White isn’t just for the bride! We love the crisp contrast of a classic white farmstead against the backdrop of Mother Nature looking her finest. Travel with us as we visit four unique venues on KC’s outskirts.
Words by Savannah Rieke Newson | Photos by Samantha Ward
White Iron Ridge
An alluring, monochromatic dream property near Smithville Lake offers grandeur and adaptability.
Not all that glitters is gold. Yet, at White Iron Ridge, everything does—in fact—glitter and glow in white, crystal and gold. Its elevated essence of glamour is one of many alluring facets found within the pristine Smithville, Missouri, venue. Built by Homoly Construction—and designed in collaboration with WSKF Architects—this custom, 11,000-square-foot barndominium is awe-inspiring and unforgettable, from the urban architecture to the color selections. Like a painting, its white, monochromatic palette strikes beautifully against the lush 72-acre backdrop of open fields and dense treelines. At night, the warm glow from its black-framed, multi-pane windows further enhances the elegant architecture and ambiance.
The neutral color palette continues inside—an intentional design decision by the owners to maximize the venue’s versatility.
“Our monochromatic design allows for the adaptation to any style of event regardless of the occasion,” notes the owner on the White Iron Ridge’s website.
The barn’s open floor plan also adds to its range of accommodations, allowing for smaller, intimate affairs, as well as events on a grander scale. Such meticulous attention to detail reflects their dedication to providing a spectacular, once-in-a-lifetime experience for attending couples and guests.
This same consideration went into the amenities and other interior design aspects found throughout the property. The main space of the building—the grand ballroom—delivers on the glitz and glamour with its impressive 40-foot arched ceilings, adorned with locally crafted iron-and-crystal chandeliers and abundant natural lighting. A perfectly framed backdrop for ceremonies and receptions, the space also features loft balconies—including the bridal loft—and a double iron-railed staircase curving around the altar area.
Outside, a spacious covered deck is accented by stone and wood columns and an iron railing. The indoor-outdoor concept gives wedding parties plenty of flexibility to work with and around personal preferences and weather changes.
In addition, the barn offers a plethora of posh amenities, including a parlor lounge, loft parlor and prep kitchen. A bridal suite offers a private bathroom, full-length mirrors and salon stations, while the groom’s room has a private deck, bar and gaming options. At the end of their magical day, newlyweds can stay overnight in the hidden honeymoon suite, which resides at the top of the tallest tower and grants magnificent views from the balcony and panoramic glass windows.
A multifaceted gem, White Iron Ridge is truly the epitome of white-wedding opulence and is, indeed, as they say: “an experience worth the investment.”
The Barn at Riverbend
A whimsical wedding destination in the tranquil countryside of Peculiar, Missouri.
Serene, fairytale-like settings await at The Barn at Riverbend, a luxurious and winsome wedding retreat. Quietly tucked away on 20 privately owned acres, this modern-rustic beauty in Peculiar, Missouri, strives to create an extraordinary, at-home experience for couples and their guests.
“Our goal is to be the most romantic and authentic venue in KC,” states owner Kris Unruh. “[This place] is an expression of our land that we’ve lived on—and painstakingly cared for—for over 27 years.”
Kris and her husband, Kip, began their humble voyage as backyard venue owners in the summer of 2015. With no master plan in mind, they simply envisioned doubling the size of their barn, adding parking and landscaping and, finally, crafting an outdoor amphitheater surrounded by trees and panoramic views. Since then, the husband-and-wife duo has accomplished all this and more, officially “welcoming home” their first brides and grooms in 2018.
Today, their little slice of heaven hosts 25 wedding ceremonies and receptions yearly. The magical hillside amphitheater seats 200 guests and is adorned with twinkling string lights that crisscross through the tree canopy. Minimalist landscaping weaves between the wooden aisles, featuring carefully placed hosta plants around mature trees. At the base, stacked rock stairs lead to the altar area, which is often decorated with floral arches or other custom centerpieces.
The Barn at Riverbend’s reception area is equally stunning—a true rustic-chic “white wedding” dream. As its name suggests, the white-painted and wood-trimmed barn sits on the edge of a bend in the Grand River, presenting exquisite views that elevate the enchanting feel of the property.
Ideal for year-round use, the 1,250-square-foot barn is also designed with a perfect balance of indoor and outdoor luxuries. Inside, guests enjoy climate-controlled settings, in addition to an array of handcrafted farm tables, benches and cross-back chairs. Meanwhile, the celebration continues outside in the 2,200-square-foot open-air veranda and covered patio area, complete with string lights, fire pit, ceiling fans, radiant heaters and an outdoor bar.
What’s more, the property provides a stylish pair of separate accommodations for the wedding party—a bridal loft and groom’s cabin—as well as exclusive catering services, bar packages and other amenities. Prime photo spots include a tree- and fence-lined driveway and a quaint wooden deck overlooking the nearby pond.
“It was a labor of love, but it was fun!” Kris says, in fond remembrance of their journey to this point. “The highest, best use of our property is being an amazing venue like this.”
Connect on Instagram
A multifaceted Platte City venue acclaimed for its elegant charm, romantic history and attention to detail.
“Classic Charm. Historically Elegant,” is the motto of Eighteen Ninety in Platte City, Missouri, a popular spot to tie the knot for local and destination couples. A perfect description, this sophisticated and one-of-a-kind venue delivers picturesque views, upscale event spaces, an enchanting backstory and much more.
The property’s crown jewel is a historic, black-and-white Victorian-style home donning intricate woodwork, romantic windows and a turret. Initially constructed in 1872 in the Federalist style, it has undergone multiple renovations and changing of hands during the past century and a half. Finally, in 2018, the newly restored building was transformed into a wedding venue—the place where current owners Paula and Doug Owens made their vows.
“I got married here,” Paula reminisces, “and then I bought it! That definitely adds to my love of the place.”
Paula’s fondness for the location shows throughout—from the refined architecture to the finer details. Since taking ownership, the couple has added landscaping, upgraded the irrigation systems and diligently preserved the expansive property. They are also renovating the smallest of the four on-site buildings into a classy, indoor-outdoor cocktail bar designed to match the new modernizations.
Eighteen Ninety’s three main buildings—The Victorian House, The Hall and The Fields—are meticulously maintained as well, giving brides and grooms multiple options for their ceremonies and receptions. The Victorian, for example, can seat up to 50 guests and provides lodging and changing rooms.
Meanwhile, The Hall is a glamorous, modern-rustic option, with room for up to 300 guests. Ideal for any season, this climate-controlled indoor space is comfortable and well-lit by 12 extravagant chandeliers. Other features include three sets of French doors, a catering kitchen, restrooms and more.
For those who seek an outdoor ceremony, Paula recommends The Fields. Able to seat up to 150 guests, this stone-lined, amphitheater-style venue overlooks rolling hills from a wood arbor. A paved central promenade makes walking down the aisle a seamless and photogenic experience.
The venue’s additional amenities include (but are not limited to) a bridal suite, groom’s quarters, and the opportunity to select an all-inclusive wedding package—anything and everything a couple needs to ensure their “big day” is the most beautiful start to the rest of their lives together.
Connect on Instagram: @1890kc
Lone Summit Ranch
A captivating and elegantly renovated wedding site on a historic Lake Lotawana farm.
Photos by Tristin Williams of Rugged Path Productions
The storied grounds of Lone Summit Ranch hold a promise of enchantment and treasured memories. This versatile, 128-acre venue in Lake Lotawana, Missouri, bestows newlyweds and guests with a vibrant history, timeless settings and a remarkable romantic experience.
“You know [our ranch] is special from the moment you drive through the stone columns and gate down the tree-lined estate drive,” says Linda Sallee, the owner and director of events. “I think what makes it so special is that the property is so rich in history.”
Beyond the venue, The Ranch is a fully functioning 500-acre farm with crops and cattle—an ancestral trait passed down from the farmland’s conception in the early 1900s. Since then, many owners have lovingly cared for and cultivated the land, each adding their own fascinating chapter to the story.
One such owner, Dutton Brookfield, a prominent figure in the KC sports scene, christened the farm with its current name. He also brought in prized cattle and renovated the property into a party-ready showpiece during the 1970s. The subsequent owners stayed for over 35 years, farming the land and converting its facilities into a reception venue.
Finally, in 2015, Linda and her husband, Randy, purchased Lone Summit Ranch—a longtime dream for them both. For the next several years, they worked tirelessly to salvage, renovate and restore the historic estate to glory, slowly bringing their vision of modern elegance, captivating vistas and endearing memoirs of the past to life.
One of their major projects was the main house, which was sadly in disrepair. So, the couple opted to start anew by building their forever home in its place. Today, their picture-perfect modern white farmhouse—designed by architect Byron Sawyer—complements the ranch’s crisp, modernized look. It even serves as a popular photo spot for couples and guests.
The fully renovated, 9,000-square-foot reception hall contains new bathrooms, flooring, lighting, a kitchen and a bar area, and accommodates up to 350 guests. Designed for elegance—with a touch of chic country flair—the interior features a grand stone fireplace and brightly lit tall ceilings upheld by wood beams and exposed metal trusses.
Attached to the hall sits a white veranda outfitted with a glass garage door and rustic chandeliers. The exterior patio—surrounded by landscaping, fountains and fire bowls—overlooks lushly manicured grounds and a 15-acre lake. Other on-site amenities include pergolas, a pool, a playground, a tennis court, a mini-golf course and three charming cottages.
“Randy and I feel honored to be the caretakers of this farm for a little while until we pass it on to the next lucky person,” Linda says.
Connect on Instagram: @lonesummitranchevents
You may also like these articles.
Fine Gardening program keeps your outdoor spaces looking their best. You’ll love the results.
House feeling a little cold now that your holiday decorations are all down? Kelly Wilson, owner and co-founder of Weave Gotcha Covered!