New Venue Alert: Houston's in Brookland

Emilee Gill Photography
Nestled in Brookland, Houston's Venue is a new spot featuring timeless Southern architecture on sprawling acreage in northeast Arkansas. The venue's owned and operated by Kimberly Hall and her family.

Hall has always dreamed of owning a wedding venue and one day her family surprised her by telling her they wanted to invest their retirement money into a venue so they could see her dreams come true. That was in early 2018 and today the venue is up and running.

We chatted with Hall about her venue and what brides can expect at Houston's.

Tell me about the history of the venue. What was the building used for before becoming an event space?

KH: When we started searching for a property, we had a vague of what we needed. The vision became more clear as the search dragged on. The owner selected us from several offers and it has been a whirlwind. We tore down the old house, salvaging pieces that you can see today, and set about the task of bringing my vision to life.

What price points should brides expect when looking into booking a wedding at the venue?

KH: We offer everything from elopement packages starting at $1,500 to all-inclusive packages starting at $19,000 and everything in between.

What was the inspiration behind the interior and exterior design?

KH: I wanted a simple classic Southern venue. A blank slate where brides can bring their vision to life. We brought in a few hints of Arkansas history to warm up the white and keep it from feeling too modern. The front door and fireplace surround were both salvaged from the Majestic Hotel in Hot Springs after it burned and date back roughly 100 years.

Emilee Gill Photography

Emilee Gill Photography

What are you most excited about with this venue in terms of weddings?

KH: I am most excited to see what my brides do with it. I have ideas of how things can be done but they are already bringing me new ideas and capitalizing on the versatility of the property.

How would you describe the feel of the venue?

KH: Southern, peaceful, beautiful.

Describe the different areas on your property where brides could tie the knot/have their reception.

KH: I tell every bride who comes out that we have 9.5 acres — you can do whatever you want, wherever you want. That being said, we have a 3,000-square-foot ballroom, a 1,600-square-foot covered pavilion, a sweeping front porch with beautiful steps and a vast manicured front lawn.

Emilee Gill Photography

Emilee Gill Photography

What are some of the perks you offer brides when they choose the venue?

KH: When you become a Houston's bride you become part of the Houston's family. Houston's has a network of fabulous vendors. All of our brides receive a swag bag with T-shirt and exclusive discounts from those vendors.

What is included in a wedding booking at the venue?

KH: Basic packages include the use of the entire property, tables, tablecloths and golf cart for shuttling guests.

How many weddings have you had and how many do you have coming up?

KH: We have two under our belt but October marks the beginning of our first busy season. We have booked 36 weddings so far between 2019 and 2020.

For more info about Houston's, click here.


See Why Butterflies Are One of the Hottest New Wedding Trends

Whitney Bower Imaging

It’s wedding season, which means an abundance of bouquets and centerpieces — and where there are blooms, there are butterflies! These ethereal creatures are a hot new wedding trend for 2019. Here are a few dreamy ways we’ve seen them used in Arkansas so far.

1. Wedding Invitations Take Flight

Erin Wilson Photography and Films

Gilded butterflies perch delicately atop the wedding stationery of bride Peyton Barnes — a charming touch by Anne-Claire Allen Planning & Design.
Photography by Erin Wilson Photography and Films. • Invitations by Hobart Print Studio. • Florals by Vase & Vine.

2. Monarchs & Monograms

Jason Masters

Fine china, monogrammed linens and delicately painted butterflies make a table fit for royalty (see more at Tablescapes: Southern Chic!). Shop Tipton & Hurst for individual pieces or have their wedding team design a reception like this for you.
Photography by Jason Masters.

3. The Most Fantastical Wedding Cake We’ve Ever Seen

Whitney Bower Imaging

Our jaws hit the floor upon beholding this bold butterfly confection created by Art Is In Cakes for the wedding of Megan & Bryan Logan in Star City.
Photography by Whitney Bower Imaging.

4. Something Out of a Fairytale

Jason Masters

Whimsical florals transport us to a dreamy garden wedding. This magical floral design and tablescape vision was crafted by PIGMINT Floral Studio in Fayetteville (see more at Tablescapes: Whimsical Garden!).
Photography by Jason Masters.


Arkansas Wedding Trends: Finishing Touches

Jacob Slaton
Stunning jewels and beauty must-haves curated by our publisher, Rachel Pitre.

“Plan ahead to complete your bridal look with baubles from Sissy’s and styling by The Fix Salon. The Fix has stylists that do both hair and makeup (and they sell my favorite Oribe products!).”


Jacob Slaton
Stunning jewels and beauty must-haves curated by our publisher, Rachel Pitre.

Jacob Slaton
Stunning jewels and beauty must-haves curated by our publisher, Rachel Pitre.

Jacob Slaton
Stunning jewels and beauty must-haves curated by our publisher, Rachel Pitre.


Pearl necklace and earring set, diamond engagement ring and stacked diamond ring Sissy's Log Cabin, Little Rock
Oribe products The Fix Salon, Little Rock
Geode coasters The Everyday Chef, Little Rock
Flowers, burlwood tray and Sugarfina candy Tipton & Hurst, Little Rock
Mirror, makeup, makeup brushes Belle & Blush, Little Rock

Rachel (Bradbury) Pitre, Publisher

Over the past 12 years, Rachel's expertise has helped make Arkansas Bride the state's biggest and best wedding resource. Above all, she loves helping wedding professionals make a name for themselves — working with vendors to come up with creative ways to showcase their unique styles is her forte. (501) 455-9266


You Said Yes! 10 Things to Do Immediately After Getting Engaged

Lela & Lyla Photography
After six years of dating, Hayden Lessenberry popped the question to Brooke McGinness during a stroll through Crystal Bridge’s outdoor exhibits.

You’re going to spend forever with your favorite person — congrats!

But now what?

Welcome to the wild world of wedding planning! It may seem daunting, but we’ve come up with 10 things you can do right off the bat to help ease the stress and streamline the process.

1. Celebrate!

Kylie Farmer Photography
Kendall Sikes and Brandon Vick will say their I dos along the Buffalo River on October 26, 2019.

There are a million to-do lists waiting to be written, decisions to be made and countless other pressing items in your wedding planning agenda, but first, take time to celebrate this epic milestone. You’re engaged! Soak it in! Take time to announce your engagement to your closest friends and family members before the real work begins.

Cameron Spencer Photography

2. Post a Ring Selfie

After telling your loved ones, it’s time to announce your engagement to the world!

Whether you choose to do a ring shot on your Instagram or post a photo of the two of you on your Facebook page for all your parent’s friends to comment on, this is your chance to shout your engagement from the rooftops, metaphorically speaking.

Might We Suggest...

Getting a manicure. Trust us, you don’t want chipped nail polish to be what people notice.

Cleaning your bling. There are plenty of ring-cleaning tools to invest in. Whether you go with the Bling Brush or your run-of-the-mill jewelry cleaner, you’ll be using it throughout your engagement and beyond.

3. Get Your Ring Insured

This is a biggie. Make sure your fiancé kept the receipts for your ring and then take it to get appraised by a certified gemologist. After you do that, you can choose to purchase a “rider” on your home or renter’s insurance, which is essentially an extension on your existing policy for a specific item. But make sure you read the fine print on your “ring rider.”

A good policy will cover everything from a stolen ring to accidentally flushing it down the toilet. (It’s been known to happen, y’all.)

4. Choose Your Squad

Take some time to really consider who you want standing beside you on your big day. Also, be mindful of what’s going on in their lives during the months leading up to the wedding. If one of your best friends will be eight months pregnant at your outdoor July wedding, maybe think of another way to include them.

No matter who you choose, here are a few cute ways to ask them:

Bridal tees — Riffraff has a selection of cheeky bridal tees that are perfectly suited to any personality.

Tesori Bridal

 Bridal tees — Riffraff has a selection of cheeky bridal tees that are perfectly suited to any personality.

Goodie box filled with a few of their favorite things — This thoughtful gesture can be customized to each ’maid’s interests.

 Custom cookies — See our Caterers & Bakeries section for professionals who can whip up tasty treats for your bridesmaids.

A bridesmaid emergency kit — This is sure to come in handy on your wedding day.

 Customized jewelry — This gift is really a twofer. Pick out something that your ’maids can wear on the day of the wedding and forever after.

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5. Start Your Mood Board

Maybe you’ve had your wedding mapped out since 6th grade. Or maybe you’re at a complete loss for what you want your day to look like. Instagram is a tried-and-true source for creative inspiration and wedding ideas that will help you hone in on your specific style.

Must-follow accounts:

6. Discuss Budget & Wedding Size

Money talk isn’t the most fun wedding planning convo you’ll have, but it’s the most important. Talk with whoever is helping you foot the bill to map out how much you have to spend and how big you want your wedding to be. After you figure out those two items, you and your fiancé should start working on your guest list.

Make the process easier by both writing down your close family members, then your closest friends and then other people you’d love to see on the big day. After you narrow them down into those three categories, it’s easier to see where you can cut down on the final headcount. Two more ways to whittle down the guest list: Skip the plus-ones for people who aren’t engaged or make it an adult-only affair.

7. Research Venues

Justin Palmer Weddings

Arkansas is blessed with an abundance of beautiful wedding venues. From rustic barns on sprawling acreage to modern, industrial venues in the heart of the capital city, our state has it all. Check out our venue vendors page to get a jumpstart on your venue research, then schedule appointments to tour the spaces that strike your fancy. Once you’ve chosen your venue, then you should set your date (not before!).

8. Plan a Gown Shopping Trip

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Once you lock down your venue, schedule a day to try on dresses. Be sure to make appointments ahead of time and try to have an idea of what kind of gowns you’re interested in to make the day go smoother.

Dress Buying Guide

Is there a dress designer that you particularly love? Look around to see if they are holding any upcoming trunk shows near you. Trunk shows offer the latest from designers, often at a small discount.

Sample sales are also a great way to save a lot of money on absolutely gorgeous gowns.

Stay glued to our Insta and the for sales and trunk show dates!

 Download our complete gown-buying guide at

9. Build a Wedding Website

To help ward off all the questions you’re sure to get about the details of your big day, go ahead and put all of that info on your wedding website. Website builders like The Knot, Zola and Minted make it easy (and free!) to create a templated wedding website. You can make them as simple or as complex as you want!

Things you’ll want to include:

Where you’re registered

The wedding day agenda (in case guests need to travel from one venue to another, if you’re providing bus transportation from the hotels to the venue, etc.)

Dress code info

RSVPs — if you want to! If you want to only worry about getting back your physical RSVPs, that’s fine, too.

10. Relax!

The planning process isn’t easy and you deserve time to de-stress. Remember the reason for the season. Take a page from Kim Lane and Aaron Duvall and take a pre-wedding moon! The couple traveled to Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon and the red rocks of Sedona a few months before the wedding. “I definitely recommend that to couples who are engaged,” Kim, says. “A little adventure getaway before the big day!” 

Kim Lane
Aaron Duvall and Kim Lane go for a dry run to Arizona for a pre-wedding honeymoon,