Esther Udouj & Kile Graves
November 3, 2018
Legacy Acres, Conway
Esther Udouj and Kile Graves officially met on a “blind” double date, but for Kile, it all started during a college function weeks before at the University of Arkansas. Kile says he’ll never forget the first time he saw Esther in “that hot pink dress.”
Kile’s proposal took Esther by surprise — so much so that she didn’t even know to dress up. The two went to MarketPlace Grill for dinner on what she thought was a typical Friday night. As they left the restaurant, Kile’s dad called him and asked a favor that would require them to go check on the depth reader on Kile’s parent’s new boat. The two headed to the lake, walked down to the dock and turned on the boat. The depth reader was still beeping, so they drove it out a little ways from the lift for it to recalibrate. The sun was setting when Kile asked Esther to go to the front of the boat where he starts reading her a letter he wrote.
“I tune out halfway through the letter,” she said. “Heart and mind racing. He tells me he got me something. Still guarding my heart, I’m thinking maybe it's a bracelet so I won't freak out. He opens the box. It's a ring. We're engaged. I cry. We both cry. Shock. Happiness. The end.”
Esther’s wedding day vision was a light and airy ceremony followed by a warm and romantic reception. She wanted garden-like florals in shades of pink, creamy whites and mauve that would create a classic, feminine look. She worked with Leah from 27 Rue De Fleur to dream up natural looking florals with lots of greenery. Each bouquet had an English garden vibe that tied the look together.
Legacy Acres is already such a light and airy venue, that the ceremony space didn’t need. Esther’s team framed the windows with greenery and added a few pedestals in the back with tall arrangements. A cross at the center of the stage draped with linen and greenery was the final touch.
HOW THEY CUSTOMIZED
Esther grew up singing and playing the piano, so the wedding day music was a very important element for her. The couple chose to incorporate their friends and family that have musical talents into their big day. During the ceremony, Esther’s childhood pastor played a song he had written especially for her wedding.
When it came to decorating the reception space, Esther wanted it to feel warm and romantic. She chose a mauvey-pink velvet linen for the head table and center tables and champagne colored linens for the remaining tables. They went with brown X-back chairs to break up the white space and an abundance of candles and gold fixtures.
The couple’s first dance song was Al Green’s “Let’s Stay Together.” And throughout the night, the happy couple and their closest friends and family got down to Motown and old school funk played by Memphis-based Party Planet Band. One of Esther’s favorite moments from the wedding was during the reception when she got on stage for a surprise performance of “Ain’t Nobody” by Chaka Khan. “You had to be there,” she says.
|WEDDING VENDORS WE LOVE|
|Photography||Meredith Benton Photography|
|Wedding dress||Tesori, Fayetteville|
|Videographer||Supi Boonaphai, Stuttgart|
|Event planner||Anne-Claire Allen Planning & Design, Little Rock|
|Florist||27 Rue De Fleur, Fort Smith|
|Cakes||Kelli Marks, Little Rock|
|Caterer||MarketPlace Grill, locations in Springdale and Conway|
|Drinks service||Boulevard Bread Company, Little Rock|
|Band||Party Planet Band, Memphis|
|Invitations||Pac Printers, Van Buren|
|Groom/groomsmen attire||The Black Tux|
|Hair||Emily Dunn with Freshair Salon, Fayetteville|
|Makeup||Merry Kline with Belle & Blush, Little Rock|
|Transportation||Capital Car Service, Little Rock|
|Rehearsal dinner venue||Cache Restaurant, Little Rock|