Back to Their Roots: Chris Marsh + Jonathan Parkey’s Little Rock Wedding
Chris Marsh & Jonathan Parkey
October 13, 2018
South on Main, Little Rock
Arkansas native (but then New Yorker) Jonathan Parkey was visiting his hometown of Jonesboro for his high school reunion when a friend mentioned a guy she thought Jonathan should meet. That night, after a few drinks, Jonathan friended Chris Marsh on social media and thus began the social media chase. The two finally met face-to-face when Jonathan was back home for the holidays. They proved to be a perfect match.
When it came to planning their wedding, the couple knew they wouldn’t need to outsource for a planner. After moving back to Arkansas, Jonathan opened up his own event and design service firm, J. Parkey. Chris and Jonathan’s wedding was an opportunity for the pair to flex their creative muscles, while making sure both of their unique styles were represented.
“We wanted the morning to feel as though we were hosting people in our home,” Jonathan says. “This made it easy from a planning standpoint — we just kept going back to this idea that we were hosting a party. The details followed naturally. One of the other major details we were also unwavering on was the date. Sixty-four years ago on our wedding date, my grandparents (two of the most influential people in my life), Billy and Dortha Jane Arnold, were married.”
Chris and Jonathan’s wedding style was rooted in how they were raised. “Family and chosen family” became the theme for their day. That meant incorporating Arkansas and their heritage throughout the festivities.
“I learned how to host and what it meant to entertain from some of the finest, most particular and wildly interesting women you can find east of the Cache River,” Chris says. “Women like my grandmother, mother, my Ta or Lulu have always flung their doors open as wide as their hearts and made sure each of their guests, family or friends, were welcomed, well-fed, sometimes overserved, and always loved. And that was our goal and theme for our day.”
Chris and Jonathan searched for a space that felt just right and they found that in South on Main. Since the space doubles as a music venue, they chose T.K. and the Right Pieces to fill the space with brassy, funk sounds during their New Orleans-style brunch reception.
HOW THEY CUSTOMIZED
The couple worked with Tanarah Haynie of Tanarah Luxe Floral to create florals that were a reflection of their personalities, but steered clear of being “bridal” or “frilly.” Tanarah also incorporated rice from Chris’ family’s farm into the arrangements. Jonathan chose bold black and white stripes and buffalo check from La Tavola Linen to keep the atmosphere fun, bright and not too serious.
Thinking back to his favorite moment of the day, Chris says it was when he was standing before his friends and family with Jonathan during the ceremony.
“We, these two guys who grew up in rural Arkansas only 60 miles apart (and a few years), who both have lived fruitful and independent lives, who both were seeking to build a life that resembled what each saw in our parents, were, for a moment, enclosed by the sheer force of love.”
|WEDDING VENDORS WE LOVE|
|Planning||J. Parkey, Little Rock|
|Florist||Tanarah Luxe Floral, Little Rock|
|Hair||Natalie Blaney with The Fix Salon, Little Rock|
|Welcome party venue||42 Bar and Table, Little Rock|
|Venue, caterer and drink service||South on Main, Little Rock|
|Photography||B.Matthews Photo, Little Rock|
|Day-of coordinator||Leslie Carter|
|Linens||La Tavola Fine Linen of Napa, California|
|Cake and petit fours||Mickey's Cakes & Sweets, Little Rock|
|Band||TK and the Right Pieces, New Orleans|
|Ceremony music||Barrett Baber|
|Invitations||Bell'Invito Stationers, Dallas|
|Programs, thank-you notes, matchbooks and napkins||By Invitation Only, Little Rock|
|Jonathan's suit||Barakat Bespoke, Little Rock|
|Chris' suit||Strong Suit, Little Rock|
|Jeweler||Tiffany & Co.|
|Transportation||Argenta Limo, Little Rock|
|Rehearsal dinner venue||Cache Restaurant, Little Rock|