A Vintage Country Picnic Wedding in Missouri: Melissa + Dan

couple in a corn field

I’m pretty excited about the wedding I have to share with you lovelies today! Melissa + Dan are both super talented creatives and their wedding is a true reflection of that. Dan is one of the owners of Vahalla Studios – an amazing design studio + print shop – and I just love the paper elements he designed for this wedding. And Melissa’s dress? It was her grandmothers and she transformed it into a one-of-a-kind stunning dress to honor her grandmother – so amazing. Once they found their venue, the Willoughby Design Barn about 30 minutes outside of Kansas City, MO, all their ideas started coming together. The barn was a wonderful balance of how Melissa grew up with a mix of Dan’s design and city background – perfect. Melissa described their wedding as “a modern/country/vintage picnic” and I think that is a perfect description! So many cute details to fall head over heels for today :) Thanks so much to Lemon Lime Photography for all the photos and a big congrats to Melissa + Dan!

heart invitation

Everything for their day that is type based – from the paper goods + invitations to the wood signs – were designed by Dan, in house at his business, Vahalla Studios. He was lucky also to have help from their amazing talented intern, Mica Carlile who helped with the layout of all the pieces. I love that they took the concept with the faces on their save the dates and made coasters for the day with their faces and their two dogs – so cute! They also had buttons for everyone to wear.

They also made a CD for all of the guests with the music from the ceremony as well as a few of their favorites. The CD holder also worked to hold the program. And wait until you see the cute placemats on the tabel that said YUM! Dan also made letter pressed “LOVE NOTE” pads for the guests to take home as well as the mason jar that they drank their signature cocktail out of (called a “Horsefeather” which has whiskey, ginger beer, bitters, and a lime squeeze) which is one of Melissa + Dan’s favorite drinks – and turns out the guests loved them also!

creative wedding invitations

first look

bride and groom on a vespa

couple on a vespa

couple on a vespa

bride wearing red lipstick

Melissa’s wedding dress was her grandmother’s. Since her grandmother couldn’t be at the wedding, Melissa really wanted to honor her and wear the dress her grandmother was married in. She spent over  100 hours and a year modifying this dress and I know her grandmother would have been so, so proud! Gorgeous job Melissa!

yellow and green bouquet

bridesmaids in pattern dresses

How fun are the bridesmaids dresses!? Melissa made one of the dresses and everyone else either made their own or found a friend or relative to help them! They were all different vintage vogue patterns and made with Heather Bailey fabrics. Melissa also did her own hair + makeup and loved trying to fing the perfect red lipstick for the day (which she found at Mac).


bride wearing heart sunglasses

wooden wedding sign

ceremony flags

We both agreed that the ceremony was our most memorable. It was pretty amazing how our emotions got the better of us. In some of the pictures from the ceremony I look like I am laughing, but our photographers said that if you zoom in close, I am actually crying. And boy was he right! There was such an overwhelming flood of emotions for both of us! I am not sure how we made it through our song together.

We also thought that after the ceremony when we drove away in our old pickup (also Poppy Red) was one of the most memorable moments. There was so much excitement and a feeling of accomplishment after working on this ONE DAY for a year!! We took more pictures of the two of us at this time, and I really think that Lemon Lime captured how we feel about each other in the best way!

bride walking down isle

ring bearer pillow






Processional: The Luckiest by Ben Folds
Luckiest by Ben Folds on Grooveshark

Recessional: The Girl by City and Colour

First Dance: La Vie En Rose by Louis Armstrong


bride in corn field

bride and groom

groom yellow shoes

The RADDEST groom shoes I’ve seen, right?!! Love them.

bride and groom

hanging paper circles

beer chalkboard sign

We did a poster with our family on it that Dan designed for our guest book. It is so fun to have that on our wall now to remember how special it was to have all of our friends and family there

couple drawing sign

hot dog wedding menu

One of the coolest parts of our wedding was the food! Dan grew up part of his childhood in Chicago, so we had a HOT DOG bar! There were Chicago Dogs, New York Style Dogs, Coney Island Chili Dogs, and Sissy Dogs (mustard ketchup and relish) They were all made to order so they were fresh and so delicious! :) I think our caterer – Shining Stars Catering – had a really great time nailing all of the Chicago dog ingredients, from the neon green relish, the pickle one top, tomatoes, and the poppy seed bun. All different toppings for a hot dog! We had so many guests coming from Chicago, she was like, I can’t mess this up!!! :) There was also a buffet with Italian Beef Sliders (Dan is part Italian and this is also another Chicago favorite), Grilled Tuscan Veggies, Cheesy Potato Bake (for my country girl roots) and a Spinach Salad with Poppy Seed dressing, strawberries, cranberries, and almond slices.

chicago wedding dog


yellow billy ball chandelier

wedding cake

Together Dan and I made our toppers, again drawing from the little faces he had made on the save the date, we made them look like US! I made the dress from more of the fabric from the train on my grandma’s dress, and Dan looked just like his J Crew suit! :) It turned out SOOO cute. We decided to do a dessert bar instead of cake for our guests so we actually were the only ones to eat the cake. Our dessert bar had Peach Pocket Pies (my grandmother Bonnie always made peach cobbler as a kid), vintage shortbread cookies with raspberry filling and powdered sugar and a cut out heart (they were so good and soft!) , and I think the biggest hit was the Peanut Butter Chocolate Mousse cups. (We never really did come up with a good name for these. I think just DELICIOUS sums it up!) They had a cookie crumple on the bottom them a peanut butter mousse and a chocolate mouse, all topped with mini reese peanut butter cups and tiny little spoons to eat it with! YUM!!

dessert bar, bride and groom cutting cake

bride and groom dancing

Our best advice is to let each other take turns making decisions. In the end it will really feel like a wedding that is about BOTH of you and not just another wedding. I was fortunate to have a groom who wanted to be so involved in the planning and creative process. He really had a hand in SOOO many of the design and creative elements. I would also say to take or ask for all the help you can get. I'm sure my mother-in-law would laugh at me for saying this now, because at first I wanted to do EVERYTHING myself. But if I had not taken the help of my friends and family to make many of the elements, I NEVER would have finished it alone! (flag bunting, tags and ties for the mason jars, yo-yo stringing, wands to wave…I know there was more too :)


photography: Lemon Lime Photography // venue: Willoughby Design Barn // floral design: Betsy Ford (very good friend and bridesmaid) // wedding dress: Grandmother’s dress with modifications // hairpieces: Veil was made by me (the bow was from the train of grandma’s dress) and I also made the flower headband that I wore after the ceremony // shoes: I had two pairs: a pink pair of flats from Nordstroms that I wore for the ceremony and a pair of mary janes from Irregular Choice that were pink + white stripped with flowers and red accents. I LOVE THESE SHOES! I had to keep up with Dan on this one since he had AMAZING mustard yellow saddle shoes!!! // groom’s attire: suit from J Crew, red tie from Pierrepont Hicks and mustard yellow saddle shoes by Rachel Comey // invitations+ paper goods: Vahalla Studios // catering + cake: Shining Stars Catering

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  1. Mel you are breathtaking! I love your laugh and open smile so beautiful. What a great wedding too. The fun quirky style: from the dresses to the invitations, it all looks great and works perfectly together.

  2. hello new favorite bride ever! what a fun and amazing wedding! the bride is toooooo adorable!

  3. Wow, Mel, your wedding is the most moving that I have seen in a long time! I feel like I knew you after reading your commentary on what you incorporated and planned for. I adored your bridesmaids, your printed materials and those shoes, OH those shoes! That would be both the grooms and yours. Absolutely ADORING!

  4. Whoa. This wedding seriously rocks. All of those different letterpressed pieces of their invitation suite are SO AWESOME! I just love everything about this wedding. It’s totally them and totally rad. I wish I had friends like this. lol

  5. This is one of the best weddings I have seen this year! The paper items are so cute, the bridesmaid dresses are amazing and the photos in the corn field are perfect. Well done Mel and Dan! Congrats!

  6. Love this! Especially the invites and the table setting. So sweet and fun.

  7. What a funny wedding!…I love the bride´s dress!

  8. Look like such a fun couple! I LOVE the music choices, wish I could hear them sing!

  9. Wow, I cannot believe all of the amazing paper goods and gorgeous painted signs! What a fun and personalized wedding!

  10. Super adorable!

  11. That invitation set is to die for! Super cute!

    And I’m loving the dessert table. That cake is gorgeous!

  12. Wow! Absolutely gorgeous!

  13. This is by far my favorite wedding you’ve featured on the site. Everything about it is PERFECT. And it makes me miss home in Illinois and Iowa. Ha.

  14. PS: I’m still not sure why my comments always show Christopher’s head shots… hahaha.

  15. I would love to make that flower chandelier for my own wedding! Does anyone have any idea what materials to use??

  16. Helen….we bought the tow round pieces at IKEA. They were REALLY cheap and the lights were already attached to it. And then I strung the flowers onto string (just tie a knot and use a big needle to thread it through the center of the flower) and Dan tie them to the chandelier. You can use any flower as long as it will hold up for a day. We did this the nite before and it still looked good the next day. I would suggest something from the carnation or daisy family. They seem to do pretty good.

  17. I love every bit of this wedding, especially the stationary design. It’s just all so gorgeous!

  18. Delightful! Love every piece of this AND am so proud as a Missouri girl myself!

  19. those are definitely the raddest groom shoes ever!!! Love all of the personalized touches, it just makes the whole event so much more special!

  20. Melissa, thanks for the advice! I can’t wait to make it for my own wedding. Congratulations~

  21. Wow, what an amazing wedding. I love every single immaculately thought out and executed detail! The venue looks amazing and the stationery is incredible-very talented groom! The dress is stunning-50s prom style is my fav and what i got wed in too and those bridesmaid dresses are stunning too. Just love it all!

  22. What a great wedding! I love all the fun details, this couple looks like they were super fun and cute!

  23. I Love her Shoes!!!!! The wedding is also really quirky and sweet. The couple seems so in love!

  24. Its Beautiful wedding. I am searching simi valley party rentals Does anyone have any idea?

  25. I just want to know where u had ur wedding i would love the info the backround has drawn me in.. I am looking for and outdoor wedding yet havn’t found the perfect spot just yet.. Ur photos are stunning!!

  26. Beautiful wedding! Great inspiration for mine coming up in 11 months.

    Thanks for posting!

  27. I love this wedding! Thanks so much for posting! I love the CD idea. We’re doing all our own music, and I would love to give CDs to our guests as a gift. Could you tell me how you went about this? I didn’t know it was legal to make that many copies, but I’d love to find a way to do this great idea at our wedding! Thanks!

  28. Love that yellow floral chandelier! So creative! Just a small note.. I think the little yellow blooms are in the mum family, not billy balls!


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