Situated along the gentle banks of the Arkansas River, Little Rock competes with the best of them for gorgeous scenery. Would you expect anything less from “The Natural State”? Four pedestrian bridges spanning the River Trail’s seventeen miles of waterfront vistas are reason enough to imagine your wedding here.
Named a “secret foodie city” by Forbes Travel Guide, Little Rock’s pantry is stocked with eclectic and gourmet eats. Home of the original “cheese dog,” renowned BBQ joints, and award-winning upscale restaurants, this city’s culinary scene will satisfy any flavor craving you can muster.
Live music, year-round festivals, farmers markets, art galleries, one-of-a-kind shopping districts, historic sites, museums—the scene is certainly thriving in Arkansas’s capital city.
Placed among the top ten best-value cities in the country by hotel search site Trivago, Little Rock will offer you and your weddings guests plenty, including top-notch entertainment, dining, and scenic views, without the astronomical bill. Feel like you’re splurging while keeping your wedding costs sane in this affordably priced city.
It’s a decision that some young women dream about for years, wondering just what fate has in store for her. Looks, personality, degrees of compatibility...all these elements cycle through her imagination. Will she have to compromise? Is the right fit out there somewhere? Oh, the search for The One. Wait — did you think we were talking about soul mates? Sorry, friend. No. We’re talking about The Dress. Find your sartorial match made in heaven at one of Little Rock's fabulous bridal shops, where your fairy godmothers of fashion are waiting to outfit you in the gown you were born to wear. (While you’re there, dress up your whole wedding party to match; you’ll see your entire wedding vision really come to life.) Then gild the whole ensemble with help from your local ring and jewelry specialists, where those eye-catching details, from wedding bands to a “something new” necklace, will secure the look you’ve been searching for. Then sit back and breath a sigh of relief...whew. The hunt is over.
Unless you are a model or a celebrity (and if so, well then congrats to you), the twenty-four hours surrounding your walk down the aisle might be the most photographed day of your life. With all those cameras flashing, you’ll want to be sure you’re looking mighty fine, so book an appointment or two with local hair and makeup professionals well in advance to work through the finer details of your wedding appearance. They’ll help you achieve that polished, but not too “done” affect so that you look like you...just a really, really stunning version of you. What could be better? Reward yourself for all that hard work of being gorgeous with a trip to one of Little Rock’s pampering salons, preferably with your best buds in tow, to get that relaxed, glowy vibe that comes from a killer facial and massage. Oh, and remember when we said this was the most photographed you’ll ever be? Same message applies for your hands, so get those digits in front of a nail technician while you’re there. (Trust us, “ragged cuticles” is not a hot look.)
Your ceremony should be a moment that feels unequivocally you, whether that means a vow exchange rich with tradition or a uniquely personalized service. Luckily you won’t have to compromise what’s most important when working with Little Rock’s gifted officiants and celebrants, who will help you plan the ceremony that best reflects you and your love. Your choice of music is equally important for capturing your character as a couple, so choose a local musician to sound the ideal backdrop, whether lighthearted or reverent, for your moment of official union. Never fear: Little Rock’s “I do” experts are just a click away.
When it comes to planning everything post-recessional, just remember the three Ds: decor, dinner, and dancing. Whether your tastes run mac n cheese bar or more foie gras on toast, the reception is really where you can let your personalities shine. Enlist a Little Rock wedding planner to inspire and organize all of your creative touches; this investment will pay off big time when the day rolls around you don’t have to worry about a thing (except looking and feeling fabulous, of course). Your all-star team of dynamite local caterer, florist, and band or DJ will take care of providing an exceptional spread, down-right gorgeous decor, and a dance floor that just won’t quit—so you can party like you just don’t care.
Got a case of the pre-wedding jitters? Cure your anxiety with an intimate rehearsal dinner for your nearest and dearest (after a few rounds of toasts, you’ll barely recall why you were stressed). Show your wedding VIPs all that Little Rock has to offer with a divine meal at one of downtown’s swankiest spots, such as 1620 Savoy. Or introduce them to the finer points of country living with a farm-to-table dinner laid out in Riverfront Park on the banks of the Arkansas, using locally sourced goods from nearby Little Rock Farmers Market. Whichever vibe you choose, your closest crew will relish the opportunity to spend these moments with you before the big day.
We know, goodbyes are hard...but a Bloody Mary bar sure does help. Postpone the inevitable a bit longer with a fabulous brunch to wrap up the wedding weekend festivities: not only will it allow you more face time for chatting up those out-of-town guests, but you’ll get great firsthand stories about the night before. Little Rock’s restaurant scene offers dozens of charming and unique options—what could be more fitting than biscuits and gravy or fried chicken waffles to cap off a trip to Rock City? (FYI, South on Main has both of these mainstays covered.) Or keep the morning commute really short by hosting breakfast in a private room in your guests’ hotel. Either way, taking the time to send off your guests in proper, well-fed style will be the icing on their cinnamon roll.
That envelope, standing out like a diamond amidst the bills and junk mail, is the first piece of information your guests will receive regarding your wedding. The invitation is an insight into your affair’s personality, offering clues about such fundamentals as formality, mood, size, and setting. It’s a gift, really, and can be as pretty as any present—if done well. Don’t waste the opportunity to make a first impression with your invites; enlist the design expertise of a local invitation and paper goods boutique to help craft an original, considered, and cohesive paper suite that truly plants the style seeds for your complete wedding vision. Of course, if your budget allows, going the extra mile to have your stationery hand-calligraphed will pack a majorly sophisticated, not to mention personalized, punch. Little Rock’s talented calligraphers can do just about anything with a pen and ink, so whether your vibe is clean and modern or elegantly casual, consider adding an extra touch of artistry to your wedding stationery. That envelope will shine all the brighter for it.
Want to be voted the most bodacious host ever? Surprise guests with a “Welcome to Little Rock” bag of goodies filled with the best that The Rock has to offer. Out-of-towners can crush hunger (with cheese straws from J&M Foods), quell thrist (with brews from Stone’s Throw Brewing), and clean up naturally (with handmade soaps from Tigre Mountain Soap) just like a local. Throw in some helpful travel tools, like a map of downtown, a copy of the Arkansas Times, and an itinerary of key wedding events, and you’re guaranteed to win lots of hosting superlatives.
Clearly you have great taste (you’re hanging with us, after all), so we know that your reception is going to be lovely. But if you want your party to be off-the-charts awesome, seal the deal with a truly local wedding favor that will remind guests why you chose Rock City as the setting for your big affair. Send folks home with a bottle of BBQ sauce from Whole Hog Cafe, a mini-swig of Arkansas Lightning from Rock Town Distillery, or a hand-held fried pie from Lindsey’s Hospitality House, and you’ll be sending them home with an authentic slice of Little Rock.View Local Wedding Favor Ideas
Now’s your chance to show off the Little Rock you know and love to all your friends and relations, so don’t waste the opportunity to get them out and about amidst the city’s main attractions. Encourage them to stroll the Quapaw Quarter to lay eyes on beautiful historic homes and landmarks, lose hours eating their way through vendors in Ottenheimer Market Hall in River Market, or bike over the city’s four pedestrian bridges on the Arkansas River Trail. After just a few hours of taking in the sights, sounds, and tastes of this capital city, your guests will be starry eyed for the Natural State.
Going out to eat isn’t just a routine act in Little Rock, it’s a no-holds-barred adventure. This under-the-radar foodie destination has all the expected genres covered—Southern-fried, soul food, and BBQ galore—as well as international influencers, locavore havens, food trucks turned brick-and-mortars, and plenty of niche specialities. Sushi, steak, pizza, and Asian cuisine all have a strong foothold here (translation: all your food cravings = covered). This comprehensive dining directory will set you on the path towards food coma bliss, and be sure to check out local food blog Rock City Eats for insider insights; you might consider directing visitors to their proposed itinerary for famous foodie critic Anthony Bourdain and just calling it a day. At the very least, point out some can’t-miss dining experiences so your guests will feel like they came, they saw, they devoured Little Rock.
Think ahead for your traveling guests so they don’t have to: research the best rooms in town, and make suggestions for a few great spots to get some shut-eye in between wedding activities. From swanky downtown hotels to historic B&Bs brimming with Southern hospitality, possibilities abound when it comes to Little Rock accommodations. Consult TripAdvisor’s list of the ten best hotels as a starting point, and keep in mind both convenience of location and consideration for all budgets when offering recommendations. Have a look through our suggestions for a sweet spot to stay in Little Rock below.
Little Rock couples make out like bandits when it comes to great, scenic spots to frame their love. Take the basic formula of naturally-occurring wild beauty in the form of mountain trails, wetlands, and farms, throw in miles of gentle riverfront, a hip urban playground full of sculpture gardens, and the sky-grazing grace of (many) pedestrian bridges, and you have some pretty considerable results when it comes to the question of stellar engagement shoot locations. To help you navigate that pool of possibilities, we reached out to a few of our favorite Little Rock wedding photographers for their top destinations when it comes to snapping engagement pics. So read up, put on some stylish duds, and get ready to pose pretty.
After all those budgeting spreadsheets, vendor chats, and big-day decisions, you deserve a kick-back. This is why the wedding gods created the glorious thing we know as the bachelorette party. Leave the planning to your BFs and let them concoct an amazing weekend of estrogen-fueled awesomeness. Our suggestions for bachelorette fun highlight why Little Rock is an obvious choice for weekend throw-downs: the combo of great dining, drinking, and dancing all found within downtown’s walkable radius make organizing a breeze. Yet Little Rock also offers plenty of creative options for those brides who prefer the unexpected—for instance, what could be more thrilling than flying through the air on one of the 200 inter-connected trampolines at Altitude Trampoline Park? Or tapping into your artsy side (armed with plenty of vino, of course) at Painting with a Twist’s booze-fueled art classes? With options like these, your ladies’ weekend is sure to be exactly what the wedding doctor ordered (yes, that’s a thing).
Hey, grooms-to-be: if your eyes glaze over every time your fiancée busts out the wedding binder, we have some planning talk that might actually perk you up. Yes, we’re talking bach party here. Our Little Rock bachelor party ideas are devoted to cramming as many dude pursuits into as few days as possible, so regardless of your partying personality, we have you covered. Craving the chance to cut loose? Throw down with a decadent steak dinner at Arthur Prime’s Steakhouse followed by late-night bonding at Midtown Billards, which stays open ‘til 5 a.m. Or tap into your inner kid with go karts, batting cages, and laser tag at Big Rock Fun Park (hint: a bit of pre-gaming takes this to a whole new level). Whichever your poison, you can be certain that Little Rock will deliver enough action to keep you and your crew going all weekend.
We don’t need to sell you on Little Rock as a fantastic destination, for weddings or otherwise—you’ve obviously already figured out that this city is picturesque, vibrant, and a total deal when it comes to scoring major fun points without crippling price tags. But those high marks means that Little Rock draws a crowd all year long...great for the city economy! Bad for your wedding logistics. Since we’re your right-hand man when it comes to this sort of stuff, we’ve already put together a list of events that might affect critical issues such as traffic, road closures, and hotel and transportation availability throughout the Little Rock metro area. Check out the short list of possible weekends to avoid below, and be sure to feel out your prospective date to avoid unexpected complications.
When planning something as complex and significant as your wedding day, sometimes you just want friendly experts to step in share some pearls of wisdom. Lucky for you, we know people (we’re sitting right here—wink wink). And we’ve got your back: insider tips, exhaustive research, and inspiring takes on all aspects of the planning process, compiled here specifically with your wedding location in mind. You’re just a few clicks away from wedding planning peace of mind…You’re welcome! (No thank-you note required.)
Check out some other useful local online resources to get you acquainted with all-things Little Rock, from travel guides to the local restaurant scene to great local wedding blogs run by our friends in the industry: