A Whimsical, Beer-Inspired Wedding at Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri

Adamant about surprising Melissa VonderHaar (31 and an editor) with his proposal, Jesse Peretz (32 and an accounts manager) waited Melissa to arrive h

Adamant about surprising Melissa VonderHaar (31 and an editor) with his proposal, Jesse Peretz (32 and an accounts manager) waited Melissa to arrive home from a trip. When Melissa arrived at home, Jesse waited on one knee in their bedroom, but there was one flaw in his plan: He forgot the likelihood that their 80-pound dog, Colby, would knock him over as soon as Melissa opened their bedroom door! Instead of delivering his whole planned-out speech, he proposed quickly and still tries to tell Melissa the rest of the speech every day. The couple got married at the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Brewery in St. Louis, Missouri. “Beer is not only an important part of our relationship—we homebrew together and plan vacations around brewery touring—but a huge part of Melissa’s family,” says the couple. Melissa and her sisters grew up at the brewery where all of the men in her family worked throughout the years, and the couple couldn’t think of a more special place to seal their union. They chose the Architecture Room at the City Museum for their reception, where guests got to explore the interactive playground as well as a giant antique wooden bar and dance floor. The wedding included lots of beer-centric details from the couple’s beer pouring ceremony, breaking a beer chalice at the end of their ceremony and beer-themed centerpieces at their reception. Even the color palette was beer-inspired: “Because the hops and grains were green, we knew that would be a main color,” says Melissa. The couple chose a deep purple to complement and added burlap to play into the rustic concept.

Even the flowers revolved around the beer-centric theme: The bouquets and boutonnieres all featured wheat, grains and hops.
Beer-Inspired Boutonniere with Purple Accent
Melissa and Jesse got married in one of the tasting rooms at the Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Brewery. “There is no place more St. Louis than the Budweiser Brewery!” says the couple.
Instead of a unity candle, the couple participated in a beer pouring ceremony.
As a twist on the Jewish wedding tradition of breaking a wine glass, Jesse broke a beer chalice to represent the passion the couple shares for beer.
“I never actually dreamed I’d buy my wedding dress from New York’s famed Kleinfelds,” says Melissa. “I was pleasantly surprised that there were plenty of dresses in my price range, and I was paired up with an amazing stylist who blew my mind,” says Melissa. She found a fitted A-line dress from Kleinfeld’s in-house designer.
Purple Wedding Party at Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Brewery
Whimsical Escort Cards at City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri
Melissa and Jesse at City Museum Reception in St. Louis, Missouri
Beer-Inspired Dining Tables at City Museum
The centerpieces were DIY beer growlers filled with dried hops and wheat with burlap table runners hand-stamped with the St. Louis fleur de lis symbol.
Abigail Printing in New York, along with one of the bridesmaids, created a custom “hops fleur de lis” logo that the couple used on the invitations, the programs, the website and engraved into the pint glasses they gave as favors.
Buttercream hop vines crawled up the side of the wedding cake topped with a custom bobblehead of the couple.
The couple closed out the night with a tribute to Jesse’s hometown and their current residence: The last song of the night was “No Sleep Till Brooklyn” by the Beastie Boys. “The crowd went absolutely nuts,” says Melissa.
Melissa and Jesse with Dog at Anheuser-Busch Budweiser Brewery