A Formal Shabby Chic Wedding at The Royal Ridge in Royal, Arkansas

Melissa Benni (31 and a senior bilingual administrative assistant) and Etienne Mirgaine (27 and a stress engineer) met by working for the same French

Melissa Benni (31 and a senior bilingual administrative assistant) and Etienne Mirgaine (27 and a stress engineer) met by working for the same French company in Little Rock, Arkansas. A year later, Etienne proposed while they were on vacation in Mexico with a princess-cut diamond ring. The couple wanted a shabby chic barn wedding for all of their out-of-town guests from Europe. Both Melissa and Etienne are originally from France, but love Arkansas, so it was an easy choice for the wedding. They exchanged vows in the gorgeous Garvan Woodland Gardens chapel. “The chapel was definitely the best element, it was a beautiful glass chapel located in Hot Springs and was surrounded by trees. It just gave the ceremony a whimsical feel,” Melissa says. “Everyone loved it and thought it was such a magnificent place. It is all wood and glass and the light shines into the chapel beautifully.” Afterwards, they went to The Royal Ridge for their reception. Not only did they love the rustic wooden barn and crystal chandeliers, but they also loved the owner, Angie Butler. The couple chose mint and coral for their color palette and added whimsical details such as bicycles and honey. At the end of the night, they enjoyed a local meal by Yaya’s Restaurant and 50s music by DJ Saveas.

Princess-Cut Diamond Engagement Ring
Melissa wore Betsy Johnson white heels with silver crystal-embellished heels.
Melissa carried hydrangeas, roses, ranunculus and lamb’s ear in her bouquet.
Melissa wore an Allure dress decorated with Swarovski crystals, beads and pearls.
Etienne wore a black tuxedo with a black bow tie and white boutonniere.
The bridesmaids wore mint dresses with silver shoes and the groomsmen wore gray suites with mint bow ties and suspenders and coral boutonnieres.
“The chapel was definitely the element that marked everyone, it was a beautiful glass chapel located in Hot Springs it is surrounded by trees and it just gave the ceremony a whimsical feel,” Melissa says. “Everyone loved it and thought it was such a magnificent place, the structure is all in wood and the light shines through into the chapel.”
Lush White Lily and Eucalyptus Alter Decor
Melissa and Etienne First Kiss
Melissa and Etienne Bubble Recessional
“The Royal Ridge’s owner, Angie Butler, was just the best, she is so professional and really made sure we were happy with every detail,” Melissa says. “On top of that, the place is just amazing.”
“It had all the details we were looking for such as wood barn and crystal chandeliers, and it was open to the wild with this incredible view,” Melissa says.
“The table numbers were held by tiny bicycle handmade that I had found on Etsy and were kindly shipped super fast from England,” Melissa says. “My husband is a triathlete and he loves anything connected to cycling.”
Melissa and Etienne gave guests honey favors that were decorated with a tag that said, “Meant to Be.”
Bride and Groom Bicycle Cake Topper
Four-Tier White Fondant, Pink Rose Cake
Melissa and Etienne First Dance