“I want to look like a princess,” is a phrase you’ll hear more than once on any television bridal show. For many women, the ceremony is the culmination of their fairy tale courtship, the part of the story where their prince whisks them off into the sunset. While Arkansas may not deliver on historical castles in which to say I do, we do have our very own cathedral, designed to celebrate the very best of what makes us the Natural State. Bella Vista’s Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel is nestled quietly in the forest, and features a blend of ancient and modern architecture. This picturesque venue will be the perfect spot for ethereal brides to begin their happily ever after.
Designed by architects E. Fay Jones and Maurice Jennings, the enchanting chapel is inspired by cathedrals from fourteen century Europe, referencing the age’s iconic pointed Gothic arch and repetitive symmetry. The building’s large wooden doors immediately call to mind the entrances to famed churches such as the Great West Door of St. Paul’s Cathedral in London.
Despite the chapel’s historical inspiration, it is fully modern in terms of execution. Steel beams crisscross across the ceiling, surrounded by over 4000 sq. ft. of glass. The combination of sleek steel and clear glass combine to give what some have described as an aura of strength, yet weightlessness. Circular windows at the entrance and rear of the building, reminiscent of ornate stained windows in many churches, are left decidedly plain. The treetops and rays of light instead serve as the ever-changing artwork behind them.
Natural stone flooring with tones of brown and gray complement the chapel’s sleek wooden pews. At the end of the aisle sits a raised stage, giving guests a better glimpse of the ceremony proceedings. Behind where you’ll say your vows, steel archways intersect to create a bronzed Gothic arch. Brides can choose to decorate this space with floral arrangements, or let the seasons outside do the work for them.
Couples who want an outdoor wedding without the worry of Arkansas’ notoriously fickle weather will find the perfect compromise in this venue. Since the exterior of the building is made of glass, it is completely transparent, providing undisrupted views of the forest and Lake Norwood. Guests will feel surrounded by nature, while not having to fret if unexpected showers arise.
The chapel accommodates up to 120 guests, making it an excellent choice for a midsize wedding with friends and family. Guests will enjoy the cozy intimacy of the chapel, while being in awe of the expansive landscape surrounding them.
For couples who want a large wedding, you can also have a ceremony for close friends and family, while inviting anyone and everyone to the big party afterward.
Options are boundless when reserving the chapel for your ceremony. Choose your favorite musicians, invite your beloved officiant, and reserve the florist of your dreams. The chapel wants your day to be a true reflection of your union, and leaves the decision up to you on who to book for your event.
The chapel is open to those of any denomination, and is not affiliated with any particular group. Couples are welcome to conduct their ceremony in the way that is most meaningful to them and their personal beliefs.
Reception space is not available at The Cooper Memorial Chapel. However, other great local options are only minutes away! A short drive to Bentonville will let the party continue at locations such as Crystal Bridges, The Record Downtown, or The Ravington.
The Cooper Memorial Chapel does not offer accommodations on property. However, they partner with Trails Edge Cabins located in Bella Vista, an ideal option for guests wanting to enjoy this quaint Ozark town. Using code CHAPEL when reserving on http://www.vacationrentalsinc.net ensures you get the best price available! Guests can also find great hotels only a few miles away in Bentonville, such as 21c or the DoubleTree Suites by Hilton.
Couples can expect to pay $600 to rent the chapel for one and a half hours. This includes a $100 deposit due on booking; the remaining $500 is due sixty days before your ceremony. If you’d like the venue for an extra half hour, it will cost an additional $100
To learn more about the Mildred B. Cooper Memorial Chapel, or schedule, fill out the contact form below. Those wishing to have a look for themselves can stop by seven days a week; the chapel is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
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