Farmers are welcoming a new business model to their fields, as more couples say 'I Moo' to hosting weddings at dairies and creameries.
"Rustic elegance is a huge trend in weddings," said Anja Winikka, TheKnot.com site director. "We definitely see a lot of brides opting for this homestead look for their nuptials."
Whether the fad for dairy farms is being fueled by celebrities or inspiring them is hard to determine. Not only was pop singer Kelly Clarkson recently married at a farm, but the earlier video for her single "Tie It Up" featured a couple walking the grounds of The Double T Ranch in Central California. The property has become so popular as a wedding venue that the events offset other profit losses, according to owner Tony Azevedo.
"This Pinterest thing is my new business partner," Azevedo told the LA Times recently. "Everybody wants to get married in a damn barn and have their picture taken with a cow."
While the word "dairy" may conjure images of flies and cow pies, the idea of a "farm wedding" or "barn wedding" appeals to those with natural sensibilities and love of food, say experts.
"The farm to fork trend in the restaurant world has now entered into the wedding arena," e-mailed the editors of The Venue Report, a wedding venue review site. "Brides and grooms want foodie affairs and are looking to incorporate local, seasonal produce into their big day. So naturally a dairy farm is the perfect fit.
The expansive outdoor scenery is also atypical from traditional banquet halls.
"With more and more brides on-the-hunt for original wedding experiences, dairy farmers with available space and beautiful rustic backdrops - despite the smells - are now on the short list," said Kellee Khalil, founder and CEO of Lover.ly, a wedding inspiration and shopping site.
In fact, on the Lover.ly search engine, the term "dairy farms" has been searched 23 percent more in the last two months than the two months prior, said Khalil.
"It is really the perfect scenario, the dairy farmer can make some extra money, and the couple can have a unique wedding venue and save their wedding budget," she said.
To complete the experience, Winikka suggested a luxe tablescape with lots of flowers to juxtapose the rustic backdrop. The Knot editor also recommends keeping the reception menu wholesome and approachable.
"Think: farm-fresh salads, seasonal soups and main courses, and fun touches like local beer flights or a cheese table highlighting all the local varieties – maybe even some produced right on that dairy farm," she said.