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Pour yourself a glass of wine and pour over some of my favorite weddings and sessions (hint: all my weddings and sessions are my favorite!)

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I'M SO GLAD YOU'RE HERE!

– Erin Duncan, Arkansas Wedding Planner –

Guys, I have loved so much showing ya’ll some of my favorite venues around the area (and there are still several coming), but today I’m switching gears a little bit. As a Northwest Arkansas wedding photographer I work with so many great vendors that deserve recognition, so I decided that I’d love to keep using my blog as a place to promote the ones I love from all parts of the wedding industry! Next up: Erin Duncan, an Arkansas Wedding Planner.

I have a pretty healthy mix of weddings with planners and weddings without them, and I can tell you from first hand experience what a difference it can make to have an Arkansas wedding planner helping you plan and coordinate everything on the day of your wedding. It takes an enormous amount of stress and pressure off of the bride and groom (and usually their moms too, real talk) and allows you all to just enjoy the whole wedding process, culminating in a day that has been personalized for you with such care and attention to detail.

Now, this lady right here takes the first spot in the Arkansas wedding planner category. Erin is the sweetest thing and has such creative and beautiful ideas, she’s super classy, super organized and so easy to talk to and brainstorm with. I sent her a little interview so you all could learn a little more about her and what she does (we also did some fun headshots at my studio in Rogers)! Now keep reading!

Arkansas Wedding Planner Erin Duncan

Arkansas Wedding Planner Name
Erin Duncan

Business Name
Erin Duncan Events

Social Media Accounts
IG: @erinduncanevents
FB: Erin Duncan Events
www.erinduncanevents.com

How did you get involved with weddings & events?
My involvement in weddings began when I was in college and majoring in hospitality at the University of Arkansas. I have a friend in Dallas who was working in the industry and started her own planning company. I would travel to Dallas to help her on the day of the wedding and that is when I developed a passion to coordinate weddings. Throughout high school and college I also planned various events for groups and organizations. When I graduated college, I started my own business and began coordinating weddings on the side of my full-time job!

What was your first event?
The first event I ever planned was for my parents wedding anniversary when I was ten years old. I coordinated with the neighbor to host a dinner party for my parents and a few of their plans. I can still remember the little notepad I used to “secretly” get phone numbers of my parents friends. I am sure my parents knew something was up, but I was tried my best to be discrete! It was a really simple dinner but I remember how fun it was to plan something for them!

Are there any services you offer other than planning?
In addition to my planning services, I also offer floral and event design. I love collaborating with clients to create completely customized events that reflect their personality and really wow guests!

What are your favorite wedding trends this year?
I have a very traditional and classic style and I love incorporating trends and unique ideas specific to the personality of my client. For example, one of our couples love craft beer so we created a “Bites & Brews” bar that featured a selection of craft beer and salty bites!

What tips do you have for brides planning a wedding?
-Trust your vendors to do what they love and do best. That’s why you hired them!
-Think of your guests when planning the ceremony and reception. You want to make sure they are comfortable and have fun!
-Don’t get caught up in ALL the details. With access to so many resources and ideas on social media, it’s easy to get carried away.

What has been your favorite celebrity wedding?
Kate Middleton and Prince William! What’s not to love about a royal wedding? Need I say more?

Do you have any advice for wedding planners just starting their business?
You learn something from every wedding and event you plan and coordinate so don’t be afraid to keep improving your planning process.

How do you initially meet with the bride or couple planning their wedding?
I think it is important to meet with the bride or couple face to face. This gives me the opportunity to explain the planning process and answer any questions. It also gives us the opportunity to get to know each other and make sure it will be a good fit for everyone. The wedding planning process is very personal and I always strive to ensure there are clear expectations from start to finish!

Do you have any events or interesting projects coming up?
In addition to some beautiful spring weddings, I have some exciting collaborations coming up! I look forward to sharing more details and inspiration for brides. Stay tuned!

What is your favorite flower?
Orchids. They are so crisp and timeless!

What would you say to a bride that doesn’t think a planner is important to fit into her budget?
I think a planner can be so valuable throughout the planning process and on the wedding day. There are tips and ideas planners can provide that not only help guide the planning process but also ensure a seamless event. With that said, it is important for the bride to decide what is best for her and overall wedding plans.

If you could choose anywhere in the world what would be your dream destination wedding location?
Oh my goodness, there are so many incredible places and venues around the world! I think it would be incredible to plan a wedding at The Palace of Versailles. The perfect venue for an insanely elegant wedding!

How do you like to be contacted?
Email or phone are the best ways to reach me! 972-743-0909 or erin@erinduncanevents.com. I can also be found on Instagram @erinduncanevents or my website www.erinduncanevents.com

 

 

Visit CorrieChilders.com
Like Corrie Childers Weddings on Facebook | Follow Corrie Childers Weddings on Instagram

Corrie Childers is a sought-after Northwest Arkansas wedding photographer, Arkansas engagement photographer, Arkansas bridal photographer and Arkansas proposal photographer (Fayetteville proposal photographer). Corrie has a natural passion for classic, timeless wedding photography in an elegant and relaxed style. Corrie is currently booking Arkansas weddings in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs and all of Northwest Arkansas, as well as Little Rock, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City and beyond!

– Missouri Wedding Photographer –

It’s been a good long while since my last vendor spotlight, you guys! Last Fall’s wedding season was just so C-R-A-Z-Y, I had to take a break from finishing this series while I kept up (okay, barely kept up) with client projects and weddings. But I’m happy to kick it off again with the adorable historic cottage out at Rockford Grange in Washburn Missouri. I took the opportunity last summer to become a Missouri wedding photographer for a day while I explored Rockford Grange and just adore this little cottage on their vast and property – rolling hills, a river, several ponds, and OH! I forgot to mention they’re a working elk ranch, so there are many many furry critters in the fields too – yayyy!

Here are a few of my favorites of the cottage and my absolute favorite parts of Rockford Grange, and some words from the lovely owner Samantha! Read and scroll, read and scroll. 🙂 Enjoy!

Missouri Wedding Photographer

What is the name and location of your venue?
Rockford Grange at Bear Hollow Ranch located on the border of Arkansas and Missouri in Washburn, MO.

What is your name and your role at your venue?
Samantha and Rowdy – owners/managers

When was your venue built?
Our venue has had many lives. The original rock cottage was built by an herbal medicine doctor and he named his farm Rockford Grange. The main portion of the venue was built in the 1970s for Judo Olympic training.

Was it always an event space? If not, what was it?
In the early 1900s a portion of the land was owned and used by an herbal medicine doctor for his retirement and farm. The property has also been a Dude Ranch, and Olympic training facility for Judo, and a Holistic Life Center.

If it wasn’t always an event space, why did you choose to turn it into one?
Due to the size of the space and the beautiful location it sat on, we felt like it was the perfect setting for a wedding venue.

When did the property hold it’s first wedding?
October 2014. Our own wedding.

Missouri Wedding Photographer

Are there any interesting stories about the history of your venue?
As mentioned before the original property owner was an herbal medicine doctor named Omar Palmer. He built the rock cottage and named his farm Rockford Grange. The home was his place of retirement but he also saw patients there that would ride on horse and buggy from all across the county to see him. In the 1950s the property became a camp and a dude ranch. In the 1970s the man who brought Volkswagen into the United States developed the property further by building several structures including our main campus and the ten cabins for his son so that he could train in Judo for the Olympics.
The the thing that really sets us apart is that we are not only a wedding venue. We are also a working ranch that raises exotic livestock like Bison and Elk which can be seen from the venue in the distance. It makes for pretty awesome photos!

What is the thing you most commonly hear brides and grooms love about your venue?
The privacy, the uniqueness, the history, and all of the space! If they wish to do so they could make a whole weekend out of their event. We have overnight accommodations and plenty of things for guests to do during their stay; that includes hiking, fishing, kayaking, etc.

What is your favorite thing about hosting weddings?
It’s such a joy to be apart of what some would say to be the most important day of their life. Seeing two families join as one and the happiness and love that surrounds such an event really makes the job enjoyable (THE BEST).

What is your favorite thing about your venue?
I would say the uniqueness and serene quality that our venue offers. We aren’t just another barn, we are an actual live working ranch with exotic animals. Our venue has significant history and some of the most beautiful scenery in the area.

What is your best advice for brides and grooms booking with you?
I always tell people not to stress about small details. If a Pinterest idea didn’t come to fruition, none of their guests knew about it anyways. A good timeline or someone outside of the family to help guide the day is also very helpful.

Missouri Wedding Photographer

Do you have any plans for growth/updates to the venue?
We are currently in the process of remodeling the cabins on the property for overnight guests. Just this year we finished the remodeling of the Rock Cottage and our Entrance House so we have lots of space for guests that want to stay for the weekend.

Do you ever host other events?
Yes, we do! We currently host men’s church retreats and corporate events/meetings. However, we are open to having any kind of event!

How many weddings do you host per year?
30-35 but we are seeing that Thursday, Friday, and Sunday weddings are becoming very popular. We are expecting a larger number in 2018 and we’re super excited about our future brides and grooms!

Any lessons you had to learn the hard way?
We are both “yes” people so learning to stand firm on some things has been hard. For instance glitter and fake rose petals! Luckily we’ve had some really great customers so nothing too crazy to complain about!

Were there surprises you didn’t account for that you wish you had?
Definitely the time and effort it takes to make every wedding the best that it can be. We do not offer any services other than the space itself but when it comes down to it we want the day to go very smoothly so we pretty much do whatever it takes to make that happen. Meaning very long days. 🙂

Missouri Wedding Photographer

Any memorable weddings or moments that affirmed why you opened your venue?
Almost every wedding that we’ve had has been memorable to us. When it’s time to close everything down and the bride and groom are at their send off and we see how happy they are, that really makes us feel good. We’ve gotten notes and “thank-you’s’ from time to time that also make us feel like we’re doing a great job and making a positive impact on their special day. I can think of one wedding in particular where I over-heard guests say “wow, that was the best wedding I’ve ever been to” and that really warmed my heart.

If you were able to have a “perfect” wedding at your venue, what would it look and/or be like?
I don’t really want our brides and grooms to strive for perfection because I don’t really think that’s attainable. What’s most important is that they’re happy and that their family and friends are having a great time!
I personally love when we have weddings that include a lot of personal and meaningful touches. Whether that be in their decor, vows, or anything else. It just really makes their wedding stand out and I think it’s important for people to make their day about them and who they are as a couple.

What’s the best way to contact the venue for more information or for booking?
Visit our website or call us at 479-422-1444

Missouri Wedding Photographer

Ballroom at I Street

– The Ballroom at I Street – 

Next up is the stunning Ballroom at I Street in Bentonville. Guys, I’m not exaggerating at all when I say that this is one of the most perfect wedding venues I’ve ever been to. They haven’t been open very long (I have my first wedding there early next year, yippee!), but it’s very easy to see that they’re going to be successful with what they’ve got going on over there.

From the amazing bridal suite (check out those beauty stations!) to the 12 person dining table, to the super manly groom’s room with tons of sweet, masculine touches…this venue is basically everything you’ll need to pull off a gorgeous wedding all on the same property without a hitch. The Ballroom at I Street is actually also a Bed and Breakfast too, so even if you don’t have a wedding in the future you can still go enjoy the space (like I’m thinking: a romantic staycation or girls night?)!

I sent an interview over to Breann and really enjoyed reading all about their vision, their journey and the place they’re in now. So definitely take a few minutes to scroll through these photos and read what Breann had to say!

 

 

What is the name and location of your property?
The Ballroom at I Street- 2202 SW I Street, Bentonville, AR 72712

What is your name and your role at your venue?
Breann Ashford & Danise Smith, co-owners

When was your venue built?
2016

Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street

Ballroom at I Street

Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street

Was it always an event space? If not, what was it?
The Ballroom itself is a new building that is an accessory to the B&B house.

If it wasn’t always an event space, why did you choose to turn it into one?
The trees were our selling point to the well known Bentonville home. One step into the back courtyard area where we host weddings as well as receptions will show you exactly what we saw!

When did the property hold it’s first wedding?
Our first wedding was a very sweet couple that was adamant about using the ballroom even though she only saw it during the construction phase, so we tried our best and had their wedding two days before our grand opening on November 13th, 2016. 🙂

Are there any interesting stories about the history of your venue?
The Ford family owned the house for several generations before us and had farm land all around the home. We completely understood their placement of a farm seeing the rich 2 foot deep topsoil!

What is the thing you most commonly hear brides and grooms love about your venue?
Most brides and grooms love the white everywhere and the huge chandeliers! Our showings mostly take place during the day, so they kind of get a surprise with how beautiful the back outdoor courtyard is at night with the vertical lights in the trees.

 

Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street

 

What is your favorite thing about hosting weddings?
Our favorite part about hosting weddings has to be that point in the reception where you catch the bride and groom looking at each other, often laughing or just staring into each others eyes with huge smiles, that just exudes pure love and happiness. That is what it’s all about-unifying two people into one. Seeing that God created union represented in person is breathtaking at times.

What is your favorite thing about your venue?
Oh goodness, that is a hard question. We went over every inch of the venue trying to think about each and every bride, how it could help them achieve their dream in any way possible. The basic look of the venue being clean and modern yet classic with a touch of over the top glamour has to be our favorite aspect!

What is your best advice for brides and grooms booking with you?
Use a planner! Most brides and mommas are super talented and can see the vision, but it does our hearts good to see them calm, excited, stress free and not to mention together on their once in a lifetime day! Planners help so much in giving this gift to brides and their moms.

Do you have any plans for growth/updates to the venue?
This is a strength of ours as well as a weakness! We always have plans and visions for the venue and our brides, but some times it would be nice just to sit back and enjoy the fruits of our labor and beauty that came out in the final product. That being said, we have some surprises coming down the pipe!

 

Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street

Do you ever host other events?
We do! Corporate events/meetings as well as short term planning parties are so fun. We have a few nonprofit fundraisers coming up that sound super exciting! We are just happy we get to experience some of them on the sidelines like our friend Nancy’s 60’s themed 60th birthday party! 😉

How many weddings do you host per year?
Well we haven’t completed a full year in business yet, but it’s looking like we’ll wrap up our first with around 30-35. Thank goodness for word of mouth as we get busier every month after hosting some fabulous spring and summer weddings.

Any lessons you had to learn the hard way?
Probably too many to list here! Lol! Let’s just say fake rose petals are not our friend, one construction job at a time is ok but 3 is just a smidge too many, and it’s super hard building in city limits but totally worth it!

Were there surprises you didn’t account for that you wish you had?
Hmmm the cost of construction as well as time is takes was definitely a recurring monthly surprise! We are happy we can laugh about all of this now.

Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street  Ballroom at I Street

 

Any memorable weddings or moments that affirmed why you opened your venue?
Yes!!! At the end of each night when the bride and groom are getting ready for their send off and are standing there in the ballroom smiling ear to ear with guests laughing outside on the patio then they look at us often with hugs and say, “Thank you so much, everything was perfect!”

If you were able to have a “perfect” wedding at your venue, what would it look and/or be like?
We’ve had several weddings at this point and you know what? Perfection is unattainable in anything, BUT when you have a love that has brought two people together and their families and friends surround them in a whole other kind of love celebrating together-THAT IS PERFECTION!

Do you have any wedding vendors you recommend (caterers, DJs, planners, etc)?
We have worked with some great vendors no doubt, but we also don’t believe our limited experience should dictate any of our brides choices. We love to share experiences we’ve had and show how great their work is as options to consider when we book a new client.

 

Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street

Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street Ballroom at I Street

 

 

Visit CorrieChilders.com
Like Corrie Childers Weddings on Facebook | Follow Corrie Childers Weddings on Instagram

Corrie Childers is a sought-after Northwest Arkansas wedding photographer, engagement photographer and proposal photographer. She has a natural passion for classic, timeless wedding photography in an elegant and relaxed style. Corrie is currently booking weddings in Bella Vista, Bentonville, Fayetteville, Rogers, Siloam Springs, Eureka Springs and all of Northwest Arkansas, as well as Little Rock, Dallas, St. Louis, Kansas City and beyond!

 

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