If there’s anything more romantic than a Water for Elephants wedding theme, I’m having a difficult time coming up with it. Malleri and Jenna took this inspiration and gave it a bit of a carnival twist, incorporating balloon centerpieces and carousel cupcake holders into their stunning wedding decor. Our thanks go out to Weddings by Christopher & Nancy for capturing their wedding day so beautifully!
From the brides, Malleri and Jenna: When picking a theme for our wedding, we flip flopped many times. We wanted elegant but we wanted to incorporate our playful sides. We wanted vintage and we wanted modern. One night we were thumbing thru Pinterest and we found a picture of a hot air balloon/floral centerpiece. That’s what got the ball rolling. We knew instantly that it would be a Water for Elephants/carnival theme. This had all of the aspects that we wanted… it had the elegance, it had the playfulness, it had the modern feel, and it had the old school glamor. The decor was so easy after that — the balloon centerpiece were the starting point but the carousel and merry-go-round for the cupcake table were INCREDIBLE finds, the chandelier that Alda had at the altar was the elegance factor, the food incorporated our silliness and carnival aspect of the theme — this is also a major reason for the popcorn bar for our wedding favors. Our wedding attire was definitely glamor and fun — the diamonds I wore and the bow tie Jenna wore tied everything together. We wanted the wedding to feel like a whole other place — not just another outdoor wedding — we wanted to take you away to a carnival.
There were so many things we loved…our first dance. holding each other for the first time as a married couple and dancing with all of our loved ones around, was a feeling of pure completeness. Walking down the aisle. When Jenna saw me, it took her breath away — she lost all focus on everything around her and it took all the strength she had not to run up the hill and snatch me up. For me it was the same emotion — all I wanted to do was kick off my shoes and run into her arms and hug her tight. The emotion felt in that moment is not one we can put into words. People say that wedding planning is hard — we found it to be incredible. We know it was incredible because all of our vendors took our vision and amplified it… They helped us execute a magical day. They took it to a level that we could’ve never imagined and Christopher Nolan Photography captured all the moments we could never have seen, and helped us have images we will cherish for many years to come. Jenna and I wrote our own vows — we are so synced (and both huge dorks) that we both incorporated Duke and Harry Potter into our vows… and we got to tell each other how much we loved each other. The speeches from our Maid of Honor and Best Man. Jenna’s best man was her older brother and my maid of honor was my older sister — neither of them are overly affectionate and neither of them have ever expressed their love for our significant others and how much they support us as a couple. I will never forget their speeches. It helped seal in our marriage, it helped us join as a family, and it melted our hearts in so many ways.
Any advice for couples planning their weddings now? 1. Give yourself a LOT of time to plan. You will change your mind OFTEN. And the longer you have to pay for it-the more extravagant it can be. 2. Enjoy the planning. This is supposed to be fun. You’re planning the biggest party of your life! Remember each meeting with your vendors. And take your time for final decisions! 3. Don’t listen to what everyone else thinks you should do. It’s your day. Take their advise but always do what your heart desires. 4. NEVER FORGET WHAT IT IS REALLY IS ABOUT — you’re getting married, and never forget why. You’re in love! Don’t get wrapped up in the stress of planning! 5. This is the longest day of your life-but it goes by wayyyy too fast. Enjoy every single hiccup and moment of the day!
Jenna and I decided to pick songs that were meaningful songs from our 4 years of dating. Every song played had meaning, whether it was a song we danced to in our living room, or it was a song we danced to at a club.
First Dance: “All of Me,” John Legend
Wedding Location: Little Rock, AR / Photographer: Weddings by Christopher & Nancy / Florist: Tanarah Luxe Floral / Venue and Wedding Planner: Alda’s Magnolia Hill / Hair: Maddy Spring with Lavish Hair Professionals and Devin Van Patter with Salon Scarlet / Makeup: Aaron Perkins of Face Your Day Studios / Caterer: Catering Creations / Cakes: Melissa White / Music: Central Arkansas Entertainment / Videographer: Paul Viefhaus of Sunflower Films