A Whimsical Fall Wedding at Alda's Magnolia Hill in Little Rock, Arkansas

With the Little Rock Lantern Festival as their inspiration, Ashleigh McGee and Shankar Kathiresan pulled off a whimsical fall fete filled with rich shades of midnight blue and burgundy and plenty of personal touches.

Alda’s Magnolia Hill fit the couple’s elegant enchanted forest theme to a T with its rolling lawns, serene lake and hundred-year-old oak and magnolia trees. Ashleigh and Shankar’s ceremony was nothing short of picturesque. The couple exchanged vows at the water’s edge against a backdrop of vintage carriage lanterns, lush cascading ferns styled atop stately stone pedestals and a shimmering chandelier.

After the “I dos,” the newlyweds were escorted to the Magnolia Farmhouse for the reception, where they joined their guests for dinner and dancing. Food stations offered a fun, interactive format for the reception, encouraging guests to mix and mingle long before hitting the dance floor. In addition to a coffee and hot chocolate bar, the couple surprised guests with a bacon bar complete with chocolate, pepper, praline and flame-cooked bacon, plus a bonfire where they could make s’mores.

Lanterns were an integral part of the décor, serving as a nod to the Lantern Festival that inspired the evening’s theme and infusing the event with undeniable romance and warmth.

After one final dance in the farmhouse, the festivities finished with a lively sparkler send-off. “Everyone was outside lighting their sparklers, and we had one final dance alone in the reception hall. We sat back down with our backs to the door, and Alda came to tell us how much she loved us and rang the ‘just married’ bell,” Ashleigh says. “We turned around, and all of the faces of our most loved family and friends were shining in the darkness from the sparklers with such love! We ran to the getaway car, and Shankar dipped me for the last wedding kiss. It was a perfect moment.”