Bridal Wars is Coming to the Barn at Bay Horse Inn August 5, 2018!

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The coolest bridal competition EVER is coming to the Barn!  This is the first time Bridal Wars has chosen Indianapolis, Indiana and WE were chosen to host this fun event!  If you haven't heard of Bridal Wars you can check out their website here.  Teams compete in one of a kind challenges to win great prizes and have a ton of fun!  

The best part... brides to be and their best gals are needed!  Sign up to participate here.  Interested vendors find out how you can participate here

If you have questions please contact Bridal Wars direct as they are planning and running the event. Email 

Connect with Bridal Wars on your favorite Social Media:

IG: @bridalwars

twitter: @bridalwarsevent

facebook: bridalwars

Meet our Spring Intern!

The Barn at Bay Horse Inn Team would like to welcome our newest intern, Anna Small.


Anna is a junior at IUPUI studying Tourism Conventions and Event Management, with a minor in Philanthropic Studies.  She plans to continue working in the hospitality industry and eventually wants to own her own venue.

She's very excited to work with our team from event logistics through to execution and is sharing many new ideas to help make our venue even better.

Welcome Anna!

Our Saloon listed as a "Hot Spot for Live Music" by Visit Indy!


Are you looking for a fun night out? Look no further than the Saloon at Bay Horse Inn. Enjoy live music by local artists, tasty food by local food trucks and your favorite beverages. 

On January 8, 2018 Visit Indy shared 4 spots for live music, food and drinks in south Indy. The Saloon at Bay Horse Inn was listed among them! Read the article, by Ken Kosky, here.  Others listed included The Willard, Mallow Run & Mashcraft Brewing.

Upcoming live music in the Saloon include:

 Phil  Pierle on January 25, 2018

Phil  Pierle on January 25, 2018

 Trace Thompson on February 9, 2018

Trace Thompson on February 9, 2018

Events are added often, so please check our online Events Calendar often.




Sunday 12/17/17 Breakfast with Santa in the Barn

Our 2nd annual Breakfast with Santa in the Barn take 2 was today. We were overwhelmed when selling tickets to see how many people were interested in attending this year. We added another day so more could experience. We hope everyone enjoyed their time with Santa, the breakfast by Wild Eggs Indy, Doughnuts by Longs Bakery and all of our staff and many volunteers including Renee from LaTrattoria on hostess. We hope to see you back at the barn soon! Check out our Community Calendar as we add additional events. We just may have the Easter Bunny hop on by this Spring.  Watch the video from Breakfast with Santa here.  

Saturday 12/16/17 Breakfast with Santa Photos

Our 2nd annual Breakfast with Santa event on Saturday, December 16, 2017.  We so enjoyed sharing this special day with everyone who attended. The delicious breakfast was provided by Wild Eggs downtown Indy, Doughnuts by Longs Bakery and our gracious hostess Renee from LaTrattoria. We hope those attending enjoyed the day as much as we enjoyed seeing your smiling children! We hope to see you next year.  View our video here. 


Planning your Holiday Ho Ho Ho down.

Tips for planning your Employee Holiday Party.  

 Linens by Linen Hero

Linens by Linen Hero

  1. Decide on a theme to break the ice or formality of the event. An Ugly Sweater party, winter wonderland, Christmas masquerade, toys for tots fundraising, Christmas around the world, Holiday Ho Down, etc.
  2. Let the games begin and include activities such as a white elephant exchange, bring in darts, a riding bull, ping pong, etc. Improve teamwork and morale with activities to break up the seriousness of the event and bring people together laughing and celebrating.
  3. To save money consider having your event on a weeknight or after the New Year. At Barn at Bay Horse our weekday rates are much less for the venue fee.  Also, many other vendors, such as the DJ and caterer will have lower rates during the week.
  4. Offer drink tickets if you are concerned about employees overindulging and losing control.
  5. You might consider sharing some office etiquette tips with younger staff members prior to the event. Here's a great article you could forward by Forbes
  6. Remember it's a fun night out to celebrate your colleagues and years success. Avoid work talk and instead focus on getting to know your team better on a personal level. 

The 'Barn Babes' raise funds and build a home.

The Barn at Bay Horse Inn took time out to participate in the 2017 Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County Women's Build.

The Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County Women's Build consists of several women lead teams who agree to raise funds and then show up as a team on an assigned build day to build the home. This year's home recipient, Kristy Mitchell and her kids, were carefully selected by Habiat of JC and will move in the home before the new year. 

Team captain, Karen Brandon, of My Marketing Gals, organized 20 local ladies to raise funds for this great cause. The team consisted of many local friends and partners as well as barn staff.  Each team member was responsible for raising funds. Several donated the funds from their own business or sought a sponsor, while many had individual fundraisers and then the team held a Barn Benefit on August 10th at the Barn. Many amazing companies and local shops donated items for a silent auction and the public joined us for live music, drinks and shopping while enjoying the beautiful evening outside. The event raised nearly $2,000 and our teams total contribution to Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County was just under $6,000.

If you are interested in getting involved with Habitat for Humanity of Johnson County check out their website here


Happy Birthday Bay Horse Inn! It's been a great 1st year!

It's hard to believe we are celebrating one year since opening our doors September 15, 2016.  We have truly been so blessed and fortunate to host so many incredible events!  

 Ground breaking with Mayor Mark Myers and City Council Representatives.

Ground breaking with Mayor Mark Myers and City Council Representatives.

Two years ago Bay Horse Inn owner Amanda Cottingham began putting her vision into plans for developing an event barn unlike any other. She broke ground February 29 and under 6 months later the barn opened on September 15, 2017. 

Bay Horse Inn has been host to 124 total events. Weddings made up just over over 40% and the other 60% were a combination of corporate events, fundraisers, community events, anniversary celebrations as well as birthday parties, retirement parties and even celebrations of life.  The holidays were a very successful time at the barn from the Breakfast with Santa to corporate events and even end of year celebrations for many local businesses and a New Years Eve gala.  The barn has had several community events and enjoys giving back to the community by auctioning several Saloon parties and tickets to events.

In the barn’s first year we were rated #1 for Best Wedding Venue on Indy A List. We also received the Pride and Progress Award for new construction by the Greater Greenwood Chamber of Commerce.

There has been some growth within the barn as Amanda Cottingham, the owner of the Bay Horse Inn, consistently looks for ways to improve and service customers better. You'll find many upgrades on the property including a ‘first look’ set of doors tucked into the woods for brides and grooms, a new path leading into the woods, additional landscaping and a variety of props for those hosting events to borrow. When asked, ‘What are your plans for the future?’, Amanda replied, “I hope to host more events and weddings at the barn and know that we will constantly need to evolve with what our clients want and need. We have been so fortunate to have been chosen to host these special events and want to ensure we provide the best experience possible for our clients and their guests.” 

 Our finished interactive art, by Brandi Cottingham, will be revealed 9/27/17.

Our finished interactive art, by Brandi Cottingham, will be revealed 9/27/17.

To celebrate the one year anniversary the barn is throwing a party on Wednesday, September 27th in the Saloon and back patio. It will be a perfect fall evening to listen to live music by Phil Pierle, play corn hole, enjoy food trucks and a cash bar. We will also reveal the interactive art that began at our grand opening on September 15, 2016.  Tickets are just $10 each and include one call beverage ticket.  Doors open at 5:30p.m. and the music begins at 6:00 p.m. Our(Must be 21 or over, with ID to attend.) Visit our website or facebook event for additional details.

Buy tickets at the door. 

Friday Weddings are Trending Big Now. Here's why...

Many couples are opting for a Friday wedding and reception over the traditional Saturday. Here are a few advantages to a Friday wedding. 

1. Savings! In addition to the venue fee many of your vendors including photographer, caterer, florist and even the wedding planner offer discounted rates for a Friday wedding. If you are looking to work within a strict budget but don't want to give up on your vision then consider a Friday evening wedding. It's estimated that you'll save 15-20%. Bay Horse Inn exceeds this average by offering over a 21% discount on our venue fee.  (For even deeper discounts look into a Sunday brunch wedding where you'll save over 35% off of your venue fee at Bay Horse Inn.) View our pricing here. 

2. Secure your favorite vendors! Saturdays book quick, so the chances of getting your favorite photographer, planner, etc. are more likely on a Friday. 

3. Short Engagement? Many weddings are planned in a year or even longer meaning your favorite vendors may be taken. If you'd like to tie the knot this year consider a Friday event.  Your chances of booking your favorite venue, photographer, florist, etc. greatly increases. 

4. Gain a day on your honeymoon!  Several all inclusive resorts and condos book with check in and out from a Saturday to a Saturday.  Take advantage of the full 7 days unlike those planning a Saturday wedding and missing the first day of their condo or honeymoon package. Also, many couples are delaying the honeymoon to increase their dream wedding budget.  If this is the case you'll have the rest of the weekend to be together before heading back to work. 

You'll need to consider your guest list as many may need to take off a half or even a full day to attend a Friday wedding. Also, check how late your venue will stay open or if you can add an hour or two the evening of your event. Bay Horse Inn is very flexible but other venues may have earlier closing time policies without flexibility. We are finding many of our Friday weddings are breaking out of tradition and structuring their evenings a bit different.  Instead of a sit down dinner many are choosing food stations and heavy appetizers for a cocktail party feel. 

If you'd like information or would like to schedule a tour contact us at or call (317) 760-8778. 

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We're Hiring!

We're hiring a Handyman/Jack of all Traits!

The Barn at Bay Horse Inn is hiring a handyman to assist with multiple repair and maintenance tasks throughout the day.  Duties may include:

  • building maintenance: carpentry work, painting, minor electrical or plumbing repairs
  • event setup/teardown: set up tables and transport chairs from an out building, Setup audio/visual equipment.
  • general grounds maintenance: watering, replacing dead plants, trimming branches, mulching, etc.
  • animals: feed, brush and move in and out from stables (horses and a donkey)

Must be willing to work weekends, late evenings and 30 hours per week. If interested, send resume and references to Cynthia Williams at 

Emma Earns Grand Champion!


We are so very roud of our youngest Bay Horse Inn Staffer.  Emma Jean DeJong, was awarded the Grand Champion of Western Type Equine and Champion of Western Mare Division in the Horse and Pony for Johnson County Fair 2017.  Prior winner Scott Sledge has held this title the previous 3 years.  At 11 years old this is quite the accomplishment for Emma.  Her horse, Elegant Sophistication, (Also known as Cassadee in our stables) is a 4 year old with her first appearance at the fair.  This was Emma's 3rd year in 4H and currently is an officer for the club.  

Emma, the daughter of Bay Horse Inn owner Amanda Cottingham, loves working with animals and often joins barn events as the animal handler with the horses, dog and even our donkey named Toby as seen below. 


 Emma and Toby share a moment before an event.

Emma and Toby share a moment before an event.


(Photo Elegant Sophistication, Emma Jean Dejong and Sable Marie from the Queens Court.)

Indy's Finest Wedding Professionals Joined us at the Barn.

It was a perfect day to host the Perfect Wedding Guide July Luncheon.  We were thrilled when asked to host this luncheon and for the opportunity to share our new venue with industry friends.  These wedding industry professional luncheons have the best of the best in local talent across the Indianapolis area.  Photographers, wedding officiants, planners, florists, venues, DJ's, etc. all meet and connect in order to share and refer business to help support one another.  It's such a great community of partners. 

 So many great local businesses helped make this event a success. Amy, from A Cut Above Catering created a delicious menu featuring a variety of fresh and delicious options.  Nicole and Brandon, from The Marshmallow Monkey, filled the space with beautiful and fragrant arrangements. Chris, from Linen Hero, supplied all of the table linens.   Glenn, of Complete Indy, created an atmosphere with just the right music and showcased his video talents on the Saloon TV's.   Our newest industry friend, Dauss Miller, of DaussFoto, shared a few photographs he took during the event, and we're happy to share below. 

If you, or someone you know is getting married join us at the Perfect Wedding Guide Summer Bridal Show on Sunday, July 23, 2017 from noon to 4:00 p.m.  $7.00 online or $10.00 at the door.

502 East Event Centre, 
502 East Carmel Drive
Carmel , IN 46032

Call PWG at (317)607-8738 or email

Meet Katelynn, our Summer Intern

katelynn sodrel

The Barn at Bay Horse Inn has added an intern to our summer staff.  We look forward to getting to know Katelynn and feel confident our guests will adore her as much as we do! 

Katelynn is currently a senior at IUPUI in the Tourism, Conventions, and Event Management program.  She is also completing her business certificate through the Kelley School of Business. When asked what her goal after graduation is, Katelynn replied, "to be working in the event and wedding planning industry for a local business that has a passion for making an impact in the community, and it is evident in each event that they have."  

When asked what she liked best about her Barn at Bay Horse Inn internship, Katelynn responded, "So far my favorite part of the internship, with Barn at Bay Horse Inn, has been working closely with the bride, groom, and their families on the day of the wedding and making everything come together better than they ever imagined. My second favorite part would be working with all of the staff at the barn. Their #1 goal is to do everything they can to be sure that each and every event goes off without a hitch and it truly shows with the success that they've had."  You can see why we chose this passionate young lady to join our summer team.

We asked Katelynn what she hoped to gain from this experience.  Her reply, "I hope to gain hands on experience with events and everything that goes into implementing them from beginning to end.   As well as effective ways to communicate with everyone putting on each event including barn staff, brides/grooms and their families, event hosts, and vendors. My internship with Barn at Bay Horse Inn has been everything I could imagine and more."

We are thrilled to have Katelynn here for the summer and know she will go far in her career!  Her willingness to help wherever needed, passion for planning events and constant smile are a welcome addition to the team.  

Please join us in welcoming Katelynn! Her email is


Top Wedding Colors Summer 2017

Bay Horse Inn partnered with Linen Hero to handle all of our personal linens and they are the only linen company in our Preferred Partner list. With a HUGE selection of fabrics, textures and styles they are sure to have what you are looking for.  Also, we love the variety of choices for any budget and of course how easy they are to work with! Linens are shipped straight to the barn and our staff puts them on for you and we also remove and return after your event. How easy is that?  We asked our representative Chris Lamar, of Linen Hero, to share a few trends she is seeing with colors and style this season.  Here is her response.

Color Trends Summer 2017, by Chris Lamar

This wedding season is all about femininity, understated elegance and romance.  We are seeing the use of blush, ivory and gold with lots of greenery on the tables this summer.   Shades of blues and greens can be found paired with bright florals and are also making an appearance!  Don't let that trend sway you from your favorite colors and the vision you have for your perfect reception though.  Your wedding reception is where you can let your personality shine with all the colors of the rainbow and hundreds of texture combinations.  If you can dream it, we can make it happen for you.

During wedding season you will want to get your colors selected and reserved early to assure availability.  We all know counts will change, but reserving the exact linens you want, well in advance of your wedding, assures you a stress-free check on your to-do list for your wedding. 

Order fabric swatches so you can compare them with dresses and cake ribbons as well as feel the texture and how colors and textures can be paired to create the memories you want for yourselves and your guests.

 Just in!  Lace Overlay is perfect for a barn wedding. (Image from 

Just in!  Lace Overlay is perfect for a barn wedding.
(Image from 

While our Event Specialists meets with you 6-8 weeks prior to your event please don't miss out on ordering your favorite linens. Contact Chris directly at  to ensure what you envision is available. (Note: Burlap and Lace are top choices and often not available if you wait until 8 weeks prior.)

5 Twists to Wedding Traditions

There are so many details that go into a wedding (and different family members/friends with their opinions.)  We are seeing a trend in couples customizing their wedding to reflect THEIR personality.  I'm sure a few Great Aunts and Uncles are still talking about the unbelievable tradition that was messed with. Bottom line - the wedding is about the union of two in love and joining of friends and family to support this new couple as they tackle life together.  Make it a meaningful day for you. YOU get to choose what traditions to carry over and special elements to include and honor your two and special friends and family.  

Below are a few twists on traditional elements we've seen or heard our couples talk about while planning their wedding at the Barn at Bay Horse Inn.

 Maria McKenzie Photography

Maria McKenzie Photography

1.) Forego the traditional cake!

If you both aren't huge cake fans, perhaps consider an alternative. Many are opting for cupcakes, pie, fondue fountains, doughnuts, cotton candy, waffles and even pizza!  

Another change to the cake we are seeing is the variety of toppers. Sarah and Derek chose this custom made copper arrow instead of the typical bride and groom.

 Photograph by Complete Indy

Photograph by Complete Indy


2.) A Modern take on the Unity Candle!

A great way to show the blending of your lives and family over the candle is a photo box frame filled with sand.  We love this alternative (especially since candles are hard to light outside).  Ashley and Spencer added this new tradition into their ceremony.  

We've also heard of having guests hold onto a small stone during the ceremony and then combining them into an arrangement afterwards. You can also search for planting a tree and even rope knoting to include. 

We love that these new traditions are then displayed in the home vs. stored in a box like most unity candles are.

 Photograph by Complete Indy

Photograph by Complete Indy

3.) Something blue under the shoe!

Most of our brides include something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue. Ashley had a hidden message for Mike.  We've also heard of bridesmaids signing the bottom of the shoes for a keepsake or even part of her wedding vows.  (I guess if she faints a cheat sheet is nearby.) 

 Photograph by Complete Indy

Photograph by Complete Indy

4.) Toss the Guest Book!

Turn your guest book into a keepsake art piece!  Collect notes from your guests to display in your home.  Ashley and Mike used this vintage wood with paint markers. We've also seen frames with matt boards to sign around a favorite wedding photograph or even a globe.   You can also create an art piece and have each guest contribute to the painting. 

5.) A Sunday Brunch Wedding!

Sunday weddings are growing in popularity. Not only are the budget friendly but they can include many unique details for a memorable experience. Include a waffle bar or omelet station. Hand out Mimosa's for the traditional toast.  You'll often save money on the venue fee along with many of the other vendors.   You'll even have a greater chance of hiring your favorite photographer, DJ, band, etc. as Sundays book last. 

Final Thoughts:

Remember brides and grooms this day is about YOU TWO. You'll drive yourself crazy trying to please everyone and add even more stress. So, pick what you two want to include and stand firm. Aunt Bertha will survive without her cake, making her own waffle, or whatever else you have planned. In fact, she'll be talking about your UNIQUE twist to others. 

Wedding Day Magazine March Cover: Part 4 of 4

Here are the final photographs from the Wedding Day Magazine Photo Shoot for the March 2017 cover. View past blogs to see additional photographs. 

Wedding Day Magazine

Barn at Bay Horse Inn

Gabrielle Cheikh Photography

Wedding Dress: 
The Wedding Studios
Facebook/ @theweddingstudios
Instagram/ @WeddingStudioCarmel
Pinterest/Twitter/ @Weddingstudio

Karen Hall

Wildwood Floral Co

Classic Cakes 

Event Planner
Aisle Ready

Love Notes Calligraphy

Khristian Hildreth

View additional photographs from this session.

Part 1:

Part 2:

Part 3:

Part 4: