Wedding Essentials - Blog

Inspiration // Paper Trends

Far from the land of commercial stationery books comes custom stationery so gorgeous it will steal your heart – at any price.

“We’ve seen some changes in what couples are spending,” says Kaleigh Wiese, custom stationery designer and founder of Méldeen, which has locations in Omaha and Austin.

Previously, a couple’s stationery represented about 4 percent of the total wedding budget, Wiese says. Today, 7 to 10 percent is more typical for couples wanting highly customized pieces.

Posted in Blog, Inspiration, Weddingessentials on Friday, March 6, 2015 12:13 pm.

Inspiration // Tabletop Florals


Place small round cakes at individual tables and let guests serve themselves when it’s time for dessert. Keep the icing simple (to save a little money), but top each cake with a large, texture-rich fresh bloom for drama. Elevate each cake on a vintage cake stand surrounded by candles in glass votives. The golden wash of candlelight will make even the dullest room look stunning after dark.


Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, March 5, 2015 11:45 am.

Planning Tips // Before you book your destination wedding ...

Thinking about planning a destination wedding? Here's what you should consider BEFORE you book.


The average ranges from 20 to 50.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, March 4, 2015 11:30 am.

D.I.Y. Favors // Lavender Toffee

Lavender Toffee


  • 1 tablespoon dried lavender plus more for garnish
  • 1 tablespoon butter plus ¾ cup butter, divided
  • 1⁄3 cup water
  • 1 ¼ cups sugar
  • 1 cup 59 percent tempered dark chocolate, melted (available at Whole Foods)

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 11:00 am.

Miss Better Together // Ban This

Want the wedding day of your dreams? Let's talk.

Planning a wedding requires some serious visualization. If you're like me, you probably visualize your wedding day on a daily basis (okay, hourly). Our visions of what our weddings should be like are typically molded by our culture, then influenced by magazines, movies, weddings that we've attended, bridal fairs, celebrity weddings, and let's not forget - the most popular source as of late - Pinterest

If you're like me, your Wedding Pinterest board was probably born before there was even a ring on your finger. Heck, even before I found my perfect mate, Pinterest helped me visualize my perfect wedding: Perfect dress. Perfect hair. Perfect vows. Perfect centerpieces. Perfect cake. Perfect stationery with perfect calligraphy. 

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Monday, March 2, 2015 2:00 pm. | Tags: Miss Better Together , Amy Miles , Chatty Brides , Bride Blogger , Pinterest , Wedding , Wedding Essentials , Omaha

Omaha Fashion Week

We love bridal gowns. There's just something so pretty and magical about them. I mean, just look at our Pinterest board -- we could stare at it all day. 

We also love looking forward to seeing new trends -- especially from local designers.

If you missed the runway shows at the Idea Show or Bridal University in the last five months, here's your chance to see some more gowns make their way down the catwalk. 

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Saturday, February 28, 2015 2:38 pm.

Advice // Floral Decor

Stand aside, hydrangea. Peony is making an entrance.

“Brides are getting tired of hydrangeas,” explains Tracy Diehl, owner-designer at Events/Florals etcetera. “They've been popular so long, I'm seeing a resistance to them in bouquets.”

But suggest peonies, and eyes light up.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, February 27, 2015 5:31 pm.

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.