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

This Just In // Attitude on Food named exclusive caterer for Scoular Ballroom

Scoular Ballroom has named Attitude on Food its exclusive caterer effective May 1, 2015. Here is the news release from yesterday:

All new rental contracts for events occurring after May 1, 2015, will be exclusively with Attitude on Food for all catering and beverage needs. “It has been a year of many positive changes at the Scoular Ballroom. In the past year-and-a-half, our ballroom was completely renovated; a lobby area was added outside the ballroom; dressing suites were added for brides and grooms; kitchen improvements were made; and a buffet room was added to complement the existing space and provide new layout options. With these improvements, we are positioned for growth and opportunities in new markets,” said Theresa Farrage, Scoular Ballroom’s event specialist.

Scoular Ballroom was constructed in 1927, and hosts some of the most prestigious and elegant events in Omaha. Located in the historic Scoular Building, the Scoular Ballroom boasts accommodations for up to 325 people with custom up-lighting; 30-foot ceilings; four loges and a 28-foot balcony; a glass and Italian marble atrium; a lushly draped full stage; a large professional-quality dance floor; a state-of-the-art video projector and P.A. system; wireless Internet connectivity; a separate banquet room and bridal suites; and fully-lit off-street parking.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Friday, August 8, 2014 1:00 pm. Must Read

Spotted: Fall Trends 2014 // Isabelle Armstrong Bridal Couture

Isabelle Armstrong Bridal Couture has spotted the trends. And with the fall 2014 collection, they have added their own twist to these trends. Here are four of the biggest ones for this fall. W.E. think brides should give them a chance when dress shopping. You never know until you try it on!

Sweet as Peach Pie

Brides can have fun with color too! Color is not off-limits for the bride, as peach is reigning queen this season. Peach complements any bridal party, and nontraditional colors are being explored and embraced more often.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Attire, Engaged, Inspiration, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Wednesday, August 6, 2014 2:00 pm. Must Read

Wedding Etiquette

The staff at Wedding Essentials has attended and taken part in quite a number of weddings. If you're like us, you've probably witnessed your share of poor behavior among guests, friends and members of the wedding party.

We want to help our readers with what's right and wrong, so we've compiled some helpful etiquette tips to keep in mind. Don't forget to share these with your friends and family!

1. When you're invited to a wedding, give the bride and groom a gift whether you're attending or not.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Planning, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Tuesday, August 5, 2014 11:00 am. Must Read

Wedding Gifts // Parents

Last, but certainly not least, we want to talk about gifts for your parents. Your parents have probably done a lot to help you with your wedding. Being the support systems that they are, W.E. think they deserve something special when your wedding is said and done. Here are some great gifts that they are sure to appreciate.

1. B&B Stay: Book them a weekend getaway at a sweet little B&B. It's such a fun way for them to relax and unwind.

2. Massage: Book a massage for each of them. They'll feel the love.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Inspiration, Planning, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Friday, August 1, 2014 1:56 pm. Must Read

Wedding Gifts // Groomsmen

To all of you future grooms: Help your fiancé out by taking care of the groomsmens' gifts on your own! Feeling a little lost as to what to get them? Here are some great ideas so you can get started as early as you please.

1. Flask/Decanter: A little something to hold their drinks. They can be as cool or as funky as you like.

2. Cuff links: Something nice that they can use again.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Inspiration, Planning, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Friday, August 1, 2014 1:39 pm. Must Read

Wedding Shower // Miss Cloud Nine

I knew my mom and bridesmaids would throw a good shower, but I was amazed by all of the hard work and details that they put into making the day really special.

It all started with a mason jar. I love mason jars! The girls used these jars for all kinds of things. I think they knew how much I do not enjoy being the center of attention, so they made sure to distract the guests with fun details and delicious food.

The front table displayed a large white platter with the shower date, which everyone signed and wrote their well wishes. When I got home, we baked it, and now we have a memorable new platter to use. 

Posted in Weddingessentials, Blog, Chattybrides, Engaged, Events, Showers gifts, Living, Momaha, Blogs, Extras, Style on Thursday, July 31, 2014 12:21 pm. Must Read