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Adventures in Wedding Planning {2}

June 12, 2015

Adventures in Wedding Planning


Want to know what happens when you’re planning a destination wedding to your hometown and you travel from where you live to where you grew up for your sister’s wedding?

You get her good and married, then start planning your own wedding as if you’re some kind of frenetic wedding obsessed tornado.

Chris and I saw every venue in Northwest Arkansas in the span of a couple days.

That isn’t exactly true. We saw seven venues. But it felt like all of them.

And here’s the deal: there was no bad option. All the venues were gorgeous and cool and very, very different from each other. This was partially because I, er, haven’t quite chosen colors or a theme other than “I want it to be super fun.” I tend to like what I like and sometimes what I like are things that don’t go together. So I smash them together and say I LIKE IT, DEAL.

Anyway, we could have put all the venue names in a hat, closed our eyes, and randomly drawn a venue name and it would have been great.

But, when we really sat down and started nit-picking the venues—and we really, really had to nit-pick. We were literally saying things like, “I mean, is it too perfect? Does that mean that something else will be destined to go wrong if we go with something that is too perfect?” For real.

What did we see you ask?

    • Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
      If you live in or near Arkansas and you haven’t been to Crystal Bridges yet, you’re doing it wrong. It is a small, accessible collection of American art ranging from pre-Colonial to contemporary art in a variety of mediums and styles. Yes, they have Hudson River School pieces. Yes, there’s a Rothko. There’s John Singer Sargent and Norman Rockwell (They have freaking Rosie the Riveter) and Andy Warhol and Georgia O’Keefe and all of the abstract expressionists and Jasper Johns. It is a cool spot. And, y’all. They do weddings. It’s pricey, but for a museum, it’s a steal.


    • Magnolia Gardens
      This spot is so charming. It’s a garden that still has a bit of country flair. And there’s a gazebo for all my swoony Stars Hollow needs.


    • Pratt Place Inn & Barn
      If you’re interested in a barn venue, this place is it. It’s big, it’s red, it’s renovated on the inside, and it is glorious. And the inn is quaint and lovely and available for a discounted rental with the rental of the barn. And, on top of that, there’s a two bedroom cottage that will fulfill all your English countryside dreams. But in Arkansas. Yes.


    • Autumns Ridge Plantation
      This is a very new venue that is actually someone’s extremely gorgeous residence with a spectacular view of the Boston Mountains. They actually got married in their backyard and realized that they were living on top of a goldmine. The space for the wedding parties to get ready are probably the nicest accommodations we saw and the backyard event space is made for those of you who want an outdoor wedding with a view.


    • Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks
      I grew up in Northwest Arkansas and had somehow never been to the botanical gardens before. I don’t know how this happened, but it’s true. Verdict? The gardens are lush and lovely and the reception space is killer.


    • Sassafras Springs Vineyard
      This is a super cool vineyard that comes with chapel ruins and a reception space that is a converted horse barn. Also: vineyard.


    • St. Catherine’s at Bell Gable
      When we pulled up to St. Catherine’s, the sun was beaming down onto the chapel and there were—I kid you not—two white horses grazing in front of it. It looked like we’d stepped into some sort of ethereal, medieval fantasy world instead of being just outside of Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get a shot without a golf cart in it.

So, what’s the verdict?

Sassafras Springs Vineyard!

Photo from Sassafras Springs Vineyard website


Photo from Sassafras Springs Vineyard website.


Ultimately, we wanted a space for both the ceremony and reception, that was scenic and interesting, that could be dressed up but still feel casual enough that people won’t feel stuffy, and that, more than anything, we felt comfortable with and knew would be a fun spot for us and our guests.

So, venue acquired! Everything else to go!

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