Turn your Underused Barn Into a Wedding Venue – with Solar Power
Barn wedding venues are for real. There’s a whole sub-industry of ranches, vineyards, and barns owned by people who’ve decided to rent them out as wedding venues instead of for traditional uses.
Check out this blog for just one example.
Depending on the size of your farm, you might have more than one barn, but don’t use them all anymore. Or maybe you switched the focus of your farm to something that no longer requires your barns to be used like they were before.
Some barns were used for cattle, for example, but maybe when you bought your farm you didn’t want to deal with animals, and chose to focus on crops or commodities instead.
So the barn just sits there. Underused.
Income on the Side
You could find a nice source of side-income by turning it into a destination venue – especially for wedding celebrations.
The rustic, outdoorsy, old-style look and feel of barns, vineyards, and ranches is a major attraction for some couples looking to tie the knot.
You can charge several thousand dollars per wedding. So it only takes a few of these to recover whatever investment money it takes to turn your barn into a place people will want to host their weddings.
Power – the Biggest Question Mark
Any barn wedding celebration, even one during the day, will need lighting in the interior. If it’s a night wedding, you’ll need even more, like in this photo. Look at those lights! Beautiful.
But… if you want those lights to turn on, and not short out the fuse box, you’d need the voltage to power them.
You’ll also need to power speakers, amps, and other musical and sound equipment. Also projectors for slide shows and videos.
And you’ll need enough outlets to make all this possible.
The question is, where are you going to get this power?
Does Your Barn Have Power Already?
If it does, then the question is, do you have enough to power a large celebration? Or, will it overload your lines? You might need a backup generator.
But a lot of older barns don’t have any power at all, because they didn’t need it when they were built. So you’ll either have to retrofit your barn with electrical wiring, or build a new barn from scratch.
Either way, you’ll need to decide how you’ll get the necessary power wattage to the barn to ensure your guests will have the electricity they need to run a worry-free wedding.
You have three options:
- Run utility lines out to the barn and connect them to the grid
- Use generators
- Install solar panels
Why Solar Power Is the Best Option for Supplying Electricity to Barn Weddings
Most people think solar power is the most expensive option. They know it’s better for the environment. They know it saves natural gas, coal, or whatever else might power your utility company’s system. And they would do it if it were cheaper. Really, they would.
One unique aspect of barns is, solar power is actually cheaper than regular utility lines in many cases.
The reason solar is cheaper is because if your barn has no power at all, then to connect it to the grid, you have to dig a trench all the way from the nearest hookups to the barn to lay electrical cable lines. It costs about $20,000 per mile to lay utility lines.
How far away is your barn?
Also, once your electrician has laid the lines and connected them all over the barn to all the outlets, you’ll now have to pay your monthly electricity bill – even if you have no weddings.
With solar panels, if you aren’t using them, then there’s no bill. It’s an off-grid wedding venue. And if you also use solar storage batteries, you can store up extra power to be sure you have enough on hand for when the weddings happen.
So, your solar is a fixed cost that doesn’t require any trenches to be dug. And once you’ve held a few weddings, charging several thousand for each one, you’ll pay off the panels and be in position to host barn weddings for years in the future without having to pay a single power bill.
Solar does have high initial costs too, but if your barn has no electrical wiring, then regular electricity isn’t likely to be much cheaper. And with the tax incentives now available, you can recover over 30% (sometimes over 50% in some states!) of your upfront costs.
No monthly bills.
No costly or disruptive trench-digging.
Clean power that lasts for decades.
Recovered investment with just a few weddings.
Creating a solar powered barn wedding venue is your fastest and also an affordable way to turn your underused barn or ranch into a destination for young couples. You’ll be able to give them a memorable outdoor wedding, with fresh air and a rustic, nostalgic setting.
If you’ve got a barn and have thought about turning it into a wedding venue, but don’t have any power, have one of our solar consultants come out and appraise your situation.