Real Wedding Story 2018
Anna Marie Prevatte and Nicholas Bower were kind enough to allow Eureka Springs Online into their wedding thoughts, plans and emotions in the days leading up to their October 2018 Celebration.
My Eureka Springs Wedding Story
There’s a lot I don’t know when it comes to planning a wedding. Sure, I’ve absorbed an array of information from TV shows, Pinterest and overhearing stories from friends and family who are ‘in the biz’, as they say; and with this knowledge I felt solid on only three things-
1) I want flowers. Flowers everywhere. Flowers overflowing onto the ground and in the air and in my hair- I want guests to wade through a sea of fragrant, beautiful flowers.
2) I want it filled with light. I love twinkle lights, lantern lights, and those big glowing strands that people hang over patios.
3) I definitely don’t want it at The Crescent Hotel.
Although the Crescent is one of the most sought after wedding locations, and they really are the whole package, A Historic Hotel of America with beautiful wedding venues with hardwood floors and big windows overlooking the Ozark Mountains.
But the second the idea was voiced, I shot it down.
As charming as the gardens, lawn, fountain and hotel are, it just didn’t feel like me. Growing up in Eureka Springs, and spending a lot of time at the Crescent had convinced me that I knew what they had to offer. I saw a timeless castle and manicured bushes, fit for a princess. Which I am not.
Our families tend to joke about how ‘non traditional’ Nick and I are (rightfully so). So finding a venue that reflected us, and that we felt connected to, was an important but challenging experience. It took months for me to discover and envision what qualities would really make this day ours.
To start, we looked at several choices for venues: barns, fields, a winery (yum)- but none felt like the right place to hold such a special moment. Once I was thoroughly distraught and desperately trying to remind myself all that mattered was that we were getting married and the place shouldn’t matter, my mom wanted to take me on an adventure. Our drive ended at the Crescent. Parking the car and hastily walking away before I could complain, Mom led the way to a set of stairs that I hadn’t seen before. Casually she explained that it’s a trailhead into the woods and it leads to a special place that would soon be ready so we descended into the hollow. Reaching the bottom, she began to set the stage for my imagination. ‘Over here is a little waterfall’, ‘of course the ground would be smoothed out’, ‘look at all the trees, it will be on fire in October’. In 20 minutes, we were standing in the middle of a beautiful woodland clearing- imagining the scene with an arbor and stage for us to stand, room enough for our loved ones, the quiet trickle of water, and plenty of twinkling lights overhead. No venue was going to fit the image I had, because there wasn’t one like it. But there, under the trees, my dreams took shape. I appreciated the Universe’s sense of humor and irony as I realized I’m getting married at the Crescent Hotel in woods of Glenwood Hollow.
Next Step: Weddings are Stressful – Ask for Help
As the days creep closer and deadlines come and go, emotions are likely to sway. Have you talked to the photographer lately? Do you know what everyone is wearing? Are the invitations even sent out yet? Yes, all of these are real life on my to-do list (and seemingly have been forever at this point).
Once you’ve created a vision for your wedding, it becomes clear pretty quickly that putting it together by yourself is not ideal. There are approximately 28393820340 billion things that need to get done, taken care of, figured out, etc. and fitting them into a normal, already busy schedule seems impossible. Without help, the daunting mountain of planning can easily become overwhelming.
This was where I was at- wondering along with everyone else involved if maybe this was just too big of an undertaking. We needed help from professionals. Enter Jodie English-Brown (our Crescent Hotel Sales Manager) and Amy Redmon of The Vintage Soul Events.
Our first meeting changed everything. In my memory, it went like this: Amy and Jodie walked with us through the ceremony venue, through the trail, and over to the park amphitheatre where we plan on having the reception. They listened to our ideas, smiled reassuringly at nervous giggles and awkward uncertainty. In a flash, after downloading all of our thoughts, they quickly ran out of sight, and returned wearing full-blown superhero suits and matching capes. Full of confidence and a wave of their hand, each took turns magically spinning our thoughts into tangible, doable, actionable plans. Before we knew it, they painted us a mental picture of our beautiful wedding and the anxiety transformed into excitement.
I am starting to fully understand the reason the Crescent Hotel is known for weddings. Experts offering great advice while conveying confidence.
The Big Weekend Arrives – The Ceremony Site is Ready
The night before our big day, we waited with eager anticipation as our wedding party met us to rehearse. A concern was that it was raining on and off so we rehearsed inside (again well planned by the Crescent Team) and outside at the Glenwood Hollow Arbor, but honestly I don’t even remember if the rehearsal went well or not- all I could take in was the happy faces of our loved ones surrounding us.
After standing in the sprinkles and pretending to rehearse, the group made their way downtown to the Lucky 7 Rooftop Billiards (a unique billiards bar on top of the hotel), where The Basin Park Hotel Wedding Team catered our rehearsal dinner. We wanted something casual so we chose to blend a taco bar for food with the pool tables, bar games and casino games for entertainment. I’ll always remember a moment shared with an old friend from grade school who was on the staff that night, which offered me a bit of grounding in the chaos. The Lucky 7 offered a unique and comfortable space for family to be received – games, bar, pictures, food, and smiles. This allowed me to stay calm, enjoy family and just appreciate all that was happening.
It’s My Wedding Day
The morning of the big day, I felt surprisingly calm and composed. My sweet momma woke me with a beautifully made special gift. After we roused Shelby, I suggested we eat, and sheepishly admitted that I had been thinking about the crystal dining room’s biscuits all night. Since high school, their biscuits and gravy have been my favorite, and they were a perfect way to start the day. Everything from this point on is a blur!
After breakfast, we rushed off for mimosas while my stylist at Salon Seven prepared to work her magic. A couple of drinks and one coffee later, we were set to meet our group in the lobby to start the picture taking process. The only problem was that I wasn’t in my dress! As we pulled up to the front of the Crescent, we saw that all of the bridal party AND THE GROOM were chillin in front of the stairs and elevator. Cue the only meltdown of the day. How do I get to room where my dress is waiting up on the 4th floor of the hotel? The anxiety of trying to make it past my friends dressed in a bathrobe collided with the emotion of what was happening the moment I saw Nick in the entry. Did I mention it was raining?
Luckily, a calm maid of honor and a few moments to breath reminded me of an alternate entry in the New Moon Salon. We ran through the rain, into the crescent, through the salon, up the stairs, quietly snuck past my friends in the lobby, and ran all the way up to the 4th floor.
The hotel stood by our original plan in Glenwood Hollow, but as it rained harder it became clear that we would be executing wedding Plan B. I had no idea how we would pull it off, as literally every part of the wedding was intended to be experienced outdoors. I was definitely nervous, but reassured by the awesome team of creative people that made our wedding possible.
It was time to head downstairs
Pushing any unhelpful thoughts to the side, I attempted to center myself before stepping out of the elevator for our ‘first look’ photos. Seeing Nick reminded me of what was most important about that day- our privilege to share our happiness with all of our most loved ones in one space.
He looked super dope.
527392 thousand pictures and about 200 guests later, it was time. I waited with my parents as I watched my friends enter the room before me one by one. Minutes later, I paired with my father and entered The Crystal Dining Room to a group of Loving Friends and Family. The team had executed an extensive rain plan and succeeded at staging our outdoor wooded wedding indoors. It was amazing, and I am at a loss for words to describe my perception of the room.
The number of people gathered, all looking at me, shocked me, and I felt really nervous until I looked at Nick. Our minister Rosie prepared a surprise speech that said everything I could have ever wanted to hear before saying ‘I do’! Our vows were a really genuine expression of ourselves, and I don’t even remember anything but our kiss.
Family pictures were supposed to happen after the ceremony. All of the places we had previously chosen outdoors were in the rains territory, so we followed suit with our previous sessions and took the photos in the Crescent before heading back to the reception.
The dining room’s acoustics were perfect for live performance. My Husband and his brothers played much of the night, making dedications and recalling fond family memories. The pasta bar was enticingly and creatively displayed, incorporating woodland elements to fit the theme of the event.
I only have bits and pieces of the remainder of the evening, presumably since there was so much to take in- the cake was amazing, our friends are the best in the world, and our families went out of their way to show their love for us. It was a party of emotion, happiness, and healing.
The night ended with another surprise from my parents, who reserved the Crescent Hotel penthouse for us to stay in. Having never seen it before, I spent a good two minutes running around saying ‘look at this!’ about the various amenities. The view of our hometown was particularly special.
The only thing I knew for sure when planning the wedding is that I didn’t want it at the crescent. I thought it would be cliché to have it at a place that was already so connected to my family, that it might be too expected. Ironically, fate knew better. Every picture, every memory, every person was marked by the hotel that holds so much history, and a truly unique place in our hearts.
In the end,
two high school sweethearts got married
surrounded by love.
To Visit the Crescent Hotel & Spa
Crescent Hotel Wedding Sales
Sales Managers can reserve future brides
an overnight guestroom for just $99
Enjoy our Photos and if you dream of getting Married in the Woods -First, maybe let your mom take you on a stroll down a wooded trail underneath a Big Castle.