Welcome to our series on destination weddings. This month, we stick with the ‘local flavor’ theme: Eureka Springs and Northwest Arkansas.
Finding a unique wedding destination (or even a unique second wedding destination) isn’t always easy nowadays.
In our modern world, travel has been made so wonderfully simple that it sometimes feels like every wedding destination is already spoken for.
The Bahamas, Hawaii, California, Colorado, and even Washington D.C.—all of them are top wedding destinations.
And yet, when you look around at your family and friend group, and take stock of all the weddings you’ve been invited to over the past year—you can probably count all such popular destinations (and more) among them.
So what can you do when you need a destination that’s truly a unique and once-in-a-lifetime experience?
Well, not far from our neck of the woods here at Karl’s Tuxedos, Northeast Arkansas offers some wedding destination options that, while perhaps a bit off the beaten path, offer up some amazing doses of adventure, beauty, romance, and memory-making magic.
And in this guide, you’re going to get a crash-course overview of exactly what to look for.
Does Northwest Arkansas have the potential to be on your wedding destination wish list?
It actually does. Here’s why.
Northwest Arkansas As A Wedding Destination: An Overview
So, here’s the thing.
Northwest Arkansas isn’t a wedding destination location that’s found deep within a bustling, busy metropolis or city center. Instead, all of the most beautiful and premier wedding destination options are scattered about the countryside in small to medium-sized towns—all ripe with rural Ozarkian beauty, romance, their own Arkansas quirkiness, and plenty of adventure to go around.
Here are some of the most iconic wedding destination options to be found in Northwest Arkansas:
- 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Eureka Springs
- Basin Park Hotel in Eureka Springs
- The Brick House, also found in Eureka Springs
- The Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel in Bella Vista
- Sassafras Springs Vineyard & Winery in Bull Shoals
- Azalea Falls Lodge in Mountain Home
- The Botanical Gardens of the Ozarks in Fayetteville
- The Inn at Carnall Hall in Fayetteville
- Pratt Place Inn and Barn in Prairie Grove
- The Preserve Event Venue in Jonesboro
Being A Groom In Northwest Arkansas
Being a groom in Northwest Arkansas isn’t totally different from being a groom anywhere else—with the main exception being that planning for a getaway to such a rural location will provide an interesting blend of slower-paced relaxation with the challenge of locating and assembling all of the most important pieces of your wedding day puzzle.
Here are some tips to help you along the way:
- Start planning early
- Set a budget and stick to it
- Delegate tasks to your wedding party (if possible) based on their interests, skills, and ability to take such matters seriously
- Be organized (it may take a bit more time to piece things together in a rural wedding venue location—so pick up the phone, fire up the web browser, and start booking stuff early)
- Communicate with your bride! With so many planning options to choose from, it’ll be important for the two of you to be honest and up-front about your desires, expectations, and concerns leading up to the big day
- Enjoy yourself! This is an event that’ll create a lifetime of memories. So make sure that you give yourself some time to enjoy it and have some fun!
Speaking of fun, it’ll be your job, as the groom, to plan out the ‘fun stuff’ for the wedding party to take part in.
If you’re traveling in from out of town, then you’ll definitely want to do some sightseeing.
Let’s talk about that.
Entertainment Options In Northwest Arkansas (For You And Your Bride To Be)
The good news is that there’s plenty to do in Northwest Arkansas during your trip.
And the great news is that if your wedding party isn’t from around here—well, they’re going to be in for some serious adventure and excitement.
With that being said, here are some specific ideas for activities you may want to consider checking out:
- Visit Thorncrown Chapel
- Explore Eureka Springs’ unique downtown district
- Go hiking, biking, camping, and/or rafting in the Ozark Mountains
- Visit the Buffalo National River or Beaver Lake for boating, water skiing, etc.
- Take a hot air balloon ride
- Go cave exploring (there are a number of caves in Arkansas that are open to the public)
- Visit the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge
- Take a scenic drive (some of the best options include the Pig Trail Scenic Byway, the Talimena Scenic Drive, and the Ozark Highlands Scenic Byway)
- Visit a museum (the Crystal Bridges Art Museum in Bentonville is amazing)
- Go ziplining
- Take a carriage ride
- Attend a show at the Eureka Springs Repertory Theatre
It may also be worth mentioning that Eureka Springs has a thriving LGBTQ+ community. So if your wedding falls into that category, you may want to take a good second look at possibly plugging into the local scene!
Northwest Arkansas Travel Preparation Tips
Northwest Arkansas is an amazing place to visit from a weather perspective, and it boasts a fairly moderate (if slightly moody) climate. But due to the unique nature of the landscape and terrain, you’ll want to make sure that your wedding party knows to pack a few essentials.
- First and foremost—the tuxedo! If you need some help with this, go ahead and reserve your tuxedo in advance and pick it up near your wedding location at Karl’s Tuxedos in Springfield, MO. (That’s us!)
- Comfortable shoes
- Layers (unpredictable weather requires an assortment of hot and cold-ready apparel)
- Dressy clothes (for nights out on the town)
- Casual clothes (for hanging out and having fun)
- Rain gear (Arkansas can be rainy)
- A hat (that sun can be brutal)
- Bug spray (those mosquitos are thick in the south)
- Hiking boots (if you plan to hike)
And perhaps most importantly—don’t forget your sunscreen and your camera!
Hopefully, this post has inspired you to take a look at the beautiful Ozark Mountains as a possible wedding destination for your upcoming big day.
Hey, we know that this is a big decision to make! If you have any questions about the area, don’t hesitate to contact us here at Karl’s Tuxedos.
We’d love to answer any questions you have. As locals, we do know a thing or two about the area. And we’d love to share that knowledge to make your wedding day the best possible day ever.