Wedding Essentials - Blog

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bridal Portrait Sessions

What is a bridal portrait session?

 “A bridal session is actually a southern tradition,” says Audrey and Jennifer of Love & Light Productions. “This session is shot before the wedding day, and sometimes these photos are even displayed at the reception.”

Basically it’s like a mini session just for you, the bride. And it’s a great way to do a trial run of wedding day hair, makeup, dress, shoes, accessories, etc.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, April 17, 2015 8:30 am.

Engaged // Mariah & Roman

AN ICY PROPOSAL Roman proposed at Tranquility Ice Rink. He plays hockey and I'm always at every game of his and that's where we had our first "date". We were skating around before hockey and I heard the song Close Your Eyes by Michael Buble playing and I instantly started crying. That's a special song for us. Then he got down on his knee and asked me to marry him. THE PERFECT RING He got the ring from Nebraska Diamond. He picked it out all by himself never even told or showed him what style I liked but he picked out exactly what I wanted! SURPRISE! We have known each other for two years but have been dating for a year and a half. Both of our families were there to take photos and videos! I wasn't expecting it at all! Not until the song started playing. I just thought it was a normal day for us. Skating before hockey is normal. 'THE ONE' MOMENT I think I knew he was the one when he went with me and my dad to our cabin and he climbed a cliff to save a baby owl. It really hit me when my dad leaned over and said "I bet you marry him someday!" I'm a big daddies girl so that meant a lot to me. WHAT HE LOVES ABOUT HER He says he loves my personality. WHAT SHE LOVES ABOUT HIM I honestly love everything about him. WEDDING PLANS We are getting married on a vineyard and our them is the rustic theme. We are both country people so it just seems right. BEST ADVICE Take it one day at a time. You will hear a thousand opinions from others and you just have to hear their opinion you don't actually have to make it part of your wedding! I had a hard time the first few months with hurting others feelings because I simply didn't like their idea for my wedding. Which caused a lot of unneeded stress on me and my fiancé. We have learned how to deal with everyone together as a couple now. 


Posted in Blog, Engaged, Weddingessentials on Thursday, April 16, 2015 9:00 am.

Bride Blogger // Low-Stress Planning

Planning a wedding can be stressful.  Planning a wedding when life gets in the way can be difficult. Mr. Courted and I sold our house and now on the hunt for the house we will live in when we start our married life together and start a family. More stress. We are both trying to keep things in perspective to keep our sanity the best way we can. Below are some ideas to keep your stress levels low when it doesn’t seem very possible, and get some wedding planning done at the same time.

  1. Have an unexpected date night.  Mr. Courted and I both love dessert (okay maybe I love it more than him), so after a busy day of work and house hunting, it is nice to relax with a cup of tea and an amazing piece of pie to catch up on each other’s day. 
  2. Treat yourself.  Schedule a massage, pedicure, or meet a friend for happy hour.  Give yourself some time to decompress and relax.
  3. Make wedding planning part of a night out.  Need to book a musician for the big day still?  Want to find a creative caterer?  Need a location for your rehearsal dinner?  Head out for a night on the town and cross something off your list of things to do!
  4. Spend the night in on the couch together. Put your phones, iPads, laptops, etc. away and just enjoy spending time with each other. Watch a movie you have never seen, watch old family videos, or go through old photo albums together and reminisce about your past. 
  5. Exercise. This spring weather has been pretty great and it makes it so much easier to get out of the house and be active. Take your dog for a walk, head out for a run, or do a group exercise class at your gym. You will feel so much better afterwards!

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, April 15, 2015 10:00 am.

Bride Blogger // Meet Miss Beaches

Age: 27

Occupation: Registered Nurse, soon-to-be Family Nurse Practitioner in August

Engagement Date: December 17, 2014

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, April 14, 2015 8:00 am.

Real Wedding // Jessica + Joshua

BOX OFFICE ROMANCE Jessica and Josh met as teenagers at a movie theater where they both worked. They saw a movie together one night after work – and dated for the next seven years! A ‘FORTUNATE’ EVENING Josh proposed at the couple’s favorite Chinese restaurant with a metal fortune cookie-shaped box. The message inside the box read, “Will you marry me?” AN UNVEILING The bride’s dad hugged her right before she walked down the aisle to calm her nerves, but he accidentally knocked off her veil! The pastor’s wife came to the rescue. HOMEMADE WITH LOVE The bride’s mom made the decorations. “She really brought all of our ideas to life,” the bride says. GROOM’S ONE REQUEST That the bride and groom wear Chuck Taylor shoes. Jessica says she was really proud of hers. “I am not very crafty, but I bedazzled mine.” BEST ADVICE Sometimes it’s OK to go to bed angry so you can wake up with a clearer head.


Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Monday, April 13, 2015 8:00 am.

Styled Shoot // Romantic Barn Wedding

There's nothing we love more than a beautiful collaboration of creative wedding vendors. This wonderful styled shoot offers the perfect touch of rustic chic to a romantic barn wedding Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Patch


Posted in Blog, Inspiration, Weddingessentials on Friday, April 10, 2015 9:30 am.

Real Wedding // Rene + Adam

AN OFF DAY For the Huskers, that is. The couple chose Oct. 11, 2014, as their wedding date because there wasn’t a football game scheduled. HE REMEMBERED! When René was a little girl, she gave her dad a quarter and asked him to hold onto it until her wedding day. She figured he had forgotten about it – until he pulled it out of his pocket during their first dance. ALL HANDS ON DECK René’s dad designed the invitations, her aunt made her wedding dress and the couple made their own centerpieces and reception decorations. Family members chipped in to help decorate the reception hall. TREE, ANYONE? Adam works for the Nebraska Forest Service, so the couple incorporated trees and wood in the wedding with wooden centerpieces and a tree stub-shaped groom’s cake. The couple also gave out tree seedlings from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum as favors. MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT When René started walking down the aisle, she felt like she was walking through “the gates of heaven, and I was now calm and relieved because I was walking toward Adam.”


Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Thursday, April 9, 2015 9:30 am.

Designing Your Invites

The first hint guests will have of your wedding's style is your invitations. Make sure they represent it well. Sending something too cutesy is confusing if you're having an elegant formal wedding -- you don't want to accidentally prepare people to dress inappropriately. 

1. Pick Your Printing Process Engraving creates raised type and looks classic but can be pricey. Letterpress indents letters into the paper, lends and artisanal air to invites, and is often costly due to it's hand-done nature. Thermography, in which powder and resin are heated to form raised letters, mimics the look of engraving for less. Flat printing is versatile, affordable and works well for modern affairs.

2. Add Your Motif & Palette You might want to incorporate a custom icon, a crest or design element to give a sense of personalization. Also introduce your colors in the font or envelope liners and consider fun extras such as maps, destination info and coordinating stamps.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, April 8, 2015 10:00 am.

Bride Blogger // DIY Gold Leaf Details

Gold leafing details are all the rage right now in the wedding stationery world, but it can be pricey! My wedding colors are gray and gold, so I was looking for a way to incorporate some shine without busting my budget.

My invitations are “half-DIY” with the help of some great pre-made pockets from Cards & Pockets. I love this website because they have tons of colors and you can order samples of anything so you know the colors are juuuust right. As a graphic designer, I was able to locally print and cut my invitations and just insert them into the pockets. Still, I wanted that little something extra…

Here’s where this awesome Gold Leafing Pen by Krylon comes in! I picked up one of these from Michaels for just $8.99. Actually, it was less than $6.00 because who doesn’t use a 40% off coupon? Duh!

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 8:00 am.

Real Wedding // Dollie + Janusz

MASSAGE AT LIED LODGE We arrived at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City one afternoon and he had a surprise spa appointment waiting for me! When I came back from the massage he gave me a dozen of the most beautiful red roses I've ever seen and he got down on one knee and proposed. He could not wait until later at dinner as he originally planned. He was too excited! Afterwards, we enjoyed a wine tasting from the local vineyard as a newly engaged couple. Everyone at the lodge was congratulating us. It was definitely a memorable day! A BLUSHING BRIDE I chose a pink wedding dress and ivory bridesmaids dresses, a little backwards from the norm. STEAL-WORTHY IDEAS I made pressed flower lanterns out of wax paper, pressed garden flowers and $1 mason jars. Battery-operated candles fit perfectly inside. I also etched wine glasses with a monogram I designed and we used them as favors. They also make for a classy and affordable table decoration! BEST ADVICE Don't spend so much on your cake. It can be simple and elegant. I made my own cake toppers and added fresh wild flowers from whole foods!GOING SOLO Don't do it all by yourself. Ask for help before it's too late! MAKE IT YOUR OWN I made my own menus, name cards, table names, and bride Mad-Libs on my computer and printed them on kraft paper at home. It was easy and affordable.


Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Monday, April 6, 2015 9:30 am.


The exclusively digital real wedding bonus issue of Wedding Essentials is here!

There are so many sweet nuggets of special wedding day moments in this new real wedding issue you won't want to miss. 

If you're interested in submitting your own wedding (either as the bride or as the photographer) you can find those details here.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Friday, April 3, 2015 4:00 pm.

Bride Blogger // What's On The Menu?

Of all of the things involved in wedding planning, one of the items I was most looking forward to was meeting with caterers. Choosing Il Palazzo as our reception venue allowed us to choose from a list of preferred caterers, which included some of the most regarded catering professionals in town.

I was really excited to plan a feast for our guests that would help set the stage for a fun and festive celebration. After some deliberation, we decided to hire Attitude on Food. We felt that their menu was really innovative, there were several options that fit within our budget, and I feel like their attention to detail in presentation really sets them apart. In chatting with our event producer, Shelby Bartels, I discovered that not only is she a catering guru, she's also a newlywed! So of course I had to pick her brain to see what helpful gems Shelby could offer Omaha's brides and she was kind enough to sit down for a few questions. 

Miss Vino & Vintage: After a couple gets engaged, how soon should they contact potential caterers?  

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Thursday, April 2, 2015 11:00 am.

In Case of Rain // A Contingency Plan

Whenever a bride plans to have an outdoor wedding, the weather is always a consideration. But, the biggest question is how to plan your Plan B. What's the timeline? When should I start making those alternate arrangements. The truth is, it's all going to depend on a last minute call but there are things you can do ahead of time that will make that decision easier.

And since we love helping brides, we've put together a short and sweet list of seven things you should do to help make your outdoor wedding plans go smoothly. The more you can do ahead of time, the better. 

  1. Hire a wedding planner.
  2. Buy event insurance.
  3. choose an alternate location or rent a tent.
  4. Tell guests as soon as you make the call as to whether or not you'll be hosting the event outdoors or not. Use "In Case Of" cards.
  5. Be waterproof -- umbrellas, wellies & mascara.
  6. Enjoy the moment -- dance in the rain.
  7. Drying station -- towels, toiletries, blow dryers, etc.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, April 1, 2015 11:23 am.

Real Weddings // Submission Info


1. 30-40 images -- think 90% details, 10% bride/groom/wedding party. For print, photos must be 300 dpi, CMYK, at least 9x12 inches, JPEG. For online, photos must be 150 dpi, RGB, at least 9x12 inches, JPEG.

2. A vendor list. The more the merrier.

Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Styled shoots, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 9:00 am.

Behind the Scenes // Styled Shoot

We love pulling together a super creative team to create wedding-inspired styled shoot magic. Here's a peek behind the scenes at our latest styled shoot for our Spring/Summer 2015 issue.

A special thanks goes out to Tin Box Weddings, Rachel Richards, Stories Coffeehouse, Rhylan Lang, Develop Model Management, Linea Mae, Kate Luchsinger, Events in Bloom, 14 Karat, GC Gems, Tip Top Tux, Borsheims, Dillard's and Alotta Brownies for helping to make this shoot possible.

Posted in Blog, Styled shoots, Weddingessentials on Monday, March 30, 2015 10:42 am.

PREVIEW // Bonus Issue

Every issue we get loads of beautiful real weddings submitted for print (yay!) but the bummer thing is that due to limited space, we can't fit every one into the magazine. The solution? A totally rad, completely inspirational, ad-free bonus issue with an unlimited page-count! *happy dance*

Right now we're putting the finishing touches on this bonus issue beauty -- so stay tuned! For now, here's a little sneak peek. 

If you haven't seen our Spring/Summer 2015 issue, flip through the pages here.

Posted in Blog, Realweddings, Weddingessentials on Friday, March 27, 2015 11:40 am.

Omaha Wedding Professionals

We know that finding the right vendors for your wedding can be half the challenge of planning your big day. It's important to pull together the perfect creative team. Luckily, we've got all of our preferred vendors all in one place. This is one resource you'll want to bookmark!

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

Floral // 5 Basic Vases

Doing your own flowers? Start with the right vase for your arrangements to look their best.


An hourglass that is narrow at the neck and full on the bottom. Good for mixed bouquets or a large bunch of the same kind of flower, preferably in the same color.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Wednesday, March 25, 2015 12:33 pm.

Chatty Brides

So you want to be a bride blogger? That's fantastic! 

The Wedding Essentials Team loves talking to brides-to-be in the Greater Omaha area. We’d love to hear your story and be able to share your wedding inspiration and connect our brides with the planning tools they need to make their dream wedding happen.

Posted in Blog, Chattybrides, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, March 24, 2015 5:26 pm.

12 Times You Need to Step Away From Pinterest

We know. The "Pin It" button is like crack to brides. We're addicted, too. However, there are times when you just need to take a break from the site of inspiration overload, which probably sounds easier that it is. If you fall into even one of these categories, you know what you need to do.

1. You have more than one wedding pin board.

2. Your pin boards have more than 300 pins.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials on Monday, March 23, 2015 10:30 am.