine in. Our first level boasts a great lounge area with the original milk paint wood walls and decked out with of vintage furniture and antiques it's the perfect place to set up a photobooth station that never shuts down. We also have multiple bathroom facilities (one specific for accessiblity needs) and several kitchen areas. Our barn is complemented by the attached pavilion, which we've already highlighted the value this element brings with it. Having air conditioning and heat options support an environment so guests can be comfortable. And finally, multiple smaller barns utilized as welcome reception areas, several ceremony sites to choose from, and a winding creek with trails and ancient willow trees round out the bucolic hudson valley setting of owls hoot barn.
We could talk about our historic barn and grounds, but the truth is there are so many these days and we love all barns. We feel there is something special here with our approach to revitalizing a significant landmark that many felt had no more purpose and should have been turned into the ground...we saw the vision and ran with it. With that said the last advantage to highlight might be our willingness to share our knowldege with all our clients. We feel it's critical to give the client options and let them decide. With literally hundreds of barn specific weddings under our belt we know how to run a great event and overcome any challenge and we enjoy and are invested in all our couples experiencing the joy of planning their wedding. We bring awareness to areas that most couples would never know about and help them think through their options. Because of this support we have couples who are less stressed about the unknowns and focus more on those fun elements...as they should! Most of our couples do opt to hire our 'day of planner' package so they and their family/bridal party can totally be free to enjoy their special day.
What’s the first thing couples usually ask when they come and see you?
What does a typical wedding cost here? An average wedding of 120 guests usually comes in around $35k once you factor in venue/caterer/open bar/rentals/photography/music/florals and transportation. Much depends on your selection of vendors who support your event. Because we include about 90% of the rentals associated with a typical barn wedding your costs can be known more easily and planned for more easily...with that knowledge comes power to make decision on where you can save versus where you may want to spend more. Each couple is very different and it should be there decision.
What is a typical day like here? You can expect a day filled with activities which usually starts early with the bridal party getting ready in the farmhouse and some photos. A little after 2pm guests start arriving, enjoying a cider donut and non alcoholic drink at our welcome barn before playing lawn games, strolling our trails or hanging out under the pavilion and catching up with other family / friends they have not seen in a while. 3:30pm is a typical ceremony time. Cocktail hour from 4pm-6pm and dining and dancing in the barn from 6pm-10pm. We set up a massive bonfire that runs about 2 hours and guests enjoy toasting marsh mellows and making smores.
Can we have a rehearsal dinner or Sunday brunch here? Yes you can...yes it will cost more money as it involves staff to be present and cleaning / preparation of the barn. For couples on a budget we've help them to secure our local riverfront park on the hudson river in the lovely historic reed street district of Coxsackie...it's free, has quaint shops, parking, a pagoda and tables. That is one option, there are more. Again it's about letting our couples know their options and how those work with their budget.
What size functions can you hold/host?
180 inside the barn for dining and dancing...larger parties can do al fresco dining under our attached pavilion or in our fields.
Can couples bring in their own caterer? What about alcohol?
Yes! Our requirements are that they are board of health approved and have all proper catering/liquor permits.
Can the ceremony be held at your venue?
Yes! We have several beautiful outdoor sites along our creek and our pavilion provides the perfect 'rain plan' should the weather not comply...this means you can have the look of having the ceremony outdoors yet be under the cover of our pavilion.
Are the couple free to decorate as they like?
Yes! We include a garage full of decor items that you can use, including the popular vintage furniture elements. We also include vintage wood tables and mismatched chairs for cocktail hour, French crossback wood chairs and handmade farmhouse tables for the reception.
If your venue is outdoors is there a backup space in case of rain?
Yes! As indicated we have a pavilion space that is perfect for pre-ceremony gathering so guests do not have to be standing outside in the sun, as well it becomes the perfect cocktail hour space and you will often find guests hanging out under here during the evening as the moon rises and the stars come out. Additionally it is the 'back up plan' for rain so the ceremony can still be held 'outside' without requiring a tent rental.
Could you give our readers some indication of the range of prices for hiring your venue?
Ranges are in the $10k - $14k range depending on month and # of guests.
How early do couples need to book you?
Generally 1 - 2 years. Though I've had couples plan weddings in as little as 3 months when we had available dates.
What time at night can weddings stay at your venue?
Guests staying on the property in our optional accommodations are there for days. Guests being shuttled in should be leaving by 11:30 pm on the event night, as this is the time our staff leaves. Those couples interested in hosting an all guest after party can opt to go to several places just minutes from the venue. We have options.;-)
Do you offer accommodation options?
Yes, thoroughly explained in the above!
What other (if any) wedding services do you offer?
Planning services and support, alignment of vendors who provide excellent negotiated rates...they 'like' working with us!
How can people get in contact with you?
Follow us on Instagram #owlshootbarn and DM us. Like us on facebook and message us. Contact us via our direct website at www.owlshootbarn.com and use the “contact us” form.
Photos of The Owls Hoot Barn
"One of the World's Best Wedding Photographers". I've been been a professional wedding photographer for 15 years. My work has appeared in Harpers Bazaar UK, the New York Times, Style Me Pretty and brides.com. In 2015 Style Me Pretty interviewed me, in 2016 Complete Wedding Magazine called me "One of the World's Best Wedding Photographers".
All Photos supplied by the venue.
Website: Owls Hoot Barn
Address: Hudson Valley Region West Coxsackie, New York