Courtney Michelle Backus and James Hunter Norton were united in marriage Saturday, June 2, at 7 p.m. at Belgian Meadows at Little Rock. The Rev. Greg Schick officiated.
The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kim Billingsley Backus of Little Rock. She is the granddaughter of Dr. and Mrs. Michael Joseph Pickering of Tampa, Fla., and the late Sylvia Alvarez Pickering and Loraine Billingsley Backus of Little Rock, formerly of Pine Bluff, and the late Howard Lee Backus.
The groom is the son of Sharon Hunter Norton and Charles W. “Wimpy” Norton, Jr., both of Pine Bluff. He is the grandson of Mrs. Roy W. Hunter of Pine Bluff and the late Mr. Hunter and the late Mr. and Mrs. Charles Winfrey Norton, also of Pine Bluff.
The rustic setting featured an entrance wall, built by the groom’s father from old barn wood, which held numerous family wedding photos. A large, 100-year-old oak tree was the backdrop for the ceremony.
Music was provided by a string quartet from the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra. Readings were given by Lindy Lee O’Neal and Jennifer Haile Sebourn, both of Bentonville.
Given in marriage by her parents and escorted by her father, the bride wore a candlelight gown of silk shantung taffeta. The modified mermaid design featured a sweetheart neckline and fell to a chapel-length train. The chapel-length veil, also worn by the bride’s sister on her wedding day, was adorned with pearls from their maternal grandmother’s veil. The bride’s bouquet was a handmade composite of flowers made from ivory rose petals. Attached to the bouquet was her paternal grandmother’s pearl brooch. The bride’s bracelet held the wedding band worn by both her paternal grandfather and her paternal great-grandfather, Asa Backus.
Kelsey Marie Backus of Little Rock, sister of the bride, served as maid of honor. Jacquelyn Nicole Harrison of Fayetteville, sister of the bride, was the matron of honor.
The bridesmaids were Rachel Lynn Poag of Jonesboro, Jane Annesley Hussey of Dallas, Ashley Elizabeth Allred of Maumelle, Laura Alexandra Boscarolo of Las Vegas, Ginger Cowling Woodall of New Orleans, Molly Marshall Hays of Tulsa, Meredith Alexis Anderson of New York City and Rebecca Felton Willis of Little Rock. The attendants wore floor-length gowns of black chiffon and carried hand-tied bouquets of long-stemmed white calla lilies.
The members of the house party were Melissa Ann Bryant of Baton Rouge; Kristin Kitterman Hollensworth of Maumelle; Ashley Elizabeth Edwards, Melissa Kathryn Lieblong and Erin Lee Patterson, all of Fayetteville; Jennifer Lynne Chunn of North Little Rock; Jane Withers Turner of Austin, Texas; and Kathryn Jane Norton, also of Little Rock, cousin of the groom.
The flower girl was Addison Lea Hollensworth. The ring bearers were James Dawson Hollensworth IV, Mason Scott Poag, Caden Lawrence Colman, and the bride’s dog, Mr. Pugsley Backus.
The groom’s father and brother, Winfrey Ray Norton, served as best men. Groomsmen were Jordan Elliott Henderson Jeter of Fayetteville; Richard Lee Smart III of Pine Bluff; Donald McMillan Tatman II, Stephen Paul Purtle, Mark Daniel Young and Jack Walls Allen, all of Little Rock; Andrew Rhine Norton, also of Pine Bluff, cousin of the groom; and Daniel Clayton Robinson of Jonesboro.
Ushers were Nicholas Edward Kelley, Christopher Evans Shenep, Geoffrey Edward Campbell and Craig Evans Thalheimer, all of Little Rock; and Brian Casey Harrison and James William Watkins, both of Fayetteville.
A reception was held immediately following the ceremony under a large tent canopy at Belgian Meadows. The black and white color theme featured white hydrangeas, spider mums, football mums, stocks, baby’s breath and dendrobium orchids wrapped around large tree branches, and candelabra. The six-tier wedding cake was placed atop an heirloom lace tablecloth that was hand crocheted by the groom’s great-grandmother, Malvina Jackson Hunter Ray. A live painting by Tracee Gentry was under way during the reception. Music for dancing and entertainment was provided by the Soul Shockers of Memphis.
Following a honeymoon in Bora Bora, the couple will reside in Fayetteville.