The Barn at Old Bethpage entices couples with a warm and romantic setting
Reception venue trends these days all center around one word: unique. Gone are the days of picking the name of a catering hall out of a hat, as Long Island brides and grooms have become more specific in the venue that will house the biggest party of their lives. While many couples still opt for catering halls, others choose from the opulent Gold Coast mansions, beautiful beaches of the Hamptons or a destination wedding. But there is another contender that is not as well known: The Barn at Old Bethpage Village Restoration.
Built in 1995, the barn was primarily used for The Long Island Fair and was intended to be a replica of the original 1860 Mineola Fair Building. According to former event coordinator Lindsey McKeever, it wasn’t until the early 2000s that the barn gained momentum as a wedding venue.
“It’s so unique and refreshing. A lot of people don’t know it’s here so it’s like the best kept secret on Long Island,” said McKeever, who has been with Nassau County for three years.
The 8,000-square foot space holds 300 people and recent renovations of heat and air conditioning in the bathrooms make the barn more accessible for county events, bat/bar mitzvahs, sweet sixteens and, of course, weddings.
“You don’t have to go out east or upstate to get something country, so it’s very convenient,” said McKeever. “The barn here is close and doesn’t become a destination wedding if you already live in Nassau County.”
As for the allure of the space, it is simply breathtaking. Upon entering through double doors, one needs to only look up and marvel at the cathedral ceilings, exposed beams, criss-cross pattern of the wood floor and rustic hanging lanterns. Several windows at varying heights line the walls and welcome an outpour of sunshine during the day and a starry sky at night.
McKeever said that the barn definitely sees a specific clientele, but most of the time it is a couple who appreciate the raw beauty of the barn and enhance the rustic and romantic theme.
“It can be a wedding in a barn or a barn wedding, that’s how I like to look at it,” said McKeever, who added that the barn is only open for events from April through November and that they only do bookings up to a year in advance. “Last year we had 14 weddings and in 2016 we have 24, so the space has grown in popularity.”
Couples are permitted to take their wedding photos in the village, and during the fall, the scenery is stunning. But bringing the autumnal elements from the outside in just takes a little creativity. Using mason jars with candles as centerpieces, tying rope and a tree branch around a napkin, using pinecones and leaves as place card holders, hanging or draping burlap and adding an extra twinkling of string lights around the beams make for the perfect country evening and adds a little more ambiance.
“Couples rent the space for a fee and then they work with the caterer to determine the packages for the wedding including food, rentals, china, glass, silverware and a maître ‘d,” said McKeever. “The caterer will customize any of the four menus, but since there isn’t a kitchen on the property, some choices are limited.”
But fall treats like a s’mores station, hot chocolate bar or caramel apple table, as well as a signature drink with maple, pumpkin, apple or cinnamon flavors, can be requested by the couple to enhance the seasonal theme.
“It’s just gorgeous the way it is, there’s really not much to do,” said McKeever of the barn. “Most people do the country music, cowboy boots and rustic beauty for a wedding. We do square tables because the building is square and it’s unique.”
If the pastoral beauty of The Barn at Old Bethpage Village Restoration fits in perfectly with your dream wedding day, visit www.obvrweddings.com or call 516-572-8409. The barn is located at 1303 Round Swamp Rd., Old Bethpage.