Walking with God
Amber West and Garrett Eller built their relationship on sturdy ground, starting off simply as “accountability friends” in 2013 before going on their first date a year later. The two graduated from Henderson State University and met through mutual college friends.
Garrett works as a mental health professional for Community Counseling Services, and Amber is a “fur-mom” to their four dogs: Tyson, Mia, Meeka and Kane.
“We held each other accountable in our walk with God. Our faiths were both strong and our desire to draw closer to Him was very known,” Amber said. “It isn’t every day you find someone who has the same beliefs you do and can talk about Jesus with you as if He were standing in the room. It was so peaceful and enjoyable.”
Before they knew it, they were spending more time together and talking every day.
In December 2014, Amber and Garrett had plans to visit Garvan Woodland Gardens with friends to see the holiday lights, but plans fell through when their friends were unable to make it.
“But, instead of calling it off completely, Garrett used it as a step in the door,” Amber recalled.
He asked her on their first date and, three days later, on Dec. 17, 2014, they had a dinner date at Bleu Monkey Grill and topped the night off looking at Christmas lights at Garvan Woodland Gardens.
“It was so perfect,” she said.
Four days later, while on their second date, Garrett asked Amber an important question: “Will you be my girlfriend?”
The weekend of July 4, 2015, the couple went to a St. Louis Cardinals game in Missouri and, because of Amber’s love of fireworks, drove to the fairgrounds after the game to watch a fireworks show.
“It took us awhile to find a parking spot and I could tell it was upsetting Garrett, but no matter where you were in the park, the fireworks were beautiful,” Amber said. “However, Garrett seemed very uneasy that were weren’t closer to the fireworks.”
As the fireworks display was finishing, they strolled into a dark, open field full of wildflowers. Garrett wanted to have their picture taken, Amber said, and stopped a couple to ask if they would take their picture.
“By surprise, they were actually filming it as Garrett asked me to marry him,” she said.
Best Man and Maid of Honor: Dusty Thornton, with Taylor Roark as Honorary Best Man, and Lauren Downen as Maid of Honor.
The location: The Royal Ridge Barn
The reception: The Royal Ridge Barn. Brisket, cooked by The Father’s House of Donaldson, and finger foods, made and served by Linda Hesser, were served. Beverages served included sweet tea, sodas, water and hot chocolate. Dessert consisted of s’mores by the fire and the wedding and groom’s cakes, made by Diane Ehlers.
The look: Simple, but elegant. Colors were white and ivory with splashes of red, gold, silver and greenery. The barn was decorated with candles and real Christmas trees wrapped in white lights, giving the warm, wintry Christmas feeling that the bride desired. Bridesmaids wore long, red satin ballgown dresses and carried a bundle of greenery and red roses with silver and gold accents. Groomsmen wore ivory sweater vests with khakis.
The dress: The dress was an elegant and simple Enzoani Harmony wedding gown from Proposals Boutique in Little Rock. Alterations were done by Sheila Huddelston of Hot Springs.
Most unforgettable moment: The couple incorporated the religious washing of the feet into their wedding ceremony. “I can’t ever forget Jesus’ love and commitment when He washed his disciples’ feet, and to have a unity between Garret and I to show our commitment and love is unforgettable.”
The honeymoon: Eureka Springs, Arkansas, beginning the week in a cabin overlooking Beaver Lake and ending the week in Hobbit Cave Tree Houses.
Florist — Brookshire’s of Arkadelphia and The Royal Ridge Barn
Hair — The bride and Rachel Crane, of Benton
Makeup — Amber did her own makeup
Cake — Diane Ehler’s, of North Little Rock
Band/DJ — Dane Blunt with Razorsharp Entertainment
Caterer — The Father’s House, of Donaldson, and Linda Hesser
Rentals — Hayes
Photographer — Brittany Barber