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Miss Head Over Heels // Engagement Photos

Finding the right photographer is one of the most important parts of wedding planning, in my opinion. Your photographer captures everything for you -- from the small details to the big moments. Sadly, I've heard too many people say they don't like their wedding photos or that they only like a couple of them. Photographers come with a hefty price tag, but with good reason. It's important to remember that they are not just someone with a good camera. This is what they do for a living and what they are passionate about. Professional photographers spend many hours training and learning how to get that perfect shot, and they spend many hours shooting weddings and engagement photos each year. It's important to secure a professional wedding photographer instead just letting someone with a good camera, or just let guests shoot your wedding photos.

It is also important to do your research on any photographer you consider hiring. When we chose our photographer, we looked at all of her photos at a bridal show at Willow Creek Glass Chapel. When we went back home, I looked up the photographer’s website and reviewed all of the photos on there as well. We knew then that we had to have this photographer! Her pictures were fun and flawless! Just what we were looking for.

We are excited to have chosen Traci at True Imagery as our photographer. After looking at her website, we didn't see a photo package that was perfect for us. We wanted engagement photos, full wedding day coverage, a wedding album and then discs for both. Even though this was not a package on her website, she happily created one for us. 

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, October 30, 2014 7:00 pm.

Miss Vino & Vintage // Operation Junkstock

I decided I couldn't very well call myself Miss Vino and Vintage without taking a trip to one of Omaha's newer and very popular events, Junkstock: Harvest Edition. I have visited Junkstock in the past, but it has continued to grow and diversify and of course I had to evaluate with the wedding in mind!

I enlisted the help of my coworker Stephanie and her darling dog to help me peruse. On the way there, we came up with a list of things we wanted to keep an eye out for. I definitely recommend this strategy, as you can find anything and everything at Junkstock, having a partner and a specific shopping list helps keep you focused while allowing some inspiration to happen. I was looking for a bushel basket to use for our engagement photo shoot, which will be taking place at an apple orchard, in addition to some vintage glassware, which has become my new obsession. 

I spotted several things I think would be absolutely darling in the right wedding. Here are a couple examples: 

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Friday, October 24, 2014 7:30 pm.

Miss Ever After // Obsession Confession

Confession: I’m obsessed with flowers

I guess you could say that I found the perfect job as a floral and event design assistant. Some of my earliest memories involve gardening with my grandmother in her farm. Those memories have evolved with me as I journey through the process of planning a wedding.

I knew that I needed a florist who is creative, unique, and can create truly customized pieces for the wedding. This is why I chose Melissa at Blooms and Bouquets. Melissa has taken all of my unique concepts, and formed them into one large theme. Blooms and Bouquets has a two-step consultation process, the first is a phone consultation where Melissa can learn more about you and your wedding. The next is a consultation in either her Omaha or Lincoln office, which is full of inspiration pictures to help bring together a mood board of your wedding. I might have skipped to the car I was so happy after the second consultation. I just thought it was so exciting to be able to see our floral and décor come to life right in front of my eyes.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, October 23, 2014 6:00 pm. | Tags: Chatty Brides , Miss Ever After , Blooms & Bouquets , Bride Blogger , Floral Advice

Miss Cloud Nine // Our Wedding Day

People told me, people warned me and I thought I was prepared, but your wedding day really does go by in the blink of an eye. 

The morning of the wedding was one of my favorite parts of the day. My bridesmaids, mom and mother-in-law came to my hotel room and we enjoyed mimosas and breakfast while we had our hair and makeup done. It was so relaxing and I never once felt rushed. My favorite memory was after every person got their makeup done, they walked back into the other room and were welcomed with an enthusiastic “woooo hooo!” Best feeling ever to walk into and such a great start to the day. I love my girls.

I can’t tell you how excited I was to see everything finally put together. I walked into the venue and I was blown away. It was incredible. Lovestruck and Blooms and Bouquets created a space that was beyond my expectations. It was the perfect mix of industrial but soft, vintage yet modern. I loved every part. My favorite parts of the décor….where do I even start? I would probably say the main light fixture above the head table, which Blooms and Bouquets made from scratch was my favorite. It was incredible and I want it in my house. Quirky little details were everywhere. Bios and pictures of our wedding party and fun facts about Dave, myself and our dog Abby -- yes, Abby did in fact eat 12 cupcakes, Dave would eat pizza 365 days a year and I don’t like cheese unless it’s melted. The lemonade in mason jars, the confetti blowers for our entrance, the personalized photo strips for place cards. Every detail was, exactly how I wanted our wedding to feel.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Chattybrides on Wednesday, October 22, 2014 6:00 pm. | Tags: Chatty Brides , Miss Cloud Nine , Blooms And Bouquets , Lovestruck , Hap Abraham Catering , Real Wedding , Real Bride , Bride Blogger , 1316 Jones , Goldenrod Pastries , Omaha Wedding , Nebraska Bride

Miss Vino & Vintage // Something Old, Something New

My darling fiancé proposed a week before my birthday with what is in my opinion, the most amazing piece of jewelry in the history of time. All brides think this, right? I love that my ring was picked out just for me, and everyone has mentioned time and time again how unique and lovely it is -- music to my ears. In fact, I love it's special quality and attributes so much, I've decided to let it drive the whole theme of the wedding! 

When we started the search for rings, I was obsessed with the idea of having a vintage ring. I loved the look of the art deco period specifically and how they often times included other colored gemstones along with diamonds. However, as someone astutely pointed out to me, buying a ring online is risky, and buying an old engagement ring online is basically crazy. So I headed over to see Mindy at 14 Karat to show her some of the styles I loved to see if they had anything similar. I knew it wasn't exactly trendy, but I thought I'd give it a shot. Then, to my amazement, she found a setting that was very similar to what I'd admired online and altered it to make it exactly what I wanted, including changing the halo to sapphires to represent my beloved's birthstone and a color I love. She also tracked down a center stone that was hand cut probably in the late 1800s or early 1900s, distinguishing it as an Old Mine Cut stone. "Something old" in a "something new" setting.  

So that's how the wedding will be shaping up. A mix of modern and vintage, old and new, with tons of personal details unique to my future husband and me. I feel like "vintage" can mean a million different things to a many different people. Pinterest seems to think it means legions of Mason jars covered in burlap. I'm taking a slightly different approach, which I'm sure will evolve and be revealed in future posts.  

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Saturday, October 18, 2014 2:16 pm.

Miss Head Over Heels // We're Getting Married!

Mr. Head Over Heels and I had only been dating for almost a year and a half when we got engaged. We were introduced in February of 2013, by mutual friends, and then met again, and started dating, Easter weekend of 2013.  Apparently, we have a thing for holiday weekends because we were engaged this Labor Day weekend and will be tying the knot  -- literally, we plan to tie God's knot instead of lighting a unity candle Labor Day weekend of 2015!

Mr. Head Over Heels proposed on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. He took me out to Sugar Clay Winery in Thurman, IA where we sat on the deck, overlooking the winery, and shared a bottle of wine. It really was a perfect day! It was so adorable because I could tell he was nervous. You know that "I'm a macho guy nervous face"? Yeah, he had that. After Mr. Head Over Heels proposed, Cyrus (the dog) came to share in our excitement! I really think we made a lifelong friend. This is the only picture we have from our engagement.

Mr. Head Over Heels & Cyrus

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, October 16, 2014 1:00 pm. | Tags: Miss Head Over Heels , Bride Blogger , Chatty Brides , Willow Creek Glass Chapel , Rustic Wedding , Wedding Venues

Wedding Essentials Idea Show

The Wedding Essentials Idea Show is only a few days away! Here's a look back at some of our favorites from last year's show.

See you at the Mid-America Center on Sunday, October 19th at 10 a.m.

Need tickets? Go here.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, October 15, 2014 3:15 pm. | Tags: Omaha Bridal Show , Wedding Idea Show , Wedding Essentials Idea Show , Wedding Vendors , Mid-america Center , Fall Bridal Show , Bridal Show , Nebraska Wedding Vendors

Catering a Wedding: The Basics

So much more goes into catering a wedding reception than most brides realize. Food is not the only catering expense. The staff, serving ware, glassware, linens, service fee and taxes are also part of the overall cost. Simply knowing about these line items will help you come up with a realistic budget.
 
This week, W.E. reached out to an Omaha catering company, Attitude on Food, so the staff could help explain what brides need to know. Take note of these five great tips from the experts.
 
1. Budget for catering expenses first: It's easy to allocate money for the venue, photographer and dress within the first few weeks of wedding planning. But by the time brides start looking for a caterer, they don’t typically have enough money set aside. Plan for the food and beverage expense first, even before choosing a venue.
 
2. Do your research on venues: Brides are often surprised when they see the list of rentals necessary for their wedding. Depending on the venue and type of meal, you may be responsible for everything from chairs and china to plate covers. Before you choose a venue, make sure you know what is included and what you are expected to provide.
 
3. Do the math: When you decide upon your initial catering budget, do some simple math before setting the budget in stone. Determine the price per person that your budget allows for, and you’ll know whether or not it's realistic and what you can (and can’t) afford. A $3,000 budget may seem like a lot, for example, but for 250 guests the price per person for everything (food, beverages, staff, etc.) is just $12 per person.
 
4. Ask about additional services: Ideally, you should be able to leave your wedding in the hands of your vendors. When choosing a caterer, ask about any other event planning services that they provide. Some caterers will coordinate the rentals on your behalf, cut and serve the cake, set the table and clean up for no extra charge. Keep these additional services in mind when comparing caterers. If one is cheaper, it may be because they don’t provide anything beyond food service. Know what your caterer can provide and take advantage of it!
 
5. It takes a small army: When you receive your first catering proposal, the number of servers may surprise you. It takes more than most people realize to set up a wedding reception from start to finish. Trust your caterer when it comes to staffing. They know how many servers are needed to clear plates, replenish food and keep your reception running smoothly. If you’re concerned about the cost of labor, stick with a buffet. Family style and plated meals require a bigger staff.
 
Happy Catering!

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 2:32 pm. | Tags: Engaged , Catering , Wedding Reception , Wedding Venues , Wedding Budget , Attitude On Food , Wedding Catering , Wedding Services , Wedding Planner

Chatty Brides // Meet Miss Vino & Vintage

Age: 31

Occupation: Search Engine Marketing Manager

Engagement Date: August 16, 2014

Posted in Chattybrides, Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, October 3, 2014 3:30 pm. | Tags: Bride Blogger , Miss Vino & Vintage , Chatty Brides , Advice , Il Palazzo

A Guide to Plus Size Wedding Dress Shopping

A lot of people talk about pre-wedding nerves, but what about dress shopping jitters? Many brides find themselves concerned that dress shops won't have any sizes that fit them, but whatever your worries are, we're here to ease your mind about wedding dress shopping.

We talked with Nichole, Manager at Ellynne Bridal in Lincoln, Nebraska about what she's learned as a consultant working with brides searching for a plus size dress. Here are a few words of advice that will make your shopping experience all the more enjoyable.

Come with an open mind. "This is the most important thing," says Nichole. "A lot of girls have a certain fit in mind, but they should be open to trying on different styles or dresses that might not fit them perfectly off the rack." Don't get caught up when sample sizes don't fit you perfectly. Even when you order the real dress it usually need some alterations. WE Tip: Make sure you adjust your budget to fit alteration costs.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, September 30, 2014 4:00 pm. | Tags: Wedding Essentials Omaha , Wedding Dresses , Dress Shopping , Plus Size Wedding Gowns , Wedding Advice , Ellynne Bridal

Chatty Brides // Meet Miss Head Over Heels

Age: 31

Occupation: Insurance Analyst

Engagement Date: August 30, 2014

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Monday, September 29, 2014 3:00 pm.

Chatty Brides // Meet Miss Ever After

Age: 23

Occupation: Floral and Event Design Assistant

Engagement Date: July 18, 2014

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, September 24, 2014 6:00 pm.

Happy First Day of Autumn!

Happy Autumn! As if we needed more reasons to drink Pumpkin Spice Lattes from Starbucks. Fuel for wedding planning.

Read through our advice for fall brides.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, September 23, 2014 3:00 pm.

Chatty Brides // How to be a bride blogger

So you want to be a bride blogger? That's fantastic! 

The Wedding Essentials Team loves talking to brides-to-be in the Greater Omaha area. We’d love to hear your story and be able to share your wedding inspiration and connect our brides with the planning tools they need to make their dream wedding happen.

WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS?

Posted in Beablogger, Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Friday, September 19, 2014 6:00 pm. | Tags: Bride Blogger , Omaha Brides , Wedding Essentials Omaha , Chatty Brides , Real Weddings

In Case of Rain // It's a Good Thing

They say that rain on your wedding day is good luck. Some say it means you'll be rich. But let's be honest. If it rains on your wedding day you're not going to feel very lucky. And becoming rich? Let's hope so after how much weddings can cost! To a bride, those things don't fix her immediate problem.

If it rains on your wedding day the best thing you can do is to stay positive. But here's where some of those superstitions, traditions and folklore come from.

Fertility and cleansing. In primarily agricultural societies, rain symbolizes fertility, meaning that your family will grow strong. It also represents cleansing and the start of a new life with your husband.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, September 19, 2014 2:00 pm. | Tags: Rainy Day Wedding , Wedding Advice , Wedding Weather

In Case of Rain // Life Savers

Now that our new bonus issue is out, we finally have a few minutes to sit down with Creative Director Heidi Thorson and chat about one big important topic that happened on her wedding day -- rain. We put together a small Q + A to give you some helpful tips on the off-chance that it rains on your wedding day.

When the week of your wedding came around, what was on your mind?

We had planned an outdoor wedding but had to nix Plan A two weeks before the wedding. I don't know whether it was nerves starting to set in or if it was a premonition of sorts, but Matt and I had talked and talked and talked about what we would do if it rained on our wedding day. We decided that it would relieve a lot of stress on our end if we moved along. Then, when I checked the weather about a week before the big day, it said there was a 30% chance of rain. So I thought, "Okay, that's a 70% chance of everything going smoothly." Staying positive about the situation is a must. A little rain never hurt anybody, right?

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, September 18, 2014 6:30 pm. | Tags: Real Wedding , Wedding Advice , In Case Of Rain , Rainy Day Wedding , Heidi Thorson , Umbrellas , Dan Thorson Photography , Ellynne Bridal

Real Wedding // Heidi + Matt

SWEET AS A BUTTON As a decoration for the memory table, Heidi framed a "T" made out of buttons her grandmother had collected throughout the years. It included buttons from several generations. And the backdrop? Fabric from the collection of Matt's grandmother who had passed away while he was on a recent deployment to Japan. SURPRISE! Heidi asked her grandmother to say a few words during the ceremony, whether that was through scripture, a poem, a song or from the heart, the bride's only request was that it be a surprise. Heidi loved that it brought real, raw emotion to the ceremony. A BEAUTIFUL BOUQUET The bride comes from a large family, so to make sure everyone got to be a part of the couple's special day, immediate family members were given a rose. During the ceremony, Heidi asked them to come up to the altar and place their rose in an empty vase. It signified that without family and support, Heidi and Matt's marriage would just be a pretty, empty vase. THE PRODIGAL SON A week leading up to the wedding Heidi went on a search around town to find her brother who she doesn't get to see very much. But no luck. "It was my one wish on that day that I would get to see him on our wedding day," Heidi says. "He's a hard read so I had no idea whether or not he would show up or if I would have to arrange to meet him in a park at the last minute just to say 'Hi'. It was a miracle of a moment when I turned around during the ceremony to hear my grandmother speak that he was sitting right in my line of sight and be still my heart I totally lost it. I get teary-eyed just thinking about it. He even had a rose in his hand to put in the vase. That moment stole the day. I'll never forget it." GOOD TUNES Of the groom's few requests, good music was at the top of his list. WE AREN'T IN KANSAS ANYMORE Ever since Matt's godmother, Dorothy, passed away, it's been a family tradition for the bride to wear ruby red slippers down the aisle in her honor. DOWNPOUR DAY It rained so much that by the wee hours of the morning the reception venue had flooded just enough to leave the carpet soaked and in need of replacement. SOMETHING BORROWED One of my best friends and honorary personal attendant happened to have a mint green trench coat, which she let me wear post ceremony. It blended perfectly with my bridesmaids' dresses.

______________________________________________________

Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, September 17, 2014 5:30 pm. | Tags: Real Wedding , Sioux Falls , South Dakota , Midwest Wedding , Real Bride , Rainy Day Wedding , In Case Of Rain

Real Wedding // Submission Details

WHAT WE NEED:

1. 30-40 images -- think 90% details, 10% bride/groom/wedding party. For print, photos must be 300 dpi, CMYK, at least 9x12 inches, JPEG. For online, photos must be 150 dpi, RGB, at least 9x12 inches, JPEG.

2. A vendor list.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 7:00 pm. | Tags: Real Wedding , Submit Your Wedding , Real Bride , Omaha Wedding , Magazine Feature

BONUS Issue // Real Wedding Issue

Introducing our Fall/Winter 2014 BONUS Issue, featuring over 10 local real weddings!

Flip through the pages of this exclusive, online-only, mount of inspiration!

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, September 16, 2014 3:00 pm. | Tags: Real Weddings , Real Brides , Omaha Weddings , Bonus Issue , Cover Bride , Wedding Photographers , Bridal Magazine , Omaha Bridal Magazine

Real Wedding // The Big Lebowski

Before they were ever engaged, Chelsea Main and Jesse McNew committed themselves to the idea of a "Big Lebowski" wedding.

It helped that neither of them were much in the way of religious. Also, they had watched the Coen brothers cult classic on the night of their first date, after an evening of drinks in downtown Lincoln and a failed attempt at spotting Lady Gaga.

Chelsea revealed she’d never seen “The Big Lebowski,” and Jesse, privy to this new information, called for an immediate viewing. He was a big “Lebowski” fan, quite possibly the biggest “Lebowski” fan in all of Nebraska, and he would not let stand another moment in which Chelsea went without.

So they watched. And as early as that night, Chelsea felt that wonderful feeling of knowing the man she’d someday wed.

Which is not to say she would have predicted a Lebowski-themed wedding with costumes, characters and coffee cans as table decor.

“I didn’t really get it,” she’d say many months later, on the eve of their big day, about that first viewing.

The story was ludicrous.

***

They married last Saturday at Chops Bowling near 13th and Vinton Streets. With friends and family as their witnesses, Chelsea and Jesse declared “I abide” to each other. They exchanged ring(er)s and made a unity White Russian — or “Caucasian,” in the parlance of the movie.

If none of that makes sense, obviously you’re not a golfer.

If it does, you might well appreciate the efforts that went into a ceremony styled after the ninth highest-grossing film in the Coen brothers oeuvre.

It was good. And thorough.

The groom wore a purple V-neck T-shirt, Pendleton cardigan and lounge pants — a head-to-toe recreation of Jeff Bridges' style when the Dude pays a visit to known pornographer Jackie Treehorn (and suffers a subsequent interrogation by the sheriff of Malibu, a real reactionary).

The bride wore a green dress, nodding to the velvet green robe worn by Julianne Moore’s character, Maude Lebowski.

The five groomsmen and man-of-honor all wore yellow and brown bowling shirts, another casual outfit pulled from the fictional closet of El Duderino. The four bridesmaids wore matching brown dresses and carried yellow flowers.

The officiant, Luke Cross, a Kearney resident and longtime buddy of Jesse’s, was ordained by the Church of the Latter-Day Dude (an actual online thing) and held papers from the State of Nebraska allowing him to run the show.

“It’s easy to marry people in Nebraska,” he said.

Cross was a natural fit, if for no other reason than he looked exactly like John Goodman’s explosive character, Walter Sobchak, and dressed the part.

Neon signs lined the walls, mimicking the space-age star-bursts in the movie’s Los Angeles-area bowling alley. Cans of Folgers Coffee served as table decorations, a touching tribute to the late Theodore Donald “Donny” Kerabatsos, played in the film by Steve Buscemi.

Attendees arrived as their own favorite characters, or something like it. There were at least four Walters and one rogue Dude, but fortunately zero Nihilists. Garry McNew, Jesse’s father, had the whole cowboy thing going, a tip of the cap to Sam Elliott’s nameless narrator, The Stranger.

One man wore a Huskers polo, saying it was the closest thing he had to a bowling shirt.

Beers and Caucasians flowed readily from the bar, right up until the moment, shortly after 4:15 p.m., when the ceremony began on lanes four through six, upon a collection of Persian rugs that really tied the theme together. The wedding party danced in to Creedence Clearwater Revival.

“Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Jesse and Chelsea’s Big Lebowski wedding,” Cross announced to cheers, in a voice sounding so much like Goodman’s as to be improbable.

Feedback from the microphone brought a sudden halt to the ceremony. A hush fell over the crowd, made more awkward when the Chops Bowling telephone rang out.

Guy in the back, without missing a beat: “Phone’s ringing, Dude.”

***

It was one of those days. Mostly strikes, and the blessed few gutters were taken in stride. It’s a lesson the young couple picked up from “The Big Lebowski.”

“There are so many little philosophical details you can read into it,” Jesse said a day earlier, “which I do.”

Some things you can control, some things you’ve got to let be. That might be the yin and yang of Chelsea and Jesse. She’s a planner. He’s, well, he’s kind of the Dude.

She wrote out her vows. He chose to recite his vows from his head.

“Thanks for doing a ‘Big Lebowski’ themed wedding,” he said at the end. “That’s awesome.”

Truth be told, Jesse never imagined he’d see a wedding ring on his finger. Never figured he’d find a special lady friend who would make him want to pop the question and rent out a matrimonial bowling alley.

Chelsea, on the other hand, knew all along. From that first night in her apartment, she looked past the confusing ins and outs of “The Big Lebowski” plotline and saw in Jesse something pretty darned interesting.

It wasn’t that he was a hero — because what’s a hero? — but sometimes a girl knows when the right guy tumbles along.

Sometimes you just know.

Sometimes, you just know.

Contact the writer: casey.logan@owh.com, 402-444-1056,twitter.com/kclogan

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Monday, September 15, 2014 3:00 pm. | Tags: Real Wedding , Big Lebowski Wedding , Omaha Wedding , Nebraska Bride , Bowling Alley , Real Bride