SUZANNA GIBBS & CHRIS DUDLEY
October 9, 2021 / Chenal Country Club
Suzanna and Chris met through mutual friends in 2018 while they were both living in Cleveland, Ohio. Though neither are originally from Cleveland, Suzanna had moved there to work in a school through Teach For America and Chris had been living there and working as a financial advisor at PNC Bank for about four years. The rest is history!
Chris proposed to Suzanna in northwest Arkansas on Mount Sequoyah. She graduated from the University of Arkansas and loves Fayetteville. He surprised Suzanna on a rainy Tuesday afternoon when he popped the question on top of the scenic mountain.
INSPIRATION & DETAILS
Suzanna and Chris were inspired by glamorous, fabulous weddings–and they wanted the same atmosphere for theirs! Thanks to Perception by Anna Dickinson, she brought their dream wedding to life. Hiring a wedding planner made Suzanna’s life easier, and she felt she was able to relax more during the planning process. Suzanna’s secret to wedding planning success is to hire a wedding planner.
“As a teacher, I plan a lot, but I didn't want the task of also planning my wedding.”
- Suzanna Gibbs
White florals, greenery and pampas grass were used to adorn the reception space and it looked spectacular. Suzanna and Chris’s wedding colors were black, white and neutral–the perfect colors for a glam wedding! What surprises Suzanna the most about the wedding industry in Arkansas is the incredible level of talent and creativity vendors have. She is so impressed with talented photographers, Cameron & Elizabeth, the creativity of Anna and her styling team, plus the effort and care Stacey Howard put into Suzanna’s makeup on the day of her wedding.
Suzanna and Chris’s first dance was to Who Am I by NEEDTOBREATHE. She loves how this epitomizes the love of Jesus and how it is also reflected in her and Chris’s marriage. The song speaks of challenging seasons and choosing to love–how romantic!
While planning their wedding, Suzanna knew she wanted to have a dance with her father and grandfather. Both men have made such an impact on her life, that she wanted to honor them at her wedding.
“Prioritize marriage counseling over everything else. After the wedding excitement is over–[this] is really when marriage begins. Ask an older couple to mentor or counsel you and your spouse before the wedding, so that after the wedding when challenges arise,–you'll have a couple to go to and help you through difficult situations.”
- Suzanna Gibbs' advice for Arkansas brides
HOW THEY CUSTOMIZED
Suzanna’s most worth-it splurge was on her wedding dress. She wanted a glamorous dress with a long train and long sleeves. The dress she ended up picking didn’t have either of these details, so she customized detachable sleeves, extended the train and added extra beading.
The wedding trend Suzanna loves the most right now are mismatched bridesmaid’s dresses. She asked her bridesmaids to wear a long black dress, but to choose something they would love–and the pictures of their dresses turned out great! She had eight bridesmaids, including her sisters and they spent the night before her wedding together–celebrating with a big slumber party! The next morning, they got all of their hair and makeup done together.
WEDDING VENDORS WE LOVE
Cameron and Elizabeth Photography
Chenal Country Club
Perception by Anna Dickinson
Tanarah Luxe Floral
Unveiled Bridal Collection
Videographer: The Powells, Cake: Lavender Bakes, Violinist: Charlotte Crosmer, Hair: Lindsey Powers Huey, Makeup: Stace Howard, Stationery: By Invitation Only, DJ: Xavier Riley, Production: Central Arkansas Entertainment, Ceremony: Pulaski County Heights United Methodist Church, Artist: Davis Drew, Groomsmen Tuxes: Joseph A. Bank, Groom’s Tux: Q. Clothier, Transportation: Arkansas Destinations
See this Real Wedding as it appeared in the print edition of ARKANSAS BRIDE.
Discover more inspiration in Arkansas Bride's Real Weddings section.