Hannah Billingsley and Shay Mooney (half of the country duo Dan + Shay) have social media and a host of mutual friends to thank for first introducing them. “We chatted every once in a while for a few years, and then in March of 2015, I asked him if he was ever going to play in Arkansas,” says Hannah. “Not only was he going to be in Arkansas just four days later, but he was playing in the town where I lived!” They finally met in person, and Shay asked Hannah to attend the upcoming Academy of Country Music Awards with him that very night. “I agreed, and the rest is history,” she says.
A year and a half later, Shay made plans for a special dinner in town.“When we got there, he told me he’d gotten the time wrong, so we drove around to kill some time,” says Hannah, who noticed they were driving farther and farther from town as they went. “I suspected a proposal was coming, and let Shay take me wherever he was going,” she says. As they turned onto a tree-lined drive, Shay’s song “From the Ground Up” (hello, wedding song!) came on the radio, and the couple both started to cry. “We finally arrived at a stunning stone chapel, where candles glowed in the windows,” she says. “It looked like a fairytale, and that’s where Shay proposed.” But that wasn’t his only surprise: their families and friends were waiting inside!
For their wedding, Shay and Hannah, who both grew up on farms in Arkansas, loved the idea of getting married on the land where they were raised. They selected Shay’s family farm as their venue, and worked with planner Jessica Sloane to create an inviting, warm, and timeless celebration that felt cozy and intimate, despite their 300-person guest list. In the end, the couple succeeded in making their loved ones feel like family at their October 20th, 2017 wedding—and they even included a few family members in their big day!
The simple invitation suite featured watercolor textures and gold accents, which served as a preview to the wedding's color scheme.
Shay’s family’s farm acted as the perfect venue. The couple exchanged vows in a field before partying inside a tent pitched by the barn.
Shay donned a sharp tuxedo for his trip down the aisle, and tapped his musical partner Dan Smyers to serve as a groomsman. Those tiny tuxedo shoes belong to Asher, Hannah and Shay’s son, who was nine months old when his parents married.
Hannah admits that she had a hard time finding her perfect dress, but knew she wanted something a little different. “Finally, my consultant asked me what everyone expected me to wear, and brought me the opposite,” says Hannah. Instead of something sleek and formfitting, she slipped on a dramatic Rita Vinieris gown with a sheer bodice, a lace V-neck, and a full skirt. “My sisters-in-law gasped when I came out of the dressing room,” she says.
The bride accessorized with long, flowing train and paired an open wedding band alongside her stunning solitaire engagement ring.
Hannah’s romantic bouquet combined roses, ranunculus, and lisianthus in shades of blush, all tied with flowing silk ribbon. The men’s boutonnieres featured roses and sprigs of grass alongside eucalyptus leaves.
“On one of our first dates, Shay brought me up to a hill overlooking his family’s farm. We sat and talked about life and dreamed about our futures,” recalls Hannah. “We went back to the hilltop for our first look, where Shay patiently waited for me as my veil whipped in the wind. It was absolutely perfect.”
Hannah gave her bridesmaids a palette of nude, beige, and champagne, and asked them to pick their own dresses. The result was shimmery, varied, and totally cohesive—to Hannah’s pleasant surprise!
An aisle lined in pampas grass led to the ceremony site, where Shay’s grandfather oversaw the proceedings.
“Our grandparents’ marriages are such beautiful examples of lasting love,” says Hannah. “Shay has written songs about this kind of love. I had prayed for this kind of love. And, on that day, we were married by a man who is a testament to this kind of love.”
Shay has written songs about this kind of love. I had prayed for this kind of love. And, on that day, we were married by a man who is a testament to this kind of love.
After the emotional vows, guests headed to a sailcloth tent for the reception.
Inside the tent, long farm tables were topped with elevated arrangements of greenery and softly colored centerpieces that combined roses, ranunculus, and astilbe. The formal setting was the perfect place for a casual menu, which included barbecue chicken and mashed potatoes.
“My sweet momma made every single jar of jam and jelly for our favors, nearly 400 in total,” says Hannah. “We labeled them ‘Spread the Love,’ which was perfect because Love is my mother’s maiden name!”
Gold leaf accented the semi-naked cake, where layers of vanilla cake sandwiched vanilla and strawberry buttercream. “Shay doesn’t like cake, but he loves maple donut bars, so we had those instead of a groom’s cake,” says the bride.
The groom took to the mic to serenade his bride, and the newlyweds spun around the dance floor to “Then” by Brad Paisley.
“We really tried to focus on marrying one another and enjoying the rest," says the bride. "You will probably still stress during planning, but at the end of the day, you’ll have a memory of a beautiful chapter in your love story.”
Wedding Planner: Jessica Sloane || Bride's Dress: Rita Vinieris || Bride's Shoes: Vans || Bride's Jewelry: Haute Bride || Makeup: Jessica Humerick || Floral Design: Zimmerman Events || Catering: Simply the Best Catering || Cake: Rick’s Bakery || Doughnuts: Paul’s Bakery || Music: DJ Connection || Rentals: Eventures Party Rentals || Videography: Anchor Heart Films || Photography: Heather Payne Photography