Jessica Johnson & Trent Carter
June 20, 2020
Legacy Acres / Conway
Jessica Johnson and Trent Carter met in true University of Arkansas fashion — at a Razorback football game in 2016. When Jessica and her friend arrived at the game, she told her friend Trent was cute, while he was telling his friend that Jessica was cute. He got her number and their love story began.
Jessica is a wedding planner herself and the owner of Daymaker Design, so she didn’t think she’d have any trouble planning her own wedding. When it came time to book vendors for their June 2020 wedding, COVID-19 hit and the wedding planning fun was put on hold. The couple stood firm with their original June 20 date and decided that even if the wedding happened in Jessica’s parent’s backyard or a courthouse, that would be the day they got married.
In January 2020, Jessica and Trent were planning a wedding with 400 guests at Legacy Acres. Because things were so up in the air at that time, the couple had a backup plan to get married in a small ceremony on family land in Quitman with just 50 of their closest friends and family. Thankfully in May, Arkansas moved to Phase I of the reopening that allowed restaurants and venues to open back up at a third of their capacity.
“On one hand, this news was exciting and we were hopeful again, but on the other hand we knew that reopening the economy could potentially result in a spike in cases which would require us to be forced back into quarantine,” Jessica says. “Knowing that it would be a gamble, we decided to take the risk and plan for the big-ish wedding at Legacy Acres!”
Once the couple made the decision to move forward with the wedding at Legacy Acres, Jessica had about one month to plan everything else. Jessica and Trent also took extra precautions to keep older and more at-risk family members safe by having assigned seating and creating a floor plan with ample space between tables to allow for social distancing.
“I think that if planning a wedding during COVID-19 did anything for us, it would be that it aligned our priorities with what is really most important,” she says. “Any sense of entitlement to a beautiful fairy-tale wedding day that I may have had before, was completely wiped away with COVID. We had lowered our expectations down so much that we were going to be thrilled if we got to walk down the aisle on June 20 at all, which is probably how it should be!”
When it came to inspiration for her big day, Jessica says she imagined a “funky flower bed disco.” Her inspiration came from different things she loves including wild blackberries, honeysuckle, Kacey Musgraves, lush flower beds, modern and vintage combos and Loveshack Fancy. “I have no idea what to call this theme or style, it truly was just all of the things I love mixed together,” she says.
Jessica’s grandpa helped her make a giant wall that greeted guests as they entered the reception hall. He made the stand and Jessica painted the boards and designed vinyl stickers to place on them that included lyrics from one of Trent’s favorite songs, “Everything” by Michael Bublé.
As a florist herself, flowers were the most important part of the day for Jessica. No two bouquets were the same and the majority of the blooms were locally grown or foraged. The wedding day flowers included dahlias, echinacea, delphinium, ranunculus, stephanotis, clematis, and more — all in pastel colors with small hints of eggplant for contrast.
For the ceremony setup, Jessica wanted it to feel like they were standing in a flower bed. The flowers on the stage were heavily grouped together, just like they would be in the wild. Cindy Stevenson at ZuZu’s Petals & Gifts studied fields and flowerbeds the week before the wedding to simulate that look on the stage.
HOW THEY CUSTOMIZED
Jessica and Trent’s reception was designed to invoke Australia and Nashville vibes. “Floral designers will know what I’m talking about with the Australia reference — they have the most amazing events there and are always ahead of the trends,” Jessica says. “Mix that style with a little bit of glitzy southern fun, you have our reception!”
The couple’s cake was one of the bride’s favorite parts of the whole day. With it being so last minute, Jessica told Hannah at Sweet Lavender Bakeshop to get creative and do something fun. Her only direction was that she wanted extra tall tiers and lots of color.
The original DJ wasn’t able to make it due to COVID-19, so the couple improvised with some help from Jessica’s family. Her dad is a musician, so they used his lighting and sound equipment and set my two 18-year-old cousins up as DJs. “They played a little bit of everything (and sprinkled in some pretty hilarious announcements) which made our night so much fun,” Jessica says.
|WEDDING VENDORS WE LOVE|
|Venue||Legacy Acres, Conway|
|Photography||Jo Johnson Overby|
|Florist||ZuZu's Petals & Gifts, Fayetteville|
|Furniture rentals||Eventology, North Little Rock|
|Linens||Randal Events, Fayetteville|
|Tabletop rentals||Host Rentals, Bentonville|
|Cake||Sweet Lavender Bakeshop, Little Rock|
|Groom's cake||Jennie Palmer|
|Caterer||Fat Daddy Bar-B-Que, Conway|
|Drink service||Special Events Bartending|
|Invitations and signs||Daymaker Design|
|Wedding dress||Plumed Serpent, Westport, Connecticut|
|Bridesmaid dresses||Show Me Your Mumu|
|Jeweler||Heidi Gibson and EVM Jewelers, Fayetteville|
|Hair and makeup||Carrie Wood|
|Bridesmaids makeup||Arika Johnson|
|Custom cups||Daisied Designs|
|House party dresses||59th and 9th, Fayetteville|