Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online

Olivia Frost and Daniel Fritsche

Olivia Frost and Daniel Fritsche

One seven seventeen ... a wonderful winter wedding

When a couple is blessed with a multitude of friends and relations, they’re blessed even more when their wedding can include them all. Olivia Frost and Daniel Fritsche, with both of their families, a wedding planner and the good fortune of an available new venue, celebrated their union with a guest list of hundreds.

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There was a risk in choosing the early new year date of 1/7/17, but it fit their busy lives. Olivia had graduated from the University of Arkansas and would soon enter a graduate program to become a physician assistant. Daniel, also a UA graduate, is pursuing an MBA. And yes, it snowed – but only lightly; enough to cover the ground and make for beautiful photos.

Olivia’s doting dad was the hero of transportation solutions. The vows were said at the family’s church in Booneville; the reception was at The Loft at Stone Oak in Greenwood and the couple each had 13 attendants. He chartered a coach to move the mob to and from church to reception.

“I know it sounds crazy but I really do talk to all those girls every week,” Olivia said in defense of her many, beloved bridesmaids, “ ... my sister, a couple from high shool, some family and the rest were Kappas with me. I had four roommates for two years and then I lived in a house with six girls. You just get so close to people!” Daniel’s groomsmen were much the same mix. Just 26 of their closest friends, she laughed.

With the date set a little more than six months after Daniel proposed, serious organization and teamwork made this happy event happen. Their wedding would be the first held at The Loft at Stone Oak, which was under construction at the time. The venue owners are family friends; everything was ready on time and the wedding’s team were delighted.

Conventional wisdom is that only some of the invited guests will RSVP, Olivia said, “but I think 98 percent responded!” Her only stress came from two things: ascertaining there would be plenty of catered food. Fortunately, her dad is a cattleman so they served their own beef. Her wedding gown was the second bump. It arrived marked the correct size, but was quite too large. Two months of alterations later, she could say, “I feel pretty now!”

Through the hospitality of her family, her bridesmaids stayed overnight at a lodge in Greenwood and were served breakfast. They dressed at The Loft and went by coach to the church. Olivia’s childhood pastor returned to officiate in a ceremony attended by close family.

Arriving at The Loft, the couple enjoyed a small meal at a table for two, privately, before greeting their reception guests. It’s a respite their planner, Mary Ann Sandifer, always arranges. Olivia noted it was the only bite she took until hours later, from plates packed for them to take away.

Her concept of decoration was “simple, but elegant,” expressed with tables set with china and chargers, greenery with beautiful flowers and candlelight from votives and tall candelabras. Light strings and lighting effects during the dancing set a warm mood, along with the affection and happiness of their family and guests. All who attended seemed to have danced with abandon, including parents, grandparents and youngsters.

Olivia recalls her emotions building up at being with  “all of your favorite people, in one place, for only one time in your whole life! I’ve never felt so loved.” Daniel had resolved beforehand that they should try to be mindful and present, she said, and to stay beside each other all evening. “We’ve been to a lot of receptions where the couple gets separated,” she said. “It was nice that we were together while talking to everyone. I’m thankful he did that.”

Daniel also had a romantic wish that they would spend their wedding night at Mount Magazine – the place they had first kissed. Again, Olivia’s father had a great plan. He had a friend who would take them there by helicopter, a 25-minute flight. When it was time to take off, the temperature was a bitterly low 7 degrees. “We had to let the helicopter warm up,” Olivia said. “But the snow on the ground made us able to look down and see everything. It was peaceful, a nice time for reflection.”

Earlier, Daniel had stationed his truck at the landing area, packed with their luggage. They drove on up the mountain and found a welcome plate of brownies and strawberries at their door. After a two-night stay, the couple flew from Little Rock to a honeymoon in the Virgin Islands. They returned to Little Rock, their home, to a warm winter temperature of 55. But their snowy wedding day will be a always be a sweet memory. Olivia is certain they were blessed in every aspect.

“I wanted to be married, we wanted the Gospel to be proclaimed and for everyone to have so much fun! I think we accomplished that!”

This article appears in the July 2017 issue of Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine.

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Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online