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.


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


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:, 402-444-1056,

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

Autumn Bride // Decor Do's & Don'ts

Like we said, fall creates the perfect backdrop -- no D.I.Y. needed.

Here's where choosing the right decor comes into play.

A few things that are a total "YES!" in our book:

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Friday, September 12, 2014 4:30 pm. | Tags: Fall Bride , Autumn Bride , Rustic , Burlap , Blooms And Bouquets , Florals Etcetera , Advice , Must Read

Autumn Bride // Food + Favors

Fall is all about bringing in rich, cozy flavors to the table. So instead of just taking a gander at a dinner menu, ask the caterer or chef to work with you on incorporating those into the food you serve. Subtle apple flavors here, a touch of cinnamon there, maybe a little pumpkin spice, nuts or dried berries -- 'tis the season, right?

And maybe you're a huge foodie and this is where your theme starts. One classic fall essential that can never do you wrong -- apples. Oh the millions of things you can do with apples.

Apple pies, apple martinis, caramel apples, mini apple pies on a stick, apple butter, apple cider, apple soup, apple sauce, apple pop tarts, apple ice cream, apple crisp ... let's face it, the list is basically endless.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Thursday, September 11, 2014 6:00 pm. | Tags: Must Read

Autumn Bride // Say Cheese!

Well let's just all agree that fall has the most stunning, golden, natural light. So if you've chosen a fall wedding, good for you -- your photos are going to be epic. 

Let's chat about some photo opportunities to give you extra "WOW" factor (and maybe a pop of color). I mean, who knows, you could end up as one of our cover brides!


Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Thursday, September 11, 2014 4:30 pm. | Tags: Autumn Bride , Fall Bride , Photography , Wedding Photos , Photographer , Must Read

Real Wedding // Bill + Tara

WE'RE ON THE SAME TEAM ... Bill and I met on the sand volleyball court in the summer of 2011 through mutual friends. We were on the same team, but never really talked to each other until the night of the very last game of the season. We stayed and had a beer together, and I think we both were surprised about how much we had in common! We left that night, kicking ourselves for not asking for each other's phone number. A few weeks went by before we connected again, and we had our first date in November. We met for dinner at Kona Grill and then went to his friend's house for a game night. After just a few hours of talking and hanging out together, I knew there was something special about Bill and couldn't wait to see him again.

After that night, we started going out all the time--it was just easy and fun. And that's a big reason why we knew this relationship was something special.

It was several months before I officially met Bill's boys, Jack and Andrew, but right from the start it all just seemed to click. The four of us get along so well, and I am so very lucky to have all three of them in my life. They have completely brightened up my world and make us smile each and every day.

Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Wednesday, September 10, 2014 6:00 pm. | Tags: Must Read

Autumn Bride // Dapper Gents

Autumn welcomes the fabulous season of textures and dressing in layers. No doubt your dress may have several layers to keep you warm, but let's not forget about your handsome groom and his men.

This season's all about pulling in different textures and layers. Use the jacket, the vest, the tie and the boutonniere to give some depth to your guy's attire. Change up the fabric, patter or color on each layer. 

Popular colors? Rich navy blues, grays and earthy brown hues.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Tuesday, September 9, 2014 7:00 pm. | Tags: Must Read

Autumn Bride // Gorgeous Gowns

Fall is a stunning time of the year. The weather is perfect. Well, enough sun to keep the day warm, and cool enough to make you want to snuggle up to your guy at night. The bright colors of summer turn into the most incredibly rich hues making the perfect nature-made backdrop, no D.I.Y. needed.

This week we’ll cover the must-know deets on creating the perfect fall wedding.

Autumn Bride Watters Fall 2014 Wedding Gown Photo via Pinterest

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Monday, September 8, 2014 4:00 pm. | Tags: Autumn Wedding , Fall Wedding , Fall Bride , Wedding Gowns , Wedding Dresses , Attire , Rhylan Lang , Nature , Rose Gold , Blush , Must Read

Going Places // Honeymoon Travel

We love the idea of honeymooning on a pristine, sun-kissed beach. Here's our packing list for staying fresh as an ocean breeze in the world's most romantic tropical climates. With your wardrobe settled, the hardest decision will be whether you'll have a mojito, mai tai or margarita.

Still in the honeymoon planning process? Wanderlust Travel Co. has all the essentials to be your perfect go-to travel agency.

Here's our top picks for the perfect get-away wardrobe:

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Friday, September 5, 2014 4:30 pm. | Tags: Must Read

Happy Birthday, Heidi!

As if we needed more reasons to eat cake -- it's our creative director's birthday!

Here's to wishing her the happiest birthday!

What wedding trends does she totally adore?

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, September 3, 2014 2:45 pm. | Tags: Real Wedding , Advice , We Team , New Brides , Wedding Trends

Pets in Your Wedding {Happy Friday!}

What better way to kick off the weekend than with these adorable photos! While most people might think of flower girls or ring bearers as the cute ones, we feel these furry friends just might steal the show.

If you or your fiance has a favorite pet, why not let them be a part of the big day? Here are some tips that will help you and your pet get wedding-ready.

1. Give them some grooming: Let your pet look their best! Give your pet a fresh bath and hair trim so they will look extra adorable on your big day.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Inspiration, Planning, Realweddings, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Thursday, August 14, 2014 7:49 pm. Must Read

Trend Alert {Yellow Diamond Engagement Ring}

Thanks to celebrity Olivia Palermo, yellow diamonds have become all the rage where engagement rings are involved. In fact, a "pop of yellow" is quite trendy in general, as other leading celebrity ladies such as Carrie Underwood and Adele have been seen sporting the color.

W.E. decided to seek out this trend right here in Omaha, and found exactly what we were looking for back in our Spring/Summer 2013 issue. W.E. were and still are completely in love with this square cut yellow diamond from Mark Edward Private Jeweler in Omaha.

So say yes to a yellow diamond, or at least in giving it a try as you search for the perfect engagement ring.  This little pop of color gives a modern yet timeless feel.  And how can a ring this color not brighten your day?

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Thursday, August 14, 2014 5:21 pm. Must Read

Miss Cloud Nine // It's Go Time!

It’s the week before the big day and I’m oddly calm. Everyone keeps asking me if I’m nervous, if I’m stressed, if I’m OK? Surprisingly, I’m totally fine and even more important, I’m really excited!

It’s probably easy for me to remain calm since I have an amazing wedding planning team (a shout out to Lovestruck). They’ve made planning a breeze so I can focus on the fun details. 

My mom and I love to throw a party, and we tend to go over the top even for a small backyard barbecue. Normal people don’t use their new bakeware, pizza stone and dip chiller for a pool party. So we couldn’t help ourselves when we started coming up small projects that we could do for the wedding weekend.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Chattybrides, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 11:06 am. Must Read

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year! {Idea Show 2014}

Yes, we do know that it's still summer, but W.E. can't contain our excitement as we plan one of the biggest events of the year!

The Wedding Essentials Idea Show on Oct. 19, 2014, is our best yet, and we can finally brag a little because tickets are officially on sale.

So, regardless of if you who have never attended this event or you have been to many of them before, there is always plenty to see and learn from. Here's what you'll be in for: There will be 80+ exhibitors from the Omaha area setting up displays to show off their best work for weddings. Exhibits will include amazing displays that will give you inspiration for every aspect of your wedding. You can expect ideas for cakes, invitations, flowers, tablescapes, accessories, food, favors and much more! And did we mention that there is also a DJ and a runway show of wedding attire?

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Events, Idea show, Vendors, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Tuesday, August 12, 2014 11:00 am. Must Read

5 Great Nail Polish Colors for Your Wedding

Future Brides,

When it comes to your wedding day nails, you want something that looks great in person and in photos. For picture-perfect nails, grab your girls for a fun night of nail trials with these five color suggestions.

1. Light pink: Essie Eternal Optimist, $8.50, Essie
This was the color of choice at Jenny Packham's 2015 bridal runway show. Light pink is a good go-to because it works with a variety of wedding themes/looks.

2. Metallic: Tom Ford Incandescent, $32, Neiman Marcus
Finding a metallic that doesn't chip, isn't too sparkly and is highly pigmented is difficult, but Tom Ford's Incandescent goes on very smoothly and dries quickly.

3. Nude: Estée Lauder Pure Color Nudite, $21, Estée Lauder
Estée Lauder's Nudite is the best nude because it goes on thick and opaque with a glossy finish. It's perfect for a bride who wants to wear a shade that's not too bold.

4. Clear: Dior Nail Glow, $25, Sephora
This is a clear, sheer pink "nail enhancer," which has a nice glossy finish.

5. Deep red: OPI Kennebunk-Port, $8,
A dark wine red is perfect for a glamorous, black tie wedding, and OPI's Kennebunk-Port is exactly what we had in mind. Some deep reds can look brown when you put them on, but this looks exactly the same on your nails as it does in the bottle.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Inspiration, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Monday, August 11, 2014 1:34 pm. | Tags: Must Read