When I got married in 2008, it was at the height of the “Platinum Weddings” trend made famous on TLC episodes airing seemingly 24/7. Other than a popular penchant for over-the-top florals and decor, nothing about weddings in the 2000s were particularly special.

Photography: Alyssa Simpson Photos
Model: Laney Kellybrew of AVA Model Management
Dress: Joon Bridal
Florals: Fleurish Floral Studio
HMUA: Boun Vang
Venue: The Grand at Willow Springs

Pre-Pinterest-era weddings followed a formula of brides emulating the weddings of their mothers, sisters and friends. If cousin Jane did it at her wedding, well, you simply had to do it too. Mine included.

The 2010s weren’t much better. With couples getting engaged during and soon after the 2008 housing market crash and recession, we saw a shift to more budget-friendly weddings with a heavy emphasis on DIY—you may remember the themes of those weddings as “rustic,” “vintage” or “shabby chic.” Saving money was the name of the game for many at that time, so these themes tracked. The debut of Pinterest in 2011 only fueled the DIY fire (for a while, anyway), and things have never been the same since. 

While DIY has died down since then, the popularity of social media (for better and for worse) created a comparison game that couples feed off of. Instagram-worthy weddings are the goal nowadays—bring on any personalization that will go viral on TikTok and Reels. It’s made personalizing weddings the norm, and we love that! It’s made weddings better, more creative, more meaningful and more YOU. 

The dawn of the Instagram wedding in the 2020s has birthed a host of amazing trends we’ve loved, said goodbye to, and we continue to welcome more. This issue, we celebrate this in our “Trends Issue,” which showcases the season’s hottest trends and up-and-coming ideas we’re not sick of yet and hope to see more of in Arkansas.

Our favorite local partners got in on the theme with us, creating dream weddingscapes paired with dream dresses that each nod to an exciting new trend. From Amanda Reed’s take on “Barbie” and Three Poppies’ nod to “tonal” to Tanarah Luxe Floral’s “espresso martini” wonderland and Madison Nichole’s imagining of “Old Money”—you will be captivated by their (and eight other vendors’) creations.

As always, we bring you amazing Arkansas weddings from across the state (with a surprise waiting for you at the end of the Real Wedding section). New venues, epic food, fine jewelry, bridal runway, paperie, and the best in bridal beauty—it’s all waiting for you within these pages. Get cozy, and get ready to earmark a lot of trend-filled pages!

With love,

-Lindsay Irvin
Associate Publisher and Editor
lindsay@arkansasbride.com | @arkansasbride