Every day I get to take off to a new locale. Some days it’s a California beach. Sometimes it’s a loft in NYC. Other times I’m in a cozy Canadian cabin. The best part of my job is that I get to see all these fantastic locations through the eyes of a bride & groom, which makes it so special. And I can tell you first hand that Arkansas really is as special as this bride and groom, and Beaty Photography, see it. The wedding, planned and perfected by Details Weddings & Events and filled to the brim with sweet vintage touches and DIY goodness, takes full advantage of the natural beauty of The Natural State. The best news of all? I’ve booked you a seat on my afternoon vaca, right here in the gallery!

Joe and I met in college in Washington, DC and though we’ve made that city our home, at heart we’re both small-town people from states we love – he’s from Maine, and I’m from Arkansas. Since I knew my family would be helping a lot in making our DIY-wedding a success, it just made sense to have it in Arkansas, at my family’s home. Although having it at home was a lot of work, welcoming all of our friends and family to a place that is so dear to both of us made the day even more meaningful.

The ceremony was simple and beautiful. It was outside underneath two tall oak trees, with a view of the valley behind our home. The ceremony was also quite short (12 minutes!) and secular. I walked in with my parents to a recording of “O mio babbino caro”, from La Boheme, that my grandmother had recorded in 1948 when she was studying voice in college. Hearing her voice as I walked down the aisle was incredibly special. For the ceremony we chose two readings: an annotated version of “Friendship” by Henry David Thoreau and “The Master Speed” by Robert Frost. The natural beauty of the location worked perfectly with the poems, and our handwritten vows echoed the theme of two strong oak trees, just touching above, but with their roots intertwined beneath. I barely kept it together.

Having a receiving line after the ceremony ensured that Joe and I said hello to everyone before things got crazy; I would definitely recommend it. For the reception we went with a colorful, homemade look that incorporated things special to us and our families. The tablecloths were 1950s floral prints that my sisters and I collect, with vintage glassware for the flowers, which my sister arranged (she also did the bouquets and boutonnieres – she’s amazing). Wedding photos of our parents and grandparents decorated the cake table, and photos of Joe and I as kids were near the buffet so everyone could get a good laugh. Joe is a Civil War re-enactor in his free time, and as a surprise my sister made a precious cake topper of a Union soldier and his belle that she copied from a paper doll book. In the months before the wedding I made a mountain of paper chains to decorate the tent, along with escort cards, table numbers, and photo booth props, for a DIY photo booth we set up using my laptop, a printer, and the Sparkbooth program. For the food, we wanted to incorporate our local favorites, so there was fried catfish and barbecue for dinner and whoopie pies for the groom’s cake. Joe actually made the whoopie pies himself, because he is from Maine and he is awesome.

Planning and doing so much in advance made the day itself pretty effortless. I’ve never been happier. Towards the end of the night my brother set off some pretty spectacular fireworks as a surprise. Coming out of the tent after dancing all night to see them explode overhead was something I’ll never forget.

Wedding Photography:  Beaty Photography / Wedding Event Planning:  Details Weddings & Events / Wedding Venue:  Private home / Wedding Cakes:  The Cake Shop / Wedding Invitations:  The Paper Source / Catering:  Jamie’s Creative Catering / DJ:  Travel Tunes / Wedding Decor & Flowers:  DIY by the Bride and Genie Allen / Wedding Dress: Casablanca

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