Fun, vintage and rustic
Shelley Mills and Jeff Bailey met through mutual friends who had a mutual interest, swing dancing. The couple’s friends enjoyed visiting Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa every weekend they had the chance to swing dance, and on the night they met, while Shelley was waiting in line for her turn to dance, Jeff popped the first of many important questions he would ask her during their relationship — “Do you want to go look stupid with me?”
A resident of Arkansas for 14 years, Shelley is a graduate of Lake Hamilton High School and later attended Henderson State University. Jeff graduated from Traverse City High School in Traverse City, Mich., and later decided to move to Arkansas to be closer to his dad and attend Henderson State University. He recently graduated with a master’s degree from UALR.
Shelley said she attended a summer internship in Michigan and, before heading back home to Arkansas, wanted to stop at Mackinac Island, a unique vacation spot and historic site, one last time.
“We were on our way to the historical fort that is there and he found a beautiful spot to ask the question,” Shelley said. “I was so shocked since we had been dating for almost seven years at that time and he had told me that I would never know when he was going to ask. He was right.”
Best Man and Maid of Honor: Best Man was Jake Bailey, Jeff’s brother. Maid of Honor was Amanda Merkel and Matron of Honor was Allison Mills, Shelley’s sister-in-law.
The location: First Presbyterian Church in Hot Springs.
The reception: Westminster Presbyterian Church of Hot Springs. Guests enjoyed barbecue from Smokin’ in Style, homemade vegetarian options, bottled coke and root beer. Shelley’s brother served as emcee.
The look: The ceremony was very vintage and rustic. The flower arrangements were on the stage with the pastor and the couple and small flower arrangements adorned the church’s stained glass windows. The reception had a fun, carnival theme with minimal flower arrangements. The colors were red, white and blue.
Most unforgettable moment: “For me, it was the moment that we looked at each other right before the pastor presented us as husband and wife,” Shelley said.
Honeymoon: Shreveport, La., at the Margaritaville Resort Hotel for an evening. The couple spent a Monday on the Riverwalk, ate at Joe’s Crab Shack and did some shopping before returning home.