Scarlett Taylor and Aaron Pryor
Home is where the love is
Southside High School graduates Scarlett Taylor and Aaron Pryor had launched into careers in Dallas when the longtime couple became engaged.
She is at Neiman-Marcus as a marketing analyst; he works in video communications in the Big 12 Conference. They knew they wanted to be married back home. Careerwise, they’re where they want to be. But where is home?
With parents living in Texas and Arkansas and college friends now far-flung, the Fort Smith natives chose Fayetteville, where they had graduated from the University of Arkansas. Their date was July 2.
“Fayetteville felt like home,” said Scarlett. An aunt who lives there was a great asset in recommending a venue, a bakery, a DJ and other services. A pastor from their home church agreed to officiate at Fayetteville’s First Christian Church. Fayetteville was central and convenient to most relatives and guests.
For long-distance planning, Scarlett had a creative team of both moms, their friends, her sister, aunts and other relatives and friends.
“We had a theme of ‘bohemian elegance,’” she said. She created a mix of table decor from their families; some, heirlooms from her grandmothers – mixed with other items her “team” found for her. She curated tablescapes, including family silver, vintage books and flowers, she said. “We searched for almost a year leading up to the wedding and really, everyone helped to find something.”
Scarlett invited six attendants. Her younger sister was maid of honor and five Alpha Delta Pi sorority sisters were bridesmaids. Sentimentally, Scarlett got permission for them to spend the night together at their sorority house the night before the wedding.
Aaron’s six groomsmen were his younger brother, his best friend as best man and four close friends from college.
Scarlett surprised herself with her choice of gown, changing her own, long-held style idea. During college, she had interned with a bridal designer in Dallas and has always had a fascination with wedding dresses. She had always pictured herself in a dress with an illusion neckline.
Instead, she chose a strapless gown from Neiman’s bridal floor and for “something blue,” Manolo Blahnik heels to help her gain the altitude to kiss her 6’4” guy. She’s a petite 5’4”.
It was exactly the right dress because the bride was beautiful. Her mother, Dana, helped her into her dress. The bride’s party was treated to a professional hair and makeup styling before the ceremony.
After their vows in the beautiful sanctuary, the reception venue, The Garden Room, was just around the corner on Dickson Street. The couple chose it for its indoor/outdoor options. Sure enough, there was a rainshower that day but it ended early. Scarlett took it for good luck.
The party was a warm, spirited celebration with friends from every part of their lives. Aaron and Scarlett have known each other since, as she recalls, they both played in the Ramsey Junior High Band. Attraction led them to date through high school and college, when they fully fell in love and planned their live together. “My little sister jokes that Aaron has been around for half her life,” Scarlett said. It’s true. They have been sweet on each other for almost 10 years.
The couple was toasted with champagne and words both sweet and funny. Guests enjoyed wedding cake and the groom’s golf-themed cake with delicious heavy hors d’oeuvres. Then all ages danced with the abandon of college kids.
Aaron and Scarlett left the reception under a canopy of sparklers held up by their guests in a classic Mustang convertible driven by a friend.
The best ideas Scarlett has to share from her own experience were to have a plan for unexpected weather (it did rain!) and to enjoy the participation and help of family and friends. While she loved Aaron’s truly romantic surprise proposal, she later realized he had been carrying around her engagement ring in his pocket all day – in New Orleans! Perhaps a bit more security would have been a good idea, she suggested. Choosing a wedding date near a holiday was convenient for guests who traveled and will always mean there's a long weekend near their anniversary, as well.
Overall, the couple would not change a thing about a wedding and party everyone enjoyed.
This article appears in the July 2017 issue of Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine.