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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

 

 

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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!

 

The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues

 

The Ravington

 – Arkansas Wedding Venues Spotlight – 

This week I had the pleasure of touring another one of my favorite local Northwest Arkansas wedding venues, The Ravington, in the adorable little town of Centerton, AR. Centerton is a great place to live and visit – my family and I lived just a few blocks away from this building for a few years, actually – it’s quiet, safe and a little bit rural, but also so close to all the major conveniences of Bentonville and Rogers. It’s hard to think of a better place to put a wedding venue!

When my family and I lived there this building was an antique store, so imagine my surprise (and joy!) when I had heard that it had been bought and was being turned into an event space. Amber and her husband Eric had an amazing vision for this nearly-110 year old building, and they’ve truly brought that vision to fruition and now have one of the most charming venues in Northwest Arkansas (and as an Arkansas wedding photographer, I know a little about this topic, haha)!

Now scroll down and read a little about what Amber has to say about their journey, and enjoy the images of The Ravington’s gorgeous spaces. Especially that bridal suite!! And the ceremony backdrop that came from a castle in India. And the dedicated groom’s man cave room upstairs (with it’s own bathroom and shower)! And…well, there are just too many great things about this place to name!

 

What is your name and role at the venue?
My name is Amber Gustafson and I am the co-creator, co-designer, co-owner, and co-crazy co-parent with my husband and business partner Eric. We own The Ravington.

When was your venue built?
293 N. Main Street, now known as The Ravington, was built as the first General Store for the town of Centerton in 1909

Was it always an event space? If not, what was it?
The Ravington is only 1 year old as an event space! Over the past 110 years, the property has been a General Store & Mercantile, a factory making “lucky” rabbit feet keychains, a Methodist Church, then Stubbs’ Main Street Treasures Antique store.


The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues

 

If it wasn’t always an event space, why did you choose to turn it into one?
In September 2015 the building was purchased by high school sweethearts Eric and Amber originally from Northwest Arkansas. The Gustafsons spent 14 years in Los Angeles where Eric worked as a musician, finish carpenter and a builder of fine furniture. Amber founded Amber Events, an upscale wedding and event planning business that planned weddings all over the world. We, Amber & Eric, wanted to create a unique, elegant, funky, fun, versatile, artistic, and dramatic location to celebrate a wedding, host a charity, have a fashion show, showcase talent, film movies & tv shows, impress clients and vendors, and inspire team members.

When did the property hold it’s first wedding?
May 29, 2016, just 7 months after renovations began!

Are there any interesting stories about the history of your venue?
Older Centerton residents claim that the Bank of Centerton, which shares a wall with The Ravington, was robbed two times before it closed down in 1935!

What is the thing you most commonly hear brides and grooms love about your venue?
Our couples love the uniqueness of our property–every direction you look there is a beautiful and special detail. We work hard to source items that you cannot find in stores, so many of the architectural items on the property are sourced from old buildings such as the 11′ tall Aqua door in the ballroom that was originally from a Palace in India. You can’t buy something like that at Home Depot!

What is your favorite thing about hosting weddings?
We love seeing the creativity of our clients and what they do with our property. We’ve had mod industrial weddings, shabby chic weddings, boho weddings, and classic weddings. It is great to see the couples make the space their own!

The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues

What is your favorite thing about your venue?
We love our clients seeing the white and gold salon for the first time. It brings many brides to tears it is so beautiful.

What is your best advice for brides and grooms booking with you?
Create a wedding that is true to YOU as a couple. Your guests should walk away saying “that was so *them*!” not “that was a nice wedding”.

Do you have any plans for growth/updates to the venue?
Always! We’re never finished! Currently we are working on the courtyard bringing in more plants and we are building a beautiful new entrance into our courtyard to make it feel more private and exciting to enter. Custom made copper doors will add an element of mystery and excitement!

The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues

Do you ever host other events?
We do! We host many nonprofit events and just did a 2 day filming for TLC’s “Counting On” with the four eldest Duggar daughters!

Any lessons you had to learn the hard way?
Keeping a 110 year old building is a full time job! After every single wedding there is a list of items to fix.

 

The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues  The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues

Any memorable weddings or moments that affirmed why you opened your venue?
The 7 month renovation was HARD and much, much costlier than we estimated. I (Amber) was 7 months pregnant that first wedding and when the bride walked down the aisle I watched from the back and ugly cried for probably 10 minutes I was so happy! It literally took miracles to get us to that day! It was such a relief that we made it that I just sobbed and hugged my mom and kept repeating over and over “we did it! we did it! we did it!” Every wedding since then has prompted no tears from me, just joy!

If you were able to have an “ideal” wedding at your venue, what would it look like?
As cliche as this sounds, every wedding at The Ravington is our ideal wedding as we designed the property to be customization to each couple. We want each person at The Ravington, regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, etc to feel truly welcome and at home here.

Do you have any wedding vendors you recommend (caterers, DJs, planners, etc)?
We have an 8 page vendor list that we are constantly adding and deleting vendors from!

What is the best way to get in touch for information about booking your venue?
Check out our website at www.theravington.com and follow The Ravington on Instagram & Facebook.

The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues

The Ravington - Arkansas Wedding Venues

Arkansas Wedding Venue

Inn at Carnall Hall

 – Arkansas Wedding Venues Spotlight – 

 As a NWA wedding photographer, I spend a lot of time in different Northwest Arkansas wedding venues …definitely way more than the average bride has ever spent in them. I always share my favorite places with my clients, of course, but I wanted to take that a step further and put some of these amazing places right up here on my blog for the whole world to see and read about! I mean, the people behind these venues work so hard for their sweet brides and grooms and deserve a little time in the spotlight!

I’m thrilled to start this Arkansas wedding venues series with one of my favorite, classiest venues in NWA: The Inn at Carnall Hall. Here in Northwest Arkansas – a.k.a. Razorback Country – we are a people obsessed with the beautiful University of Arkansas right down highway 49 from me in Fayetteville. The Inn at Carnall Hall is located on the U of A campus and is a venue rich with history dating back to 1905. That makes it over 100 years old!

As soon as you walk up onto (any of the three) gorgeous, large southern porches, it’s immediately obvious that the craftsmanship and care that builders in 1905 put into their buildings is still very much intact and as beautiful as the day Carnall Hall was completed. 

I went to take the photos of the Inn last week, and I was so tickled to find some gorgeous fresh florals from Jules Design and several copies of one of my favorite magazines in Arkansas (heyyyy Arkansas Bride!) in the lobby. What great companies for the Inn to partner up with!

I’m a little bit of a sucker for an amazing historic building and wanted to know more about this one, so I sent a short interview over to the beautiful and talented events staff (Hayley and Sabra – these girls know what’s up!) and I’d love to share the information they sent to me with you. Enjoy these photos and interesting history about this great venue’s past!

What is your venue’s name and location?
Inn at Carnall Hall at 465 Arkansas Ave, Fayetteville

What is your name, and what do you do at the venue?
Sabra Rochell – Sales and Events Manager and Hayley James – Sales and Events Coordinator

Arkansas Wedding Venue Arkansas Wedding Venue

When was your venue built?
1905

Was it always an event space? If not, what was it?
Ella Carnall Hall, built as a women’s dormitory in 1905 (finished in 1906), was one of six new buildings on the campus completed that year. Carnall Hall ceased being used for academic purposes in 1991, when the restoration of Old Main created more space for academic departments.  A chain link fence was placed around the unused building.  Carnall Hall continued to deteriorate and by the late 1990’s had become a candidate for demolition.

Ella Carnall Hall took on new life on October 2, 2001 when the University’s board of trustees approved a plan for a private developer, Carnall Inn Development Co., LLC (CIDC, Inc), to turn the structure into a historic hotel and restaurant.  James Lambeth was the lead architect for the project, with May Construction Company as the contractor.

 

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What is your favorite thing about hosting weddings?
The reward of all the hard work when the bride is happy walking down the aisle.

What is your favorite thing about your venue?
The outdoor space, history and location!

What is your best advice for brides and grooms booking with you?
Book as early as possible! Leave yourself time to plan details so you can enjoy the process and not stress because you are rushed.

 

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Are there any interesting stories about the history of your venue?
Carnall Hall was a priority for the campus.  There had been no dormitory for young women while two new ones had been built for young men – Buchanan Hall and Hill Hall, neither of which remains today.  Carnall Hall was designed to be an island unto itself, with its own kitchen, dining room, toilets and bathrooms, and an independent steam heating plant.

The placement of Carnall Hall on the extreme Northeast corner of campus was no accident.  It was put the farthest possible distance from the men’s dorms.  The strict separation of the sexes on college campuses was standard practice until the last third of the 20th century.

Ella Carnall Hall was accepted for listing on the National Register for Historic Places in December, 1982.

Carnall Hall was no longer used for a women’s dormitory after 1967, by which time more modern residence halls had been built.  In 1969, Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity began using Carnall Hall as its Fraternity house, remaining until 1977.  The anthropology and Geography department joined them in 1979.

What is the thing you most commonly hear brides and grooms love about your venue?
The rich history and location!

 

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Do you have any plans for growth/updates to the venue?
Yes – we have updates planned for Winter 2017 – Spring 2018. Soft surfaces will be updated throughout the property, including sleeping rooms.

Do you ever host other events?
Yes, lots of University of Arkansas Events are held here. We also love to host Bridal Luncheons, Rehearsal Dinners, Showers, Birthday Parties, etc.

Any lessons you had to learn the hard way?
Most of the management team and sales team is new – so we are all still learning!

What is the best way to contact your venue for information about booking?
479-582-0400 – ask to speak to the events staff!

 

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Readers, thank you so much for stopping by to check out this first post in my series of Arkansas wedding venues!

Please check out the rest of my work at corriechilders.com …and I will talk to you soon!

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