Wedding Essentials - Blog

Magazine // Fall + Winter 2015

If you haven't gotten a chance to flip through our latest issue, an online version can be found right here. And it's always FREE!

The Fall/Winter 2015 issue is full of helpful advice for brides-to-be. Whether you're deep into the planning process or just said "Yes!" -- this mag's for you! Plus, there's even a few bits of newlywed wisdom tucked away in there.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, August 27, 2015 8:30 am. | Tags: Wedding Essentials Magazine , Omaha Bridal Mag , Omaha Wedding Planner , Omaha Brides , Omaha Bridal Show , Idea Show , Nebraska Bride , Nebraska Wedding Planning , Omaha Wedding Venues , Newlywed Advice , Wedding Planning Tips , Fall Wedding , Winter Wedding

Bride Blogger // Meet Miss Love-Struck

Age: 24

Occupation: Business Account Executive

Engagement Date: June 28, 2014

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 7:00 am. | Tags: Chatty Brides , Wedding Essentials Magazine , Omaha Bridal Mag , Summer Wedding , Bride Blogger , Miss Love-struck , Lindsey George Photography , Happy Hollow Country Club , St. Robert's Bellarmine Church , Omaha Wedding , Omaha Wedding Planning , Omaha Wedding Photographer , Omaha Event Planning , Omaha Bride , Nebraska Bride

From the Groom // A Planning Perspective

About a month ago, I dropped to a knee.

Her tear-swelling eyes said “Yes” before her mouth could say the same. Both came before I could even ask the question and, I think, before I opened the ring box.

Those were the last moments I felt I had control.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, August 25, 2015 12:13 pm.

TRENDING // Wedding Tattoos

Brides and grooms looking for something more unique than precious metals and stones there’s a more permanent alternative – tattoo wedding rings.

Traditionally, wedding rings are a physical symbol of marriage vows – so what more permanent way to show that promise than with permanent ink?

Tattoo wedding bands, while still uncommon, are increasing in popularity. Even celebrity couples are sporting ink on their ring fingers; Beyoncé and Jay Z each have the Roman numeral “IV,” in honor of the date of their birthdays (Dec. 4 and Sept. 4) and wedding (April 4), tattooed on their ring fingers.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Monday, August 24, 2015 8:00 am.

Styled Shoot // Blissfully Baroque

Where art thou? Hopelessly in love.

Against the lilting rhythms of Baroque, love evolves with the seasons. At first tentative, like the first buds of spring, it blooms wildly with the intensity of a fiery sunset in an autumn sky. Bring on the flute and the lyre and celebrate those beautiful tomorrows.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, August 21, 2015 8:00 am. | Tags: Omaha Bridal Mag , Wedding Essentials Omaha , Omaha Wedding , Lincoln Wedding , Nebraska Bride , The Leekers Photography , Blooms & Bouquets , Omaha Florist , Omaha Event Design , Goldenrod Pastries , Jillian Fellers , Porridge Papers , Emsud's Clothiers , Chez Hay , Amanda Lee Artistry , Avalon Event Paradise

Miss Head Over Heels // D.I.Y. Citronella Candles

Our reception is inside, however, we will have tables set up outside for people to mingle and play games. Our venue, Willow Creek Glass Chapel, expanded their deck over the winter and it is gorgeous! We're excited for the extra space for our guests to celebrate. But with an outdoor space, comes the mosquitoes! My first thought was to have some bug spray wipes for people. However, the deck is over a pond and I'm not sure that will be enough to keep the mosquitoes at bay! Our solution? Citronella candles. My latest D.I.Y project is to make them out of pieces of china to match the teacups that are part of our wedding favors!

WHAT YOU NEED

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, August 20, 2015 7:00 am. | Tags: Bride Blogger , Omaha Bride Blogger , Omaha Bridal Magazine , Miss Head Over Heels , Chatty Brides , Diy Wedding , Diy Wedding Favors , Wedding Candles , Willow Creek Glass Chapel , Omaha Wedding Magazine , Wedding Essentials Omaha

Five Tips for a Smooth Reception

  1. Build a Timeline.
    Create an event timeline that includes every major detail of the night from the bridal party entrance, to the cake cutting, to your farewell departure, to the dismantling of your decorations. Give a copy of the timeline to your DJ, photographer-videographer, venue coordinator, caterer, and either your personal attendant or wedding planner. Stick to this agenda as much as possible to avoid any awkward gaps during your event. This will also ensure that you accomplish everything before you conclude the day.
  2. Take a Minimal Approach. 
    Less is more when it comes to décor. If it takes two truckloads, 50 boxes and five hours for you to load-in and set up your reception décor, just imagine what that will mean for your friends and family who will have to tear down and haul everything away at the end of a long day. Simplicity is vital for a happy departure at the end of your reception.
  3. Mind the Kids.
    Unless you don’t mind screaming, unsupervised children running around your reception hall, consider activities to keep them occupied or totally skip the stress and have an adults-only event.
  4. Manage Your Expectations.
    Perfection is impossible so as soon as you accept that, you can move forward with your event. Don’t stress out if your napkins aren’t folded a certain way or your photo booth didn’t get set up in the right corner of the room. These details are so miniscule that most guests won’t know they aren’t correct. It’s only when you, the bride or groom, make a big fuss about it that people start to respond in a negative way. Go with the flow and stay happy.
  5. Coordinate With Your Venue.
    Many venues have strict hours for vendor deliveries and decorating. Don’t assume that your venue and its coordinator will be at your disposal without making prior arrangements.  Verify your plan before scheduling any deliveries or setup.

Theresa Farrage is a ballroom event specialist with Scoular Ballroom in Omaha.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, August 19, 2015 6:00 pm. | Tags: Scoular Ballroom , Wedding Timeline , Omaha Bridal Magazine , Omaha Wedding Planning , Theresa Farrage , Downtown Omaha Wedding , Wedding Advice

Inspiration // Fall Engagement Session

You'd be hard pressed to find someone who doesn't like the fall season. Really, what's not to love?!

To get you inspired, we've rounded up a list of fall e-sesh must-haves.

  • Anything plaid (blankets, scarves, pants, hats, jackets, etc.)
  • A Blanket
  • Moscow Mule mugs
  • Boots
  • Mittens
  • Pumpkins, apples, corn
  • The perfect location (Kimmel Orchard, Ditmars, Vala's Pumpkin Patch, Bellevue Berry Farm)

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, August 18, 2015 6:00 am. | Tags: Fall , Engagement Session , Dragonfly Shots Photography , Nebraska Wedding Photography , Nebraska Wedding , Nebraska Bride , Omaha Bridal Mag , Omaha Engagement Photography , Omaha Engagement

Miss Courted // Hire An Event Planner

Mr. Courted and I cannot believe we are so close to saying “I do!” We have loved every minute of our engagement and now we are starting to hit some deadlines such as RSVPs, final dress fittings, and thinking about a schedule of events for the week leading up to the wedding day. Since neither of us have planned a wedding before, we thought it was time to call on a professional wedding planner to fill in the final details. STEP Group is now going to be producing and assisting us in planning the rehearsal dinner, ceremony, and reception. Once I signed a contract with them, I immediately felt a sense of relief and excitement. We really want our day to have a special touch and Rachel and her team will be able to do just that. If you don’t have it in your budget to hire a professional, call on your bridesmaids or a family member to help where you need it.

5 THINGS TO ASK FOR HELP WITH:

  1. Centerpieces: I knew the pieces I wanted to incorporate into our theme, but didn’t know how to pull it together myself. Show your friends your ideas and let them help you gather the pieces you need to make it a reality.
  2. Wedding week itinerary: Put together a plan showing when your wedding party is arriving in town, who needs transportation, nail and hair appointments, final errands, rehearsal and when to be at your ceremony site. This is a huge relief for us since we have a lot of out of town guests and a large wedding party. 
  3. Vendor Communication: When you lay out all of your vendors, it's a lot of communication to manage -- especially as the day gets closer. STEP Group will now be handling all communication with all vendors including payment confirmations, final counts, and final tours of our church and reception sites.
  4. Set up and day-of coordinating: The one thing I couldn’t stop wondering about was who was going to set up our centerpieces, guest book, and favor tables. I knew our families were going to be busy enough and we would want our bridal parties to enjoy the weekend, so it makes us feel so much better knowing we don’t need to allocate our time to set up and making sure everything runs as smoothly as possible the day of the wedding.
  5. Rehearsal Dinner: I had only been thinking about the wedding day and wasn’t focusing much on our rehearsal dinner plans. I booked a caterer, but didn’t really put much effort beyond that. Now we have more of a focus for the timeline of the evening as well as some special décor planned. We are going to focus on an all-white tablescape to make the décor very soft, romantic and simple.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Monday, August 17, 2015 7:00 am. | Tags: Miss Courted , Bride Blogger , Chatty Brides , Wedding Essentials Magazine , Omaha Bridal Magazine , Omaha Wedding , Step Group, Inc. , Omaha Event Planning

Styled Shoot // Bridal Boudoir

There's a lot of emphasis on your wedding day look -- and for a good number of reasons. It's a big day. You'll be in almost every photo taken. Even so, there are big moments and little moments happening throughout your wedding day.

This styled shoot by Taura Horn Photography inspires a tasteful way to capture the bride in those intimate moments between getting her make-up and hair done, and before she puts on her dress.

These photos aren’t scandalous or overly sexy as most bridal boudoir photos are, they’re sweet and simply feminine. 

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, August 14, 2015 7:00 am. | Tags: Wedding Essentials Omaha , Omaha Bridal Magazine , Lincoln Wedding Photography , Bridal Boudoir Omaha , Bridal Boudoir Lincoln , Lincoln Wedding , Nebraska Bride , Nebraska Wedding Photographer , Midwest Bride , Taura Horn Photography , Alicia's Makeup Aristry , I Bloom. , Cristallo Couture , Tangerine Hair Artist Salon

Miss Courted // Invitations, Groomsmen, Centerpieces & More!

The early stages of planning were really easy because it mostly consisted of making a phone call and booking the venue, DJ, or transportation. As our wedding day gets closer, the details are requiring a bit more time and consideration. Here are some invitation details we worked on the last couple months:

For our invitations, we are using a freelance designer who we also used for our Save the Dates. It has been a great experience being able to get exactly what we are looking for and having her create all of our paper goods from programs, to place cards, to invitations. I found her rates to be reasonable, which made it hard to find a reason to not go this route. I would definitely recommend checking out various sites for inspiration, then contacting someone local to design and print all of your paper goods. These are what we used for inspiration.

Invitation Inspiration // Miss Courted

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, August 13, 2015 8:00 am. | Tags: Chatty Brides , Bride Blogger , Wedding Essentials Omaha , Omaha Bridal Magazine , Miss Courted , Omaha Bride , Omaha Wedding , Wedding Invitations , Omaha Wedding Stationery , Omaha Wedding Planning

Miss Head Over Heels // Let Music Play

Music is an important detail in any wedding. Deciding what song you are going to walk down the aisle to? Will any songs be sung during the ceremony? What will be your first dance song? Will you have a song to cut the cake to? After all of the key songs are diligently picked you may think you are done -- WRONG!

If you are anything like me and you need to have everything planned down to the last detail then you might want to pick some meaningful, fun, love song(s) to have playing while you get ready with your attendants. And yes, I've started on that list! I have currently compiled a list of love songs, and even some songs that I just love or make me feel good and want to dance to.   

After doing some research, I found that you should have 15-20 songs per hour. Now, you don't have to fill up your entire getting ready time frame with different songs. You can always replay your list!

Here are some of the songs I have chosen:

  • Wishin' and Hopin' - Dusty Springfield
  • Love and Marriage - Frank Sinatra
  • White Wedding - Billy Idol
  • Girls Just Want to Have Fun - Cindy Lauper
  • Ours - Taylor Swift
  • Whats Up? - Lennon & Maisy's version
  • Your Song - Elton John
  • I've Got the World on a String - Frank Sinatra
  • Electric Love - Borns
  • Marry You - Bruno Mars
  • Heat Wave - The Temptations
  • Happy - Pharrell Williams
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand - The Beatles
  • I Saw Her Standing There - The Beatles
  • Boom Clap - Lennon & Maisy's version
  • Rude - Magic
  • We Found Love - Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
  • Stuck Like Glue - Sugar Land
  • Feel So Close - Calvin Harris
  • Lucky - Jason Miraz & Colbie Caillat
  • Home - Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros
  • Ten Feet Tall - Afrojack
  • Hey Ho - Lumineers
  • Walk the Line - Johnny Cash
  • You Really Got A Hold On Me - She & Him
  • San Francisco - The Mowglis's
  • We Come Running - Youngblood Hawke
  • I Belong in Your Arms - Chairlift
  • Crazy Train - Ozzy
  • We Come Running - Youngblood Hawke
  • Thank You - Led Zeppelin

This is just a start to my list -- I hope to have more than enough songs to last through the evening. I find myself just writing down songs as I hear them on the radio or as we play records at home.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, August 11, 2015 11:00 am. | Tags: Omaha Wedding Music , Wedding Playlist , Chatty Brides , Miss Head Over Heels , Bride Blogger , Omaha Bride , Omaha Wedding , Wedding Essentials Magazine

Miss Beaches // Destination: FOUND!

Finding the perfect place was by far the hardest part so far about destination wedding planning. 

Costa Rica, Jamaica, Mexico, Bahamas... They were all on my list! The narrowing down took a lot of time but I think I picked out the best destination for our wedding! On our list of things to consider: flight cost, travel time and the fact that certain locations are more expensive. 

First, we knew we wanted an all inclusive resort that was big enough to accommodate our group of friends and family making the trip. I want this to be a vacation for everyone. I want our guests to have the option of doing their own thing rather than having to hang out with everyone from the wedding party every day while they are at the resort.  

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Monday, August 10, 2015 6:00 pm. | Tags: Bride Blogger , Miss Beaches , Destination Wedding , Enchanted Honeymoons , Wanderlust Travel , Ultimate Cruise Vacations , Allie Bystrom , El Dorado Royale , Riviera Maya, Mexico , Chatty Brides , Omaha Brides , Omaha Wedding Planning , Nebraska Bride , Nebraska Wedding , Wedding Venues

Real Wedding // Inspiration

This wedding is overflowing with chic style that's sure to spark some inspiration. WE can just imagine a beautiful wedding like this happening at the Omar Building!

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Posted in Blog, Inspiration, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 7:00 am.

Real Wedding // Inspiration

This real wedding sure added elements of quirky and fun to their big day -- bright colors, hilarious signage, sword fighting, masks, Girl Scout cookies, legitimate ring bearers, more sword fighting and last but not least, hula hoops. All from one wedding! So obviously we couldn't help but want to share!

This party must have been an absolute gas!

Posted in Weddingessentials, Blog, Inspiration, Realweddings on Tuesday, June 2, 2015 10:00 am.

Inspiration // Apple Orchard E-Sesh

The perfect late afternoon date at an apple orchard means a simply sweet e-sesh. Find inspiration in the photo gallery below and go off scouting local orchards in Omaha & Council Bluffs!

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Posted in Weddingessentials, Blog, Engaged on Tuesday, May 26, 2015 7:00 am.

Miss Head Over Heels // Buying Flowers

Flowers. Just that one word can be very stressful on its own while planning your wedding. Are you going to do real flowers or fake flowers? There are so many options on fake flowers that it can be a hard decision. While researching flowers I have seen bouquets made from fabric, paper and the fake flowers you can buy at the craft store and then real flowers.

PRIMARY ELEMENTS. I knew right away that I wanted succulents as the primary element -- using them through each of the floral elements: the bouquet, the boutonnieres and centerpieces. The hard part was fitting them into a budget. It didn't take me long to figure out succulents are expensive. Not only do I need my bouquet but we have 7 bridesmaids, Mr. Head Over Heels' boutonniere, 6 groomsmen ... the list goes on. The bottom line is we not only need a lot just for the bridal party, parents, and grandparents. We also need succulents as part of our wedding favors, for 36 centerpieces, the head tables and we would like to put flowers on our gift and guestbook table.

BUYING WHOLESALE. After speaking with multiple florists and realizing that we were not going to be able to get everything we wanted in flowers I decided to do it on my own. I am a bride on a mission after all! And by now you're thinking I'm crazy, right? Well, after searching the internet for many hours looking for wholesale succulents, I was able to find a company that will sell their succulents in bulk to anyone! You don't have to be another business to get their great prices. Mountain Crest Gardens allows their customers to buy just 1 succulent or you can buy them in bulk (42 to 168 of the same family of succulents). I knew right away we hit the jackpot! We ordered a massive amount of succulents and most of them are $1 each with a couple variations just under $2 -- such a steal! It's even cheaper than if we bought fake succulents.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, May 21, 2015 7:00 am.

Music // The Perfect Soundtrack

Ceremony. It’s no secret that Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” is one of the most popular processional songs, but depending on the tone of your wedding, it’s also fine to stroll down the aisle to something more unique, like Cat Power’s “Sea of Love,” Bruno Mars’ “Marry You,” or Johnny Cash’s “Rose of My Heart;” however, it’s typically the recessional where couples opt for more upbeat and fun selections, says Church, such as the Black Eyed Peas’ “I Gotta Feeling” or Frank Sinatra’s “Fly Me to the Moon.” But hey, who says you have to follow the rules or go with what's popular? Choose something that's meaningful to you as a couple.

Cocktail Hour. When the focus isn’t on dancing, keep your song selection and sound level appropriate, but still lively. Your guests aren’t in full-on party mode yet, but the cocktail hour song selection should slowly get them there. In most cases, your DJ or band should know what’s appropriate. But, if you’re concerned, make sure it’s a talking point during your meeting prior to the big day. Some recommendations? Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald and more contemporary artists like Michael Bublé and Norah Jones, as well as classic rock artists, such as Van Morrison, Sting, and Bob Marley, and mellow Indie rockers like Bon Iver, Ingrid Michaelson and Iron & Wine.

The First Dance. You can’t go wrong with classics like The Beatles “In My Life” or Louis Armstrong’s “What a Wonderful World.” But don’t feel like you have to leave out tunes that have personal history for you, or let you show off some fancy footwork. Currently trending: One song, with bride/father/groom/mother on the floor all at once.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, May 20, 2015 9:30 am.

Inspiration // Engagement Photos

First, let me just give you a short little disclaimer -- this smart little e-sesh did not take place in Omaha. BUT, after looking through these photos, it's hard not to gather some inspiration for executing that perfect engagement session. 

3 Things Your Engagement Session Needs:

1. PERFECT LOCATIONS -- You should choose two to three locations (depending on your photographer and engagement package preferences) that best represent you as a couple. You can see from this session the couple went with a classic, more traditional location, and a few lifestyle locations (Best Buy, beach & home). 

Posted in Blog, Engaged, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, May 19, 2015 9:00 am.

Real Wedding // Brittany + Justin

NOT YOUR AVERAGE ‘JOE’ Justin bought a cup with the words “Marry me?” on the inside of it, and he gave Brittany coffee in the cup one morning at her parents' lake house near Grand Island. When she got to the bottom of the cup, she read the words and looked at Justin. He was down on one knee. And yes, they still have the cup! A PAUSE IN THE ACTION “I remember taking a step back and looking at all of our friends and family dancing together under one of my favorite homemade signs that said, ‘What God has joined together, let no one separate.’ I have never felt so blessed,” Brittany says. ‘FRUIT’-FILLED VOWS The couple wrote their own vows. As part of Justin’s, he promised to love Brittany – even when she leaves banana peels and apple cores in her car. NOT FORGOTTEN Brittany honored her late grandparents by decorating with barn wood and placing a cardinal ornament in the arbor where she and Justin said their vows. WHAT SHE GAVE HIM A journal that she wrote for him throughout their engagement.

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Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Monday, May 18, 2015 10:00 am.