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The Sweeney Barn is a wedding and event venue located in Manassas, VA. It’s a historic building that was used earlier in the 20th century as a cow barn (circa 1939), so cool. In 2018 was renovated by their current owners (Noel and Alannah Sweeney), they did a wonderful job keeping the rustic charm but adding all the comfort and elegance touches that you and your guests need.
Sweeney Barn can host up to 200 guests for a seated reception. It offers outdoor or indoor ceremony sites, lower and upper-level areas, assorted decor, ceremony arch, fire pit, ceremony chairs, etc. In addition to this they have a great location near hotels, restaurants, stores and their staff is so personable and friendly. After we visited the venue we sent a few questions to their General Manager, Andrea Van Wambeke, so we could share more details with you about this beautiful property. Please read below the full interview.
Sweeney Barn is a perfect venue for couples who love the rustic look for their décor and photos, but who want an elevated experience for their guests. Located in the heart of Manassas, the venue is within 5-10 minutes of accommodations and restaurants, rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft service the area, and there is great cell service and Wi-Fi. The original barn was renovated in 2018 with state-of-the-art amenities and is fully accessible to guests of all abilities. We like to say if the city and the country had a baby, it would be Sweeney Barn!
The venue can accommodate a maximum of 200 guests for a seated reception with a dance floor, and up to 325 guests for a standing-only, cocktail-style reception. The largest event we host every year is prom for about 400 students.
Sweeney Barn was originally a dairy farm built in 1939 by the Birkett family. When it became harder for small dairy farmers to continue their businesses, the land laid abandoned for decades and was eventually property of Prince William County. The new owners, Noel and Alannah Sweeney, purchased the dilapidated barn in 2018 and began renovations to turn it into a wedding venue. They tried to keep as much of the original material as possible for an authentic and historic feel, while also adding beautiful décor and amenities that make it perfect for every event.
The venue is named after the Sweeney family, who purchased it from Prince William County in 2018. Their vision was to work with local partners to renovate the space and bring new business to the county. We love seeing wedding guests stay in local hotels and dine out in nearby restaurants because it helps support the small businesses and families in our area.
We have an amazing team of professionals who dedicate themselves to ensuring every couple has an exceptional day for their wedding. Some of them like Kathy Johnson, Meghan Farrar and Genevieve Haralson also have their own coordination services, so they know every in and out of the events. Lisa Cox has decades of experience working in coordination and in local venues, and Glynis Brown is a full-time teacher who wanted to use her talents in event design to help our couples, proms and holiday parties. Andrea Van Wambeke, our General Manager, is the only full-time employee. She has been part of the Sweeney Barn team since the before renovations were even started in 2018, and feels like it’s her second home.
Our location is truly what sets us apart as a barn venue. We’re not way out in the countryside, so it’s easy for guests to travel from the airport and local hotels. We are close to many of the caterers, rental companies and other wedding professionals, who can easily run back and pick something up from their warehouses if anything additional is needed on wedding day. We don’t have any farm animals, but we do have an elegant and private experience for the couple and their guests.
Our couples love that we only have one event per day, and they get both levels and the grounds for their ceremony, cocktail hour and reception. Having two levels of event space means that we always have a great backup plan in case of rain – you’re never stuck in one room for the entire event. They also mention how responsive and informative our team members are. We’re always here to help, from the first inquiry through the big celebration.
We’re excited to host more corporate and social events that are coming back after the pandemic! We love all our weddings, but the corporate business was much slower to return after 2020. We’re finally seeing more meetings, company anniversaries and holiday parties, which we love just as much as our wonderful weddings.
Our wedding package includes full access to both levels of the venue and the grounds, as well as a private bridal suite on the upper level. Our couples love our inventory of lanterns and décor, which they can use as aisle accents or centerpieces. We also have 200 white padded chairs, 20 wine barrels with stools, two wedding arches, fire pits, a gazebo and a screen and projector. All of these items are included in the price of the venue rental.
In 2020 we worked with a stellar team of wedding professionals including Havard Events, The Rosy Posy, KPC + Co. Photography and To Your Taste Catering to offer a free wedding to one deserving couple in what we called the “Love Gone Viral” campaign. We chose a couple named Ivy and Tom, who were healthcare professionals in their residency programs. The increased shifts and hours they had to work as COVID reached a peak meant they had no time to plan their wedding, and they relied on our team to put together an amazing event for them. They were so appreciative and absolutely wonderful to work with. Although we had to postpone the wedding once due to COVID restrictions, we were finally able to have their wedding on September 23, 2022. While the décor was stunning and everything was planned to the most minute detail, the most rewarding part of their celebration was seeing their faces when they walked into their ceremony, finally able to get married.
Although we host around 140 events per year, we want every couple to know they are the most important event on our calendar. We strive to reply quickly to every question you have, and we’re always here to help as you start your wedding planning journey. It can be overwhelming, but if you take things one step at a time and work with great professionals, it will be easy, fun and the best day of your lives!
Don’t exhaust yourself looking at too many venues! Research them ahead of time and visit venues that fit your style and work within your budget. Keep your in-person visits limited to no more than 3-5 spaces. If you visit too many, you start losing track of which venue offers what amenities, and it can get really overwhelming and confusing. I would also recommend getting in touch with caterers for pricing before deciding on a venue, since they are usually the most expensive part of every event.
You can visit our website, sweeneybarn.com to find out more about our pricing and what’s included, and to see galleries from real weddings that have taken place at our venue. Follow us on Instagram and Facebook @sweeneybarnweddings for updates on future events and images from recent celebrations.
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Photo credit: Maddy Williams Photography | Stephanie Messick Photography | Hay Alexandra Photography | Kristen Peake Photography | Prisma Photo/Video | Meghan Watson Photo | Terri Baskin