In February of 2020, Blake Harris took the chance on 40-acres of unused farmland in rural Louisburg, Kansas to turn it into The Haven, a premier event space for weddings, parties, and corporate events.

Due to issues during the pandemic, construction did not begin until 2021 with the official opening taking place in October of 2021. All this time, Blake still maintained his corporate job while booking dates for weddings at his then under-construction venue. Attributing to the initial success of the venue, the attention to detail and passion for these events was evident and foremost in the actions of everyone involved. Since its grand opening, the venue has held events consistently.

The Haven’s Features

Since construction was completed, the Haven has never stopped receiving upgrades and evolving. The venue rental includes all furniture and access to all of the 40-acre property with the only add-ons being bar packages. Some of the key features include:

  • A 9am to 11pm rental time
  • Reception accommodations for up to 260 guests
  • Event staff included for assistance in day-of venue needs
  • Private caterer’s kitchen (as part of their open vendor policy)
  • Private Bridal suite with an in-suite restroom and rooftop deck
  • Large Groom’s suite
  • Two indoor ceremony setup options
  • Free access to The Haven’s house décor
  • Outdoor ceremony location
  • Custom-built indoor bar in the Main Hall
  • Glass Mirror photo booth with unlimited prints included in the rental package
  • Touchscreen game tables in the loft areas for guests
  • State-of-the-art indoor and outdoor sound system
  • Golf cart access to the rest of the property for videos and photographs
  • Large, gated entrance and convenient paved parking lot


Getting Ready

The Private Bridal suite includes an oversized space featuring:

  • Dedicated Thermostat control
  • A wall-length bar with a buffet top
  • 7 LED makeup stations
  • In-suite changing rooms and floor-to-ceiling windows
  • A massive bridal deck that overlooks the property
  • Complimentary mimosa cart
  • Sound system with Bluetooth capabilities
  • Private key code access
  • Coffee station
  • And a Vintage Gold Mirror for beautiful bridal shots

The Groom’s Lounge includes:

  • Dedicated Thermostat control
  • A custom, black felt pool table
  • Two 75” TVs with Xbox and streaming
  • Custom bar with a fully stocked fridge
  • Sound system with Bluetooth capabilities
  • Iconic photo wall with a neon sign
  • Private key code access
  • And the room is Soundproof!


The Haven has a modern farmhouse aesthetic which beautifully compliments the joyous occasions which are held there. The large, overarching ceilings provide a sense of space, and, with a wooden finish, they provide a certain warmth and comfort for all in attendance. The venue can accommodate up to 260 seated guests or 500 standing.


When asked what their favorite part of the wedding industry was, they replied: “Our favorite part of working in the industry is the close relationships we have been able to develop with our clients and vendors! We are impacted by all of the people that have an opportunity to visit and work in our space. We believe that relationships are the building blocks of our venue!”


Anyone interested in booking a tour should visit their website. They look forward to being a part of your special day!

The Haven Venue Spotlight | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

Sally and Jacob tied the knot at the Weston Red Barn Farm, surrounded by Kansas City’s Fall beauty. I had the pleasure of capturing their laid-back, rustic celebration filled with heartfelt moments and charm.

Sally’s favorite part of the day was their first look, hands down. She swears by it, saying it brought a calming vibe to the chaos. Seeing your partner before the madness begins? Essential.

I loved their wedding day vibe. They went in with a “whatever happens, happens” attitude, focusing on the fact that they were marrying their favorite person. Simple and sweet.

The Weston Red Barn Farm was a beautiful venue for their wedding day! The cozy, farm feel and those giant barn doors decked out with twinkling lights. Picture-perfect and oh-so-romantic.

One very special feature of the day was the incorporation of Sally’s grandma’s star brooch and Jacob’s grandparents’ wedding necklace. Sentimental touches that made their day even more special!

Their advice for couples that are in the wedding planning process is to talk it out with your partner. Figure out what’s most important to you both. For Sally and Jacob, it was all about photography and food – the good stuff!

Sally and Jacob’s wedding was a cozy, love-filled affair that perfectly captured the essence of fall in Kansas City. It was an absolute joy to be part of their special day, snapping away and soaking in all the warmth and happiness. Here’s to many more love stories like theirs in the KC!

Weston Red Barn Farm | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

On a picturesque fall day Bridget and Peter tied the knot at The Otten on Main. The vibrant colors of Fall set the stage, creating a magical atmosphere that perfectly reflected the couple’s love story. I’ve had the pleasure of capturing moments for Bridget and Peter since the beginning of their engagement! It has been a pleasure to be apart of their story.

Memorable Moments

One of the most memorable aspects of Bridget and Peter’s wedding was their commitment to cherishing private moments together! The day was sprinkled with special moments – a breathtaking first look, shared vows in seclusion before the ceremony, a quiet elevator ride post-ceremony, a moment to savor dinner amid their guests, a private last dance, and a nightcap at the hotel bar after their grand exit. These cherished moments allowed them to fully immerse themselves in the joy of the occasion.

The wedding felt surreal for Bridget and Peter, a culmination of months of planning and excitement. The sheer joy and love surrounding them made the day feel electric. The rooftop view of the Kansas City skyline, adorned with string lights and a spacious dance floor, added a unique touch to the celebration. The Crossroads location facilitated easy access for guests, enhancing the overall experience.

Special Sentiments

Bridget cherished her bouquet, a personalized creation from the City Market Farmer’s Market flowers, crafted with the help of her bridesmaids. Peter appreciated the sentimental touch of using champagne coupes during dinner, a tradition passed down from both sets of parents.

Bridget and Peter’s wedding at The Otten on Main was a beautiful celebration of love, autumn, and the unique bond they share. As a wedding photographer, capturing such heartfelt moments is a privilege.

The Otten on Main | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

This week I caught up with Lexi Nardini, the Owner and Director of Floral and Design at Love, Lilacs! I love collaborating with other talented wedding vendors in the KC area. Having photographed multiple weddings that have featured Lexi’s beautiful floral designs, I know how talented she it. I asked if I could pick her brain about all things wedding floral and as always, she didn’t disappoint!

When did you start your business and what drew you to becoming a florist and business owner?

I went to college at the University of Missouri for a degree in event planning! The dream was to be a wedding planner- I just love all things weddings! During my junior year, I took the intro to floral design class as a fun elective, and fell in love with it. I went on to get my minor in floral design, and along the way decided to switch career paths and become a wedding florist instead! I used my knowledge of floral, along with my events/business degree as a perfect combination to start my business after college. The rest is history!

What are some of your favorite current wedding floral trends?

As my business name may hint, I loveeeeee springy florals. My favorite weddings are the classic springy pastels- a trend I don’t think will ever go out of style!

How far in advance do you recommend couples reach out to you about wedding floral planning?

 I usually recommend around 12 months out, and I would say that is the standard I see. But with that being said, I get a whole range! Some two years in advance, and some a couple months away. There is never a wrong time to reach out to me, I am always happy to help! You never know when your favorite vendor could be available, so always check just to be sure. Maybe your date will still be open and maybe not, but always worth the ask in my opinion!

How do you balance creating pieces that look current and also stand the test of time?

Balance is the key with designing! This pertains to lots of different elements in the design process, including symmetry, negative space, bloom size, etc. I always work with the couple to make sure they know what to expect with our florals, and explain to them how we can make sure they are timeless while following the trends at the same time. This all happens during our design meetings, and if the couple is unsure on how to go about this, I am always happy to lead the way with questions to help us get there!

How to you help couples determine what style of florals they are looking for?

If I have a couple that is having trouble deciding on their aesthetic, a great place to start is talking about the season of their wedding. This really gets the conversation going and helps me determine what they like and don’t. Another element is my look-books! I create a custom look-book for each couple, full of ideas, inspiration photos, pricing, descriptions, etc. This look-book is what we refer to at our first meeting/consult, and having that visual really helps us dream up the perfect florals for them!

If you could give couples planning their wedding one piece of advice pertaining to florals, what would it be?

My go-to advice for couples is to repurpose those ceremony florals to the reception! I know this is kind of obvious for vendors, but some newly weds aren’t aware of this and it’s such a money saver! The ceremony tends to be a short period of time, so might as well use those florals throughout the entire event. An example of this is grounded aisle markers (lining the aisle) being moved to tables as centerpieces, or moving the floral arch at the altar to frame the couple behind the sweetheart table. There are tons of possibilities!

What are you most looking forward to within your business in 2024?

I am looking forward to growing our Love, Lilacs team! I absolutely love wedding florals, so bringing more girlies to the LL team will allow us to take on even more, which is the dream!

If you are in the process of planning your wedding, I highly recommend saving this post to come back to as you dive into floral planning. And if you haven’t picked out a florist yet, give Lexi and call to see if working with her would be a good fit for you. She is truly wonderful at what she does!

All Things Wedding Floral Q+A | Guest Blog – Love, Lilacs

Kansas City has so many wonderful options when it comes to wedding venues! One of the things I love about this area is that you can find a location in the heart of downtown, or you can drive 15 minutes and find yourself a little slice of solitude. The Barn at Riverbend is a quaint and classic outdoor venue right outside of KC that offers wonderful amenities and picturesque landscapes.

I loved that Natalie choose two dresses that perfectly captured her personality. One very classic and beautiful white gown for the ceremony and one very colorful floral gown for the reception. Her colors of her reception gown perfectly complimented the colors of her bridesmaid’s dresses and the florals for the wedding and reception.

I had the opportunity to meet Natalie and Colin’s dog, Huckleberry, during their engagement session. I was so happy to be able to photograph him again at the wedding! He showed up dressed to the nines in his very best tie, it was adorable.

The Barn at Riverbend has a unique ceremony area. It is located at the bottom of a ravine, and there is a tiered wooden walkway to get down to the seated ceremony area. Shaded with large trees and overlooking a beautiful field, it makes for a perfectly picturesque moment!

I feel very blessed to have been apart of Natalie and Colin’s journey. From capturing their engagement session, to photographing their wedding – I hope to be apart of many more of their big moments in the future!

Vendors

Planner: @truelovecoordingatinganddesign
Photo: @natalie.nichole.photos
Video: @a.r.c.media
DJ: @platinumdjkc
Catering: @brancatoscatering
Florist: @beyondthebloom_kc
Hair: @hairsalonkc and @shelbydoesmyhair_
Makeup: @olivia.taylor.makeup
Dress: @truesociety_bybellevogue @essenseofaustralia
Dog Service: @katies.kennel
Shuttle: @showtime_transportation
Venue: @thebarnatriverbend

The Barn at Riverbend | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

I have photographed many moments between Katherine and Cody. Their wedding day at UNION Event Space was no different than the other fun, unique, and whimsical moments I’ve captured with them. 

They decided on such vibrant and trendy decorations and colors. Most with bright pinks, oranges, and lots of mirrored and metallic pieces. Their flat-lays for their day-of detail photographs were stunning! 

After getting ready they decided to share their vows in private, just the two of them, rather than at the ceremony. It was a very special and intimate moment before the wedding. If you aren’t the kind of person to publicly share, having time set aside on the day of your wedding to privately share vows with your spouse before the ceremony is a great idea! 

One great thing about UNION Event Space was how large the venue was. It offered plenty of space to break up the day into different areas. This provided multiple backdrops for photographs and a lot of room for creativity with decorating! 

Katherine DIY-ed a lot of the decorations for the wedding, but one of her favorite pieces of decor was the fringe she made to hang over the dance floor. It truly made the space feel magical and serene! 

I asked Katherine if she had any advice to share with couples that are planning their wedding day. She said, “Spend time on your wedding day focusing on just your significant other. We took 20 minutes for ourselves to have dinner together in the bridal suite and it was so nice.”

I had a BLAST capturing this special day! I hope to continue to capture big and small moments for Katherine and Cody in the future. Cheers to the Fiola’s!

UNION Event Space | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

There are so many special moments to be captured on your wedding day! Family portraits are a great way to remember what loved one’s were there to celebrate with you. Depending on the size of your family, this process may be quick or take a little while. The best way to ensure it goes by smoothly and everyone gets a photography is to be prepared! I’ve put together some tips for how to prepare for fast and organized family portraits.

Make The List

Once your RSPV’s have come back and you know who will be attending the wedding start by making a list of everyone who will be attending the “family portrait” portion of the wedding. This typically takes place right after the ceremony. It is important to make a list because sometimes it is more than just family who needs to stay. It is also important to let anyone who should be staying that they are on the list, so they don’t leave!

Organize The List

After you’ve made you list it’s time to start organizing it! I recommend starting with one partner’s side of the family and then work your way to the other’s. Write down all the different groupings you’d like photographed. Parents, siblings, grandparents, etc. Narrow your groupings down to the exact photographs you want. What I mean by this is if you want photographs with each grandparent, write them down individually (ie. picture with Grandma, picture with Grandpa, and picture with Grandma AND Grandpa). This way there is no confusion between you and your photographer. There will be so much going on that you may not remember that you wanted individual pictures with them and if you don’t write it down you will likely just get a group photo.

Share The List

When you are done creating all your groupings it is important to share the list with your photographer! If you have a wedding planner or a day of coordinator it is important to share with them, as well. If you want everyone to be informed, you can also share it with anyone who is on your list so they know they need to stay back after the ceremony. When they ceremony is over, have the Officiant make an announcement reminding anyone who is taking family portraits to stay back instead of leaving.

List, or no list, you’re wedding day is going to be perfect! Family members will hang back so they can be photographed with the Newlyweds and then head to the reception. Being prepared just helps move the process along quickly!

How to Plan Fast and Organized Family Portraits | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

Aimee and Dakota had an intimate backyard wedding at their family’s farm where they began dating. The day was filled with love and memories of their relationship!

It was a bright Spring day when they got married under a beautiful oak tree surrounded by all their loved ones. The bridesmaids wore dark green satin dresses that complemented their burnt orange, pink, and white bouquets wonderfully. The groomsmen wore tan vests with green ties to compliment the bridesmaid’s dresses. The wedding party was a fun group!

Some of the couple’s favorite parts of the day were their first look and the donut wall at the reception! Their first look was so sweet. It is a great way to have a special moment as a couple before walking down the isle! The donut wall was a unique and tasty touch to their celebration.

Aimee’s advice for anyone who is getting married soon is to take a minute to take it all in. She was given the same advice before her ceremony and she said it helped her be very present and able to have a clear memory of the most important day!

Thank you Aimee and Dakota for allowing me to be apart of your big day! I will always be a fan of an intimate backyard wedding!

Intimate Backyard Wedding | Kansas City Wedding Photographer

Kirsten and Ryan’s wedding day with just their family and a few friends was in the beautiful Overland Park Arboretum. And it was such a stunning wedding venue. Highly recommend it to my Kansas City Brides!

Following their wedding they had an intimate dinner at Wandering Vine at the Castle. They road in a vintage getaway car they borrowed from their dad to the reception dinner! How cool is it to have all those special details on the day? This wedding was full of them and I am always a fan of that.

We made sure to make time for a first look separate from their ceremony to have a few moments to themselves too. You’ll see lots of private, meaningful moments in this day and it was so sweet to capture those moments for these two.

Kristen also has great taste in florals and her dream bouquet came to life that day. Make sure you scroll down to see it!! It was full of happy color which is so fitting for them! They are two of the most genuine people ever and deserved this day to be perfect. I was so honored to see all these special memories being made.

I loved being able to share my wedding experience with them for their Overland Park Arboretum wedding day on the blog. Kristen and Ryan, I wish you both the best life together! Thank you for letting me share this day with you!

Engagement band and the wedding dress on bride at Overland Park Arboretum in Kansas City
Mother of bride and mother of the groom share special moments before wedding ceremony
Bride and groom share first look with one another on bridge at Overland Park Arboretum
Bride and groom in white wedding dress and blue tie with suit at Overland Park Arboretum
bride holding blush pink and maroon florals in wedding bouquet kissing newly married husband
Bride and groom walk pathway at Overland Park Arboretum holding wedding bouquet
Bride wears long wedding dress with train and veil holding blush pink and maroon wedding bouquet
Bride and groom during first look walking pathway at Overland Park Arboretum in Kansas City
Bride uses long vail with Kansas City wedding photographer
Father of bride walks daughter down the aisle during wedding ceremony at Overland Park Arboretum
Bride and groom exchange vows from vow books and hold hands during wedding ceremony
Bride and groom exchange first kiss at wedding ceremony and walk up aisle through friends and family
Bride and groom have just married ring bearer in wagon at wedding ceremony
Bride and groom wearing new wedding bands after wedding ceremony at Overland Park Arboretum
Old vintage getaway car with just married sign on the back
Bride and groom pose with old vintage getaway car on wedding day
Groom twirling bride while holding wedding bouquet after ceremony at Overland Park Arboretum
Wedding cake with name topper and white and green florals to accent dessert table
Floral table scapes from wedding bouquet and reception cake cutting
Bride and groom cut wedding cake at wedding reception with friends and family

Overland Park Arboretum | Kansas City Wedding Photographer