Abigail Little & Ryan Thomas | Southern Bride
Get The Current Issue Of Southern Bride Now

Abigail Little & Ryan Thomas


Jun 10, 2023
Hot Springs , Arkansas

Style Guide

Color Palette





The Proposal

Ryan and Abbey were long-distance all 4 years of dating. Shortly after they met, Ryan was deployed to Germany for 10 months. When he returned, he moved to NYC for his MBA at Columbia University while Abbey remained in Houston, TX. They visited each other every month and, when in NYC, one of their favorite activities was having a picnic in Central Park in Sheep’s Meadow. It’s a picturesque view of the park contrasting with the skyline, a favorite spot being right next to a big, beautiful old tree. On this particular date night, Ryan and Abbey walked through the park on the way to dinner. Ryan stopped Abbey in their spot, said he needed to ask her something, and proposed. He had a photographer waiting on the side to capture the full moment. It was truly the happiest moment of Abbey’s life. They called their families, shared the news, and then spent the rest of the evening just the two of them having dinner, exploring the city, and enjoying the start of their new adventure. Now they live in the city just a block from the park, that little spot holding the most joyful memory each time they walk by.

Abbey Ryan Dip
Abbey Ryan Solo
Abbey Ryan Solo
Abbey Ryan Veil

In Preparation

Throughout the planning process, Ryan and Abbey emphasized two things: they wanted the wedding to be a celebration of who they were as a couple and all of the adventures they had been on and were looking forward to. Every detail was chosen to honor this; from the prayers, to the song choices, to the ceremony, and reception details, both big and small. They also wanted the weekend to be one where everyone felt like family. They had a lot of people who had not travelled to that part of the country or had never met each other before. Ryan and Abbey’s goal was to make their day flooded with joy, intentionally sharing their love, by bringing everyone together. Their reception venue was a bed and breakfast, allowing Ryan’s family and groomsmen, and some of Abbey’s family and friends, to stay onsite. They also had accommodations for the bridesmaids so that everyone felt welcomed and included. They loved having everyone together, as it allowed so many to meet, mingle, and spend quality time together.

The planning process was one that Abbey will cherish forever with her Mom. They had so much fun dreaming up ideas, having Facetime dates, DIYing some elements, and spending quality time together. Even when things were overwhelming, Abbey’s Mom made the process so special and enjoyable, helping bring the vision to life alongside their amazing planner and team of vendors. Both of Abbey’s parents were instrumental in bringing everything to life, especially when Ryan or Abbey couldn’t be in person for something. When they were able to make it down to Arkansas from Houston and New York, they were able to spend quality time with Abbey’s Mom and Dad for cake tastings, food samplings, and venue tours. These moments were ones Abbey will always remember!

Abbey Ryan Dress
Abbey Ryan Mom

Abbey Ryan Staircase

Abbey Ryan Details
Abbey Ryan Hands

Abbey Ryan Bridesmaids

Abbey Ryan Bouquets

The Big Day

Ryan and Abbey’s day was a combination of Southern-style — classic and timeless — complimented by modern touches, representing their roots in the South and their life in the big city. The weekend took place in Abbey’s hometown of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Abbey started the big day getting ready and having breakfast with the girls, while Ryan began his day on a morning hike with the guys. They had their first look, tucked away on the corner of the front porch, before heading off to the church on the trolley. Their ceremony occurred at a historical church where Abbey’s parents were married 37 years prior. Their service was very traditional, officiated by Abbey’s childhood pastor.

Their grand exit was on the church’s steps outside, with white rose petals tossed into the air. Guests were directed to the cocktail hour and reception. Cocktail hour was held on the front porch and throughout the gardens with passed hors d’oeuvres and signature cocktails — Ryan’s “Take Me to Texas” margarita and Abbey’s “Uptown Girl” New York Sour, accessorized by custom drink stirrers. Each element of cocktail hour was a nod to the memories and many miles spent flying back and forth long-distance over the years. The reception was held under a tent in the gardens, adorned with twinkle lights and silver spheres, representing the twinkling stars of Texas and the lights of the NYC skyline. The silver spheres reflected the lights, the black and white tiled dance floor below, and the beautiful gardens surrounding the tent.

Florals of vibrant greens, pinks, blues, and creams adorned the tables, complimented by candlelight and green toile custom stationery. Their first dances were followed by dinner, Abbey’s Dad’s hilariously sweet speech and champagne toast, cake cutting, an espresso martini tower, and a night of dancing. Of course, light-up cowboy hats were a must for Texas! Guests could also enjoy smores by the fire in the garden. The after-party was filled with pizza, fries, and more dancing!

Abbey Ryan Wedding

Abbey Ryan Exit

Abbey Ryan Smiling

Abbey Ryan Tables

Abbey Ryan House

Abbey Ryan Place Setting

Abbey Ryan Decor
Abbey Ryan Cake
Abbey Ryan Espresso Martinis
Abbey Ryan Dance

The Retreat

When thinking about the honeymoon, Ryan and Abbey knew they wanted to do something with a little adventure and a little relaxation. They did the best of both worlds and checked off a bucket list item for both of them at the same time – An African Safari! They went on a two-week honeymoon, spending the first week in Tanzania on the safari, followed by a week at a beach resort on the island of Zanzibar, and then made a quick pit stop in Paris on their way back to NYC. Ryan and Abbey’s honeymoon was truly a dream come true, filled with adventure and priceless moments together, and the perfect beginning to the rest of their lives.

Abbey Ryan Cake Cut

Abbey Ryan Dancing

Abbey Ryan Reception

Featured Wedding Vendors


Something Bleu


Show Me Your Mumu


Hot Springs Catering


Central Baptist Church


Ambrosia Bakery Co. and Dempsey Bakery


DJ Xavier Riley


Randi Slick at Signature Events


Lepine’s Wedding & Event Florals


Unveiled Bridal Collection




Adrianne Brooks at Whiplash Beauty


Blue Nile


Back to Africa Tours & Safaris


Molly Anne Sandefur Photography


The Reserve at Hot Springs


Central Arkansas Entertainment and Signature Events


Arkansas Destinations


Anointed Media


Raising the Bar


Designed by Faith Ketron and Abbey Thomas, Printed by Kwik Print & Bill Hall Printers

Join the Southern Bride Newsletter

Sign up to get the latest from Southern Bride every week.


Shopping cart0
There are no products in the cart!
Continue shopping