When it comes to planning a wedding in Arkansas, Hot Springs is an ideal destination. Not only does it boast lush gardens, sparkling lakes and scenic mountains, its central location in the state makes it just a short drive from anywhere in Arkansas. Plus, it’s an intimate, charming city where you’ll find historic buildings and unique attractions around every corner.
1. Destination weddings are fun.
With all the people you love in a new place, out-of-town weddings seem to possess an extra layer of excitement, and Hot Springs is an ideal destination. Not only does it boast lush gardens, sparkling lakes and scenic mountains, but it’s a friendly city where you’ll find historic buildings and unique attractions around every corner. Plus, its central location makes it just a short drive from anywhere in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma.
2. Weddings are cheaper.
You can save big bucks without sacrificing a single luxury in historic Hot springs. The average cost of a wedding in Hot Springs was $15,949 in 2019, according to The Wedding Report. The average wedding cost in Arkansas was $17,433, and the national average was $24,723. Big cities simply cost more.
3. Everything you need IS in one place.
Hot Springs may be a relatively small town, but that works in a couple’s favor. The abundance of easily accessible vendors makes this city a one-stop shop and your wedding as stress-free as possible. Not only is meeting with your vendors more like visiting neighbors, but with various venues so close, your combinations of rehearsal, ceremony and reception spots are virtually endless.
4. Trusted, quality professionals go above and beyond.
From florals and photography to catering and wedding cakes, Hot Springs professionals have you covered.
Build your wedding day menu with dishes from reputable caterers like Hot Springs Catering Co., Catering Temptations and Taco Mama. For traditional wedding cakes and other desserts, look no further than Ambrosia Bakery and Taste of Eden Bakery.
When it comes to photos of the big day, turn to Benjamin Martin Photography, who loves capturing romantic and magazine-worthy images for his crazy-in-love clients.
Kelly Efird Flower Events has decades of experience and is known for lush floral creations. Efird’s unique wedding florals are the top choice among Hot Springs couples. And for event rentals, Signature Events can handle any request.
DJ Kramer is the go-to for receptions. He uses his decades of radio and club experience to create memorable parties for couples and their guests. The Bingham Music Agency is another popular choice for music. The agency boasts a roster of nearly 100 professional musicians – from solo instrumentalists and vocalists to a variety of ensembles, and they perform everything from Bach to The Beatles.
5. It’s beautiful.
Whether you’re looking for a waterfront view for your I dos or a lavish ballroom fit for a queen, you’ll find a stunning spot to say I do in Hot Springs. The most picturesque location is the Anthony Chapel, part of the 210-acre Garvan Woodland Gardens. With elegant floor-to-ceiling glass walls surrounded by lush, verdant gardens, it’s easy to see why.
Nearby is the jewel of Lake Ouachita: Mountain Harbor Resort & Spa. This resort offers wedding parties and guests all the fun and glamour of a destination event without leaving the familiar behind.
Hot Springs Country Club is another gorgeous spot to say I do. The elegant interior is perfect for formal weddings, and lush landscaping and mountain views surround the clubhouse.
6. Venues and lodgings suit all tastes.
The historic Hamp Williams Building and the new Crystal Ridge Distillery are popular for their rustic, industrial vibes. Catering Temptations & Event Room is a top spot for rehearsal dinners and intimate weddings — and with on-site catering, it makes for easy planning.
One of Hot Springs’ most well-known attractions is Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort. Oaklawn is wrapping up a $100 million expansion, including the addition of wedding and event space and a resort hotel and spa — making it a perfect one-stop shop venue.
For brides looking for something a little different: Hotel Hot Springs is a 14-story structure with scenic views of historic downtown and the Ouachita Mountains, and the historic Vaughan-Palmer House is charming for micro weddings and elopements. Vaughan-Palmer’s accommodations are perfect for bachelorette weekends and mini-moons too.
7. The city has style.
For your gown on the big day, Something Bleu Bridal Boutique offers a beautiful collection of designer wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses and more. And since 1924, beloved Lauray’s–The Diamond Center has served the city, carrying a world-class selection of diamonds and fine jewelry. It’s one of the most popular jewelers for custom designs in the state.
8. It’s stress-free.
In a town nicknamed the Spa City, couples and their entourages can de-stress with spa treatments at many tranquil spots all over town, including wellness soaks at a historic Hot Springs bathhouse. As for spas, Mountain Harbor Resort’s Turtle Cove Spa was named one of the top 50 spas in 2020 by Spas of America.