Wedding Essentials - Blog

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.

Inspiration // Engagement Session

Who is crazy enough to stare death in the face and stand at the edge of rugged terrain while taking engagement photos? Daniel Dunlap.

This insane e-sesh is about the most awesome thing we've seen. Ever. So you'll definitely have to take your time flipping through this gallery.

Posted in Blog, Inspiration, Weddingessentials on Friday, May 15, 2015 8:00 am.

Best Advice // Trunk Shows

After seeing last month's showcase of new bridal styles, it might help to explain what trunk shows are. If you don't have any clue what it means, don't worry -- you're not alone.

Tracy from Rhylan Lang explains -- "We have trunk shows twice a year for our most popular designers. Once between January and March and once between July and September. Each trunk show will feature the newest collection from that designer. What's exciting about trunk shows is you get to see dresses from a collection that isn't even in stores yet! Also, our designers allow us to offer a 10% discount during their trunk show weekends. The dresses from market won't even be in stores until October or November, so the only opportunity you would have to try them on and purchase, before samples arrive in stores, is at trunk shows this summer.

You can find a list of trunk shows at Rhylan Lang here.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Thursday, May 14, 2015 8:30 am.

Bridal Show // Wedding Essentials Idea Show

Join us at one of the largest, most inspirational bridal shows in the Omaha area -- the Wedding Essentials Idea Show on October 18th at the Mid-America Center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.!

Save the date and reserve your booth space here or call 402-444-1263

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, May 13, 2015 10:30 am.

Inspiration // Watercolor Whimsy

A little artsy watercolor garden inspiration always gets us going. Here's some inspiration for your Tuesday.

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Posted in Blog, Inspiration, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 7:00 am.

Real Wedding // Dana + Chase

ACCIDENTALLY DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION What she thought was a trip to the hardware store turned into a walk on the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge, and Chase proposed on the Nebraska/Iowa line. He was wearing a Huskers shirt and Dana was wearing an Iowa State shirt – but her shirt wasn’t planned. “I had no idea he had a ring or that he was going to propose to me!” WARDROBE MALFUNCTION The zipper broke on a bridesmaid’s dress at the last minute, and Dana’s mom had to sew her into the dress. Luckily, the bride’s personal attendant had come prepared with a sewing kit! COMFORTABILITY WINS The bride gave each of her bridesmaids a clutch to carry at the ceremony instead of flowers. She also let them pick out their own dress style, jewelry and shoes – “whatever they felt comfortable and beautiful in.” WHAT SHE GAVE HIM A metal hand-stamped wallet card with a special note on it. He carries it in his wallet.

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Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Monday, May 11, 2015 12:20 pm.

Real Wedding Submissions

Submission Details: 

WHAT WE NEED:

1. 30-40 images -- 90% details, 10% bride/groom/wedding party is preferred. For print, photos must be 300 dpi, at least 9x12 inches, JPEG. 

Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Friday, May 8, 2015 8:00 am.

Bride Blogger // Meet Miss Sweetheart

Age: 24

Engagement Date: May 26th, 2013

Wedding Date: September 26th, 2015

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, May 7, 2015 8:00 am. | Tags: Chatty Brides , Bride Bloggers , Miss Sweetheart , Omaha Wedding Blog , Omaha Wedding Planning , Omaha Brides

D.I.Y. // First Maid Kit

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Source: CTW Features, Brides 365

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, May 6, 2015 7:30 am.

Real Wedding // Beth + David

It was important to Beth and David to be environmentally responsible in planning their "green wedding." They both live in California, but chose to get married in Beth's hometown of Omaha, Nebraska. They chose the Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium based on their mutual love for animals, especially elephants.

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Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, May 5, 2015 7:00 am.

Real Wedding // Katie + Matt

A MOUTHFUL Of mashed potatoes, that is. Matt proposed during Thanksgiving dinner, and Katie had just taken a bite of mashed potatoes when he popped the question. The ring he originally gave her is now in “safekeeping forever and always” since Matt couldn’t pick up the real ring in time. Matt's dad saved the day with a ring that he had made out of a dollar bill for a play he was involved in. They picked up the real ring on their way home from her parents' house. NOT A DRY EYE Watching her parents dance was the most memorable moment of the day because “They looked so in love and exactly how I remembered seeing them growing up. Watching them dance, you couldn’t tell that my mother has Alzheimer’s,” Katie says. JUST BEING THERE The most special part of the day “was the amazing family and friends who made sacrifices to be part of our big day. It was the family who might not always be here in the future who got to share in our joy." BRIDAL ADVICE Go on a honeymoon – even if it’s just a quick trip. And have a sleepover with your girlfriends the night before your wedding.

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Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Monday, May 4, 2015 8:00 am.

Miss Head Over Heels // Thrift Shopping

We all know that weddings can be expensive! One way to save money, and still get what you want, is to shop at thrift stores. We have spent many weekends at thrift stores shopping for cake stands and tea cup for our wedding. This works really well if you are doing different vases for your centerpieces as well. Many thrift stores will also have sales. Each day a different color of price tag may be 50% off or the items might be $.99 that day. If you are looking for a lot make sure to know the sale schedule! We also found that a lot of thrift stores will have sales around the winter holiday season as well! Honestly, the prices are hard to beat!

There are many thrift stores located all over the Omaha/Bellevue/Council Bluffs area. A nice thing about thrift stores is that their inventory is always changing so make sure you go back and check ones you have already been to.

Other places to try are antique malls. Prices may be a little higher at antique malls but they provide many different vendors providing a wide range of products. If you are looking for something a little more unique an antique mall may be your best bet! We have found that there is more room for negotiation at antique malls then there is at a thrift shop!

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Friday, May 1, 2015 10:15 am.

Inspiration // Modern Styled E-Sesh

E-sesh? No. Swoon sesh.

The effortlessly classic style, major romance and the perfect amount of adorable quirkiness in these photos takes engagement sessions to a whole new level. We pretty much want to be this couple. 

Posted in Blog, Inspiration, Weddingessentials on Thursday, April 30, 2015 8:00 am.

Miss Vino & Vintage // A digital-savvy bride

The resources available to a bride planning a wedding these days are basically endless. Pinterest has helped us communicate our ideas to vendors in visual ways. A litany of buy/sell/trade sites have helped us score barely-worn gowns for a fraction of retail prices. We don't have to stress over whether the DJ we've hired will make it through five solid hours of hard thumping techno, because we've painstakingly combed through ratings on a number of wedding sites. The internet has added a whole new element to planning a wedding, but it's also opened up a new avenue for less-than-scrupulous vendors to take advantage of unsuspecting couples. 

Reflecting on recent events with an Omaha area vendor who really let down a large group of brides, I thought it was probably time to sit down and have a chat with my bosses, Bill Hipsher and Brandon Taylor of B2 Interactive. I'm fortunate enough to have the resource of these two very smart men who have built, optimized, bought and sold a highly successful lineup of websites. Our agency has grown exponentially in the last 2 years due to both a huge demand for digital services in the Omaha area and a great number of startups with awareness of the important of reaching their customers online. Bill and Brandon have seen endless numbers of online businesses come and go. They know how to spot a doomed online business from a mile away. They also offer counsel to clients on how to run a secure and safe online business, so I knew they'd be able to offer valuable tips to brides for safe planning and purchasing online.

Here are some of their tips for being a smart consumer when using digital resources to plan a wedding: 

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 7:00 am.

Bride Blogger // It's Photobooth Time!

Mr. Courted and I knew we wanted to have a photo booth at our wedding reception, but wanted it to be a little more unique than some of the others we have seen that just use pipe and drape contraptions. After attending the Wedding Essentials Bridal Show in January, I had found the one for us! 

We are going to be using the Omaha Photo Booth Co., and we couldn’t be happier about our choice.  It is a REAL photo booth, which will go with the vintage feel of our venue, the Livestock Exchange Building. Not only will our guests be able to take a strip of their photos home with them, but for a small extra fee, we will get to take home a book full of the photos as well as messages from our guests.

We will also be able to customize the artwork on the photo strip to match the design of our invitations, centerpieces, or any of our other details.  All of the photos will also be available online, which is great for our guests to share with their networks. After chatting with Craig at the bridal show, I knew we were in good hands. He was very professional and was able to answer all of my questions.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, April 28, 2015 8:00 am.

Real Wedding // Melissa + Ryan

ALL THAT MATTERED Although Ryan took a video of himself practicing his proposal speech in the restaurant bathroom, he was so nervous that he only managed to get the words “Will you marry me?” out. At least they were the most important words and the rest could be replayed later! PERFECT TIMING There was rain in the forecast for the couple’s outdoor ceremony, which made the bride nervous. But the clouds parted just in time for the ceremony. “I remember walking down the aisle feeling that everything was just perfect in that moment.” SILLY MOMENTS Improvised dances, a rap by the groom to “Ice Ice Baby” and a group dance to “Friends in Low Places” by Garth Brooks during the reception. RIVALRY FOR CASH The couple set up a piggy bank competition between the Huskers and the Hawkeyes at the reception to raise money for their honeymoon fund. FROM ONE BRIDE TO ANOTHER Do a photo booth for your guestbook, Melissa says. “While it’s fun to dream up your wedding on Pinterest, when you look back on the day your favorite memories will truly be your friends and family just being there.”

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Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Monday, April 27, 2015 8:00 am.

Miss Ever After // #MaidsInMexico

When it came to my bachelorette party, I knew that I wanted it to be one big celebratory vacation for my bridesmaids and me. There is no better place to do such a thing than Cancun, Mexico. At first thought going out of the country seems like a large expense for a bachelorette party, but in reality it is exactly the opposite. It was so relieving to know that once I boarded the airplane to Mexico everything would be already covered financially which helped me truly enjoy my long weekend away.

We decided to spend our bachelorette fiesta at the Valentin Imperial Maya located in between Cancun & Playa del Carmen. The location was perfect because we could still enjoy the atmosphere without the spring break guests which tend to flock to Cancun. Valentin Imperial Maya is a palm tree filled resort with direct access to both the beach and multiple pools, and countless fine dining options. At night, we enjoyed a variety of live music bands from reggae to Latin, and a guest DJ in the open air plaza.

One of the nights we went into Playa del Carmen to dance the night away at Coco Bongo. What makes Coco Bongo so unique is the style of the club. It is a disco, nightclub, DJ, theater style show including aerial acrobats. Time literally flies when you’re having fun, and that’s exactly what happened while we were in Mexico. I would recommend an all-inclusive bachelorette party to anyone who is wanting to really get away and relax for a long weekend with their bridal party. 

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Friday, April 24, 2015 8:30 am.