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Maryland

The Barn at Serra Valley

Has anyone used this venue? I know it's a fairly new venue but I'm trying to find pictures of weddings there. Anyone have any experiences?
Critterbug584

Re: The Barn at Serra Valley

  • Not much I can help with yet. But we just booked this as our reception venue with option to extend it to our ceremony too, but we are looking for a cheaper ceremony site in that area, hopefully. What I CAN tell you is that it's breathtaking. Surrounded by nature. It's a gorgeous place with unlimited possibilities. It has the "barn" which is heated and has a/c. It has a covered outdoor breezeway to a covered pavilion area. A small kitchen. Two fire pits. A horseshoe pit. A whole collection of antique cars you can rent to arrive/depart in or just use for photos. A weeping willow tree. And they give you so many options. Your wedding is your own. Bridal suite too. You don't need a licensed caterer or bartender. Your rental is 8:30 am- 12 midnight. If there's anymore questions please ask away. I can try my best to answer.
  • Thanks! Do you know if they have anyone to assist you in set up or is it your responsibility to look for someone to assist?

  • My husband and I were married at The Barn at Serra Valley in April. It was beautiful. The grounds are gorgeous. They have multiple vehicles that you can rent to make your entrance awesome. We chose the 1929(?) Ford Model A. Sara is the event coordinator and she is great. You have open reign on everything. She is there to assist with anything you might need including the day of. I highly recommend this place.
  • How are their prices?

  • Sara just recently left the barn. I believe they will be getting a new coordinator soon, but in the mean time they have someone temporary to help you. Set up is your own. I do believe they had an option to pay extra to have someone set up for you, but Im not positive how that will be handled now that sarah is gone. This is the info in the email I received 

    "Thanks for the inquiry! Just some general information for you.. The facility is a beautiful timber frame building that rests among 30 acres of groomed trails and woods and really offers a nice, serene setting with absolutely gorgeous scenery. For a ceremony and reception, from May-October, it is $3,200 to rent the facility while November-April is $2,500. For a reception only, the price is $1,750. There is also a $200 security deposit that is fully refundable the day after the scheduled event, pending the condition of the facility. When you rent, The Barn, you receive the venue for the entire day so you can get in as early as 8AM and we just ask that you are packed up and leaving by 12AM.
     
    Our facility has tables and chairs for up to 144 guests with ample room for a dance floor but can accommodate 150. There is a kitchen with a basic stove, oven, refrigerator and ice machine for use. Also, the building is equipped with a full stereo system so entertainment would not have to bring their own speakers if they didn't want, just their basic equipment. There are four restrooms total, two inside the reception hall and two that are outside, directly next to the facility. There is also heating and air conditioning! We also have a spacious outdoor patio that sits a 20x40 ft pavilion for additional covered space that makes great cocktail hours or just a nice outdoor lounge area! The pricing is a flat fee and everything on the property is included. This includes coolers, grills, drink dispensers, horse shoe pits, a fire pit, table top bar among many other amenities available for your use.
     
    There are many locations on the facility for a ceremony as well! There is a smaller recess, The Chapel, that accommodates around 20-30 guests for smaller, more intimate ceremonies. The other side of the same building is a larger pavilion that we set up 76 white, wicker chairs to create an aisle from the dressing room at the back of the pavilion to the trellis set up at the front. Both of these areas are just a short walk away from the reception hall. Some of our wedding parties have decided to get married in the woods in the surrounding area that we are more than happy to accommodate. We also have a massive weeping willow tree in a private paddock that is on the other side of the Serra Valley property that costs a little extra but has made an absolutely stunning ceremony site. Our only indoor ceremony location is the hall itself which has been fine for a service as well!
     
    Basically, when you rent the venue, you are responsible for anything that you bring in. Alcohol is allowed and we have no restrictions in terms of which caterer or event services you use (entertainment, photographer, baker, etc) with the exception of illegal substances, of course."

    We just got it for the reception and went to Circle D farm for our ceremony which is $700 for 5 hours I do believe.

    Any other questions feel free to ask!
    kmhooper2
  • Oh, also, I was looking at my wedding contract and it has extras on there that you may be interested in knowing.

    Reserving the night prior to wedding for decorating purposes(5pm-10PM): $250
    Reserving night prior to wedding for rehearsal dinner(4pm-11pm): $400
    Ceremony at willow tree: +$250
    Reception only: $1750
    6 hour wedding (sunday only): $1500 Additional hours at $100/hours not to exceed 3 extra hours.
    Use of grill: $25
    Trash removal $25
    Set up: $200  (so yeah, I supposed they CAN set up for you. I just know it used to be sara)
    tear down : $200

    50% of total is required upon booking. We got only the reception, but we asked if we could add the ceremony later if we did not find anything else and she said yes. Also, we asked if we could add any of the extras later on so we could sit on it for a bit and she said yes as well. Really hope the info helps!!
    kmhooper2
  • FYI: The prices have increased (or so that's what they told us) so I will contact them.
  • Do they have an officiant available?  Or can anyone recommend someone in that area and how much it costs?  Thanks!
    emk89
  • The following is a letter my husband sent to the owner of The Barn at Serra Valley after we held our wedding ceremony and reception there. I have not received a response for this letter (sent over two months ago); in fact, The Barn has recently asked me to follow them on FaceBook. If you are thinking about holding your wedding here, please read this letter first, as it is probably not worth the risk:

    April 30th, 2014

    The Barns at Serra Valley Farms
    5601 Ridge Road
    Mt. Airy, MD 22655

    Dear Lou,

        Jennifer and I are extremely grateful for the gorgeous venue at The Barns at Serra Valley. On our wedding day, we could not have asked for better weather, and from what we have seen from our photographer, the pictures are stunning. Throughout the day, we received numerous compliments from guests about our venue selection, which served as the perfect backdrop for our ceremony.
        That being said, we are also extremely disappointed in the coordination of the day. Considering we had gone out of our way to travel to the venue multiple times to assess our needs and confirm our wedding time, it is completely unacceptable that the time we selected over a year ago (10:30 a.m.) was mixed up with a different time (5:30 p.m.). The following is a list of hassles that ensued because of this mix-up, most of which I am sure you are aware of, but perhaps do not know the extent of the impact it had on our day.
    •    When we first arrived around 8:00 a.m., per our contract, the sign out front had not yet been changed from “CONGRATS JESSICA AND MARCO” to “CONGRATS ADAM AND JENNIFER.” Almost all of the bridal party arrived late because they continued to drive past the venue when they saw the incorrect names. All of their GPS units took them to a different location, which they would not have gone to had the proper names been displayed. Normally, this would not be an issue, but we desperately needed them to help set up the venue, as The Barns at Serra Valley had failed to do so according to our requests.
    •    The venue itself was a mess when we arrived, both in the interior and the exterior. Outside, broken beer bottles scattered the gravel, some of which I drove over (luckily, my tires were not damaged) and some of which was in the chapel area. The table arrangements (which we had pored over and spent a few hours designing) had not been arranged accordingly. Because of this, all of my groomsmen, plus Jennifer’s parents, had to arrange the tables and chairs to the best of my knowledge, as none of the workers at Serra Valley had the plans. While we did the heavy lifting, they swept the floors alongside us. Because the bridal party had to pick up the slack that Serra Valley had left us with, we did not get to enjoy the time spent with each other that morning, which is time we will never be able to get back.
    •    The decorations from the day before, which did not match our theme, remained in place for the entire reception. Lou, when you arrived, I did not ask for much, mainly because the bridal party had already stepped up to the plate, but I did ask to have these decorations taken down. I understand that this probably would have been time-consuming; however, a perfect time to do so would have been during the ceremony when no one was inside the barn. Our reception pictures now have these decorations in the shots.
    •    I did not meet our wedding coordinator, Erin, until the guests started to eat, which was around 12:00 p.m., a full hour and a half after the ceremony began. Because I was so flustered that morning, a microphone had not been set up, as per our original request, inside the barn. I wheeled the amplifier/microphone combination to the reception hall myself, a task that could have been easily delegated to our wedding coordinator, had she known the correct time of the wedding.
    •    Even though you checked for toilet paper and paper towels prior to the ceremony, we quickly ran out. This was brought to my attention by a guest who had embarrassingly ran out of toilet paper after she used the restroom.
        Some of these hassles probably seem trivial; however, a binding contract was signed for this wedding. All stipulations on our end were fulfilled, from arrival time to departure time. Jennifer and I made sure we our threw trash away, including anything that had fallen on the ground, something Jessica and Marco’s party had failed to do the night before. (After departing, we realized we might have left a few decorative bottles inside the chapel. You may keep these for future weddings). We dumped all leftover ice and water and carried all garbage bags out back, as per Erin’s request. Considering the hassles we endured prior to the ceremony, one would think it would be common sense for the staff at The Barns at Serra Valley to at least offer us help in cleaning up after our reception, but I realize that these duties were part of the binding contract we signed, which we felt a responsibility to fulfill, even if the Barns failed to maintain their end of the contract.
        Perhaps all of this occurred because we received a promotional fee of $1,000 for the day’s rental. While I do not believe that The Barns at Serra Valley would do something like this, many of our family members who knew about the amount we paid questioned The Barns at Serra Valley’s integrity when they were informed about the frustrations of our morning.
        It pains me to write this letter, as I sincerely thought we had found the perfect venue for our wedding, and from an exterior standpoint we had. If we had to do this over again, though, knowing the experience we ending up stuck with, I would not think twice about finding a different venue. Many of the reviews we have read online have stated a much different experience, and I hope those types of experiences continue to flourish for your future customers, despite the review we will be publishing via internet. I believe it goes without saying that we will not recommend this venue to anybody interested in a ceremony/reception location.
        I also hope you do not feel this letter is me being passive aggressive. I was ready to voice these concerns at the end of the day after our guests had cleared out, but there was no one at the venue to voice them to, with the exception of Erin, who was quite busy with her studies. If you have any questions for me, please feel free to call me at NUMBER DELETED or e-mail me at E-MAIL DELETED.
        Best of luck with your future endeavors. I believe the situations that transpired on April 27th have taught The Barns at Serra Valley and myself a valuable lesson, but it is one I cannot apply to a future date, as I only plan on marrying once. For Serra Valley, perhaps this can suggest a better way of keeping organized with its customer base.


    Sincerely,


    Adam Howells
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