Photography: Kati Mallory Photo & Design |
Mary Daniel + John
Little Rock // September 1, 2018
Two worlds collided when Mary Daniel Simpson and John Morgan met in law school at the University of Virginia. “From our first date on, I knew I wanted to marry him,” Mary Daniel says. “Although we are both attorneys, and seemingly quite similar (we joke that we began finishing each other’s sentences on our first date and have never stopped!), I view him as my perfect complement rather than my twin. I wanted our wedding to reflect exactly that—our similarities and differences.”
Notably, Mary Daniel wanted the day to show the in influence of the couple’s hometowns. She is from Little Rock, while John grew up in Texas but is originally from the mountains of Panama. Working with Anne-Claire Allen Owens of Anne-Claire Allen Planning & Design, they set out to combine these destinations into what Mary Daniel calls “one large party.”
The couple exchanged vows at Little Rock’s First Presbyterian Church, which was adorned with a bevy of bright pink orals to reflect Panama’s tropical atmosphere. For the reception, a change of venue (moving to the Clinton Presidential Center) signaled a start to the party. Here, guests were greeted with a glass of Panama sangria before dining on Arkansas favorites, including fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. Later in the evening Tex-Mex sliders and quesadillas (a nod to where the newlyweds would make their home in Texas) were delivered to the dance floor to keep the party going.
The décor included Mary Daniel’s family’s large collection of blue-and-white Chinoiserie vases, vivid floral arrangements and table garlands, a custom monogram (that embellished everything from the dance floor to drink stirrers), and a milk-and-cookies bar in lieu of a groom’s cake. “I would advise brides to plan around the moments and details that are most important to them. And, find someone—a planner, a friend, or family member—who will champion your ideas,” Mary Daniel says.
A WARM WELCOME
Out-of-town guests were greeted with boxes of Arkansas favorites, including a Lux candle from Des Arc and marshmallow treats from The Crispery, which has its bakery in Pine Bluff. Gardenias, seen on the printed items in the welcome box as well as the invitation’s envelope liner, were incorporated as a tribute to the bride’s late paternal grandmother’s love of the flower.
PALETTE THAT POPS
Sky blue shantung silk bridesmaids dresses and warm pink and white blooms set the tone for the wedding’s palette. “Anne-Claire was a magician at incorporating blue, white, and pink throughout the wedding weekend,” Mary Daniel says.
Artist Deborah Allen of Little Rock created the monogram painting on display at the bar.
Mary Daniel’s family’s collection of blue-and-white vases originated with her maternal grandmother. The use of the vases throughout the decor as well as the fans given out at the reception are reflective of her influence on the bride’s life.
ABOVE IT ALL
Prior to the ceremony, a balloon release paid tribute to deceased family and friends. “When I was young, my brother passed away, and my grandmother helped me understand the concept of death by sending balloons up to heaven for my brother,” Mary Daniel says. “This was an incredibly important part of the day for me.”
MODERN MEETS TRADITIONAL
The contemporary architecture of the Clinton Presidential Center spoke to John’s preference for clean-lined design, while classic blue-and-white porcelain pieces and linens reflect Mary Daniel’s love of traditional accessories.
We joke that we began finishing each other’s sentences on our first date and have never stopped! – Mary Daniel
ACCESSORIES (HANDKERCHIEFS) Fresh i.d. ACCOMMODATIONS The Capital Hotel BRIDE’S GOWN (CEREMONY) Inverness Bridal BRIDE’S GOWN (RECEPTION) She Said Yes Bridal BRIDESMAIDS’ DRESSES Bella Bridesmaids CAKES Mickey’s Cakes & Sweets CATERING AND VENUE (RECEPTION) Clinton Presidential Center FAVORS Lux Fragrances and The Crispery FLORAL DESIGN Silks A Bloom HAIR Aubrey Smith Munsey, Lox Hair Lounge MAKEUP Megan Irwin MONOGRAM Deborah Allen Art MUSIC (RECEPTION) Funky Town, RAM Entertainment (Memphis, Tennessee) PHOTOGRAPHER Kati Mallory Photo & Design PLANNING AND DESIGN Anne-Claire Allen Planning & Design PRINTING AND SIGNAGE Hobart Print Studio RENTALS Hank’s Event Rentals TRANSPORTATION Arkansas Destinations VENUE (CEREMONY) First Presbyterian Church VIDEOGRAPHY Nathan Willis Wedding Films