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,


Lindsay's 7 Top Tips for Getting Started on Your Arkansas Wedding Day

Mark Twain once said, “If it’s your job to eat a frog, it’s best to do it first thing in the morning. And if it’s your job to eat two frogs, it’s best to eat the biggest one first.”

I tend to use this reference a lot in my line of work — editing magazines is hard work, y’all — and I’m continually met with the same perplexed look when I say it. Although a bit odd, Twain is saying that when you have a big job to do (like planning a wedding!), it’s best to knock out the hardest tasks first and as early in the process as possible. I have always taken this advice to heart when juggling my daily to-dos, but I feel it applies perfectly to busy brides too.

So what’s your “frog?”

Choosing a venue? Interviewing wedding planners? Finding your dream wedding dress?

And where do you begin?

Well, reading this magazine is a great start!

Arkansas Bride is absolutely essential for planning a Natural State wedding. We know you’ll want to grab every planning notebook at Barnes & Noble and pin all the things on Pinterest, but Arkansas Bride is your go-to source for finding the best local vendors — and seeing the genius of these pros come to life in creative styled shoots and real weddings.

Lindsay Irvin, Editor

For this issue, we wanted to spotlight the art of getting started in your planning process with a special feature dedicated to your to-do list —  “10 Things to Do Immediately After Getting Engaged.” In addition to the fabulous advice you’ll find in that feature, we invite you to visit our planning tools page for seven downloadable worksheets to help you stay organized, on time and on budget. Plus, our monthly, personalized e-newsletter will send you to-dos and reminders to keep you on track.

Of course, this edition — our thickest issue ever! — is filled to the brim with beautiful weddings, including those of former Miss America Savvy Shields, LA Rams quarterback Brandon Allen and CMT reality TV star Jessica Mack. There are also 25 pages of bridal fashion, tablescapes, trends and styled shoots to inspire every aspect of your big day.

Enjoy! And don’t forget we’re right here alongside you as you plan — find us on Instagram, Facebook or email us at if you ever need advice or recommendations. We love to help!

Sincerest wishes to you, dear brides, for the happiest time ever planning the wedding of your dreams.

After 10 years in the biz, here are my ...

7 Top Tips for Getting Started

1. Don’t pick a date right away.

2. Hire your photographer first — you’d be shocked how far in advance they’re booked.

3. Next, lock down your dream venue (secure a wedding date based on your venue’s availability).

4. Hire professionals. Limit the use of friends with a camera, DJ equipment or a new calligraphy set. You’re just going to have to take my word on this one.

5. Don’t assume you can’t afford a wedding planner. Take the time to interview a few wedding planners. They can actually save you money thanks to their vendor connections, designer discounts and vast experience.

6. Look for “Wedding Vendors We Love” throughout this magazine — these pros are among the best and most reputable in Arkansas!

7. Oh, and promise me that you won’t skip videography. Our polled bride readers who passed up this service unanimously agree it was their biggest regret.


Introducing the Arkansas Bride Fall/Winter 2019 Issue

Jason Masters
Taegan Lovelace appears on the cover of Arkansas Bride's Fall/Winter 2019 edition, wearing a dress from She Said Yes Bridal. See more in this issue's Fashion section.

It’s here! Our latest pride and joy arrives this week to an office full of excited staffers. We poured our hearts and souls into this one, y’all!

The Fall/Winter 2019 edition is 172-pages of beautiful and creative wedding ideas. I mean, just wait till you see all the INCREDIBLE Real Weddings featured inside! From former Miss America Savvy Shield’s wedding and Chris and Jonathan of Little Rock’s cool South on Main I dos to an epic airplane hangar wedding in Hope and the vineyard nuptials of an NFL quarterback (former Razorback Brandon Allen), there are so many amazing details to see.

Many of our featured couples’ wedding videos are included alongside their story and photos, such as Drew and Ashton's, shown above. (Betwixt Magnolias)

We traveled to northwest Arkansas to photograph our bridal fashion spread at the historic Inn at Carnall Hall. It was a wonderful experience working with Sabra and Haley of their events team and capturing gorgeous dress trends from our favorite bridal boutiques in such a storied Southern setting.

You’ll also find our personal picks for bridal beauty must-haves, fab new items for your registry and unique paperie and party goodies. We couldn’t resist the urge to share the things we are loving now in our “Trends” section!

As always, you’ll find pages upon pages of preferred vendors to trust with your big day—as well as comprehensive guides to local Venues, Caterers & Bakers, Music and more!

Perhaps one of my favorite details in this edition is the Tablescapes section. We asked you, dear readers, on Insta stories how you would describe your wedding style. Then, using a handful of the most popular and unique answers, our beloved florist and event designer friends brought those styles to life! Go see. Did we use yours?

Enjoy this issue. We hope it not only inspires you but also guides you to the perfect local pros for bringing your wedding day dreams to life.

Best wishes!