Colorful Backyard Picnic Inspired No Vacancy Wedding

March 17, 2024 | justine

When Riley and Mark were planning their wedding, they aimed for something special: the same cozy vibe they cherish during their friend get-togethers. They loved the thought of a backyard picnic, with all its mismatched chairs, vibrant decor, and lots of candles. And guess what? They pulled it off! Their picnic inspired No Vacancy wedding struck just the right balance between classy and fun. By day, it was a stunning affair, but when evening fell, it transformed into an epic bash, complete with unlimited drinks and shots for all to revel in.

The couple couldn’t have picked a better spot to bring their vision to life. The hotel’s unique interior perfectly matched their style. And when they stepped into the outdoor courtyard, they found themselves surrounded by even more charm. Against the vibrant mountain mural, they shared their heartfelt vows. Then, after the ceremony, they gathered around a beautifully set table adorned with garden florals, golden accents, and antique touches, all illuminated by the gentle flicker of candlelight.

If you’ve ever dreamed of a cozy celebration surrounded only by your closest loved ones, let this event be your inspiration. Take a look through these stunning images captured by MK Zach Photography to see exactly what we mean.

The Couple:

Riley and Mark

The Wedding:

No Vacancy, Kansas City, Missouri, United States

Turning Their Party House Vibe Into a Picnic Inspired No Vacancy Wedding

When planning our wedding, it was really important that the day felt uniquely ours. We had been together six years by the time we got married (engaged for two), and we felt like people expected a lot from us when it came to the actual day. My husband and I have the “party house” of our friend group. We’re always the first to throw a pregame, a game day, or a themed party. We love doing that because we always have a blast. I enjoy hosting—setting out food, making a unique cocktail, hanging up decorations—even if it’s just for something silly like the Kentucky Derby or a 26th birthday party. So when it came time to plan our wedding, I knew I wanted the same sort of vibe that we capture when we have friends over. The “backyard picnic” aesthetic inspired me–mismatched chairs and place settings, pops of color, lots of candles, that sort of thing. With that aesthetic, we knew we could have a good balance of a beautiful formal event and an insane party with bottomless drinks and shots once the sun went down and our grandparents went to bed.

How the Bride’s Brother’s Unexpected Role as Officiant Turned Their Ceremony Into a Touching and Hilarious Special Moment

My little brother officiated our wedding. We’re both very close to our families and knew from the beginning of our planning process that we wanted to find a way to involve them as much as possible, given our wedding was so small. My brother is a natural public speaker (high school teacher and former minor league WWE wrestler), and he killed it. We gave him no guardrails about what we wanted, and he managed to create a ceremony that had everyone crying—from both laughter and because it was so moving.

Breaking Tradition: Why Your Wedding Should Reflect You, Not Others

Here’s some advice for couples navigating the wedding planning process: prioritize yourselves above all else. Don’t let the expectations of others or traditional norms dictate your day. Making decisions that authentically reflect your relationship and desires is key—you won’t regret it. Remember, amidst the whirlwind of planning, it’s normal to feel consumed by wedding details, but trust that this phase will pass. Stay true to yourselves and cherish every moment of this journey. We wanted the day to feel like a big party. We didn’t necessarily want it to feel like a “wedding,” more of a “celebration of love.” I wanted the whole night to have a picnic, family-style dinner feeling. I kept repeating to vendors and friends that I wanted “an all-night party.”

Working with Local Vendors Who Shared Their Vision to Bring to Life Their Picnic Inspired No Vacancy Wedding

For the most part, my husband and I planned our wedding by ourselves, with my mom’s help (which I will forever be grateful for). Weddings are a numbers game. Anyone who has planned a wedding or been in one knows that it’s all about money. So when we started planning, we knew we didn’t want to work with big vendors who do 50+ weddings a season. It was essential for us to work with smaller local vendors who understood our vision and who genuinely were interested in being a part of our day. That reflects a lot in their work—whether the flowers, table settings, cake, or catering. Our vendors were great, and we could not have had a better team of people around us.

From Wedding Logo to Home Decor

I don’t know if I would call it a DIY per se, but we had a custom neon sign of our wedding logo, the tiger in the martini glass, made. It was easily the centerpiece of our reception, and now it hangs above our home bar, making for a perfect wedding day favor for us. The tiger in the martini glass logo was on our wedding stationery, including our matchbook favors. It was designed by East + West Designs, who did all of our paper. She did such a lovely job. The inspo I gave her behind it was “a doodle you would do on a bar napkin.” It pays homage to how we met: at the University of Missouri (Mizzou, home of the Tigers! M-I-Z), where we both graduated from. It’s one of my favorite things we made for the wedding, and I will probably talk to people about it forever.

The Wedding Team:

Photography – MK Zach Photography
Venue – No Vacancy
Floral Design – Elizabeth Mckenzie Florals
Cake – KO Knockout Sweets
Officiant – Gage Newton
Invitation Design – East + West Designs
Makeup Artist – Mind + Muse
Hair Styling – Skyline Salon
Wedding Dress – BHLDN by Anthropologie
Bridal Accessories – Emmy London + Amelie George
Groom’s Apparel – Todd’s Clothiers & Tailoring
Rings – Sam’s Fine Jewelry
Rentals – Supply Event Rentals & Design
Favors – Perfect Occasion Store


Congratulations to Riley and Mark on their colorful picnic inspired No Vacancy wedding. And huge thanks to MK Zach Photography for capturing their dreamy big day with us. 

Be bold and show who you are when planning your wedding. Pick things that reflect your style, like choosing an incredible venue or adding your own twist to traditions. Check out our guide for fun ideas to make your big day really special and unique, just like your love story.

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