Photography: Britney Logan Photography |
Madison + Josh
Little Rock // 10.9.21
Madison Derden and Josh Crook met through mutual friends during their freshman year at the University of Arkansas. The pair dated for seven years, often talking about marriage and fielding the question, “So, when are you two going to get engaged?” However, Josh was able to catch Madison off guard after dinner one evening. He called Madison out to the backyard under the guise of seeing a cute trick by one of their dogs. When she got there, he was down on one knee. “Josh and I had recently bought our first home in Memphis together, and since this is and will always be such a special place for us, he chose to have an intimate proposal here at home,” Madison says.
Wanting an outdoor fall wedding in her hometown of Little Rock, the couple selected October 9 as their date. After looking at photos of Goodwin Manor online, Madison asked her mom and maid of honor to visit it for her. “I trusted that if they thought it was perfect, it would be,” says Madison, who ended up saying yes to the location without even seeing it herself. “It is such a grand and stunning venue but still warm with the comforts of a home,” she says, noting it also beautifully showcased Arkansas’s hillside views and fall foliage—two more aspects the couple loved about the location.
From there, Madison focused on how they wanted the day to feel. “I wanted all of our wedding party, family, and guests to feel welcome, comfortable, and to just have a great time,” she says. A high-energy live band and different lounge areas and seated table options throughout the venue played into this. Guests dined on Southern fare and creole options as a nod to the groom’s home state of Louisiana. Following the band’s last song, Madison and Josh made their exit through a tunnel of sparklers. After a honeymoon in Hawaii, they are now at home in Memphis.
Classic white flowers and greenery were accented with blue hydrangeas, Madison’s favorite flower, in the table arrangements. Blue and white vases lined the tables, adding to the timeless look.
The Sweetest Thing
“We cake tasted and cake tasted!” Madison says with a laugh. “Once we tried Hannah Lavender’s, we knew she would be doing our cake; it was just a matter of choosing what flavor, considering they were all so delicious.” The couple ended up choosing champagne buttercream, giving their traditional tiered cake a flavorful twist.
Josh’s only request for the big day was that their dogs, Ozzy and Roux, play a role. Madison told her groom a white lie that the venue would not allow it, then coordinated with her maid of honor to have the pups surprise him for a quick hello and pictures immediately after the ceremony.
Above It All
After a private dinner, Madison and Josh shared their first dance to Led Zeppelin’s “Thank You” while on a balcony overlooking guests. “This let us have time to get a first look at all of our guests and the reception area and really take it in,” Madison says.
Bridal gown Unveiled Bridesmaids dresses Bella Bridesmaids Cake Sweet Lavender Bake Shop Catering Heritage Catering Entertainment (ceremony) Kathy Cooper Entertainment (reception) Emerald Empire Band Floral design All in Bloom & More and A New Bloom Hair Meghan Foster, Blonde and Joel’s Salon Live artist Kristen Hess Makeup Belle & Blush Paper goods By Invitation Only Rentals Central Arkansas Entertainment and Eventology Transportation Twin City Limousine Venue Goodwin Manor Wedding planning & design Shannon White Photography Britney Logan Photography