by: Brittney Lee

What makes Hot Springs ideal for weddings? The beautiful location, the easy access, the abundance of affordable hotels, tons of wedding options, plenty of fun things for your guests to do, and you can even stay here for your honeymoon! I was a Hot Springs bride and have firsthand experience with planning a wedding in the Spa City. Let's take a closer look at weddings in Hot Springs and help you start planning your perfect day.

The Location

If you've dreamed of a gorgeous getaway for your wedding, there is nowhere more beautiful than Hot Springs. From picturesque chapels, historic ballrooms, and incredible lakefront views, your options for saying "I do" are endless. If you want a more intimate setting for just you and few family members, several wedding chapels and Bed and Breakfasts have beautiful locations, varying from secluded gardens to waterfront scenes. Check out Gables Inn and the Old Mill Wedding Chapel for beautiful grounds or Mountain Harbor on Lake Ouachita for a lakeside venue. Or for a more traditional setting, there are several beautiful churches in the area including First Christian Church and Anthony Chapel at Garvan Gardens. For our wedding, we needed a location that could accommodate a larger guest list, and we wanted a more traditional feel. We had our ceremony at Central Baptist Church which features beautiful Gothic windows.

Central Baptist Church Hot Springs Arkansas Wedding

Once you choose a ceremony location, you may also want a reception site. Many places offer both together, or you can have your guests explore Hot Springs and visit a different venue. Traditional ballrooms provide a classic, elegant feel at the Arlington or the Regency while unique places at Hot Springs Mountain Top Weddings or the historic Hamp Williams Building will set your reception apart. Or go lakefront for gorgeous waterfront views at the Hamilton House Estate or Lookout Point. We opted for a reception on the top floor of the Clarion Resort right on Lake Hamilton, which provided a beautiful sunset during dinner.

Wedding Couple on Lake Hamilton Hot Springs AR

Plan it all or have it planned for you

As a premier wedding destination in Arkansas, several companies offer wedding packages so you can take the stress out of planning your wedding. The Hot Springs Convention and Visitor's Bureau has a list of vendors who can handle all your wedding preparation.

If you prefer to be a bit more hands on, you can curate your wedding from some amazing vendors in the Hot Springs area. There are several florists, DJs, caterers and bakers to choose from. A few I would recommend include Johnson's Floral Company, Bowen's Florist, DJ Monica Morgan, DJ Johnnyrox, The Green Herb, Cafe 1217 and Ambrosia Bakery. The easiest way to find vendors is to grab a Hot Springs phone book. Yes, I know it's so 1990s, but this way you can mark on the listings that you've talked to, which you're interested in, and which you can cross off your list.

Cake Hot Springs Wedding

Things for you and your guests to do

One of the best parts of a wedding in Hot Springs is taking part in all the fun things to do in town. You can plan some fun with your wedding party, taking the girls to the spa and the guys out on the lake or golfing.

For guests, you can easily create a list of things they can enjoy while in town including Magic Springs, Oaklawn Race Track, Bathhouse Row and more! If you want to make your wedding unique, you could incorporate a fun cocktail hour by taking guests on a ride with National Park Duck Tours, or have your reception at Garvan Woodland Gardens and allow them the chance to walk around and enjoy the scenery.

You can also incorporate little touches of Hot Springs into your wedding by serving up Mountain Valley Spring Water at the reception, or having McClard's BBQ cater your rehearsal dinner.

One of the best parts of having a Hot Springs wedding is that you can stay put and have a Hot Springs honeymoon! You can go high-class in the Presidential Suite at the Embassy Suites or try a quaint Bed and Breakfast. Get a romantic couples massage at a historic bathhouse, enjoy a dinner on the patio at Rolandos, and try your luck at the casino at Oaklawn. No matter how you choose to spend your time in the Spa City, you're sure to make plenty of wedding memories.

Wedding Hair

Things to consider with a Hot Springs wedding

While Hot Springs is great for weddings year-round, there are a few times of the year when the town gets busy including the weekend of the Arkansas Derby and holiday weekends in the summer (Labor Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July). While these can be extra fun weekends for your guests - they can cheer on the ponies during the Derby, or you could finish your reception on the lake with holiday fireworks - having your ceremony on these weekends requires a bit more planning. Ensure your guests will have a place to stay by booking a block of rooms ahead of time. And you might want to suggest on your wedding website area restaurants that take reservations during their stay. Don't let these peak times in Hot Springs deter you from having your wedding here - we got married on a busy race weekend and just made sure to get our invitations out in plenty of time so our guests could book rooms and make plans. And our wedding website had a ton of helpful information for them as well.

It actually made for a fun memory of driving from our wedding to our reception through race traffic with the "Just Married" sticker on our car! We got lots of honks and well wishes.

Couple Leaving Wedding

It's been said that taking a bath in the mineral hot springs has healing powers, and while I don't know about that, I do know that a wedding in Hot Springs has the power to make your wedding day magical. Join me as a Hot Springs bride and start your life together here in the Spa City!

Arkansas Women Blogger, Brittney Lee, is a native Arkansan with a love for bright lights and big city. She often escapes her 20-acre home south of Fort Smith to shop, eat, and catch a concert in the big city. She blogs about her life, her faith, her adventures, her dogs, and her country home at RazorbackBritt.com. All images used in this post are from Brittney's wedding.