The Making of a Mural

We moved into our chapel in the Crossroads Arts District 5 years ago! In that time we’ve seen the neighborhood explode with the coolest street art in the city (and we would argue, the world). We have been wanting to add our own colorful addition to the neighborhood and after months of planning, prepping, and painting, we debuted our gift to the city at “First Fridays” on May 3rd! Now we want to take you behind the scenes of the making of our mural!

Step 1: The Design

Going in we knew we wanted to create a beautiful mural as a gift to this amazing city and the fabulous people in it. We also knew we wanted to spruce up our little alley in the crossroads and make it really POP! So that left us with a lot of options, which is why this step took the most time.

We reached out to the city to make sure we were following the rules and regulations. Thinking there would be red tape, we were pleasantly surprised when we received nothing but green lights and encouragement.

Which reminded us once again why we wanted to add our own little contribution to this great city. That’s when it all came together. We would have bluebirds on a dogwood tree as those are Missouri’s state bird & tree. And as we are self-proclaimed love junkies, the phrase “Follow Your Heart” felt like a given. The heart would be anatomical to match the aesthetic of the surrounding Crossroads murals! With her KC Art Institute background and a little help from Google, our own Amy Rizzo quickly had the design mocked up and we were in love!


Step 2: The Supplies

We knew our mural was going to present certain challenges because of it being on the street. We would need a road paint that dries quickly and can withstand cars and heavy rain. Oh and we needed about 10 different colors because of our design. After some research we landed on Sherwin Williams Pro Park Paint and it was perfect for what we needed. With a red, blue, yellow, and white, we were able to mix up our desired colors in about a dozen dollar store plastic containers.


We have a go big or go home mentality. So we wanted to have dogwood flowers leading down the alley from our mural to the steps of The Vow Exchange Chapel. We went to work making stencils, first by printing the flowers on extra large paper and then tracing them onto a thin bristol board and poster board. Using our handy dandy exacto knife, we cut out the stencils for each flower pattern.


Step 3: Outline & Paint

Now a mural this size is not easy to free hand. So we knew we needed a way to trace the design. We did a little experiment by printing the design on a transparency paper and holding a flashlight behind to project the image. Before long, one of us was standing on a 14ft ladder in the dark of night, holding a flashlight and a flimsy piece of paper, while the other quickly traced the image with sidewalk chalk. By the grace of God our chalk outline was still there in the morning and we were ready for the paint to hit the road!


Our dogwood flower stencils had their first test run and passed with flying colors! One down, twenty more to go!


Step 4: Party & Pose

After two long weeks, we put down the brushes, washed the paint out of our hair, and called it a wrap! We debuted our baby to the world during the “First Fridays” celebration on May 3rd - exactly 5 years after our grand opening! It has been a blast seeing our little gift to the city get discovered by our friends, neighbors, and fellow Kansas Citians!


Now come on down to our little alley in The Crossroads (between McGee & Oak) to see our Follow Your Heart mural in person! Don’t forget to take your picture and tag it #FollowYourHeartKC


Join us every first friday for our 2019 summer block party series! Come down to The Crossroads for “First Fridays” and stop by to hang out with your friends at The Vow Exchange Chapel!


Local Flavor Friday: Donna's Dress Shop


Donna’s Dress Shop has been a friend of The Vow Exchange since, literally, day one.

When we were planning our grand opening back in 2013, we reached out to Donna and together we organized a fashion show that took place in our brand new chapel featuring their vintage bridal collection. Donna, along with her girl squad, brought some of the best old school gowns and together we threw a party for the ages.

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Truly, we’ve been fans of Donna’s Dress Shop since they opened, over a decade ago, in 2007. Their shop is fun and vibrant and they have the best mash up of authentic vintage finds and new vintage-inspired pieces. Just walking into their little shop on 39th street will instantly bring a smile to your face.


“We love all things cute and quirky”


“Something Old, Something New: The Wedding Collection” was just recently released at Donna’s Dress Shop and we couldn’t wait to go see it in person. Donna describes the collection as being “for the gal that wants something a little different, something non-traditional, and something with an affordable price range…” and we can tell you, it is EXACTLY that!


We also found that they have dresses for the entire bridal experience. Whether you need a chic dress for the rehearsal dinner or something more daring for the bachelorette party, Donna’s has the dress of your dreams. Of course, the collection is filled with bridal gowns from real 70’s era weddings, but also includes more modern dresses with touches of antique flair. We had so much fun playing dress up with these gorgeous gowns (see for yourself on our insta @thevowexchange) and we were seriously blown away by the variety in this high quality collection. Don’t just take our word for it, peruse some of our favorites below and then go try them on yourself!


See more of the “Something Old Something New” collection

All Donna’s Dress Shop images are from Donna’s Dress Shop &

Found your vintage dress? Now get the accessories! Check out these vintage wedding accessories we found on Etsy, inspired by our Vow Exchange brides!


Local Flavor Friday - Hammerpress

Let us tell you a little bit about our favorite local letterpress print shop, Hammerpress. Hammerpress owner, Brady Vest, a fellow Kansas City Art Institute grad, opened Hammerpress in 1994. Today their charming studio and shop sits just down the road from The Vow Exchange Chapel in the Crossroads Art District. You could spend hours perusing the shelves of Hammerpress, filled with personally designed and in-house printed cards, stationery, and art prints. In addition to their products, Hammerpress offers a selection of unique goods and trinkets to deck out your home and office!

“On a visit to Hammerpress, you may overhear the presses clanking, peer into the print shop in operation and take in the nostalgic scent of ink and paper.”

We are obsessed with Hammerpress cards. Some of our favorites include these unique and fun thank you card box sets that allow you to properly say thanks but in an exciting and beautiful way!

Hammerpress also creates epic prints celebrating Kansas City and our local icons, perfect for any proud KC citizen!

And as the holidays are fast approaching, what better way to send your love than with these stylish and quirky holiday cards!

If you want to get in on the fun, Hammerpress offers hands on workshops where you can design your own card and print them yourself using the shop’s vintage press!

But that’s not all! Hammerpress also offers custom design and letterpress work from business cards to wedding invitations! We love their work so much, we even asked Hammerpress to print our business cards, which get “oohs and ahhs” every time we hand them out!

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Want to learn more about Hammerpress and check out all their awesome cards and prints? Head over to their website by clicking below!


Head over to Hammerpress

All Hammerpress images are from &

Click below to hear about our other hometown favorite, Houndstooth!

Local Flavor Friday - Houndstooth

If you wander through City Market it won’t be long before your eye is drawn to a little local gem known as Houndstooth. Their adorable shop off Walnut St is a staple of the City Market grounds and houses some of the finest suits in the city.

We are a sucker for a one stop shop and Houndstooth is the one stop shop for men looking to look their best on any occasion from “casual backyard affairs to elegant formal nights”.

“Old School...

Never Old Fashioned”

Houndstooth has come up with the coolest way for grooms and their guys to get the perfect wedding day attire and it’s called the “Groomsmen Social”. We love the idea of grooms getting to have a special night with their best guys, kicking back and getting geared up for the big day.

We first fell in love with Houndstooth during a HerLife Magazine collaboration to help “Kansas City’s Most Deserving Couple” tie the knot! Houndstooth kindly donated a gorgeous and sophisticated suit for the handsome groom. Adam pulled off looking polished without sacrificing personality!


The classic dark grey Houndstooth suit was the perfect look for Marlena & Adam’s sleek & chic affair. You can just tell Adam felt exactly how he looked - like a million bucks!


And it’s safe to say, Marlena LOVED the dapper look.

Want to learn more about what makes Houndstooth’s suits so special? Head over to their website by clicking below.

Head over to





See more stunning moments from the wedding day of “Kansas City’s Most Deserving Couple”!


The Chapel on The Corner: The Making of a Wedding Chapel

Back in October 2017, the team at The Vow Exchange Events broke ground on a new wedding chapel! The beautiful corner spot in the Historic Heritage Hall building was once a Mexican Restaurant in it’s former life. At the time it was perhaps the furthest thing from a wedding chapel, but we could immediately see the potential with its wall to wall 12 foot arched windows and it's 1920's vintage roots.

Roughly 6 months later, we opened our doors and wed the sweetest couple! See images of the journey we took by checking out some of our favorite before and after pics below.

You will be blown away by our HGTV style make over! 

CLICK HERE: to come see the venue for yourself at one of our upcoming open houses! 

It’s a Family Affare: Celebrate at One of Kansas City’s Best Restaurants for a Small Wedding Reception

Treat your guests to a true culinary experience as you celebrate your big day! We guarantee you will find Affare a dinner to remember from the exquisite food, impeccable service, and honest passion of restaurant owners and culinary artists Martin & Katrina. Their private dining room has its own patio and entrance and can accommodate up to 45 for a seated dinner. Located in the heart of The Crossroads district, your dining experience at Affare will not soon be forgotten.

Plan your wedding at one of our intimate venues!

Take a Taste Tuesday: Taste The Jacobson

Often we receive requests from couples on where to take their celebration after their event at The Vow Exchange. Fortunately for our couples, we are huge fans of the several and amazing dining establishments throughout our great city! So today we are introducing our newest weekly blog category: Take a Taste Tuesday! Today we want to share a classy little place in the heart of The Crossroads, The Jacobson! Not only can they accommodate larger groups of 20+ for a customized dining experience, their location just can't be beat! Nestled between high-rise lofts, you get a true big city feel whether out on their patio or inside. Some of our favorite dishes are the stuffed meatballs off their mingles menu (AMAZING!), The bourbon glazed cedar plank salmon off their center stage menu, and of course you mustn't over look their hand crafted cocktail menu. The Crossroads Fizz is fantastic year round with gin, fresh cucumber, mint & lime. Topped with seltzer. We hope our couples enjoy the the warmth of The Jacobson's ambiance as well as their stellar service. 

The Vintage Petal - A Local Kansas City Beauty

It’s Local Flavor Friday and we would like to highlight one of our own AMAZING partners at The Vow Exchange. As you may already know, part of the fabulous packages we offer at The Vow Exchange includes a bridal bouquet and boutonniere. The beauties used to create these beauties are local, freshly picked and in season. But the real beauty behind the bouquet is local floral designer Jillian Sharlow (formerly McDaniel) of The Vintage Petal. I am seriously impressed every time she delivers a bouquet and boot for our couples. I swear she could make weeds look amazing! See for yourself. Jillian’s modern take on vintage color palettes make her arrangements unexpected and absolutely delightful. Jillian’s studio is located in the heart of the Downtown KC Crossroads making her a part of the cultural renaissance happening in our home town. We are so excited to be working with this local Kansas City beauty and bringing her beautiful work to the beautiful couples at The Vow Exchange!



A Non-Traditional Bachelorette Party Bus.

Okay everyone, I have now deemed Fridays to be Local Flavor Friday! This is the day of the week where I feature some awesome local Kansas City gem to inspire some aspect of your Kansas City wedding celebration. This week’s feature brings a unique solution when planning a different kind of bachelorette party.

When one thinks of a party bus, one might picture a 40 ft land yacht complete with neon flashing lights, booming music and on occasion a recreational stripper pole (imagine that going 65mph down I35). While that might be fun for some (I admit to a crazy party bus stripper pole encounter in my days past), some gals are looking for something a little more low key. Okay, now imagine a bus filled with vintage goodies, local handmade baubles, and a host of supplies to make your own whatever-you-can-imagine. Now imagine this bus is powder-blue, has quilted seats and a mustache on the front grille. You have just pictured Jessica Rogers’ mobile boutique CartWheel, Kansas City’s most charming chameleon business! Perfect for gals who love to be creative, CartWheel allows you to share the DIY spirit with a few of your closest pals. CartWheel is available for private parties and can be spotted around town as a boutique, hosting pop-up parties and craft workshops. This non-traditional local gem is a much more creative and classier way to help the Bride-to-be celebrate her big day!