Weddings that Give Back

When it comes to planning a wedding, most couples focus on themselves. They think about what colors they like best, what flowers are their favorites and which cake flavors taste the yummiest. Of course your wedding is a celebration of your marriage, but what would happen if we thought about others at the same time?

This blog post offers examples from real brides of wonderful ways in which their big days helped others. The inspiration for this blog came from an Omaha couple we recently heard about who will be getting married this month at Scoular Ballroom. As they have received gifts off of their registry, they are donating their older items to Pilger, Nebraska, which was recently badly hit by storms. We were so inspired by this couple that we wanted to make a list of other ways to give back through a wedding.

Here are five great ideas.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Inspiration, Planning, Realweddings, Showers gifts on Wednesday, July 9, 2014 11:14 am.

Shoes//Finding The Perfect Fit

There’s no place like home, there’s no place like home ... Dorothy taught me the very important lesson that a great pair of shoes can make everything better. I’m thinking that my wedding shoes should be no different.

I really love shoes. I have a ridiculous amount of them, and I even plan outfits around my shoes sometimes. To date, I have bought and returned nine pairs of heels. They were too high, too low, not special enough or too crazy. I first bought a heel that I thought was pretty, but I quickly realized that there are so many other factors that go into this decision. They include:

-The height of the groom. Mr. Cloud Nine is very tall. I can pull off a tall heel, but I don’t want to be so uncomfortable that I will want to take them off halfway through the ceremony. If your groom is not on the tall side, then you may want to opt for a smaller heel or flat.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Beablogger, Ceremony, Inspiration, Planning on Monday, July 7, 2014 11:46 am.

One More Reason to Love Chocolate//DIY Mask

OK brides, here's another excuse to keep chocolate around the house. As if it doesn't already make us happy just by eating and smelling it, we have a new and fun way to use chocolate for beauty! Using chocolate is a natural way to exfoliate because it has essential vitamins that hydrate the skin, reverse sun damage and firm/tone-up the skin. This is the perfect way to start preparing for your big day!

Elizabeth Garcia of Elizabeth's Secret Beauty Bar in Miami has shared her recipe for this chocolate mask that can be used on the face, body or feet:


Posted in Weddingessentials, Blog, Diy projects, Engaged, Inspiration, Planning on Tuesday, July 1, 2014 12:32 pm.

Just "Brilliance"

Imagine the chance to take home your favorite styles of wedding rings to try on and wear as you please! Well, we have stumbled upon a way to do just that! 3D rings recently arrived in the mail at the office from Brilliance, an online jewelry company that offers hundreds of options for customizing your engagement or wedding ring.

While they may not be as brilliant as diamonds themselves, wearing these rings at home can be beneficial in many ways. With a wedding band being such a large and lasting purchase, no one wants to rush into a decision - yet no one wants to spend several hours in a jewelry store either. With the freedom to wear the 3D versions of rings you like for longer periods of time, you can be that much more certain of your decision.

So check out today and ask about what can arrive in your mailbox. Happy ring hunting!

Posted in Weddingessentials, Blog, Engaged, Inspiration on Monday, June 30, 2014 3:08 pm.

Just Wait Until You See It//The Hills Event Center

The Hills Event Center has been remodeled, and your jaw is going to drop when you see it.  

We attended the venue's grand reopening event, and we saw several cute displays and decor ideas. Between the remodeled venue and the new bridal suites, this may just be the perfect spot for your city wedding.

The event showcased several vendors and stations throughout the room for every wedding need, from catering to flowers and cakes. Several dinner tables were set up as well - each with a different theme and design - complete with place settings and floral centerpieces. 

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Events, Planning, Receptionsites, Vendors on Friday, June 27, 2014 1:58 pm.

Kids in the Wedding//Real Wedding Photos

After all of this talk about kids in weddings this week, we wanted to give you a little inspiration through pictures from a real wedding. We thought photographer Willow Noavi did an excellent job capturing these adorable kids at Felicia and Tyler Lilly's hot air balloon-themed wedding. Happy Friday! 

Posted in Weddingessentials, Blog on Friday, June 27, 2014 12:54 pm.

Kids in the Wedding//Flower Girl Dresses

As you're deciding on your own gown and those for your bridal party, don’t forget about your flower girl. She will be one of the first members of your wedding party that guests will see coming down the aisle, so give that little girl a dress that she'll feel really special in!

We've been looking for the latest trends, and we found some gorgeous dresses from designer Courtney Prince. These dresses are made from the finest fabrics and they showcase exquisite details.

Prince’s goal is to redefine the flower girl dress market, and to bring the same quality and attention to detail to each dress like it is done with bridal gowns.  She prides herself on intricately designing and hand-making each piece to add a striking effect to everyone’s special day. The dresses retail for between $400 and $800. Visit

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Planning on Thursday, June 26, 2014 1:18 pm.

Kids in the Wedding//Food

Children usually have a smaller and much simpler appetite than adults. So when you're planning the food for your wedding, you might want to consider some other options for your young guests. (Figure that children ages 13 and up can eat an adult meal.) The kids will not only be happier, but you'll save money if you serve what they love.

Talk to your caterer since many vendors offer a discount on small portions and menu items geared toward children.

Here are a few food ideas that kids are sure to love:

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Events, Inspiration, Planning on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 1:14 pm.

Kids in the Wedding//Keep Young Guests Happy

If children will be at your wedding, you might have already started brainstorming good ways to keep them occupied. While kids can be a lot of fun, the last thing a bride needs is added stress related to guests who are misbehaving.

While there are a lot of great ideas out there for a kid's table, we wanted to provide some out-of-the-box ways to guarantee a fun night for young people of all ages.

1. Designate a separate area for play: Regardless of what types of games/activities you have available, make sure you have a space away from the dance floor designated for kids. If you want this to be in a separate room, consider who will watch over the children while they are there.

Posted in Weddingessentials, Blog, Events, Inspiration, Planning on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 11:41 am.

Kids in the Wedding//Who to Include

The idea of having kids involved in a wedding sounds pleasant for some  - and stressful for others. While kids can be sweet and funny and make the cutest little flower girls and ring bearers out there, they can also have a reputation for screaming, crying and running around.

This week, we are here to help with the kid factor. We have ideas on how to handle kids of all ages, and we leave nothing out.  

Who to invite:

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Ceremony, Inspiration, Planning on Monday, June 23, 2014 11:47 am.

Hey Good-Lookin'//Hilton Gets a Makeover

 The Omaha Hilton got a makeover this spring. And, my oh my! She’s never looked better.

 We had our first look by special invitation at the end of May, and we can’t stop thinking about the rich shades of copper, blue and gray that have been introduced into the ballrooms. The look is elegant and sophisticated, yet young and vibrant. And it's fairly neutral, which means you don’t have to stress over your wedding colors clashing with the décor.

 The main ballroom (capacity 800) shimmered in silver for last month’s “Decade of Diamonds” soiree celebrating 10 years of four-star ratings for the tony downtown Omaha hotel. The catering staff, headed by Kam Sukhon, pulled out all the stops for a decadent evening of sipping and noshing. Ice sculptures, oysters Rockefeller, a sushi bar, charcuterie – there was so much to take in.     

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Ceremony, Events, Receptionsites on Friday, June 20, 2014 1:17 pm.

Keep Your Guests Happy//Four Wedding Must-Haves

In the past two years alone, the amount of money that guests spend to attend a wedding has increased by 74 percent! When you figure in transportation, the gift, a hotel room, etc., it seems only fair that your wedding is fun for everyone involved. 

Longtime wedding photographer Eric Gulbrandson has some insight on what makes guests happy.

1. Have plenty of food and drinks: Running out of food is about as bad as it can get. Make sure there is enough for everyone. If you're worried about cost, add a snack bar with less-expensive foods such as popcorn and nachos. 

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Ceremony, Inspiration, Planning on Thursday, June 19, 2014 12:02 pm.

De-Stress Before You Wear the Dress//Secret Bridal Beauty Product

We’ve found it! It’s the single product that really does it all. If you haven’t already heard, coconut oil has been found to be the perfect (and inexpensive) home remedy for all of your beauty needs - just in time for your wedding day! While there are more than 50 ways to use coconut oil, we picked out a few favorites to share with you.

  • Skin moisturizer: Rub a small amount of coconut oil in your hands to liquefy the product, and then rub it directly into your skin. Wait until you feel the silky-smooth results! Bonus: It acts as a natural sunscreen.
  • Teeth whitener: This may sound odd, but swishing a spoonful of coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes has several benefits for your mouth. It not only whitens teeth, but it also helps with overall mouth health. We know that 20 minutes sounds like a long time, so do it while watching your favorite TV show or cooking dinner. It will make the time fly. 
  • Cooking: Are you watching your figure before the big day? Substitute butter with coconut oil when frying foods. 
  • De-frizz your hair: Rub a little bit on your hands and apply to your hair when the humidity wants to take over.
  • Cuts/Burns/Irritation: If you have a little pre-wedding slip up, apply coconut oil to the cut, burn or other irritation to soothe and erase redness.

You can find coconut oil at most grocery stores.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Inspiration on Wednesday, June 18, 2014 11:29 am.

De-stress Before Wearing the Dress//Yoga

While any form of physical activity can help alleviate stress, yoga is one of the best ways to strengthen your mind and your body. It also makes you feel calm. Take time to incorporate yoga into your day, even if it's only for 10 minutes. Motivate yourself by asking a friend to join you when signing up for a class. Don't forget your cute yoga clothes, gym bag, yoga mat (great registry gift idea!) and water bottle.

Here are some health benefits that will make you get your yoga mat out before the day is over.

A Positive Outlook: Yoga can make you happy and give you an optimistic outlook - something every bride needs.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Inspiration on Tuesday, June 17, 2014 12:27 pm.

De-stress Before Wearing the Dress//Food & Drink

Everyone knows that planning a wedding is in some ways enjoyable and in other ways ... quite stressful. Not only is a bride overseeing many details and making a lot of decisions, but she is living her everyday life as well.

If you're feeling stressed, we are here to help! This week, we'll provide some insider tips and tricks to help you take care of your mind and body in the days or months leading up to your wedding - and beyond.

Beauty comes from the inside, and what you put into your body does make a difference. Want to feel energized, de-stressed and receive beauty benefits such as glowing skin and brighter eyes at the same time? (I bet we already know the answer to that question!) Make a few swaps in your diet, and you will be amazed by the effects they can have. 

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Inspiration, Planning on Monday, June 16, 2014 12:11 pm.

The Perfect Blend//Finishing Touches

A guest should never leave with an empty stomach - or in this case, an empty hand! Your shower guests should have a little something to take home with them. It's a thoughtful way to say thank you and give your party a personal touch. 

We think that coffee (of course) is the answer for the perfect gift. What will make this gift extra fun is how you wrap it. We're feeling inspired by what other brides have done at their showers, such as wrap fresh coffee beans in cute brown goodie bags. This is a simple DIY that anyone can make.

Here's what you need: Your favorite coffee beans, brown paper bags (check your local craft stores), string and a "thank you" stamp + ink or your own design tools.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Diy projects, Inspiration, Showers gifts on Friday, June 13, 2014 11:53 am.

The Perfect Blend//Shower Games

What's a party without games? After settling in and having a few cups of coffee, ask your bridal party to participate in a friendly competition. Whether you want your friends to answer questions about you or your fiance, or you want to play a game unrelated to the wedding, including a game or quiz at your shower kicks the fun level up a notch.

Here are some ideas:

Crossword Puzzle: What else do people usually do while they sip their coffee? Include questions about you, your fiance, your dating life and other details that your guests will have fun thinking about. Make your own personalized crossword online at

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Inspiration, Showers gifts on Thursday, June 12, 2014 11:40 am.

The Perfect Blend//Sweet Treats

Most people would agree that there's nothing like pairing a fresh cup of coffee with a delicate pastry. That being said, we're thinking a sweet treat is a must for a coffee-inspired party.

While doughnuts might be the first thing that comes to mind, here are some pastry ideas that will pleasantly surprise your guests.

P.S. Be sure to have something savory on-hand to pair with the pastries so your guests don't have a sugar overload!

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Events, Inspiration, Showers gifts on Wednesday, June 11, 2014 1:50 pm.

The Perfect Blend//DIY Coffee Candles

The smell of coffee is lingering in the office today as we experiment with decor ideas for a coffee-themed bridal shower!

Yesterday we mentioned using coffee filters as florals to hang on a wall near your coffee bar. Today, we are showing you a cute idea for table decor that is quick, easy and fun to make!

What you need: Coffee beans, candle holders, tealight candles and decorating tools (paper, ribbon, string, glitter, etc.).

Posted in Blog, Diy projects, Engaged, Events, Inspiration, Showers gifts, Weddingessentials on Tuesday, June 10, 2014 12:23 pm.

Bridal Shower//The Perfect Blend

Picture yourself in a warm, cozy room with your best friends and the smell of coffee lingering in the air. You have a cup of your favorite coffee blend in front of you. It's light, bubbly and sweet - just how a bridal shower should be!

Love is brewing ...You're cordially invited to watch us this week as we explore a coffee-themed bridal shower! We'll give you ideas on how to decorate, what to serve and how to incorporate fun games. 

We hope to inspire you to consider this theme for yourself or someone you know.

Posted in Blog, Weddingessentials, Engaged, Events, Inspiration, Showers gifts on Monday, June 9, 2014 1:00 am.