Billions of people around the world tuned in to the wedding of Kate Middleton to Prince William. The wedding was quintessentially English, and many brides have since set out to recreate that same feeling on their own special day. But Northwest Arkansas couples don’t have to cross the pond to capture the essence of a British ceremony. St. Catherine’s at Bell Gable in Fayetteville is the local solution to a royally inspired wedding, without the million-pound price tag.
St. Catherine’s was a twelve-year project created by builder Lowell Boyton. An original stained glass window and set of doors directly from Great Britain kicked off the project, but the rest was built in Arkansas by Mr. Boyton’s own hands. The work was done the old fashioned way, from the molding of the Gothic arch to the spiral staircase in the corner. Since 1998, this labor of love has become one of Fayetteville’s iconic wedding locations that is sure to make your friends and photographer swoon.
Though the chapel is nestled at the foot of the Ozark mountains, it could easily be located in Gloucestershire, Surrey, or any part of the English countryside. The quaint stone chapel sits on lush green grounds with spires rising towards the sky. Ivy runs up the outer walls, making it appear as if it’s sat in that spot for 500 years. Atop the thatched roof sits a bell tower, waiting to ring in the good news of your marriage. Outside the antique wooden doors with wrought iron detailing give an authentic air to this chapel for you Northwest Arkansas wedding.
Once the doors are opened, visitors will be immediately struck by the gorgeous greens and golds from the stained glass window at the back of the chapel. Brass chandeliers and white pillar candles provide soft lighting, while antique Persian rugs line the native stone floors. Wooden pews for up to forty guests mimic the detailing on hammered trusses. In the corner, the spiral staircase leads to the church’s tiny loft.
A few steps away, a two-story weathered barn sits surrounded by woodland. Inside pale wood floors and walls make up the space, alit by bronze chandeliers. A courtyard enclosed by ivy is found out the side door, shaded by a large pergola. Another side yard leaves open space for tables and chairs, where guests might even catch a glimpse of one of the property’s many shetland ponies. All included, the space can comfortably host 120 friends and family members.
Rather than offer packages that include things you won’t use or aren’t interested in, St. Catherine’s makes each piece of your wedding day customizable. This allows brides to have their wedding exactly as they like it, and spend their money on the things that matter most. Renters have access to 125 chairs, a dressing room, and rehearsal space should they require it. The property also features a 1902 Mercedes limousine, perfect for making a memorable exit from your reception.
St. Catherine’s takes pride in welcoming any couple, regardless of their faith or religious affiliation. All are welcome to utilize the space for their special day, provided they and their guests respect the property.
Weddings with over seventy-five guests are required to hire a parking attendant to aide attendees. This service is available through the staff at St. Catherine’s.
Smaller weddings that would like to book the chapel or barn and accompanying grounds may do so for $700 per hour, with a two-hour minimum. Those wanting to book the entire space can expect to pay $800 per hour, with a two and a half hour minimum. Use of the space’s dressing room will cost $150, while the Mercedes limousine can be used for $250. Chairs cost $1.50 each.
Couples may come to visit the chapel, barn and grounds on most Sundays from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., and ask the staff to check the schedule for available dates. If the desired date and time is available, it can be booked on that visit. But if you would like some info withoutthe hassle of visiting, fill out the form below!
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