Decor inspiration and good times at a rustic barn wedding in Upstate New York, outside of Buffalo. rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-30If you missed our ceremony, first look pics and wedding “prep”, check out wedding blog post Part I. 
rustic barn wedding in Upstate New York

My dad and Steve put planks of wood together and then stained it to make this sign. And then our dear neighbor across the street painted lettering onto it.

rustic wedding in Upstate New York

What I learned while being engaged is that when you are planning a wedding, the number one question people will ask you is “what are your wedding colors?” For the longest time, I was like what does that even meeeean? I don’t know! (This was during my I detest wedding planning phase). But soon I came to realize that mostly this means what color flowers will you have and what color will your bridesmaid dresses be. I took to Pinterest and started looking at unique color combos for weddings (because seriously, how did people plan weddings BEFORE Pinterest?!?! I would have been completely lost.)

I found an article literally titled ‘unique color combinations for weddings you never would have thought’ of and paging through this article, as soon as I saw it, I knew immediately. Sage. Peach. And Merlot. It was described as the “perfect color combo for a rustic wedding or a late summer wedding”. Um, hello! I had both! SOLD. Plus, I relished the fact that all my colors were food and drink and annoyingly pointed that fun fact out to everyone who asked :). Since sage was one of our colors, we placed sage leaves on each of the place cards. My dad had the frame and nailed rows of twine to hang in the middle.

barn wedding in Upstate New York

Our barn venue was super cool. It’s an old barn from the 1800s that was restored in the last few years for weddings and events.

barn wedding in Upstate New York rustic barn wedding in Buffalo New York florals rustic barn wedding rustic barn wedding flowers table setting rustic barn wedding flowers sweetheart table rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-part-i-31 flowers barn wedding wine barrels rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-25

Also, how cool are our photographers for thinking of this for our ring shot?! rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-24

card box rustic barn wedding DIY photo booth rustic barn wedding

We decided we wanted to do a photo booth for our wedding after we had so much fun with the one at our cousin’s wedding earlier in the year. We were going to hire our DJ to do it until I realized 1. We didn’t feel like paying for one more thing. and 2. Their modern looking booth would totally clash with our theme and decor. So I took to Pinterest once more and looked for DIY photo booth inspiration. My Dad did all the chalkboard signs for us and he built the wooden pallet for the backdrop, which we adorned with a handful of flower bouquets. We also loved the idea of a photo booth because then we could have a photo guest book where our guests could leave a goofy pic along with their best wishes. Another great way to hold onto memories.

DIY photo booth rustic barn wedding DIY photo booth rustic wedding guest book

DIY photo booth rustic barn wedding K. Let’s talk food. For obvious reasons, it was important to me that we had a kick-ass menu that was unique and representative of what was in-season, fresh and local.

Here was the cocktail hour line-up:

  • Spicy Ahi-Tuna Ceviche in spring roll cone with sesame seeds and crystallized wasabi garnish
  • Bourbon glazed pork belly on steamed buns with Apple-Pear Chutney and finished with aged balsamic vinegar and micro amaranth
  • Red Lentil Hummus with petite vegetables in individual portions
  • Roasted Peach and Ricotta Crostini with fresh mint and honey
farm to table wedding menu farm to table wedding menu farm to table wedding menu

We served dinner family style. Think large platters of food passed between guests. It was fun, kept it casual and went with the whole wedding vibe we were going for.

On the menu:v


  • Eden Valley Farms Organic Garden Salad of just picked Baby greens, shaved Watermelon Radish, Golden Beets, Heirloom Carrots, Honey Goat Cheese and toasted sunflower seeds with a White Balsamic-Thyme Vinaigrette
  • Beefsteak Tomato served with fresh basil, hand-stretched Mozzarella cheese, extra virgin olive oil, aged balsamic vinegar, finished with salt and fresh cracked pepper


  • Herb crusted cod served over roasted corn puree with lemon buerre blanc and micro greens salad
  • Fennel and Cabernet Braised Prime Beef Short-ribs accompanied with a warm Porcini Cream Sauce


  • Black-Eye Pea & Quinoa Salad with Roasted Red pepper, sweet summer corn finished with Sweet Cilantro-Lime Vinaigrette
  • Weiss Farms Russet Smashed Potato seasoned with Roasted Garlic; fresh whole milk sour cream and English style butter
  • Late Summer Roasted Vegetable Platter with Red Onion, Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Portobello Mushrooms & Mini Sweet Peppers
farm to table wedding menu farm to table wedding menu farm to table wedding menu

We didn’t have a cake. I don’t love cake. And I definitely don’t love wedding cake. I always take a bite of it and am left unsatisfied. PIE ON THE OTHER HAND. Automatic drool. One of my friend’s had mini pies at her wedding. I took two and inhaled them in 0.2 seconds. Steve still claims that he doesn’t remember seeing me even pause to take a breath while I ate those pies 😉

pie display rustic wedding pie display rustic barn wedding

We did a pie cutting. It was slightly awkward and messy. Perhaps we should have had a plan of attack. Practiced how one executes a flawless, cute pie tasting between bride and groom. We didn’t. Instead we laughed at each other the entire time for not knowing what to do. Later to find out all Steve could think about is how to prevent getting mixed berry pie on my wedding dress. 🙂

Net net: Pies are delicious. They should be at all weddings. Except if you ask my grandfather. He will tell you he wanted cake. Sorry, Gramps. pie rustic barn weddingOf course, we chose food for our favors too. Steve’s company made hand decorated heart cookies (made with fruit and vegetable based dyes!) with our initials on them. And we scored these super cute cookie bags on Etsy.

cookie wedding favors

Our first dance was I’ll Look After You by The Fray. It was “our song” during college and seemed only appropriate.

rustic barn wedding in upstate new york rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-33

Father daughter dance was Father & Daughter by Paul Simon, since I grew up listening to Simon’s Graceland album with my Dad.


The venue was extra magical at sunset.rustic barn wedding in upstate new york


Peeps played horseshoes.

rustic barn wedding in upstate new york

And our photographers grabbed us for a quick sunset photo shoot.

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Once it got dark, the party really started.rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-43We danced all the wedding dances like the Cupid Shuffle…

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Footloose (yes, those are my bridal Toms)…

rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-48Running man…


There were cowboy hats…


Break dancing..




And of course…SHOUT….


rustic-barn-wedding-in-western-new-york-49And we ended with a little karaoke of my favorite song…Don’t Stop Believing.

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The night closed out with a sparkler send off where we ran through two rows of sparklers. Above is my this is fun/please don’t burn me face.


Well, that’s all she wrote folks. It was such a fun day and night. I can’t wait until we get the video to relive it all again!!

Thanks for all your sweet wishes and congrats you’ve left over the last few weeks. It means so much. xoxo

Venue: Hayloft in the Grove. Photography: Nickel City Studios. Dress: Ceremony Boston – Claire Pettibone. Shoes, Jewelry & Clutch: BHLDN. Flowers: Costamanga Design. Catering: Private Knives Catering. Pies: Carriage Trade Pastries. Favors: Fancypants Baking Company. Hair & Makeup: Groom Service. Bridesmaids: J Crew. Groomsmen: Banana Republic. Groom: Suit Supply. Rings: Sophie Hughes Jewelry. Musicians: Buffalo Strings DJ: Toy Bros 

You May Also

Don’t miss our other wedding blog posts!

A Rustic Cabin Engagement Photo Shoot

The Christmas I got engaged!

A Rustic Barn Wedding in Western New York Part I

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  1. Seriously gawking over everything about your wedding.. from the pie bar to the kale in the bouquet! Oh and obviously all of the food looks amazing too 😉 You looked beautiful! Congrats!

  2. How wonderfully magically – every step of the way. Love love reading the posts and hearing every detail 🙂
    And I’m one of those old fogies that didn’t have Pinterest to plan my wedding but at least I had the Internet (some of my friends who got married a decade before me had to call and/or visit every single potential vendor – dang!!)
    Congrats again (and btw LOVE the pie bar instead of wedding cake call 🙂

  3. Stunning wedding. I love all the rustic details.

  4. Elizabeth

    best wedding + best veg food. obvi

  5. You look absolutely stunning! What a perfect day 🙂 That sounds like the best wedding food ever- I’m jealous of your guests. And I love that song- what a perfect one for your first dance. Congrats to you and Steve <3

  6. Kim

    Kara! Congrats! Your wedding looked amazing. I love all the details and how involved your dad was in the process. Of course the food sounds incredible too!

  7. Liz

    What a beautiful celebration of love Kara!! You look stunning and I’m so inspired by your rustic decor- gorgeous, just like you!

  8. Beautiful!! Congratulations!! I’m getting married next month, and we have very similar taste in decor. We’re also going for a rustic vibe, and my dad and I are hand making a lot of our stuff too 🙂

  9. What a gorgeous wedding! I LOVE the idea of a pie bar.