Galyen Barns – Elegant twist on shabby chic venue

Galyen Barns – Elegant twist on shabby chic venue

By Charity Maness

Nestled within the soft rolling countryside of Sheridan County, Nebraska lay a magical wedding event location that combines country charm with city chic; Galyen Barns.

In 2014, Larry and Deborah Gaylen had the opportunity to purchase Larry’s ancestral home 7 miles south of Hay Springs along highway 87 which had been homesteaded by his great grandfather in 1894, they jumped at the chance.

This opportunity allowed them the simple and sustainable lifestyle they had been yearning.

“We live a farm to table lifestyle,” explained Deborah, with the family “tending to a large vegetable and herb garden, harvesting pheasant and deer from the land, and raising just enough grass-fed beef to feed the family. We get other fresh products like pork, eggs and honey from neighbor farmers.”

The Gaylens not only brought their dream of simple living to Galyen Farms, they brought Deborah’s years of inspired interior design to their little slice of heaven.

It wasn’t long before Deborah viewed the 1930s barns about the property as gems in the rough and began contemplating reviving them, not to their prior glory as use for horses and farm equipment, but for a higher purpose; magical matrimony. 

And the dream for the Galyen Barns event venue was born.

“It was a lot of work to get them ready for weddings,” she explained. “Larry tells a story that when he opens the barn doors, all he can see is wall to wall sows and piglets from his childhood memories.”

“The main building was leaning significantly. Larry used a wench and jack system to straighten it upright as best we could. It still has a bit of a lean which makes it very authentic.”

While the work was labor intensive, it was also an adventure.

“It was fun to find lots of old treasures when restoring the barns.” said Deborah of the exploration of the barns. “Many of the things we found, we use in our décor like an antique yoke and harness set for a team of oxen.”

Galyen Barns hosted their first events in 2018 and are still going strong.

“The largest group I have hosted was 335 for a wedding and some of the smallest include parties of about 30 for a variety of events like professional meetings, birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, etc.”

When catering to wedding clients, their focus is 100% wedding.

“We cater to our wedding clients. We only offer full weekend packages. We do not stack weddings on top of one another allowing ample time for decorating, rehearsal dinner, getting ready, and clean-up. Our staff truly cares and we try to attend to every detail,” said Deborah. 

Galyen Barns also offers event designing and planning services, a bridal suite for the bride and a grooms lounge for getting ready, provide bar service, bus transportation to and from accommodations as well as including linen and laundry service. They also have officiates at the ready.

As the venue gains in popularity the Galyens are prepared to meet the challenge, most recently adding heat to extend the season.

Yet thinking out of the box seems to be a key to their successful growth as they recently became approved as a Harvest Hosts site so they can host RV’s. 

And with their eyes always on the future they hope to add glamping to their menu by potentially repurposing their grain bins into ‘bin-galows’.

This is not just a job for the Galyens, it is a joyful calling.

“I love meeting new people from near and far,” said Deborah. “I love having people from all over the United States come to our county and learn something about rural NW Nebraska. 

But with a small town heart, she admits, “Hopefully they spend some dollars here and help our economy as well.” 

“Come visit, we’d love to show you around.”

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