Wedding Essentials // Photo Checklist

A week or so before the ceremony, supply the photographer with a list of moments that are important to you. Keep in mind that each shot will take about four minutes.


  • Bride having hair and makeup done
  • Bride’s gown hanging on hanger
  • Still-life shots of the bride’s shoes, something old, new, borrowed and blue
  • Detailed shots of the bouquets
  • Candid shots of the bridesmaids
  • Mother helping the bride with veil
  • Full-length shot of the bride in her
  • gown looking at herself in a mirror
  • Groom getting ready with his father
  • and groomsmen

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, December 18, 2014 6:25 pm.

Wedding Essentials // Weather

Rain on your wedding day is considered lucky. Sweltering heat is not.


  • January is the coolest and driest month. January also has the most cloudy days.
  • May is the wettest month.
  • July is the warmest month.
  • October has the most clear days.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, December 17, 2014 5:43 pm. | Tags: Wedding Essentials , Omaha Weather Temperatures , Monthly Weather Averages , Wedding Dates

Marsala: 2015 Color of the Year

To be honest, it's growing on us. 

At first when Pantone announced Marsala as the Color of the Year for 2015 we were like, "WHAAAAAAAAT?" (brownie points for anyone who read that in a minion voice). 

But Lee Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, shared that, "it's more in that emotional concept of color and we felt it was time for something that spoke to people's real needs -- the need for nurturing, the need for something that was more robust, something that had a life force that was intrinsic to it.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, December 16, 2014 7:30 pm. | Tags: Color Story , Marsala , Pantone , Inspiration , Color Of The Year , Idea Show , Bridal University , Omaha Bridal Show

Engaged // Amy + Jeff

HOW WE MET Jeff and I met on eHarmony in July of 2013. It wasn't long before we realized we wanted to marry each other. That's the thing about online dating - you're ready for it. You're faced with a lot of options all at once, but you know what you want, and you know it when you see it. Jeff was the total package, in my eyes. We had a lot in common, he was hardworking, loved kids, and was incredibly handsome (still is). I discovered that with Jeff, I could live a life with real meaning. Jeff is a man that I can bare my soul to with no fear of judgement. Jeff loves me for exactly the person I am today, for everything I wish to be and he's supporting me all the way. A TRIP TO BORSHEIMS Jeff's proposal wasn't a huge surprise. We had been discussing marriage frequently at that point in our relationship, so much so that we'd even gone shopping for a ring together. We went to Borsheim's just to look at our options and only found one ring that both made us say, "Whoa. Now THAT'S a ring!" It was a gorgeous criss-cross diamond-wrapped band with an oval diamond, to make it just a little different. At that point, we both knew it was really happening and that we truly wanted to spend the rest of our lives together. What I didn't know was that Jeff was going to go back the very next day and purchase that ring! THE PROPOSAL We were taking a trip to Arizona soon and Valentine's Day was approaching. He had just told me a story about how his grandparents got engaged on Valentine's Day (cute!) so I thought for sure that was a hint that he might propose then. Jeff says he was so giddy after picking out my ring that he literally couldn't wait to propose. He wasted no time and proposed the day after he picked it up from the jeweler. LIFE, LOVE & FAMILY We're so excited for the wedding and to gather everyone that's important to us all in one place. Life has a way of just falling into place when you're not looking. But one of the main reasons we've landed here together is because of the family and friends that have supported us along the way. To them, our wedding is a celebration of Jeff and me, but to us, it's a celebration of all the people that made it possible. WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT HER Amy is my best friend, my partner in life as well as in business. The best thing about our relationship is that we work together and we grow together. I would not be the man I am today without Amy. She is beautiful, dynamic, hard working, creative, resourceful and funny. Together, our lives are richer. Together, we are better people.

View Amy and Jeff's stunning engagement photos captured by Daniel Dunlap Photography here:

Posted in Engaged, Blog, Weddingessentials on Monday, December 15, 2014 6:30 pm. | Tags: Engaged , Daniel Dunlap Photography , Eharmony , Borsheims , Proposal , Engagement Photos

Save the Date // Bridal University

One show, everything you need to know.

General Admission tickets & VIP tickets are available here!

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Sunday, December 14, 2014 3:00 pm. | Tags: Bridal University , Mak Images , Mid-america Center , Omaha Bridal Show , Wedding Essentials Magazine , Iowa Weddings , Nebraska Weddings , Nebraska Bride , Council Bluffs Bridal Show , Wedding Showcase Event , Custom Publishing Events

Miss Head Over Heels // Save the Dates

There are a lot of options for save-the-dates these days. People are getting so creative with them! We wanted to go the magnet route, so our guests can easily put them on their fridge. Since we are having a more rustic themed wedding we wanted a magnet that would match. We decided to make magnets out of wood slices! We had a little help with how to design them as we found them on a blog called A Handcrafted Wedding.

We first attempted to make our own wood slices.  This was going to save us a lot of money! We had a fallen tree branch that we used to cut the slices and then put them in oven, per the tutorial, and they came out way too dark! So we decided to buy some on Esty. We also bought a self inking stamp off of Etsy as well. After attempting to stamp a couple slices I quickly learned that we needed to seal the wood first! After many more attempts we finally figured out what worked best for us.

Materials needed:

Posted in Chattybrides, Blog, Diy projects, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, December 9, 2014 7:30 pm. | Tags: Miss Head Over Heels , Chatty Brides , Bride Blogger , Save The Dates , Diy Wedding Ideas , Etsy , Hobby Lobby , Michaels Craft Store , Mangelsen's , Vellum , Magnets , Omaha Bride , Omaha Wedding

Anniversary // Jennifer + Jason

THE PROPOSAL Jason proposed eating pizza on the sofa because my son who was 7 at the time was so anxious for him to do it. ADORABLE DETAIL We had matching socks for my son and groom. SWEETEST MOMENT I will never forget when my son and dad gave me away. It was a beautiful moment. THAT FIRST LOOK MOMENT He smiled the biggest I have ever seen besides when we found out we were expecting a little girl. WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT HER I can't love right without her. WHAT SHE SAYS ABOUT HIM I can't love ever without him. He's my best friend and hero. BIGGEST ADJUSTMENT Becoming a blended family was definitely an adjustment. LESS IMPORTANT DETAILS The mantle for ceremony. BEST ADVICE Relax and really take it all in. 


Posted in Realweddings, Blog, Weddingessentials on Monday, December 8, 2014 6:00 pm. | Tags: Real Wedding , One Year Anniversary , In His Image Film & Photo , Tina Norman , Military Wedding , Vera Wang , Blended Family

Real Wedding // Casey + Will

NOT QUITE LOVE AT FIRST SIGHT Will and I met in first grade at St. Cecilia’s. On the first day of school, he caught my mom’s attention as he came running out of the building to go home.  She asked me, “Who is that adorable little boy, Casey?”  According to my mom, I answered, “That is Will Denton; he is mean, I do not like him.”  Will and I attended school together all the way through high school and became close friends but didn't date until college. And about 20 years after that first day of school, that mean little boy asked if I would be his wife. A LENGTHY VEIL The funniest moment of the whole wedding…this is a hard one.  My husband is a pretty fun guy but the funniest moment had to be after the homily, right before we recited our vows.  Our priest gave a fantastic homily at our wedding, but it was rather lengthy…much like my veil and the train on my wedding gown.  Because we were married in a Cathedral, I intentionally chose a gown and veil that were full cathedral lengths. While the effect in the Cathedral was stunning, maneuvering around the alter was a bit of a task. I relied on Will’s help with my train and veil.  As we positioned ourselves in the center of alter, Will had to move my veil and train behind me.  As he took his place beside me (face to face with our priest) he said, “that was really long.” Our priest not realizing he was talking about my dress and veil—and believing Will was referring to his homily—gave Will an “oh no you didn’t” look and burst into laughter. The priest then proceeded to tell the entire congregation of guests what Will had said. Everyone laughed…it was such a Will moment. A SWEET FIRST KISS I think our sweetest moment was probably a stolen kiss at the end of the aisle right before we walked out of the church.  Will and I had not expected to be able to kiss one another while we were on the alter—usually the Catholic Church expects a couple to wait until after the entire ceremony has concluded and the priest has announced the couple for the first time to kiss.  However, our priest surprised us and told us to kiss right after our vows.  Because of this, we were caught off guard, and didn’t get a chance to really appreciate the kiss.  As we were walking towards the church doors, Will pulled me into him and gave me the sweetest kiss. Right after he said, “this is how your first kiss as Mrs. Denton should have been.”  It felt sort of secret and stolen…a moment just for us in a day filled with family and friends.  Our photographer happened to catch this moment, and it became one of our favorite photos of the whole day…a little reminder of our stolen kiss. WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT HER Casey is literally the best thing that has ever happened to me.  She has a warm heart and a smile that could light up any room.  Her drive for perfection impresses me every day. She is the kind of person who would drop everything at a moment’s notice just to help out a stranger.  I am truly grateful that she said “yes” that Saturday morning 2 years ago. WHAT SHE SAYS ABOUT HIM Will is my sunshine. He is fiercely loyal and devoted to those he loves.  He is always smiling and laughing. He is the kind of person you cannot help but be drawn to; the kind of person who makes it impossible to be grouchy. I am the luckiest bride in the world. Every day I get to wake up next to him is a good one. BEST ADVICE Once your day arrives, try not to stress out. Our wedding day had so many potential “stressors”. The electricity went out on the block that contains both my parent’s house (where the girls were supposed to get ready) and our church.  It was one of the hottest days of the summer, and the ceremony was an evening one…which meant that we might’ve gotten married in the dark while sweating.  Fortunately, about an hour before the ceremony’s start time, the power came back to life. During our reception, Omaha saw one of the biggest storms of the summer. It rained about 10 inches that night. While most brides wouldn’t relish the idea of a thunderstorm on their wedding day, it turned out to be great. The rain cooled the scorching temperatures, made for a beautiful backdrop, and besides, they say, “knots that get wet, hold the tightest." HOMEMADE DETAILS We used a homemade photo booth at our wedding.  It was constructed as a temporary wall with 2 antique chairs in front of it. We covered the wall with damask wall paper and hung pictures of our parents’ and grandparents’ weddings.  In addition to family pictures and a seating vignette, we used two large frames as cut outs for people to put their faces through. I had a former student come take pictures of the photo booth for a couple hundred dollars. The photo booth was so much fun. We loved picking through vintage stores to find props. It was a hit with the guests, and the pictures were a riot to look through after the wedding. 


Posted in Realweddings, Blog, Weddingessentials on Monday, December 1, 2014 7:00 pm. | Tags: Real Omaha Bride , Real Omaha Wedding , Real Wedding , Jessica Blex Photography + Design , Omaha Wedding Photography , Field Club Of Omaha , David's Bridal , Vera Wang , J Crew , Gentleman's Choice , Parlour 1887 , One Drake Place , Tonya Taylor Studios , Voila! Blooms & Decor , Cake Gallery , 1 Eyed Jacks , Ollie The Trollie

Miss Ever After // Gorgeous Gowns

I won’t lie, I am one picky girl -- and wedding dress shopping was no exception! To find my bold, unique, daring, and possibly not white dress I knew that Rhylan Lang would have the best options. Walking into the salon was like walking into heaven. Every dress that Tracy carries has the wow-factor that I had been envisioning for my own. Unlike most brides, I had never scoured Pinterest looking at the millions of different possibilities I could choose. The only thing that I really knew is that I wanted to turn heads.

I decided to make an appointment during one of the many trunk shows Rhylan Lang hosts featuring the designers that are carried in the store. What makes trunk shows so amazing is that you are able to see a designers full collection in the store, when normally they may only have a few in the salon. Of course I took full advantage of the trunk show, and tried on at least 10 dresses. Luckily, my mother and I make quick decisions so we were able to weed the top contenders down after the first round.

We next narrowed our choices down to our top three, and that’s when Tracy began pulling veil and jewelry options. The dressing rooms are like little stages with a platform, a velvet curtain and a wall of mirrors so you can see your dress from every angle imaginable. Between each dress change I stood with my back to the mirror while Tracy began adding my veil and jewelry. As the curtain opened, I quickly turned myself around and soaked in the moment. I didn’t think that I would get emotional, but when you see your future self in the mirror it’s hard not to.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Friday, November 28, 2014 6:00 pm. | Tags: Rhylan Lang , Wedding Dresses , Chatty Brides , Miss Ever After , Real Bride , Bride Blogger , Dress Shopping , Pinterest , Gorgeous Gowns

Rehearsal Dinner Accessories

It’s the night before the big day! Your friends and family are gathered and now is the time to celebrate all of the love and excitement around you during the rehearsal dinner.

Because the rehearsal dinner typically takes place during the evening, you can be a bit more adventurous with your jewelry selection. It’s a great way to add some color and shimmer to your outfit! The Elisa Ilana Ametrine and Amethyst Necklace and matching earrings are total stunners and a great choice for adding of drama to your look.

Also on trend right now: bright colors. Add a burst of color, such as the “Highborn Untamed” bracelet (perfect for stacking) for a finishing touch to your outfit.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, November 27, 2014 6:00 pm. | Tags: Elisa Ilana , Rehearsal Dinner , Bridal Accessories , Wedding Party Accessories

Something Old // Re-Wear Your Mother's Dress

Don't dismiss the thought of re-wearing your mother's wedding gown. Here are some ways to incorporate your mother's dress (something old) without walking the whole thing down the aisle. Smaller touches still carry a huge sentiment. If your mom doesn't have her wedding dress, don't forget to ask about the mother of the groom's dress -- it's still a viable option, especially if she has all boys in the family!

And we definitely can't forget about the handsome groom. If he's close with his mother, carrying a part of her dress with him through out his wedding day is sure to make some tears well up. 


Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, November 26, 2014 6:00 pm.

Add a Little Red to Your Winter Wedding

We're saying goodbye to to warm weather and hello to cozy winter weddings. When planning a winter wedding, consider adding red into your theme. So why red? It represents passion, love and ties in perfectly with the holidays. Here are some fun ways to spice up your day with the color that looks good on everyone.

RED SIGNATURE COCKTAILS Between flavors such as cheery, pomegranate and raspberry. Check out our cocktail inspiration board on Pinterest for pretty and delicious drink ideas.

WINTERWEAR If you're housing red as an accent color, look into giving your bridesmaids and groomsmen red wool mittens or scarves. This could double up as a gift to the girls and guys for helping make your day special. Bonus: This makes for cute pictures in the snow!

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 6:30 pm. | Tags: Winter Wedding , Winter Decor , Favors , Bouquets , Signature Cocktails , Wedding Ideas , Red Wedding

WE GIVEAWAY // WE Give Thanks

Today (and let's be honest -- every day) we're thankful for all the beautiful brides, wedding vendors and contributors that make up Wedding Essentials.

So in honor of you all, we're giving away a Make Up For Ever studio case from Sephora, which features 12 eye shadows and a full size artist liner  -- and it may or may not include a few extra surprises inside, courtesy of yours truly.

And how do you win this perfect addition to your makeup collection? Easy.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:00 pm. | Tags: We Giveaway , Wedding Essentials , Sephora , Thanksgiving

Miss Vino & Vintage // Bridal Black Friday

Some of the best deals of the year can be found in the week before and after Thanksgiving, namely Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Here is a roundup of some of the best wedding-related savings opportunities online and in stores for 2014. 



Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Monday, November 24, 2014 8:30 pm. | Tags: Black Friday , Bridal Deals , Bridal Thanksgiving , Black Friday Wedding , Bride Blogger , Miss Vino & Vintage , Chatty Brides , Omaha Bride , Nebraska Bride

Idea Show // Beautiful Blooms

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, November 21, 2014 7:30 pm. | Tags: Idea Show , Bridal Show , Omaha Bridal Show , Mid-america Center , Council Bluffs Bridal Show , Wedding Essentials Idea Show , Flowers , Blooms & Bouquets , Hy-vee , Florals Etcetera , A Flower Basket

Miss Vino & Vintage // Treasure Hunting

When weighing my options for the chicest ways to incorporate vintage elements into our wedding, I stumbled upon the idea of buying a unique and gorgeous piece of vintage jewelry for each of my bridesmaids. Like a lot of brides, I found myself with an idea I loved, but without a lot of knowledge in this particular area to execute. I felt like I was setting myself up to walk a fine line between chic and cheesy, classic and cheap. Thankfully, I was able to talk Leah Buller of Haute Bauble into lending me her extensive knowledge on all things vintage jewelry. Leah and I actually grew up together near Omaha and both live here now. Her passion for vintage fashion is contagious and I have loved picking her brain and joining her for some shopping trips. Whether Omaha brides are looking to add vintage elements to their weddings, trying to find a fabulous dress for the rehearsal, or just looking to add some unique pieces to their personal collection, I think they'll find Leah's advice really helpful. 

Miss Vino & Vintage: How did you get interested in vintage jewelry and clothing?

Leah Buller: About 6 years ago my Grandma gave me a bunch of costume jewelry that my Grandpa had given her as gifts. I thought they were so beautiful I just kept them safe in a jewelry box and then one day I read an article about vintage costume jewelry and how to find makers marks and determine the year of manufacture. I went back and found all this great information about the pieces I was given and I was simply hooked. It was like a little treasure hunt! I started looking for vintage jewelry in antique stores and thrift shops and then I discovered Estate sales and flea markets, which I just love! I have read all kinds of books to learn all I could but I'm still learning new things and discovering new designers all the time. It’s fun!

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Friday, November 21, 2014 4:30 pm. | Tags: Miss Vino & Vintage , Bride Blogger , Vintage Jewelry , Lions Mane Vintage , Wallflower , Paperdoll , Kleveland Clothing , Haute Bauble , Omaha Brides , Leah Buller , Real Omaha Brides

Idea Show // Tablescapes + Displays

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, November 20, 2014 7:00 pm. | Tags: Idea Show , Bridal Show , Wedding Essentials Idea Show , Wedding Essentials Magazine , Omaha Bridal Show , Mid America Center , Council Bluffs Bridal Show

Bridal Jewelry

All eyes are on the blushing bride during her special day. From the beautiful gown to lovely jewelry – it all needs to be perfect. Elisa Ilana shares their tips for a flawless look.

Elegant style: Keep it refined by only wearing a single set of sparkling earrings that light up your face.

A classic style: These Raw Diamond Earrings are jaw dropping with 3.13ct raw diamond set in 18k rose gold.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, November 20, 2014 4:30 pm.

Engaged // Sydney + Ethan

Ethan and Sydney's Elkhorn engagement session by T. Free Photography is sure to warm you up from this cold. 

Here are three tips for making the most of your engagement session.

1. When in doubt, wear red. Red is the one color that looks good on everyone. Plus, it adds the perfect pop of color. 

Posted in Engaged, Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 5:30 pm. | Tags: Engagement Photos , T. Free Photography , Elkhorn , Engagement , Wedding Photography

Idea Show // Sweet Love

The Idea Show never falls short on the display of cakes and sweets. This year, Hy-Vee and Mad Ox Bakery literally "took the cake." 

Dare you to identify which cakes had real flowers, fake flowers or edible flowers. Oh, and if you think you've got it figured out, try and guess how Mad Ox Bakery brilliantly pulled off that chalkboard-like frosting! 

Flip through the photo gallery and see our best picks (which is pretty much all of them).

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 4:30 pm. | Tags: Wedding Essentials Idea Show , Omaha Bridal Show , Wedding Ideas , Cakes , Hy-vee , Mid-america Center , Council Bluffs Bridal Show , Nebraska Weddings , Sweets , Food , Cake Displays