Lani & William’s Practical Arkansas Wedding

I’m excited to get to share Lani and Williams simple, joyful, beautiful wedding. This wedding is stylish in a unassuming way, but the part that makes me love it is the looks on everyone’s faces, it’s this blissful mix of joy and peace all mixed up together that makes me so happy. So, Lani, take it away:
Where your wedding was held: Our wedding ceremony was held at my church, St. Andrew’s Anglican in Little Rock, Arkansas. I love the large windows and simple rustic atmosphere.Our reception was at Camp Aldersgate- I had almost given up on finding a practical place for 200 people when my dad (who is a pediatric cancer doctor) suggested the medical camp. They rent during their off-season to raise extra money for the camps! A perfect fit! It’s the first gold certified LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) building in Arkansas. It is a great building with lots of natural daylight, rainwater harvesting, stone from Arkansas, renewable energy resources, insulation from blue jeans and denim shirts, and environmentally conscious furnishings.What made your wedding creative: We tried to create a wedding that reflected what we wanted in our marriage. William would’ve loved in do the courthouse thing, but realized early on that a wedding was a way to honor his mother and my parents. We designed our own stationary. We had friends who designed and created the flowers, table centerpieces and other decorations. My dad had leis flown in from Maui to help celebrate my Hawaiian heritage and as a reminder of my relatives who couldn’t come from the island.What made your wedding thrifty: We tried to use as few vendors as humanly possible. We saved money by having my dress made by a local seamstress and purchasing the fabric ourselves. We had William’s old guitar professor from college play with his trio at the reception. We had no catering at all. All of the food was made by family and friends who also helped serve and clean up. We also had no florist. A friend purchased our flowers wholesale and made our bouquets and other arrangements. Our groomsmen didn’t wear tuxes. Everyone wore gray pants and white shirt they previously owned and we found coordinating yellow ties. Our bridesmaids didn’t get matching dresses- they just wore a gray dress with gray and yellow accessories so they would coordinate. We made our own save-the-dates, invitations, and programs. For “favors” we handed out wildflower seed packets with our new address on them. All of these little things helped keep our wedding well under budget.What made your wedding sane: William and I knew we didn’t want 5 hours of dinner and dancing! We wanted a time after our ceremony where we could hang out with our friends and family- not an orchestrated evening of photo ops! Our ceremony was at 2pm which meant our reception was from 3-5pm.This was the perfect low-stress way to celebrate. We had no toasts, no garter throw, no bouquet throw, no receiving line, no first dance and no send-off. We also decided early on what we cared about (me-my dress, him-the music, our family-flowers and food) and set priorities and didn’t stress about the rest. The following morning over breakfast we both concluded that there was nothing to change-we had married our best friend with everyone we love around us! Could not have been any better!

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  • GORGEOUS dress! I love seeing a unique, beautiful dress!

  • Oooohhh…love the leis. What a gorgeous, understated wedding. Thanks for sharing.

  • Amy T

    I second EmilyAnn’s comment… I’m in lurv with that dress!!! Any details – designer, etc?!

    Amy T

  • Rachel

    what a gorgeous dress! and a beautiful wedding that seemed like exactly what they wanted. and it sure doesn’t look like their guests missed the 5-hour dinner and dancing and garter toss. wonderful :)

  • Anonymous

    *sigh* This is what happens when you get excited about pretty pictures BEFORE reading the captions… ignore my blonde-moment comment :-)

    -Amy T-

  • Beautiful! I love the gown especially. My wedding was very similar as well… Hurray!

  • sam

    Yay! This is the simple, fun event we are hoping our wedding will be. Bravo!

  • Abby

    What a really, really lovely dress!

  • Your Dress looks like the Daphne from J. Crew. Since they don’t have it anymore, did you have it made?? You look so beautiful and relaxed!

  • LPC

    Another hand in the air for the dress. And the sentiment too.

  • Meg

    Yup, Allison, she talks in the post about getting her dress made.

  • i’m 6’1″ in bare feet so we took a couple of good pictures of the Daphne to a seamstress and had her make up a pattern. :) Thanks for all the dress love!

  • Gorgeous and sweet! Congratulations to both of you! And I love the yellow flowers. :)

  • Woo Arkansas!

    I love her dress as well. What a beautiful wedding!

  • Ella

    Thank you for posting such a laidback beautiful wedding…one that’s really about the people, not the details…about the marriage, not the wedding…about the love of two people and not the professionals they paid to make everything perfect. LOVE THIS!!

  • Thanks for sharing this beautiful,warm, relaxed wedding. What comes through so strongly for me, is that sometimes less is more and that bringing together of loved ones is what makes the day.

  • This is beautiful. You both look so happy! And that cake…fabulous. I have been on a yellow kick lately!

  • Sarah K

    Thank you so much for showing an Arkansas wedding! I’m getting married in two weeks in Arkansas and it was such and inspiration/confirmation to see another Arkansan couple pull off a beautiful, simple, practical wedding. Love it.

  • we’re loving those yellow details

  • This wedding is so inspirational! I love that take on a reception. It’s exactly what my fiance and I are going for.

  • That dress is DIVINE! Love, love, love!!!

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    Aww, heart swelling, girl grinning

  • i love this!! simple and beautiful – these cats ahve their priorities in order!

  • Meg

    We’re letting people go drink it off on their own. By the time I’m good and married I can’t be bothered. Besides, if everyone does it right, they should be hungover by 5, right?

  • Cate Subrosa

    Beautiful! I love your dress and how the yellow shines through all the photos with just the ties and flowers.

    I’ve always wondered (perhaps because I’m British and we’re such big drinkers!) – what happens at 5pm when you have a 3-5pm reception? Did everyone leave? What did you do for the rest of the day? I just know in my social circle the party would go on for the rest of the night one way or another, and have always wondered how people manage these short receptions (or morning weddings and brunches, which I think are a great idea). Thanks!

  • Lani,

    How much was this venue to rent?