Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Molly Gardner & Clay Parker
Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Photography by Sterling Imageworks

Vilonia native Clay Parker lives in Kigali, Rwanda, and works for Rwanda Trading Company—a company owned by Westrock Coffee of Little Rock. It was only fitting that when he met Little Rock’s Molly Gardner on a brief visit home that he take her out for coffee. He returned to Rwanda the next day, but over time, the calls and FaceTime dates only grew longer and more frequent.

While Clay was on his way home for Christmas, he met Molly in Europe for a pre-holiday vacation. It was on the first day of their trip—while overlooking Prague—that Clay proposed while reading Molly a journal entry he had written about meeting her for the first time. It was a true Czech Republic fairytale.

Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

The Inspiration

To coordinate with schedules, the couple wasted no time, planning an entire wedding in just over 30 days, allowing them to get back to Rwanda as a married couple and start their lives together there. The whole vibe of the wedding was tied around the comfort of the winter season, something the couple wouldn’t experience in Rwanda. The warm reds and navy, the mismatched bridesmaids and groomsmen, it all came together in an elegant, inviting, warm and wintery occasion with a touch of vintage flair.

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

How They Customized

Clay’s journal entry from the proposal was just the beginning. The couple incorporated many of the couple’s favorite vintage books that held special meanings for them, including “Anna Kerenina,” “This Side of Paradise” and “Wuthering Heights.” The guest table also included a vintage typewriter that displayed a quote from Clay’s journal.

Molly and Clay of course couldn’t forget about Rwanda. Clay’s mom decorated the groom’s cake table with Rwandan touches; they served Rwandan coffee at the reception, and even gave Rwandan coffee out as party favors.

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs

The Professionals

Photographer: Sterling Imageworks, North Little Rock
Florist: Kelly Efird Flower Events, Hot Springs
Cakes: Ambrosia Bakery, Hot Springs
Caterer/drinks: The Arlington Hotel
  DJ: Jefferson Talbot, Hot Springs
  Wedding invitations: By Invitation Only, Little Rock
Wedding gown: Low’s Bridal & Formal, Brinkley
  Wedding bands: Sissy’s Log Cabin, Little Rock
  Hair: Missy Henson, Malvern
  Honeymoon travel agent: Poe Travel, Little Rock
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Sterling Imageworks
Molly Gardner & Clay Parker Jan. 31, 2015 • The Anthony Chapel at Garvan Woodland Gardens & The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa in Hot Springs