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University of Arkansas Wedding from Photo Love + Rose of Sharon

It’s vendors like Rose of Sharon who have shone a beautiful light on a state I had never given much thought to (until I moved there) – Arkansas. The weddings Rose of Sharon send our way out of the Natural State have me falling for the beautiful natural elements of the state, and this wedding from Photo Love is no exception. The stunning backdrop is one thing, but the DIY soiree at hand is the kind of thing dreams are made of.


From the lovely bride… The natural beauty of Northwest Arkansas is something I was excited for my out of town guests to experience. Justin proposed at the peace fountain on campus and we thought it would also be a beautiful place to exchange vows, when the leaves were at their peak.
I wanted to be reminded of my wedding day down the road by different cues like scent and color so I incorporated herbs like lavender and sage. I picked swiss-dot fabric and my mother made my wedding gown. I used the dot theme throughout the décor. I included succulents and wheat for texture and southern charm and added billy balls for shape and a pop of color.

One detail that truly made the wedding mine was having all of my friends and family make it to Arkansas from New York the same week they were hit by hurricane Sandy. Flights were canceled and some of my friends’ lost their houses but they were still there for me! Having them by my side made it even more special, knowing what it took for them to get here and how lucky we are to have them in our lives.

Pretty much everything was DIY. My mother is an amazing woman and made the dress of my dreams for me. Both of my parents inspired me to take the DIY approach. I made the decorations and the clutches and hair bows for my bridesmaids. One of my bridesmaids is a super talented floral designer and she did the mason jar arrangements. I actually worked at her shop for a little while and knew what flowers I wanted to use. For the big arrangements, bouquets, boutonnieres, cake and my hair piece I worked with Althea at Rose of Sharon by building Pinterest boards and she brought our ideas to life, everything looked even better than I could have imagined! The day went by so fast. Old Main Lawn was glowing with fall colors and the sun was in the perfect position. My maid of honor surprised us with a video she made with slide shows and mini-interviews from Justin and I that she had asked us to do during my bridal shower (which now makes sense) she showed the video during the reception and it was really emotional, it was such a beautiful gift from her heart.

From Rose of Sharon… Kristen and Justin requested flowers in yellow, green, white and lavender. They decided to create their own centerpieces and asked us to design the personal flowers. Kristen loved the small textured flowers such as Solidago, Limonium, and Seeded Eucalyptus contrasted with the larger Succulents, Ranunculus, Cushion Mums and Billy Balls. She also wanted to incorporate lavender–both the color and the flower. These flowers blended nicely with the natural beauty of their venue.

Photography: Photo Love | Florist: Rose of Sharon | Cake: Rick's Bakery | Shoes: Payless | Caterer: Bordinos | Bridesmaid's Dress: Ruche | Hair : Metropolis | Makeup Artist : Luxe Beauty | Tuxes : Mr. Tux | Wedding Venue: The Garden Room

Ruche is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Rose of Sharon Floral Designs is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Rose of Sharon, Event Florist


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6 Floral Tips for Smaller Budget Weddings from Rose of Sharon

Can we talk about the flowers in this wedding for a sec? They’re show stoppers. A beautifully cascading bride’s bouquet, rich purples complemented by the prettiest sage greens and vases filled with sweet petals that don’t tower over the table, but rather, invite you in. It’s the handy work of the lovely Althea at Rose of Sharon, who’s sharing her tips on how you can achieve this look with a smaller budget! See the rest of this beautiful day captured by The Photo Love, right here in the gallery!

1. Keep the size of the guest list down. With every additional person, you have to buy more food, linens, and flowers. Also, keep the size of the bridal party down. Flowers for large parties add up fast!

2. Be specific about colors, not flowers. Tell your florist a few flowers that you like and a few that you don’t like. Show them photos of the style you like. Let the florist choose the rest.

3. Double duty. Some items can be re-purposed. Altar arrangements can be moved to the buffet. Aisle markers can be used as accents at the reception. Rehearsal dinner flowers can be used at the reception (if proper care is taken).

4. Don’t rule out the standards. Carnations have a wonderful texture. Alstroemeria lilies come in a wide variety of colors. Daisies are fun. Paired with a few more expensive blooms, these classics work great.

5. Decide what’s most important and splurge there. If your bouquet is the most important, use the more expensive blooms, like calla lilies and orchids here and go for less expensive blooms in the bridesmaids’ bouquets. If the reception is where your focus is, have a focal piece for the room and coordinate the rest of the designs without matching exactly.

6. DIY. This is only recommended if you have experience with flowers, practice ahead of time and plan your day well. Flowers always take longer than expected and all the supplies you need can easily eat away any savings you may have. Oh, and go with something simple like hydrangeas. I also recommend a hybrid DIY-do your own centerpieces but purchase the more technical pieces from an experienced florist.

From the Bride… I went for a fairly classic look. Simple and tasteful, and with a mix of masculine and feminine. Our main color was a warm eggplant purple with accents of grey and black. To continue the theme of his & hers, the venue had masculine wrought iron candelabras as well as feminine chandeliers. I loved the mix of black lanterns with delicate flower clusters on the tables. For flowers, I went for a natural but not rustic look with a mix of interesting and unusual blooms. For my cake I went with a very feminine ruffled cake with fondant flowers and for his cake he went with a Turtle Cake with tons of caramel and pecans. Shawn’s absolute favorite beer is Yuengling, which is only available east of Memphis. A friend made a special trip just to it for us to serve at the reception. Shawn’s nickname is “Taterhead” and one of the touches that truly that was special to us was our vintage “Mr. and Mrs. Taterhead” cake topper on the groom’s cake. We did not hire a wedding coordinator and did the planning ourselves. We also went with a full service wedding venue, had lanterns as centerpieces to reduce the amount of flowers needed, and served heavy hors d’oeuvres instead of a full meal. We skipped some of the formalities such as wedding favors and printed programs. Overall the wedding was great and went so well. My favorite memory was walking down the aisle and seeing each other for the first time but we also both loved being able to talk with our out of state friends and family that we don’t see often. We did have a little issue with a flower falling off the cake (several times) but luckily Jeff from Avondale skillfully reset it for pictures and cake cutting. The other funny thing was we were rushing to make our exit before the sparklers went out, but unfortunately, they were still lighting them at the end of the line. The guys lighting them ended up in the center of all of our exit pictures! My mom told me beforehand that your wedding will never be 100% perfect and to just expect it….so that helped me just laugh and enjoy the day.

From Rose of SharonRachel came to me with the request that her flowers ‘not look like everyone elses’, that it be ‘natural, not rustic,’ that there be lots of texture, and that we use eggplant purple and sage green. With this, we were able to use flowers that most brides are afraid to try: Pieres Japonica, ‘Picasa’ Calla Lilies, Anemones, Succulents, Helleborus, Orchids, Clematis, and antique Hydrangeas. We accented this with deep plum miniature Carnations, Seeded Eucalyptus and Italian Ruscus. Rachel and Shawn’s flexibility with the types of flowers used gave us the opportunity to be creative–our favorite kind of bride and groom!

Florist: Rose of Sharon | Cakes: Rick's Bakery | Invitations: Minted | Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Caterer: The Main Event | Entertainment: Kick' N Sound | Tuxes: Men's Wearhouse | Bride's Dress: Alfred Angelo | Bridesmaid's Shoes: Nine West | Ceremony and Reception: Avondale Chapel & Gardens | Dresses: Alfred Angelo | Photography : Photo Love | Reception and Ceremony : Avondale Chapel & Gardens | Rings : Mariloff Diamonds

Badgley Mischka is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Rose of Sharon Floral Designs is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Rose of Sharon, Event Florist

Little Rock Wedding from Nathan Willis Wedding Films + Cottonwood Studios Worldwide

My heart has a special place reserved for high school sweethearts. It’s right there next to baby kisses and little kittens learning to walk. They are maybe the sweetest, ever. So when a set high school sweethearts all grown up has a wedding beautifully captured by both Nathan Willis Wedding Films and Cottonwood Studios Worldwide, my little heart feels like it could burst with happiness. Care to join me?

Oh, we’re not done yet. Nathan Willis has the highlight of all highlights…


From the gorgeous bride… Daniel and I met in the 5th grade in elementary school and became best friends around the 9th grade. Our sophomore year of high school, he asked me to the Christmas Dance and that night we officially started dating. Throughout college we long-distance dated. It had been 7 years on July 22, 2012, when he asked me to marry him on a wooden bridge at Pinnacle Mountain, our favorite spot in Little Rock. Complete with balloons, candles, and secret photographers, it was an engagement to remember.

Eight months later, April 6, 2013, we exchanged vows and finally became a married couple. We had a limited budget and a big guest list, so we decided to have a simple wedding outside, because we both love the outdoors. With that in mind, we chose our theme to be a mix of simple, rustic, and woodsy ideas. “Less is more” was our way of thinking. All of the decorations and even the groom’s cakes were made by family and friends. My favorite color since I was younger is yellow, so I chose the colors yellow and grey. Our wedding was at sunset so our guests could enjoy our reception under a lighted-up tent complete with desserts, drinks, and dancing.

Photographer: Cottonwood Studios Worldwide | Videographer: Nathan Willis Wedding Films | Dress: Allure Bridal from Low’s Bridal  | Tuxes: Men’s Wearhouse | Caterer: Simply the Best | Bride’s cake: Community Bakery | Rentals: Confetti’s | Band: Great Forest | Florist: Tipton & Hurst | Hair: Catherine Grant Salon, by Laura Hart | Makeup: Glo | Invitations: David’s Bridal | Groom’s Ring: Jared | Bride’s Ring: Fletcher Smith Jewelers

Nathan Willis Wedding Films is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Nathan Willis Wedding Films