When looking for a Tulsa wedding location, several things may impact your decision. Ease of access, distance from the city, look of the venue, features and cost. As a wedding photographer I am mostly concerned with the visual impact of a venue. Recently I had the pleasure of photographing Justin and Ashley at the Rust and Lace Event Center located in Collinsville, OK. The venue is roughly 20 minutes north of Tulsa and for the most part accessible from well maintained roads. GPS was accurate finding this location and that is a good thing because the signage is a bit small and easy to miss.
The structure is a modern red metal barn that is mostly open space inside. The floors are concrete and walls are white but heavily decorated with rustic items. If you are looking for a rustic or country themed wedding, there should be little decoration that would need to be added.
The venue has a bridal room that is climate controlled (the main space relies on natural ventilation and large fans). As it is today the bridal room is relatively unfinished. In conversation with the venue, they indicated they may be adding shiplap to that area and that would be helpful for "getting ready" photos. The main section of the barn contains a large built-in wooden bar with room for several servers to work.
There is large grass area on the north side of the barn that could be used for an outdoor ceremony. For best natural light, the outdoor setup should have the guests facing east but that isn't the best view. Many times, guests face to the west for a sunset wedding but that is bad for photos and for the enjoyment of the guests. North or south facing ceremonies can create harsh shadows on the bride or groom if it is a bright sunny day.
The surrounding area is typical Oklahoma farm land so the look will vary with season and grass height. If you are fortunate enough to get a good cloud day, it can be a very dynamic scene.
The venue has a nice spot for photos on the south side of the building. A row of trees and white fence make for a pretty backdrop.
For indoor ceremonies, the background can be very bright. Flash may be required to avoid washing out the background. The issue of the bright background would be lessened by later ceremony times or cloudy days. When photographing from the outside in, the light coming from the large doors makes for great natural light.
Once the reception starts, the light color on the walls makes a photographically easy to light venue. Bouncing flash off any wall and get a soft warm feel. If the the angle is chosen well, the draped fabric and strings of lights make for a soft and elegant bokeh.
The Rust and Lace Event Center was a venue that was fairly easy to photograph in provided a nice look for a couple trying to be responsible with their wedding budget.
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