A wedding venue is the centerpiece to any wedding. It’s the first thing your guests are going to remember, it’s the setting to your romantic vision and for most, where you will dedicate most of your budget to. So how do you choose the right one? There’s several factors to consider, style, all inclusivity, size, expense – we’ve traveled across the state, seen incredible venues and complied a list of a few of our favorites to help you choose the right one.
Alda’s Magnolia Hill
Oh the nostalgia. We have a very real connection to this venue, located in Little Rock, Arkansas. When we first started this adventure over 13 years ago, our first wedding was located right here. This venue sits on 31 acres with a 3-acre lake, oak trees and of course magnolia trees. We were located in Northwest Arkansas and every Saturday we would make the 5am drive to Alda’s to shoot another unforgettable wedding. Alda is the nicest person you will ever meet and VERY organized and full of traditions. The ceremony includes the famous carriage ride around the lake for the brides entrance and more recently, the groom and best man arrive in canoe across the lake (which I might add Buddy built himself). Our personal favorite though is the exit. Each time we visit Alda’s we look forward to the sparkler exit in the vintage 1938 Packard. The venue also offers catering and in my humble opinion is the best in the state. Alda also offers her famous peach tea to all guests; and don’t take my word for it, but I’ve heard that she also gives a recipe to every bride and groom. This venue is hard to beat, especially if you are located in central Arkansas.
The Ballroom at I Street
This newer venue is another favorite of ours, the location and the venue itself is incredible, however we are a little guilty in the fact that we also love it because it is located just 2 minutes down the road from us. To quote them directly
“While the Northwest Arkansas area offers a variety of more rustic, chic venues, the owners felt there was a great need for something polished, grand, and simply…white. The Ballroom at I Street is a venue that enables the bride and groom to personalize every aspect of their special day without the dictation of patterned walls and the distraction of colorful carpeting”
I don’t think I could have said it better. The ballroom itself offers elegant hanging chandeliers, a very spacious floor, an included bar and as an added benefit you can even hold the ceremony itself inside the ballroom. There’s also a guest house for the bride and groom to do all pre wedding preparations in, or just take a break away from the chaos.
Sassafras Springs Vineyard
This quickly became a favorite of ours because of the vast amounts of different looks. Our first wedding here also helped us transition into the videos you see today. The venue is a winery so it is HUGE. It sits on 60 acres and offers almost unlimited possibilities to customize your day. The 3 main features are the Chapel Ruins, The Stables, and The Peacock Room. The Stables are 3500 square feet which contains a suite for the bride and bridesmaids to use and also doubles as a reception hall or for indoor ceremonies. The Peacock Room is a private, more elegant room that overlooks the entire venue and has incredible windows that offer not only a great view but incredible pictures and video as well. However, our personal favorite about this venue is the Chapel Ruins. Built by an Arkansas stone mason, these ruins are 33 feet by 80 feet and can accommodate up to 360 guests and gives the feel of a traditional chapel with a modern twist.
Another personal favorite of ours not only for it’s rustic charm but also because it’s located just 5 minutes down the road. With over 100 years of history, 18’ high ceilings, exposed brick walls, reclaimed wood flooring – this is a venue for those who are looking for “upscale rustic”. There is an upstairs loft for the groom and groomsmen to gather and the unforgettable “white room” for the bride and bridesmaids is one of the most memorable rooms out of all of these venues. The venue is large enough to hold the ceremony indoors and the reception to already be set up should you choose to, or it also offers the availability of outdoor weddings on their courtyard out front. From Stained Glass windows, reclaimed wood floors to the ivy wall outside, this venue truly locks down the “all in one location”.
The final venue on the list is Angelos Garden and is quickly becoming one of the top in the state. Located in Mayflower, Arkansas, it overlooks Petit Jean and has a gorgeous overlooking view for the ceremony and the reception is housed in a 4200 square foot ballroom. Here is what separates Angelos Garden from every other venue around – Uche. Uche is the owner and has a vast amount of experience in the industry. He has been a photographer in the industry for over 10 years and has created something incredible. On top of this – he is constantly investing to make it bigger and better. For instance, they have just added “The Residence” – a 600 square foot cabin, 22 foot lofted ceilings, a loft sleeping space and a bedroom. On top of this it aslo offers a pergola covered deck on the outside. Uche still offers his photography services on top of the location so it truly is a one stop shop.