Wedding Essentials - Blog

Advice // Tux Tips

Navy, cobalt and steel blue are riding a wave of popularity in menswear. The trend is perfect for the groom who isn't keen on black or wants something a little different but still classic in a tuxedo (or even a suit). W.E. love the look of a navy one-button jacket with a peak lapel or shawl collar, white shirt and black bow tie. It's Old Hollywood with a modern twist. Best of all, navy will stand the test of time in your wedding photos.

Shopping For the Right Fit

  • A jacket that hangs big and loose from the shoulders might feel comfortable, but trust us, it’s not a handsome silhouette for formalwear. Go for a fitted look.
  • Don’t judge your trouser length by looking down at your feet. Stand tall in front of a mirror. Your trousers should have a slight break on top of your shoes. Summon a tailor if your socks are showing, or your pants are dragging on the ground or bunching up on top of your shoes.
  • Reject any suggestion of cuffing your trousers. Tuxedo pants are not made for cuffs.
  • Wear cuff links with your tuxedo shirt.
  • Weigh the merits of a wing-tip collar versus a lay-down collar. A bow tie looks swell with both, but the wing tip is more formal.
  • Expect a snug fit at the neck. A loose collar looks sloppy, and will make the tie appear farther away from your face than it should.
  • See that breast pocket? It’s made for a pocket square. A jacket looks empty without one.
  • A black tux or suit requires black shoes. If you're wearing navy, medium brown dress shoes - for all the men in your bridal party - will look dashing.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, February 26, 2015 11:30 am.

Inspiration // Sweet Styled E-Sesh

5 Reasons to Have a Styled Engagement Session

1. You're invested. You've put the time and money into selecting the perfect photographer for your engagement and wedding. Now it's time to put some thought into pairing their artistic style with your own personal style as a couple.

2. It's a date. You're not being forced to pose in a studio so take advantage! Think of your engagement session as a date. Style your date around the things you love and like to do as a couple. What makes you, you.

Posted in Blog, Engaged, Weddingessentials on Thursday, February 26, 2015 8:00 am. | Tags: Ally B Designs , Millie B Photography , The Lark , Floral Expressions , Kaylinda Deturk , Odett Pochop , The Listening Room , Engagement Session , Styled Shoot , Omaha Wedding

Inspiration // Cake Styles


Traditional all white with understated decorations. Sugar paste flowers, and two or more tiers. Vanilla cake and buttercream frosting are a classic combo.


Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 5:28 pm.

Snowy Engagement

It's raining, it's snowing ... oh wait, that's not how that jingle goes! But hey, that's Nebraska weather for you. Don't be fooled by the cold, snow and ice -- they can create some of the most stunning backdrops. Here's a collection of some snowy engagement sessions captured by a few photographers we love -- In His Image Film + Photo, Daniel Dunlap Photography, True Cotton Weddings & Capture Photography by Kayla Stallbaumer

Posted in Blog, Engaged, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, February 25, 2015 8:00 am.

Advice // Hiring An Event Planner

A wedding planner’s role is defined by you.

Kathryn “Katie” DeFurio and Justin Beller initially sought a wedding planner so they could keep her parents in the loop across the miles. “I was living in Omaha and my parents were in Wisconsin,” the bride explains. “I thought, ‘How am I going to make all of this connect smoothly with my parents living 500 miles away?’”

Candace Kalasky with Weddings + Events provided the much-needed link. And a whole lot more.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, February 24, 2015 5:00 pm.

2015 Oscars // Red Carpet Style

WE watch the Oscars for two things. The fashion and the awards -- in that order.

Here's some of our faves that we drew some bridal style inspiration from at last night's ceremony.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Monday, February 23, 2015 7:46 pm.

Miss Courted // Choosing a Photographer

The first vendor we booked once our date was set was for our wedding photographer. I knew exactly who I wanted to use and I didn’t want to miss out on being able to book her. We went with Megan Pomeroy for a few different reasons. I had seen her work in Wedding Essentials and other projects, and knew I wanted her to capture our day. She shoots on film, so the photographs have a soft, romantic feel to them and she is so great with using natural light. I am keeping this in mind as we decide on the other details for our ceremony and reception. Even while choosing my dress, I thought how she would take beautiful photographs of the lace detail.

When going over her different options, we chose to go with a package that included our engagement session. This was the perfect chance for us to get a preview of what our wedding photos could be.

We did our engagement session the first week of November, and of course we chose the coldest day! We did our outdoor and more casual photos in Elmwood Park. We chose this spot because it is close to where we live and we always go for runs or take our dog, Charlie, for walks there as well. Our more formal photos were taken at The Passageway in the Old Market. The best part about using The Passageway is your photos will look like they were taken outside on a beautiful day, but in reality it was about 20 degrees and very windy. I can’t wait to go back there on our wedding day to take photos after our ceremony.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Monday, February 23, 2015 11:30 am. | Tags: Bride Blogger , Miss Courted , Wedding Photographer , Engagement Photos , Megan Pomeroy

Real Wedding // Kara + Vincent

A CHANCE MEETING Kara and Vincent had two classes together at Creighton University, and they were asked to work together on a group project. From there they went on a couple of dates, and six years later they are married! A FAMILY AFFAIR Vincent proposed to Kara during a family weekend in Okoboji, Iowa. In addition to Kara’s relatives, Vincent arranged for his family to be there, too.  IT STARTED WITH A SKIRT The inspiration behind the table runners at the reception was a sequin skirt. “The table runners turned out stunning. We learned through the process that inspiration comes in all forms,” the bride says. SPECIAL MOMENT As Kara’s parents drove her to the church for the ceremony, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” came on the radio. “That was my great-grandpa’s favorite song,” Kara says. “At that moment I could feel him smiling over me and my nerves were calmed.” ALL THE RIGHT MOVES The bride’s 80-year-old grandpa insisted on dancing with every bridesmaid, and he lasted longer than the majority of the guests on the dance floor. “He has some serious dance moves!” Kara says. UNEXPECTED SERENADE Karaoke style, that is. The band unexpectedly asked the bride and groom to sing karaoke, which was “extremely entertaining” for the guests. SPARKS WERE FLYING The groom’s family has a fireworks business, so the couple knew a show was coming. But they weren’t expecting a choreographed show complete with heart-shaped fireworks and songs that were meaningful to them. HIS SMILING FACE Kara’s favorite thing to do at any wedding is look at the groom’s face as his bride is walking down the aisle, and this time it was her turn. “I had the opportunity to look at my groom and see the biggest smile on his face. Right then and there I fell in love with him all over again. It was such a great moment.”TRIED-AND-TRUE ADVICE Kara and Vincent were told to seat their friends around the dance floor so they would be the first to get up and dance and encourage others to do the same. It worked! The dancing didn’t stop until 1 a.m. BUILT-IN DATE NIGHTS The couple took dance lessons because they wanted their guests to have just as much fun watching them dance as they were. The bride says she would recommend dance lessons to any couple since it’s a great way to sneak in a date leading up to the wedding.


Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Friday, February 20, 2015 12:30 pm.

Miss Vino & Vintage // The Myth of the 100% Unique Nuptials

When I started planning my wedding, I had one major goal: to make it 100% unique. I wanted everything to be new, innovative, and fresh for our guests and something that truly reflected my future husband and me. I was committed to creative touches and ready to watch jaws drop when I surprised everyone on our big day. 

Here's the thing...I'm positive that 100% unique is 100% impossible. 

New trends will emerge. In the year or so it takes most people to plan their weddings, inevitably new trends will emerge. Pinterest and other internet wedding resources have given us a ton of inspiration. We find something fabulous, maybe a specific flower or wording on a sign to place at the entrance, fall in love, and decide to implement on our big day. By the time they come around, though, odds are someone else found it and fell in love too. So you thought a baby's breath bouquet was truly unique and just spoke to your style? So did hundreds of other brides across the country. 

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, February 19, 2015 3:05 pm. | Tags: Chatty Brides , Bride Bloggers , Miss Vino & Vintage , Wedding Essentials Omaha , Omaha Bride , Nebraska Wedding , Real Bride , Wedding Myths

Inspiration // Winter E-Sesh

A snow-sprinkled midwest e-sesh to get your heart going. Sometimes there's perfection in imperfect weather conditions. Take a look:

Posted in Blog, Engaged, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, February 18, 2015 10:30 am.

Real Wedding // Erin + Gerry

'LADY IN BLUE' Erin and Gerry met at a “Dancing With the Omaha Stars” benefit for Sunshine Kids. Gerry’s son, Patrick, who was 3 at the time, referred to Erin as the “lady in blue” because she appeared on the event poster in a blue dress. With help from Patrick’s brother, Joe, who was 4 at the time, they introduced Erin to their dad. A 'SIGNED' PROPOSAL First, Gerry flew Erin’s parents to Omaha from New Jersey. Then the boys gave Erin an iPad mini, on which was a video of Joe and Patrick holding up signs that said, “I love you, lady in blue” – and “Will you marry our dad?” Then Gerry asked, “Will you make me the happiest man in the world?” WHO SAID DESSERT CAN’T BE FIRST? It was a cool 70 degrees the day before and the day after the wedding, but it was the hottest day of the year on their wedding day. The cake melted and the guests had to eat it before the meal, but it made for great memories. SAVOR THE DAY “At some point during the reception, step to the side and watch everyone,” Erin recommends. “It was really cool to see them smiling, laughing, dancing and having fun.” MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT “Just knowing that we were officially a family was something that was very special to both of us,” the bride says. “We wanted to make sure the day was just as memorable for Joe and Patrick (Gerry’s sons) as it was for the two of us.” FINGER-LICKING GOOD! Patrick, age 5, stuck his finger in the wedding cake so he could taste the frosting. It must have been gooey since the cake melted due to the extreme heat that day – the hottest day of the year. BEST ADVICE “Things are going to happen that you didn’t plan for, and if your head is buried in the details you will not see the big picture of enjoying and appreciating your day,” the bride advises. “Most of the time guests won’t even notice.” GROOM'S ONE REQUEST That the bridal party stop at the bar where the couple met between the ceremony and reception. 


Posted in Realweddings, Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 6:00 pm.

Inspirations // Vineyard Wedding

Congratulations to all our recently engaged Nebraska brides! Yay! 

Today we're inspired by elegant vineyard weddings -- not the rustic, mason jar overloaded outdoor spring weddings we've seen in the past, but more the lush, romantic garden styled trends we're seeing for 2015. 

Here's our top five reasons why vineyard weddings rock:

Posted in Styled shoots, Inspiration, Blog, Weddingessentials on Monday, February 16, 2015 6:00 pm.

Inspiration // Intimate Wedding Affair

We know wedding planning can be overwhelming at times -- especially if you're planning a big one. But, if we put our two cents in, there's something to be said about small, intimate weddings. Most of the time those turn out to be our faves. If you're intimidated about the work and cost of a big wedding, maybe a small gathering of family and a few friends is all you need. 

Here's what's inspiring us today:

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, February 13, 2015 12:00 pm.

Real Wedding // Danielle + Talan

CALIFORNIA DREAMIN’ Danielle and Talan live in Los Angeles, but they wanted to get married in Omaha because Danielle’s family lives here. AU NATUREL The bride chose a neutral palette over traditional wedding colors. WE’LL DRINK TO THAT! The couple met on Danielle’s 21st birthday at a Los Angeles bar. SPARKS WERE FLYING Talan proposed to Danielle during her family’s annual Fourth of July party. The bride’s extended family members were all behind the big surprise. MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT Danielle’s grandfather, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 25 years, performed the marriage ceremony. He surprised the couple by showing up in full uniform. “It was incredible,” the bride says. OOPS! The best man accidentally used profanity in his speech. GROOM’S SOLE REQUEST That he and his groomsmen wear black suits and white shirts. “That was what I wanted anyway,” the bride says.For fun, the groomsmen wore corn-themed socks since most of them traveled from California. BEST ADVICE Always make time for each other. AGAIN, PLEASE? Danielle loves her wedding gown so much that she would wear it every day “if it was socially acceptable!” FLEXIBLE VENUE Finding a venue that allowed the couple to choose their own vendors was a huge plus, Danielle says. “We were able to really make it our own that way.” ‘BEST. CAKE. EVER’ That’s how the bride describes the cake, which had white almond and strawberry champagne flavors. “My mouth is watering just thinking about it,” she says. YOU CAN ALWAYS COUNT ON MOM Danielle’s mom was the wedding planner. “I couldn’t have done it without her.”


Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Thursday, February 12, 2015 6:41 pm.

Planning Tips // Destination Weddings

Considering a destination wedding? Make it everything you want it to be – and more – by catering to your interests. “You want to express yourself in your destination,” advises Elise Aust, manager and destination wedding specialist at Custom Cruises & Travel.

So where are you in your dreams? Are you lying on a beach soaking up the sun with a piña colada in hand? Are you speeding and bumping along in an ATV across rugged terrain? Or are you dancing the night away in a trendy nightclub?

Once you have the type of destination decided, consider your guests’ budget and time limits, suggests Kem Matthews, owner of Enchanted Honeymoons Travel. “It’s easy for guests to say they’re going when the idea first comes up, but factors such as jobs and budget can get in the way.”

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 4:45 pm.

Inspiration // Destination Wedding

We've got some tips for planning a destination wedding coming up on the blog tomorrow, but for now, we'll just let you dream a little with this Florida D.I.Y. destination beach wedding.


Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, February 10, 2015 5:42 pm.

Miss Vino & Vintage // Going Unplugged

After getting engaged, one of the first things that I did was set a date...with our photographer. I have been lucky enough to know Amy McFarland of Amy Cloud Photography for several years and have loved watching her journey as a professional photographer specializing in engagements and weddings. I know that Amy has attended workshops, mentored other photographers, and really committed herself to being a valuable member of her brides' vendor teams. She has been published on Green Wedding Shoes and Buzzfeed because of her unique approach and individual attention, especially when it comes to offbeat brides. Her style was exactly what we were looking for, so there was no doubt she was the one for us. 

When discussing our big day with Amy, someone who attends weddings for a living and has pretty much seen it all through her lens, I asked some advice on what we should know about our wedding day. I was surprised to hear her suggest we consider an Unplugged Wedding, but after discussing it with her, it made total sense. 

For those of you not familiar, the concept of an "Unplugged Wedding" it basically means that you ask your guests to refrain from taking photos during key moments of the ceremony and reception, such as the first kiss, the father/daughter dance, cake cutting, etc. Not only does it ensure they are really able to be in the moment of the celebration, but it also makes certain that the professional photographer you've so carefully selected hired can truly capture your special moments. 

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Monday, February 9, 2015 6:00 pm.

Real Wedding // Lindsey + John

'OVER' LUNCH John first spotted Lindsey from across the room in a cafeteria at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. AN ICY PROPOSAL … John surprised Lindsey with a weekend trip to New York City. They went ice skating at Rockefeller Center and then everyone cleared the ice, “You & Me” by the Dave Matthews Band came over the PA system. Then John got down on one knee. The couple performed a choreographed dance to the song at their reception. AND A ROCKEFELLER-THEMED WEDDING Touches of gold were in the wedding party’s accessories, glitter aisle runner, chairs, cake and flatware in a nod to the famous gold statue at Rockefeller Center. There were also New York City-themed signature drinks, a custom white dance floor and an ice luge for cocktails at the reception. WITH A LITTLE BIT OF NEBRASKA, TOO! John had a Huskers-themed cookie for his groom’s cake. For a late-night snack, Valentino’s pizza slices were served in Huskers game day boxes. EVEN STEVEN Lindsey and John chose June 14, 2014 as their wedding date for several reasons. First, it was the perfect time for a celebration since several family birthdays occur in the winter. Second, they could go on a tropical honeymoon immediately after their wedding since John earned a master’s degree in May. And Lindsey wanted an even-numbered wedding date! AN INSPIRED COLOR THEME Lindsey says her wedding colors were inspired by Kate Spade: blush, bright pink, cream and gold. ANYTHING FOR A FRIEND Lindsey’s two best friends, who were both her Maids of Honor, sang a duet at the ceremony to “All I Ask of You” from “Phantom of the Opera” – Lindsey’s favorite musical. A crystal chandelier was also hung over the dance floor in a tribute to the musical. GROOM'S ONE REQUEST That the Huskers’ “Tunnel Walk” and kickoff song “Can You Feel It?” play as the couple entered the reception.


Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Friday, February 6, 2015 6:21 pm.

Miss Courted // First Things First

Mr. Courted and I have had a whirlwind relationship. We met on a dating site we both joined mostly for entertainment purposes in February 2014 and got engaged on October 15th, 2014. Even while he was proposing, I kept asking him if he was serious. Since finding out the stories of how other couples got engaged, I found I was not alone in my initial response. Once I said “yes!” it all became so real. We were ENGAGED! After spending hours on the phone calling friends and family, Mr. Courted and I went out for pie (a regular thing for us) so he could tell me the whole story of who knew, when he bought the ring, and when we both knew we wanted to spend our lives together.

“So what do we do first?” 

Sure, I have had lots of friends get married and I had a sideline view of planning, but what was I supposed to do first?  If most cases, you haven’t planned your own wedding before.  These are 10 things you should do right away to save you time and a headache down the road as you begin planning.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, February 5, 2015 5:22 pm.

Trending // Proposal Photography

As we draw near to Valentine's Day, a popular day for proposals, we thought we'd share some thoughts on a trending wedding topic: capturing the proposal.


  • Document the moment. You'll have pictures to share with family and friends as you tell the story and puts your engagement photos in sequence.
  • Surprise is key. Professional photographers are good at looking like strangers (as long as they're not friends or family) so she'll never know it's coming.
  • Keep the memory. You'll be able to see the reaction on her face time after time. It never gets old, right?! 
  • Instant engagement photos. You'll have an opportunity to take engagement photos right away when the smile on her face will be bigger than ever.

Posted in Blog, Engaged, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, February 4, 2015 1:17 pm.