The Dogwood Collective

Aryawna Friesen & James Kuertz
September 4, 2020 / Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs

ARYAWNA AND JAMES met in high school. James was the new kid in town and everyone liked him. It wasn’t until a year later that he asked to sit at Aryawna’s lunch table on the first day of school and they hit it off from there. James proposed in Ohio with both of their families present. Aryawna had no idea that was why he had invited her parents, but it was the best Christmas gift he could have given her.

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PLANNING DURING A PANDEMIC

Aryawna found the planning process to be one of the hardest things she had ever done, simply because she didn’t even know where to start. “Hiring Amy, with VS Events, was the best thing I did,” Aryawna says. “She was able to help with the biggest part, the décor, and completely turn my dream into a reality!” They were only able to have about 30-40 guests in the chapel because of COVID restrictions. Their original reception space closed because of the pandemic and mailed them a refund check. It wound up working for the best, Aryawna’s disco theme worked much better at the Melonlight Ballroom.

INSPIRATION

Aryawna and Vintage Soul Events created a perfect disco, vintage look for the reception and incorporated those elements into the ceremony in subtle ways. To go with the boho desert theme, she wore a charcoal gray felt rancher hat with a black hat band, and a tiered metallic fringe jacket. She kept her jewelry very simple since she wore larger pink and silver handmade statement earrings. James picked out her vintage rose gold wedding ring. She also had some pink retro-inspired Betsy Johnson heels and wore platform pink Crocs for the reception. Aryawna’s best friend, Jensen Bradley, designed the stationary for them. She is a graphic designer and was able to design their stationary to match the retro theme.

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

HOW THEY CUSTOMIZED

“We were bickering just a little about where to have the wedding, just after getting engaged, when we both paused and looked at each other and said “Thorncrown Chapel” at the same time. It seemed like the perfect place to have it since we had visited Eureka Springs for spring break as one of our first trips together by ourselves.”

Aryawna chose a beautiful layered gown named River made by Made With Love Bridal, which she found at Joon Bridal. The bodice was hand-beaded with a plunging V cut, delicate straps, and a low-cut back. The skirt had a 3-tier tulle overlay with a lace underlay. It was the perfect combination of vintage-inspired with a bit of modern fashion, which is exactly what Aryawna wanted. “I never thought I would pick a dress like this, it was out of my comfort zone being sleeveless and with a deep V cut but she ended up being completely perfect for me. I also knew for sure that it was the one when I found a screenshot of the same dress on my phone from months before.”

James was dressed in a rust colored slim-fit blazer and a white button-down dress shirt, with black slim-fit suit pants, black velvet loafer shoes, and a black bolo tie. Each groomsmen wore a white button-down shirt, black slim-fit suit pants, black velvet loafer shoes, black suspenders and a black bolo tie.

The florals had a mixture of fake, dried, and real flowers to achieve the desert bouquet Aryawna was wanting. Each bouquet and floral arrangement had a muted color palette with hints of darker hues. There were peach and blush elements with rust and burgundy for contrast. To achieve the desert vibe Amy used Palm fronds and pampas grass as well.

“I would say enjoy every single moment,” Aryawna says. “It is easy to get stressed and become negative about it, but this day only happens once and every little moment, good or bad, matters. This is your day, do what you want to do and don’t let others influence your decisions for your big day, it is YOUR day.”

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

The Dogwood Collective

VIDEO


THE DETAILS

WEDDING VENDORS WE LOVE
Wedding dress                    
Joon Bridal, Fayetteville
Beauty
New Moon Spa & Salon, Eureka Springs
MORE VENDORS
Photographer, videographer The Dogwood Collective, Fort Smith
Venue Thorncrown Chapel, Eureka Springs
Reception venue Melonlight Ballroom, Eureka Springs
Wedding planner, florist, furniture Amy Redmon with The Vintage Soul Events, Eureka Springs
Caterer, wedding cake, drink service Cravings Bakery & Catering, Eureka Springs
Musician Hi Fi Productions of Wichita, Kansas
Invitations Jensen Bradley
Groom/groomsmen attire Mango, ASOS and Etsy
Jeweler Kay Jewelers
Transportation Pinnacle Transportation bus, Rogers
Rehearsal dinner venue The Grotto, Eureka Springs

The Dogwood Collective


See this Real Wedding as it appeared in the Fall/Winter 2021-22 digital edition of Arkansas Bride. Discover more inspiration in Arkansas Bride's Real Weddings section.