Shannon here: I’m honored that readers are fascinated with Romance, Arkansas and picked this post as their #2 favorite. Comment on any post dated Sept 19th – Sept 24th. Two winners this week: Dora Hiers’ Journey’s End & winners’ choice of my books, White Roses, White Doves, or White Pearls.
As legend maintains, the community of Romance was named many years ago by a school teacher who thought the view from the bluffs on the community’s eastern side was particularly romantic. There is also a gazebo in front of the old general store where couples used to spark.
Romance, Arkansas (population 1700) and is known for the post office re-mailing program and weddings. Romantics send stamped, addressed Valentine’s cards and wedding invitations in manila envelopes which are re-mailed from Romance, AR with a hand-stamped postmark.
I wove this setting and local flavor into each book in my series and visited the area on several research trips.
- Each year, a unique postmark is designed for use from Feb. 1-15.
- Some brides request an invitation postmarked and mailed to her on her wedding day for a keepsake. The Post Office is happy to comply unless the date falls on a Federal holiday.
- People from as far away as Japan, China, Canada, Australia, Germany and Great Britain have sent wedding invitations, valentines and other mail to Romance for the special postmark.
- The 25-cent Love postage stamp was issued on January 18, 1990, in Romance, Arkansas. Designed by Jayne Hertko, this issue was the ninth edition in the popular Love Series.
According to Postmaster Angie Davis, they have three or four weddings a year on Valentine’s Day at the post office. Couples exchange vows in the lobby and outside the office. Someone carved a heart in the parking lot declaring it the Heart of Romance.
When I originally went there to research the inner workings of the post office, Angie gave me directions to The Romance Waterfalls. James (Buck) Weatherly has given me two tours of his privately owned property, which he and his wife rent to the public for weddings and events. Wisteria drapes over an archway leading to the landscaped garden with numerous flowers and bushes. A wooden walkway leads down to the waterfalls, surrounded by jutting rock steps.
You can hear the waterfall long before you get there. Mr. Weatherly built two gazebos and balconies overlooking the waterfalls and he opens his home for receptions and family reunions. When real flowers are out of season, silk blossoms add beauty to heart-shaped flowerbeds and archways, along with numerous planters.
I couldn’t help incorporating the falls into all three of my books, including a proposal and a wedding at the site. Mr. and Mrs. Weatherly let me have my book launch party there and I was thrilled when my cover artist used the picture of the falls I sent as inspiration for the cover of White Doves, book two in the series.
So, if you’re ever looking for a beautiful outdoor place for a wedding in a town with the perfect name for romance, check out The Romance Waterfalls. There are at least three churches there also.
If you’re interested in the re-mailing program, here’s a list of post offices across the United States that provide this service:
Heart Butte, MT
Sugar City, CO
Come back Sept. 26th for inspirational author, Staci Stallings.