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Arkansas is nicknamed The Natural State, and with 52 state parks, 7 national parks, several rivers, and the Ouachita and Ozark Mountain ranges, it's not hard to see why. Plan your wedding in Arkansas for a backdrop that can't be beat.
Enjoy pampering yourself? Hot Springs in the Ouachita Mountains is the place for you. Unwind in the famous thermal springs in Hot Springs National Park magic, the oldest and smallest national park in the nation. This is a popular wedding location with plenty of indoor and outdoor venues, so you can plan the Arkansas wedding of your dreams. Garvan Woodland Gardens is an especially stunning choice and contains a Japanese Garden, picturesque trails and bridges, and the spectacular Anthony Chapel. For those fond of history, Arkansas's state capitol, Little Rock, has much to offer. The Clinton Presidential Center, named after former President Bill Clinton, is one of only twelve Presidential Libraries in the country, and includes a replica of the Oval Office and Cabinet Room. It also includes beautiful special event spaces, ideal for your wedding. The Arkansas River runs through the capital and provides gorgeous views and plenty of opportunities for a waterside wedding. If you prefer less of a metropolitan area, Bentonville has all the small-town charm you could want. Featuring architecture that has retained its historical appeal, Bentonville feels timeless and welcoming. The 1875 Peel House Mansion and Historical Gardens are a popular venue and provide both the lush gardens and indoor ambiance for a perfect wedding in Arkansas.
The weather in Arkansas is mild, so you can enjoy The Natural State any time of year. Be prepared for quick changes in the weather, however, as Arkansas is influenced by surrounding weather systems. All the seasons are represented here, and though it gets hot and humid in the summer and can dip into the teens in the winter, temperatures generally remain balmy. Each season brings new beauty. The mountains glow in beautiful greens in spring and summer, and vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows in autumn. Use these colors as inspiration for your wedding and incorporate vivid blues to echo the bright skies and rippling waters. Use gauzy fabrics in any season to keep your décor light and airy, and incorporate rustic touches like tea-dyed lace and distressed lanterns to create a look that's chic and distinctly southern for your Arkansas wedding.
Blues were born in the Arkansas Delta and renowned artists like Sonny Burgess, Levon Helm, Al Green, and the great Johnny Cash all hail from this great state. Celebrate this musical heritage with a live band that covers all these artists and more. The list of best Arkansas bands can help you find the perfect match for your Arkansas wedding. Make sure you and your guests have the energy to dance the night away by choosing a menu that's guaranteed to please. Arkansas classics like fried pickles and cheese dip are fun starters! End the night with comforting Arkansas desserts like possum pie and chocolate gravy and biscuits. No matter what you serve at your Arkansas wedding, these Arkansas caterers can help you create the perfect menu at the right budget.
The average cost of an Arkansas wedding falls about $10,000 below the national average, so if you're careful about purchases, you'll avoid breaking the bank. If you're getting married in Little Rock, The Little Rock Convention and Visitors Bureau offers a destination specialist, free of charge. They can help you make travel and accommodation reservations and choose venues and vendors at no cost to you. Take advantage of this service to keep your costs down and your stress minimal. If you're not getting married in Little Rock, check out the Amtrak train route to see if guests can travel by rail to your wedding.
A marriage license in Arkansas will cost you between $35 and $60, depending on the county, and must be paid for in cash. If you're between the ages of 18 and 21, you must provide a certified birth certificate, an active Military ID or a valid passport; over the age of 21, a valid driver's license is all you'll need. Both applicants must be present to apply for the license, but there is no waiting period once it's issued. Your marriage license is valid for 60 days from the date of issue, and must be returned (used or not) to the County Clerk's office where your received it, or a $100 bond is executed against each applicant.