Restored to Perfection

Katy and Jeff Chapman transformed an old barn built in the early 1900s into the perfect reception venue.

By Jennifer Adamson | Photos by Meg White Photography

Dec 2014

Like most brides, Katy Chapman had a pretty good idea what she wanted her wedding to be like. The only thing she didn’t know was that her proposal and reception would both happen at home on the farm, perfect for a country girl at heart.

After all, country music is what brought this couple together. Katy and her husband, Jeff Chapman, were introduced at a concert featuring The Mark Chapman Band. Jeff plays guitar.

“I really liked his personality,” Katy says. “We just kind of clicked in that sense.”

The year of her engagement, Katy asked for a new winter coat for Christmas. She was surprised when she opened a coat-sized box and found an empty ring box instead. That’s when Jeff got down on one knee in his living room and asked her if they could spend all of their other Christmases together. 

As Katy searched online and in magazines for the perfect details to incorporate into her wedding day,  there was one constant: all of her favorite photos featured a barn.  

“I had known I always wanted to have a rustic wedding,” she says. “Definitely the look, the feel, and the character were what we loved about the barns. It was the raw, exposed materials and architectural elements that caught our eye.”

With the ceremony location booked, the couple decided to use a barn as their reception venue but struggled to find one they liked. Neither had considered that just outside the family home where Jeff had popped the question sat an old barn built in the early 1900s, waiting for its own moment in the spotlight. 

Since the wedding was a year and a half away, they figured they had plenty of time to undertake a restoration project. After cleaning out the rubbish, they replaced the exterior wood and roof shingles, stained the inside, and put the original weathervane back on top, just in time to decorate for the reception. 

“We finished it the morning of the wedding,” Katy says. “We didn’t realize how much work needed to go into it.”

For the celebration, they hung strings of tiny lights, put dried flowers on the tables and used lace to reflect their vintage style. 

“I feel like a lot of people were astounded, especially people who had seen it before,” Katy says. “Lots of people thought it was a venue we had rented. We both felt like it was definitely worth it.”

Katy Chapman wore a gorgeous gown from Normans Bridal on her big day. 

Jeff and Katy Chapman enjoyed their wedding reception on family property. The couple restored an old barn to use as their venue.