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As a wedding destination, Northwest Arkansas is a natural

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October 28, 2019 By Karen Rice

While it might not be an exotic location, Northwest Arkansas might just be the perfect wedding destination. If that seems surprising, it may be just one more surprising thing people are discovering this little corner of the state.

“There are a lot of cultures here that the world wouldn’t normally associate with Arkansas,” says Kristen Hoover, Assistant Director of Special Events for the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks. “We take our recreation seriously, and whether it’s outdoor activities, music, art or fine dining, Northwest Arkansas has it all.”

And that includes enchanting weddings. Venues run the gamut here, from rustic-yet-upscale barn settings to historic inns and high-end hotels, world-class museums, chapels, and gardens, plus almost limitless parks and captivating natural backdrops. The opportunities offer truly one-of-a-kind settings for nuptials, from intimate gatherings to grand-scale events.

Saying “I do” amidst the magic of the Ozarks offers great possibilities. Beautiful surroundings, mild climate, availability, affordability and geographic convenience for guests are just some of the advantages Northwest Arkansas has to offer brides and grooms-to-be.

Kelli McWhirt, Catering and Events Manager for BV Bar and Grill and Lakepoint Restaurant and Event Center in Bella Vista, says 65 -70 percent of her Bella Vista brides are from out of state, and she is booking into 2020 now.

“We’ve had brides from New York, from California, Austin, they’re coming from all over. We’re a central location,” she notes. “They may have family all over the country, all over the world, but this seems to be central, it’s an equal distance for all.”

Kelli points out that in Bella Vista, an added bonus is the opportunity for extended family to stay together in a nearby lakefront or forested vacation home, some of which can accommodate large groups.

“Northwest Arkansas is a wonderful place to get married,” Kristen agrees. “The Ozark Mountains that surround NWA are made of magic and the locals genuinely want you to be happy and enjoy your time here.”

Kristen says the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is one of those only-in-Arkansas venues.

“I feel like the Garden is a hidden gem, nestled on the border of Fayetteville and Springdale, just ten minutes from either downtown, yet a magical place to step away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life,” she notes. “The Garden is a wonderful venue for weddings because of the natural beauty of the space and the location. Our Horticulture team pays attention to the details and it makes for an enchanting backdrop for any event, particularly weddings.”

Many of Kelli’s couples get married in the breathtaking E. Fay Jones-designed Cooper Chapel and have a lakefront reception at Lakepoint Restaurant, just five minutes away.

Both event managers agree that personalization and attention to detail are big advantages when it comes to Northwest Arkansas wedding venues.

Kelli’s weddings have run the gamut from Arkansas-casual cowboy boots and barbeque to formal, grand events for Manhattanites. She tells her brides she never does the same wedding twice. That’s very different from when she was managing events at Disney, for example, where she would do up to 27 weddings a day.

“A wedding should be unique to the couple,” she says. “Whatever their story is, we should celebrate that. We make sure to include pieces of them, whatever that entails, to make that day uniquely theirs.”

And the word is spreading. Both Kelli and Kristen have seen an increase in wedding bookings for their venues. The Botanical Garden of the Ozarks is in high demand during the months of May and October especially, when the grounds and plants are in their glory.

“Not only were we (Botanical Garden of the Ozarks) voted one of the best places to get married 9 years in a row but we are one of the most affordable wedding venues as well,” Kristen notes. “Our staff is friendly and courteous and just want to make sure you have the best experience here.”


Offered By

Botanical Garden of the Ozarks

4703 N Crossover Rd
Springdale, Arkansas
United States

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