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

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

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






Our Musical Choices

Processional: The Luckiest by Ben Folds

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 Advice To Those Planning Now

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 name: Willoughby Design Barn // wedding dress: Grandmother's dress with modifications // hairpiece: 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 // bride's 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 // groom attire: suit from J Crew and red tie from Pierrepont Hicks and mustard yellow saddle shoes by Rachel Comey // paper goods: Vahalla Studios // catering: Shining Stars Catering // cake: Shining Stars Catering // floral design: Betsy Ford // invitations: Vahalla Studios