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your ultimate wedding resource

GSPRING litters All That $4.95



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CONGRATULATIONS Dear Brides-to-be,

your ultimate wedding resource


Congratulations on your recent engagement! Before you get overwhelmed with the endless details of planning the wedding of your dreams, take a deep breath, grab a cup of coffee and snuggle into your favorite chair with our new issue of NWD. It doesn’t matter if you are planning an event for 30 or 300, you’re about to find what you’ve been looking for! We’ve spent the entire year dreaming up new inspiration we are sure will take your breath away. We heard you wanted more eye candy, more ideas and more trends. From dazzling floral designs (page 80) to the most stunning fashion spreads (page 66), we can’t wait for you to see everything we’ve created in this totally redesigned and inspiring issue. This year our own Creative Director, Megan, got married. We can’t wait to give you a peak at her love of all things wedding, and we feel her blush and champagne color palette will inspire you too. Check out all the details on page 99. We have developed and designed this issue for you. From the table of contents to the last page, we went back to the drawing board and asked ourselves, “What do you, the bride, like? What do you need to know? How can we best assist you with your planning?” Megan & Courtney We want to offer you more of what you want: glorious details and unique concepts, tips and trends and finally, our ever faithful planning tools. In addition to all of our new ideas, we kept one thing the same – our commitment to present you with the finest wedding professionals in the industry. Without the support of these Nebraska wedding professionals, this valuable resource would not be possible. So as you visit with them be sure to let them know Nebraska WeddingDay is your planning tool of choice. Don’t miss out on our blog, updated daily with creative inspiration. Also, don’t forget to visit our website where you can take virtual tours, view videos and use social media to connect with your favorite vendors. In the hustle and bustle of gown fittings and managing RSVPs remember your wedding day is just that. One day. The first day of the rest of your life together. From all of us at NWD and more than 160 of Nebraska’s finest wedding professionals, many blessings and happy planning! Courtney Lockridge Publisher

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weddingday nebraska


Cour tney Lockridge


Dave Lockridge


Megan Cooper


Judi Privett Chelsea Amundson Suzanne Geist Kelcie Keeling


Studio Graphics Suzi Velinski Anne Blankenbiller Tracy Brester Kristen Castillo Molly Davenpor t Sue Durio Leila Kalmbach Kelly Krause Holly Laffer ty Megan Cooper Jean Hailey Joy Armstrong Katie Kafka

FOR THE WEDDING PROFESSIONAL If you have a product or service to sell in the bridal market, Nebraska WeddingDay provides year-long adver tising, monthly brides lists and a highly popular web site geared specifically to the wedding industry.

NEBRASKA WEDDINGDAY MAGAZINE is published annually by Nebraska WeddingDay Inc. ©Copyright 2012. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any par t of this publication without the express written consent of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Nebraska WeddingDay is a registered trademark. The use of the trademark is strictly prohibited. The information in this publication is believed to be accurate. However, Nebraska WeddingDay cannot and does not guarantee its accuracy. Nebraska WeddingDay cannot and will not be held liable for the quality or performance of goods and services provided by adver tisers or any other por tion of this publication.

For adver tising information, contact:

Nebraska WeddingDay Telephone: 402.489.0531 Fax: 866.333.1301 E-mail: Website: Lincoln, Nebraska





Planning 10 16

12 Month Countdown What to Ask Your Vendors

Home 20 24 26

Professional Tips for Registering Making It Legal Nebraska Marriage License Information

2012 Edition



Fashion 42 46 48 52 56 62

Menswear Trends Hear tfelt Heirlooms Reality vs. Reality TV Say Yes to the Dress Safe-Keeping for Years to Come Bridal Gown Basics What’s Your Bridal Style

Wedding Day Emergency Kit

Seasonal Insert Beauty 28 33 38

Skin Care Leading Up to the Big Day Ring Shopping 101 Dazzling Diamonds

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66-79 80-85 86 88-96

Fashion Tablescapes Do It Yourself Projects Real Weddings






Receptions 97 99 102 104 108 112 122 126 128 131 132 134 138 141

Reception Timeline Wir th-Cooper Real Wedding Design Formula Pre-Wedding Celebrations 10 Steps to a Smooth Wedding Day

2012 Edition



142 144 147 148 150 153

Advantages To A Shor t Guest List Off-Premise Catering Options Keeping Traditions A Guide To Tipping Your Vendors Trends In Wedding Enter tainment Reception Guide

Planning the Guest List What’s Your Style A Classic Toast A Night to Remember

Destination Weddings 162 166

Southern Hospitality Destination Wedding Planning

Cocktail Hour Signature Cocktails Reception Trends We Love Seven Wedding Myths Scenes From A Celebration

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Newest Newlyweds 172

Newest Newlyweds


Visit and to experience all that Nebraska WeddingDay has to offer!






178 184 186 190 193 194 197 200

234 236

203 204 207 208 212 220

Designer Insight: Wedding Ideas to Consider Bouquet Breakdown


Honeymoon Close to Home Preparing for the Honeymoon

Selecting a Floral Designer Sweet Treats for Your Big Day Cake Toppers & Stands Craft Your Way Down The Aisle When Two Become One Save The Date Tips On Announcing Your Wedding Invitation Do’s & Don’ts

Details 222 225 226 229 240

Bride Bloggers Tell All At Home In... Nebraska Ask The Editor From One Bride to Another Behind the Scenes

Invitation Etiquette Guide to Central Nebraska Keeping Family Ties 10 Trends in Wedding Rentals Inspired by... |





2012 Edition

Meet the Experts 32 40 54 64 160 176

Borsheims Tip Top Tux Brighten Photography Ellynne Bridal Eliza Por trait Design Blooms and Bouquets

credits COVER









Photo by Geoff Johnson Photographer

Photo by Melenbacker Photography

Dress: Allure Bridals, Ellynne Bridal

Dress: Watters, Ellynne Bridal



Photo by Brighten Photography

Photo by Attanasio Photography Bouquet by Blooms and Bouquets

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COUNTDOWN First Things First ... Before announcing your engagement, inform your families. Traditionally, the bride’s parents are told first, followed by the groom’s parents. Photo by:

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Geoff Johnson Photographer

• Establish your budget early, with maximum amounts for each event/activity. Determine expense responsibilities for specific events. • Shop for engagement and wedding rings. If you want custom-made rings, plan this early in your schedule. • Decide on the style, formality and size of your wedding. • Set your tentative wedding date. • Choose your wedding consultant. • Prepare your tentative guest list. • Choose your attendants; get a firm commitment to each event. Determine all pertinent clothing sizes for each. • Select your ceremony location and consult with the officiant who will perform the ceremony, then choose a firm wedding date. Begin planning your ceremony and determine any pre-marital requirements. • Choose and reserve the reception location. • Select your designer to help create the atmosphere of your wedding. • Plan rehearsal dates and times with your officiant and locations. • Choose and reserve the location for your rehearsal dinner. • Choose the color scheme and style for your ceremony and wedding attire. • Begin shopping for the bridal gown, headpiece, and attendants’ attire. • Schedule your gown fittings, alterations and delivery date. • Choose your attendant’s dresses and accessories. Schedule fittings and delivery dates, and notify your attendants.


• Start the selection process for your wedding professionals: • Contact a photographer/ videographer early; some are booked as much as a year in advance. • Decide your type of enter tainment and choose the right professional. • Choose your caterer if not included with your reception site. • Select your mode of transportation. • Begin the selection of your florist, and/or ice sculptor. • Determine any party rental needs and select an appropriate professional. • Select your invitations, thank you notes and any other stationery. • Consult a travel agent or visit websites for honeymoon plans.

SIX TO NINE MONTHS PRIOR • Begin compiling guest list names and addresses. • Choose your gift registry and begin recording your selections. • Get engagement photographs taken by your photographer. • Set up your engagement announcement with your local newspaper. • Finalize your wedding professional choices and secure with a deposit: • Photographer • Videographer • Caterer

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• Florist • Ceremony Music • Reception Entertainment • Party Rentals • Stationer • Other • Choose groom’s attire. Schedule fittings, alterations and delivery or pick up date. • Select and order the groom’s attendants’ attire. Schedule fittings and delivery or pick up dates, and notify the attendants.

FOUR TO SIX MONTHS PRIOR • Meet with each of your wedding professionals and continue to plan each event. Finalize ordering and reservations for each event. • Meet with your florist and complete your selections for bouquets, boutonnieres, table arrangements, etc. and confirm delivery times. • Finalize guest list. • Choose and reserve accommodations for all of your out-of-town guests. Compile a list of local activities for them during their stay in Nebraska. • Finalize selection and order your invitations and all related stationery. • Set up and maintain records of gifts and begin sending thank you notes. • Select a baker, order wedding cake, groom’s cake and any other confectionery needs. • Shop for and purchase trousseau.

• Help parents select and coordinate their formal attire. • Research all legal requirements – blood tests and marriage license. • Don’t forget... begin your beauty regimen early.

TWO TO THREE MONTHS PRIOR • Make a list of who you want to speak at each event and in what order, and contact each person. • Order favors and gifts. Purchase cake knives, ring pillow, toasting goblets and other accessories. • Address invitations and announcements and mail out-of-town invitations. Include maps to all event sites with invitations. • Continue writing thank you notes. • Finalize honeymoon and travel plans.

FOUR TO SIX WEEKS PRIOR • Reserve wedding day appointments with your hair stylist for you and your attendants. Get any perms, color, cut or new style done early. • Make pre-wedding beauty appointments for you and your attendants for manicure, massage, spa, etc. • Select a make-up artist for your wedding day and your bridal portrait session. • Get bridal portrait taken and framed for reception. • Make plans and reservations for an attendants’ party. • Address and mail all local invitations. Include maps to all event sites with invitations. • Begin RSVP counts. • Finalize all attire fittings. • Pick up wedding rings. • Select and purchase attendants’ gifts and a wedding gift for your new spouse. • Obtain your marriage license. • If you are moving, finalize all moving details.

• Confirm all appointments.

• See hairdresser and make-up artist early.

• Confirm all ceremony and rehearsal details.

• The bride should transfer engagement ring to the right hand.

• Confirm all counts with food and beverage caterers.

• Be dressed and ready about two hours before ceremony for picturetaking.

• Plan seating arrangements. • Finalize all rehearsal dinner details.

• Relax... if you followed your planned schedule, the rest of the day should be easy.

AFTER THE WEDDING • Write & mail thank-you notes. • Take care of business, banking, change of address, etc. NWD 2





• Finalize all song lists and entertainment details. • Finalize photographer and videographer details. • Finalize arrangements for all professional services and transportation needs. • Confirm guest accommodations. • Plan honeymoon wardrobes and luggage needs. • Obtain all travel tickets and confirm reservations. • Arrange for gown, bouquet and cake preservation.

THE LAST WEEK • Arrange for pickup of bridal ensemble. • Best man should confirm final fittings for the groom and ushers; and schedule return of groom’s tuxedo and rental equipment. • Assign post-wedding tasks to wedding party. • Prepare envelopes for payments or donations to ceremony officials and musicians. • Give gifts to wedding party, family and fiancé. • Attend the rehearsal dinner and attendants’ party.

THE DAY BEFORE • Finish packing for the wedding night and honeymoon. • Gather all wedding day items. Entrust payment envelopes to the best man for tomorrow. • Assure that “getaway” car will be at reception site – packed and ready to go.


How do you know if you’re asking the right questions or if they’re giving you everything you need to make an informed decision? Many times, brides don’t ask the right questions. After all, for most women, it’s their first time doing this. Who could expect you to predict everything you may encounter with your vendors? Luckily, Nebraska WeddingDay is here to give you the scoop on the best queries you can come up with to ensure you don’t end up paying $500 for an unexpected cost on your big day. First off, request every vendor provide at least three references! This is the most important question you can ask.



VENDORS One of the biggest challenges you will face in your wedding planning comes from the avalanche of questions and information you will have relating to your vendors and their services. Written by: Holly Lafferty | Photos by: Attanasio Photography

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Will you come up with a timeline and communicate it to all vendors? This one is fairly basic, but a lot of brides make the assumption a planner will do this without confirming it. When the big day arrives, she may be shocked to learn that her planner didn’t confirm a drop-off time with the florist. Do not let this simple expectation be overlooked! Are you willing to do the dirty work for me? In other words, if your future mother-in-law is overstepping her bounds or your maid of honor is complaining about helping, will your planner be okay with stepping in and addressing the situation so you don’t have the added stress?

Do you have connections? Many times a planner is worth the money because her relationships with vendors will help you get discounts. This is a huge plus and definitely a selling point for a particular planner. Are you well-versed in contracts? You want your planner to be familiar with all kinds of different vendor contracts. She should know what fine print to look for. It may save you a lot of headaches if she catches something that would have tacked on a huge cost. Will you stay within budget? You don’t want a planner that tries to pressure you into hiring her favorite photographer if said photographer costs $1,000 more than you allotted. Your planner should respect your limitations and work within them, not try to push you to blow them.

PHOTOGRAPHERS What’s your style? A few examples would be traditional, photojournalistic/candid and impressionistic. The best way to get a feel for a photographer’s style is to see their work. You definitely want a photographer whose style meshes with your preferences. Don’t pick someone based solely on your budget because you won’t be happy with the end result. And be sure to ask to see a full wedding, not just the highlights. How many useable photos do they get out of 1,000+ images? How many photographers will be shooting the wedding? If they have someone else shooting, this can be great in ensuring all of those little moments aren’t overlooked. But you also want to be certain you won’t be charged extra to have another photographer on hand. Make sure you check all of the hidden costs for overtime, extra photographers, and the like. Can you provide me with a list of photos to be taken? When it comes to the posed family photos, your photographer should either have a list of images he or she will take, or accept a list from you of all the images you want to make sure he or she captures. You can’t go back and rewind if he or she doesn’t get an image of you with your mom and dad. How does proofing/printing work? Many photographers these days do online proofs you are able to choose from for individualized prints. Some photographers provide a CD of all images. It’s important for you to know exactly when to expect your images to be done, how you’ll be able to view them, if others will be able to view and order them and what costs are included in your photo package. Do cer tain things require an extra charge? This goes for engagement sessions as well. Are they included in your wedding package? Have you shot weddings at my venue before? It’s really helpful if a photographer is comfortable with your venue. If he or she hasn’t shot a wedding there, that doesn’t necessarily mean you need to count them out. If he or she is willing to do a walk-through and

check out the property before the wedding, that says a lot about his or her customer service and also the motivation to do his or her best possible work.

VENUES Is my wedding date available? How many people can the space accommodate? Will there be other events going on during your wedding? Are outside caterers welcome? These are all fairly obvious, but no less important. Cover your bases! What is the weather contingency plan? If you’re having a tented or outdoor reception, does your location have a back-up space? The worst thing possible would be to have an outdoor reception in the pouring rain because your venue didn’t have another option. Are tables, chairs, linens, and dishware available? If so, are you going to be charged extra to use them? Or will you need to find these rentals elsewhere? This could add a pretty significant cost to your wedding if you haven’t planned ahead. What are your accommodations for entertainment? Does the venue have an area for a live band to perform? Will they only be able to make room for a DJ? How large is the dance floor? How late can the band or DJ perform? These are all important questions to ask as you plan ahead for your entertainment. |



What are the service charges? Make sure you know if there’s going to be an additional service charge, what taxes are and what the deposit/refund policies are. There can be many hidden costs that you may be unaware of unless you do your homework.

FLORISTS Will you be handling my floral design personally or will it be someone else? If you make a connection with your florist and you love their style, you want to be certain they will be the one putting together your designs. If they don’t even work on the day of your wedding, that may be a problem. (If they’re working with a team, you want to make sure they’ll be a part of that team.) What recommendations would you make for my budget? You may have a specific floral design in mind, but your florist should know alternative blooms that can help you stay in budget and still flow with the design scheme you envision. They should be up on trends and know how to work them into your style. Are you familiar with my ceremony and reception locations? More than any other vendor, a florist really needs to be knowledgeable about your venue. She should be able to design something that enhances a site’s good points and works well with your style. As is the case with the photographer, they should be willing to tour the space if they haven’t already worked there.

How many weddings do you typically schedule for one day? You want to make sure your florist isn’t going to be taking on a huge number of weddings on your big day. Keep in mind that a lot goes into how many they may accept, including the size of their team and their business. However, if it seems to you that they have an unreasonably large amount of clients that day, go with your gut and look elsewhere. What design styles are you comfortable with? Every florist has a distinct style. Make sure their vision meshes with yours. If they’re modern and cutting-edge but you want something traditional and simple, you may end up being taken aback by the results on your wedding day. They should have examples of weddings they have done that are similar to your vision. Choose someone who isn’t going to give you an unpleasant shock the day of your wedding!

CAKE ARTISTS How do you price your cakes? Some bakers price them by the slice, and some styles and flavors cost more than others. Others have a minimum per-person cost. Make sure you’re educated on the cost before selecting your cake. What flavors do you offer? Unless you’re going with traditional white cake, you want to make sure your prospective baker offers the fillings and frosting you want. Taste tests are a welcome part of the interviewing process. Are there additional fees for delivering and setting up the cake? Many bakers will include this in their price, but some may tack it on as an extra charge. You don’t want an ugly surprise when you receive your bill. What happens if the cake is damaged? This is something you don’t want to happen, of course, but what if it does? Will the baker be available for last-minute fixes? Will there be a refund or discount of some sort? Are you able to create a custom cake or are there specific designs for me to choose from? Your cake artist should be comfortable with a photo of a cake if you have something specific you want her to create. If you’re not sure, hopefully they will have some examples to show you that may inspire you.

CATERERS How does your pricing work? Does the caterer have a minimum cost per person? Is the gratuity included in the cost or will it be an additional charge? Once again, make sure you are educated about the pricing and how your caterer will bill you. What do you recommend for my event? Given your guest list and the location of your wedding, your caterer should have some suggestions about whether a buffet or plated dinner will work best, and also some ideas about the type of food that would work well with the style of your event. 18 | nebraska weddingday

Attanasio Photography



How will you present the food? This is a wedding, after all. Most caterers will have put some thought into presentation and how the spread looks, not just how it tastes. You don’t want a fantastic meal to look bland. How much experience do you have? Find out how long the caterer has been in business. Ask them how many weddings they do per year. This will give you a good idea of the breadth of their experience. Will there be someone to manage things on-site? It’s important for your caterer to have not only a reasonable number of servers on hand but also a banquet manager who will make sure things are running smoothly. This person will coordinate with your wedding planner to make sure everything is happening at the designated time. There are an infinite number of questions that you can ask your vendors to put your mind at ease. This list is by no means comprehensive, but it should give you a good start as you meet with your prospective vendors. After all, these people will be an important part of your big day. You want to make sure you feel comfortable with them and the services they’re offering. It will help make your day run smoothly and give you peace of mind so you can kick back, relax and enjoy your wedding! NWD |




REGISTERING 20 | nebraska weddingday

1. Take inventory of what you have and what you need. You will have to decide what each of you want to keep and what you would like brand new. One or both of you will probably have to get rid of some things. 2. If you have the time, plan your first visit to just look around to determine what your style is. Looking around first will help you establish your style without the need to make actual selections. 3. Remember the basics. Flashy, trendy items are fun, but you also need everyday things.The inventory sheet you received from your wedding consultant will come in handy at this time.


4. Consider making more than one visit to complete your registry. When you are planning an entire home, you need to pace yourselves. Don’t stress one another out by trying to get it all done in one trip. 5. Select items with a wide range of prices, remembering to cover both shower and wedding gifts.You will need a variety of gifts to cater to the variety of financial situations your guests may be in. 6. Register according to your wants, tastes and needs. Keep in mind who your guests are and the likelihood of receiving the gifts you have selected. 7. The number of gifts you select for your registry is generally determined by the number of guests you have invited to the wedding. Too many items could result in you not getting everything you need, while too few could result in guests picking out gifts themselves (translation – duplicate items and many returns!). 8. When should you register? Obviously, registering before sending out shower invitations or wedding announcements is a good idea, but also consider the season. For example, if you’re getting married in late winter, you may want to register before the holidays (in other words – Christmas gifts!). Also, consider retail timing – is a clearance season coming up soon? 22 | nebraska weddingday

9. Some items you may register for are more seasonal than others. Table linen and bed linen styles change more frequently than most other types of merchandise, so some couples prefer to wait until closer to the wedding to register for these items. On the other hand, if you register for these early, they may be reduced before the wedding, giving your guests an opportunity to purchase them at a lower price. 10. Your wedding consultant is there to help you and answer any questions you may have. Good communication is the key to staying apprised of specials the store might be running or other important issues you may encounter along the way. 11. Register together. The gifts are for both of you; so as much as he may prefer to stay home and watch football, he needs to be there to help sort through the process. Plus, you know he’ll want to be in charge of the electronic portion of the registry. 12. Think about your lifestyle. Those crystal goblets may be gorgeous, but if you and your fiancé don’t typically entertain guests, they’re probably a waste. Nothing is more depressing than seeing a beautiful gift gathering dust in storage. 13. Go online. It’s ideal to have all of your registries available online; it makes it much easier for your guests (especially those from out of town) to select and order your gift – which also increases the likelihood of receiving gifts you requested instead of taking your chances with whatever your guests can find in their hometown. 14. Choose your stores wisely. Checking into a store’s return policy is essential. If it has a complicated and difficult return policy, you may want to choose a more flexible business. Register with places that make customer service the number one priority.



15. Don’t forget to say “thank you”. Send thoughtful thank-you notes to your guests in a timely manner. Don’t send a generic note to everyone; personalize each message and make sure you NWD name the gift. Guests will appreciate the extra effort. |



Tracy Brester Colleen Dustin Photography

Written by: Photo by:


Nebraska Marriage License Information

In Nebraska there is no waiting period to receive your marriage license, nor is there a waiting period to apply for it. A couple has one year from the time the license is issued for it to be considered valid, but getting it three to six months in advance is strongly suggested. If one spouse or the other has wed before in the state of Nebraska, you must wait six months and one day from the date the divorce is final before vowing again. This is only applicable if the original marriage license is from Nebraska. Each state has its own stipulations as to the waiting period after a divorce to be re-married and Nebraska adheres to others states’ laws regarding such. The following are specific requirements to obtain your marriage license. • To obtain a license the applicant must be 19 years of age or older and must have the proper identification. • A valid Nebraska driver’s license or a passport must be presented at the time of application. • You must apply together and in person at your County Clerk’s office. • You need to know your parents’ birthplaces and your mother’s maiden name. • The cost is $15.00.

WHERE TO GO: Douglas County Register of Deeds

Sarpy County Register of Deeds

Seward County Clerk

1819 Farnham Suite H-09, Omaha (402) 444-7143

1301 South Washington, Papillion (402) 593-2105

529 Seward Street, Seward (402) 643-2883

Lancaster County Register of Deeds

Otoe County Clerk Register of Deeds

York County Clerk

555 South 10th Street, Lincoln (402) 441-7484

1021 Central Ave., Nebraska City (402) 873-9505

510 Lincoln Ave., York (402) 362-7759

To hear the most recent marriage license requirements in Nebraska call the HOTLINE at (402) 441-8448 24 | nebraska weddingday



Emergency Kit Prepare yourself for any small mishaps on your wedding day with this Bride’s Day-Of Kit. Ask your Maid of Honor to collect these items and carry them in a tote throughout the day. • Bobby Pins • Concealer • Color Stick/Powder • Sewing Kit • Advil

• Make Up Remover

• Gum

• Lip Balm

• Hair Essentials

• Mini Nail Grooming Kit

• Blotting Papers

• Eye Drops

• Super Glue

• Comb • Safety Pins • Lotion • Hair Ties • Hairspray • Sunglasses

• Double-Sided Tape • Static Guard • Nail Polish • Tissues • Washcloth • Deodorant • Mini Scissors (to clip loose threads) • Second Pair of Underwear • Cough Drops

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• Floss • Toothpaste • Tampons


Here, you’ll learn how to choose the right cleanser, toner, exfoliator and moisturizer for your skin, as well as which foods will improve your skin from the inside out.



BIG DAY Yes, you’ve made arrangements for the perfect makeup for your big day. But even the most experienced professional can’t hide everything. Star t caring for your skin now so you’ll have the most flawless complexion possible when it really counts. Written by:

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Leila Kalmbach |

Photo by:

Peters Photography

It’s important to use a cleanser intended specifically for the face. This is because your facial skin is more acidic than the skin on your body, and the cleanser you use will reflect this. When you change your facial skin’s pH, you’re more likely to get skin irritations and blemishes. These days, there are so many options for facial cleansers that the choice can be daunting. Cleansers are designed to remove dirt and oil from your face, but while you’re at it, you can find cleansers that claim to give all sorts of other benefits as well. The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing a cleanser is your skin type. Do you have dry skin? Oily? Combination (oily on the forehead, nose and chin, but dry elsewhere)? Sensitive? Acne-prone? No matter the benefits a cleanser claims, if it’s not matched to your skin type, it’s not going to give you what you need. Basic cleansers are fine – no need for bells and whistles, as the extra ingredients don’t really make a difference here. But avoid cleansers containing alcohol, antibacterial ingredients or fragrances, as these can be irritating or drying to the skin.

CHOOSING YOUR TONER Facial toners serve to restore the pH balance of your skin, remove soap residue and get rid of excess oil. Some experts believe facial toners are not always necessary, especially for those with dry skin, while others claim toners are essential. If you do choose to use a toner, be sure to choose one that matches your skin care needs. As with cleansers, knowing your skin type is the most impor tant factor in choosing a toner. For dry skin, use a toner that contains less than 10 percent alcohol. Also avoid toners containing salicylic acid. The more oily your skin, the more alcohol your toner should contain – less than 20 percent alcohol for normal or combination skin, and up to 60 percent alcohol if your skin is very oily. If your skin is acne-prone, use a toner containing salicylic acid on the problem spots, but not all over your face, as it may overdry your skin. Try to choose a formula that is as natural as possible, as certain chemical additives can be harmful both to the environment and to your skin. Especially avoid parabens, phthalates, dioxin and VCOs. With any toner, if you develop redness or other signs of irritation, switch to a more mild formula – or stop using a toner altogether.

with a product containing a small amount of the acid, and don’t leave it on your skin for longer than the recommended time. Move to higher percentages if you need to and if you’re not experiencing irritation. Sensitive skin is best exfoliated with products containing natural fruit enzymes. Papaya and pineapple enzymes are commonly used for this purpose. These enzymes dissolve the dead skin cells in much the way AHAs or lactic acid does, but are milder. If your skin is prone to acne, beta hydroxy acids may be your best choice. Salicylic acid is the most popular beta hydroxy acid. Don’t over exfoliate your skin, and be sure to use sunscreen on newly exfoliated skin – dead skin cells block some of the sun’s rays, so removing them leaves you extra prone to sunburn.

CHOOSING YOUR MOISTURIZER Moisturizers hydrate the skin and help to seal the moisture in so your skin stays hydrated. Moisturizers are vitally important, as our skin serves as a barrier against everything from UV light to viruses to pollution, and only well-moisturized skin can effectively protect against these environmental hazards. If you have oily skin, avoid moisturizers whose ingredients contain anything that sounds like “methyl,” “ethyl,” “butyl” or “propyl,”

CHOOSING YOUR EXFOLIATOR Facial exfoliators remove the dead skin cells that build up on the surface of your skin. Getting rid of these cells gives your skin a smoother, brighter, healthier look. Getting rid of dead skin cells also helps the additives in your moisturizer – for instance, antiaging ingredients – to better penetrate the skin and work their magic. There are two main categories of exfoliators: those that use abrasive elements to scrub off dead skin cells and those that use chemicals or enzymes to dissolve the cells. For normal skin, abrasive exfoliators work well. These are exfoliating products that say things like “microdermabrasion” on the label, or scrubs that contain sugar, almond meal, tiny buffing beads or other abrasive elements. Exfoliators can be drying, so take extra care when choosing an exfoliating product if you have dry skin. You’ll typically want to use an abrasive exfoliator, but try to find one specifically formulated for dry skin – it may contain hydrating ingredients or be somewhat less abrasive than products made for other skin types. If you have oily skin, a chemical exfoliator is a better option. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs) or lactic acid is often used for this purpose. Products employing this type of exfoliation will often say “chemical exfoliator” or “chemical peel” on the label, but despite these scary-sounding names, these products are safe and effective. However, they can sometimes be irritating to the skin, so start |



which is a tip-off that the product contains mineral oil. Mineral oil is used in most beauty products, but can sometimes cause breakouts for those with oily skin. Moisturizing gels are often a good choice for this skin type. Cream moisturizers are best for people with Drinking water dry skin, as they are the most hydrating products keeps your skin cells you can find. Creams contain mostly oil, but not the hydrated from the kind that blocks pores. For normal or combi- inside, keeping skin nation skin, lotions, which contain more water than looking healthy and creams, are generally best. Light lotions are best in young. summer while a heavier lotion or cream may be useful in winter when wind, cold weather and indoor heating dry out your skin. Always try to choose a day moisturizer that contains sunscreen, as the best way to keep your skin looking radiant and healthy is to protect it from harmful UV rays.

As far as additives go, keep your skin type in mind here too. Those with dry or sensitive skin will benefit from using moisturizers that contain antioxidants and emollients (ingredients that soften and smooth the skin, such as shea butter, almond oil, vitamin E or aloe vera). For oily or acne-prone skin, go with products containing salicylic acid, glycolic acid or retinoids. Skin that’s starting to show the signs of age benefits from the addition of chemical exfoliators in the moisturizer, such as alpha and beta hydroxy acids, or glycolic or lactic acid.

LOOKING GOOD FROM THE INSIDE OUT What you eat can have an important impact on how you look as well. The bottom line is, as always, eating a balanced diet is the best thing you can do for your skin – and the rest of you too. Within that broad suggestion though, there are a few foods that are especially impor tant to achieving healthy skin: • Low-fat yogurt: Dairy products contain vitamin A, which is essential to healthy skin. Although orange-colored fruits and vegetables such as carrots and mangoes are typically known for their high vitamin A content, it’s in the form of beta-carotene, which some people are unable to conver t to vitamin A. The vitamin A in dair y, on the other hand, does not need conver ting. Another benefit of yogurt is the live bacteria keeps your digestive system healthy and healthy digestive systems are reflected in healthy-looking skin. • Berries and other antioxidant-rich foods: Berries contain high levels of antioxidants, which work to eliminate the free radicals that do so much harm to our skin. Free radicals can come from exposure to UV rays, pollution or even chemicals in our facial products if we’re not careful about what we use. Typically, dark-colored fruits and vegetables contain higher amounts of antioxidants than light-colored ones. Foods particularly high in antioxidants include beans, blueberries, blackberries, cranberries, raspberries, strawberries, cherries, apples, plums and artichokes. • Salmon, flaxseed, walnuts and canola oil: These foods are all high in fatty acids – the “good kind of fat” – which help the skin by preserving cell membranes. Healthy cell membranes allow nutrients to get into the skin and wastes to get out, while also retaining moisture and keeping harmful influences at bay. • Extra virgin olive oil: Olive oil keeps skin moist and the nutrients in extra virgin olive oil are also important in keeping skin healthy. Read the label though, because many of these nutrients are lost in the production process of olive oil that doesn’t say “extra virgin,” “cold pressed” or “expeller pressed.” • Avocados: Also high in healthy fats, avocados help keep skin moist, but they also provide another benefit. They are high in B vitamins, which act as an anti-inflammatory for your skin.

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• Almonds: The vitamin E in almonds is moisturizing to the skin and protects against damage from a variety of sources. • Whole wheat products, brazil nuts, cottage cheese, tuna and turkey: What do these diverse foods have in common? Selenium. Selenium is a commonly overlooked mineral that protects skin cells and may fight off the negative effects of sun damage. • Green tea: Green tea protects the skin from UV rays, possibly even going so far as to help prevent skin cancer. It also contains anti-inflammatory properties and protects skin cell membranes. • Water : Water keeps your skin cells hydrated from the inside, keeping skin looking healthy and young. Water also helps to flush out toxins and to move nutrients into the skin cells. And drinking enough water keeps you sweating, which washes out your pores before they have a chance to get blocked. Lastly, if you can afford it, you may want to consult a dermatologist a few months before your wedding to talk about whether you should get professional chemical peels, facials or other professional skin care help. Once you’ve done everything you can to make sure your skin is glowing on your wedding day, hand over the rest to your makeup artist and enjoy the benefits of having put NWD such care into your skin.

beauty basics:

MANICURES Follow these four simple steps to a flawless manicure.


Remove any existing polish with remover and a cotton ball. For a special treat, soak your hands in warm water with lemon. To remove any dark polish stains, rub lemon wedges gently over your nails.


File nails in one direction to prevent nail splits. Then use a dab of cuticle oil and a metal flat-ended pusher to softly push back cuticles. Snip off hangnails with clippers and sweep a cotton ball over nails to remove any excess oil.


To get the best polish results, store your polish in the refrigerator. Start painting in the center of your nail then working towards the edges. Use a paintbrush dipped in remover to clean up your cuticles and any smudges.


Allow nails to dry for 30 minutes before applying a protecting coat. A clear finishing coat locks in your color and prevents any chips. For a quick dry, soak your fingers in ice water for a few seconds to seal the polish. |


meet the expert

BORSHEIMS Heather Ingraham, Diamond Buyer

Engagement & Wedding Rings, Fine Jewelry and Wedding Registry


12O Regency Parkway, Omaha NE (

Megan Marie Photography



“Borsheims has thousands of diamonds to choose from and if we don’t have the exact diamond you want, we will find it. We’re known for our timeless quality jewelry, innovative styles and variety of designers, as well as our wide selection of engagement rings and wedding bands exclusively designed for Borsheims.”



Although most people recognize diamonds as colorless, true colorless diamonds are quite diamond carries a ‘D’ color grade.


The clarity grade is the degree to which the diamond is free of blemishes.

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The term ‘cut’ refers to shape, cutting style, diamond.

“Each ring receives an appraisal for insurance purposes and a free initial sizing. We offer complimentary cleaning of all of your jewelry year round and if you choose to upgrade your diamond, you’ll receive the value you paid in trade towards the purchase of another diamond. This is a fantastic idea for a special anniversary.”

EXPERT ADVICE: “Trust your instincts. Try on a large variety, but most brides end up going back to the first ring.”



A carat is broken down into 100 points, just like a dollar is broken down into 100 pennies.

“Round and Princess diamonds will continue to be the preferred shape of diamond. White metals such as platinum and white gold will remain popular as well. When it comes to engagement rings, classic styles always rule, but pavé rings will continue to be popular. Vintage and antique ring styles are here to stay. Designers are creating rings that have a vintage style with a modern twist.”


“Beyonce – because she loves jewelry. Her ring would be big, showy and glamorous!”


Something that cannot be defined when determining a diamond’s value is how it makes you feel when you are wearing it. The 4 C’s, the price and the emotion…put them all together, and shopping for your engagement and wedding rings can quickly become overwhelming. There are numerous different trends and styles when it comes to engagement and wedding rings, and some of the most popular styles right now have real staying power. If you’re not sure where to star t when buying your engagement and wedding rings, consider how some of the recent trends might reflect your own personal style.




One extremely popular (and timeless) trend is that of vintage-inspired rings. Vintage or antique-inspired rings usually feature intricate details, such as gemstone baguettes or floral accents. Because the appeal of a vintage ring is the nostalgic sentiment it gives its wearer, a vintage ring will never look or feel outdated.


If you are a recently engaged bride, you are probably well-informed on the impor tance of the 4 C’s (cut, color, clarity and carat weight) when it comes to selecting a diamond engagement or wedding ring. Written by:

Holly Lafferty |

Photo by:

Attanasio Photography

While a classic ring probably doesn’t qualify as a trend, classic rings are still all the rage, and for good reason – they’re certainly not going to be going out of style anytime soon. While white gold is now very popular, yellow gold remains a timeless element chosen for engagement and wedding |



bands, and it’s a specific characteristic of a classic ring. Round solitaires also convey a classic feel.

EMERALD-CUT STONES Choosing an emerald-cut diamond for your engagement ring makes a statement. Because they are more unique than the everpopular princess-cut diamond, wearing an emerald-cut stone will help you stand out from the crowd. They are also more affordable than other shapes (you can generally get a larger stone for the same price as a smaller stone in a different cut). An emerald-cut diamond will show flaws more than other cuts, however, so it’s important to pick a top-quality gem if you’re going to go with this cut.

COLORED STONES While colored stones have been a trend in celebrity circles for years, they are now becoming more popular among the rest of us. A colored stone is another way to really stand out with your style of engagement ring. It also opens up a much wider world of selections. While many brides opt to go with a colored diamond, it’s now acceptable to choose an entirely different type of gem for your ring. Anything from rubies to opals is fair game and will definitely draw attention.

MULTIPLE DIAMONDS Solitaires are still extremely popular, but more and more brides are choosing a large diamond framed with tiny diamonds all around. This gives off a little of the vintage feel mentioned before; it also creates the illusion of a larger stone. Brides also love the look of three-stone or five-stone settings, which have a traditional yet glamorous quality. The different design options made available by choosing a ring with multiple diamonds – as opposed to a solitaire, where design options may be more limited – only add to the appeal of choosing this style of ring.

MODERN STYLES The modern, streamlined trend in home decorating has carried over into brides’ jewelry selections. Think clean and simple, usually in a platinum or white gold setting. Tension-set diamonds are a characteristic of this look. Modern rings have a sleek appearance that borders on plain, but works well for everyday wear. If you’re not looking for a flashy or ostentatious setting but still desire something cutting-edge, a modern design might be the right style for you.

PLATINUM Platinum is still the go-to choice of many brides. Platinum is much harder and stronger than gold, which makes it a better investment for the long-term; it is also pricier than gold, which is why some brides who love the white-silver color of platinum end up choosing white gold. White gold offers the look of platinum without the expense. However, if durability is very important to you, it’s probably worth it to pay the extra expense and upgrade to platinum. While engagement rings are still an ideal way to show off your individual style, wedding bands are becoming more personalized as well. Once you’ve settled on your dream engagement ring, you and your fiancé should go shopping together for your wedding bands. Here are some tips when it comes to selecting them: • Mix it up. You don’t have to get a matching his-and-her set (although you will usually save money by doing so). If you both have different taste, don’t worry about it. Each of you should be able to wear what you love, whether it matches or not. You will learn the art of compromise soon enough in marriage; you shouldn’t have to compromise with your wedding bands! • Incorporate your personality. Consider including a special engraving on the ring or adding other meaningful details. Have the jeweler design a ring with stones from your great-grandmother’s ring. Designers today can do just about anything you may think of to help make your ring more personal to you. 34 | nebraska weddingday


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• Think long-term. It’s like getting a tattoo – are you going to love it as much thirty years from now? If not, maybe you’d better keep looking. • Take your time. You don’t have to buy wedding bands at the first jeweler you visit. Visit several jewelers, and don’t feel pressured to buy anything on your first day of shopping. • Plan accordingly. Get your rings two to three months before your wedding to allow for sizing, engravings or any other modifications needed. The last thing you want is to wait until the last minute and not have a wedding band on your big day! • Get ideas online. You can still make it a special time with your fiancé by scheduling it as a “date”: Cook dinner, pour some wine and settle down in front of the computer for a long, romantic night of perusing. The best advice you can get when shopping for your rings is this: Your engagement and wedding rings are an important symbol of the commitment between you and your husband. Long after your flowers have wilted and the strains of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” have faded, your rings will still be on your fingers as reminders of the vows you made to one another. Remembering their significance while choosing them will help you make the best decision you could NWD possibly make. 2

• Think about what you will be doing every day when you choose your ring. If you fiancé is in construction, simple is probably better because the ring will endure a lot of wear and tear. Lots of stones or a less durable metal combined with an active lifestyle can diminish the Get your rings beauty of your ring over time. two to three months • Stick to your budget. Decide on the maxibefore your wedding mum amount you’ll spend before you go to allow for sizing, shopping and don’t sway from that. It’s engravings or any easy to be tempted when you see the other modifications vast offerings your jeweler may have, so needed. it’s important that you and your fiancé hold one another accountable. A rule of thumb is the wedding bands should account for about 3% of your budget, but it’s up to you and your fiancé to decide the right number for you.


g n i l z az


Rings courtesy of Borsheims

These engagement

RINGS are dripping with timeless beauty and have us swooning. From princess cut diamonds, to antique ring designs, to stunning colored stones, we are sure you will find the diamond of your dreams.

Rings courtesy of Sartor Hamann Jewelers

meet the expert

Tip Top Tux Nancy Haboush, VP of Sales KNowN for? Regional Tuxedo Specialist – extensive style selection and color focus

fouNd at?; 20 stores and 250 dealers across seven Midwest states; Omaha - 3 Locations; Lincoln - 2 locations

wHeN SHould couPleS Select tHeir tuxedoS? “A tux is as important to some grooms as a dress is to his bride. Sometimes it’s a year in advance. Sometimes it’s two weeks. However, it’s never too early and never too late because we own our inventory and we can do it the week of the wedding. But, I wouldn’t recommend it!” “How should I differentiate the people in my wedding party, so my guests know the groomsmen from the ushers? What color of vest would best suit dad so that he complements mom and the wedding party?”

Spice Up His Style

Iwen Exposures

moSt commoNly aSKed queStioNS “Make it your own! Style is personal and we don’t give our grooms enough attention - It’s his day too.”

exPert adVice

“The only thing we need to know is… the bride’s dress. We want the groom to match, complement and honor her dress. It’s also good to know the bridesmaids’ dress colors, so we can discuss the vest and tie options for groomsmen.”

How doeS a groom’S tux beSt comPlimeNt HiS bride’S gowN?

TEAL STERLING: The classic look

of a bow tie (top left) CAPPUCCINO OMBRE: Skinny

ties (top right) Tip Top Tux has the most extensive selection of mix & match patterns in YOUR color (Watermelon shown at left)

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“We look at how formal her dress is. For a formal dress, we always recommend a black tuxedo with a white or ivory vest underneath. If the dress is semi-formal, a black vest and tie is appropriate. There are certain dresses that really feel vintage, modern or classic and there’s a tuxedo appropriate for each.”

treNd watcH “A return to classic with bow ties. We also have a slim fit that is growing in popularity.”

if you could dreSS a celeb groom, wHo would it be?

“Meatloaf ! I love his music, and he would not meet most people’s standard of a Brad Pitt lookalike. Everybody truly looks great in a tuxedo.”



TRENDS Your guy is most comfortable in jeans and a t-shirt, so when it comes time to choose a formal look for the wedding, he might not be comfortable with the idea; at the very least, he’ll probably want to know formalwear basics. Read on as NWD gives you and your guy a little insight into wedding day menswear trends.


It’s your day to shine, but your groom deserves to look amazing as well. Nowadays his look can be Oscar glam, casual cool or simply stylish. He can call the shots and would probably love (a little) help from you, especially when picking colors and suit cuts. Written by:

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Kristen Castillo


Photos by:

Bellus Photo + Film

Most guys want to step up their look for the wedding, which means they’re game for a tuxedo or a suit and all the coordinating elements. Local Nebraska shops like Tip Top Tux, Savvi Formalwear and Suit Up! Tuxedos, Florals and More all offer the best in men’s tuxedos and formalwear. The wedding standard is a black tuxedo featuring one row of buttons. A variation on this classic is a double breasted jacket with two rows of vertical buttons. Full dress tuxedos feature long tails in the back, as well as Eaton jackets, which are nipped at the waist and often have a shawl collar. Morning coats, which are longer in the back and nipped in the front, are a classic for daytime weddings. A tuxedo’s collar can vary, too. Here are a few styles to know: a notch collar, a shawl collar, a peak collar and a Mandarin collar. The notch collar resembles a typical suit collar; while a shawl collar, which is rounded, drapes across the neck and chest.

The peak collar is similar to a traditional suit collar, but it has a “V” shape that flares towards the shoulders.The Mandarin-style tuxedo with a standup collar without lapel is another choice.This approach looks sharp; plus there’s no need for a tie – the top button, which usually is black, completes the ensemble.


Simple, sleek and sexy describe these handsome Hollywood types; and the same goes for your groom on your wedding day. Bow ties are very hip these days; but they’re not a wedding must. There are many other tie styles to choose from including the traditional necktie, which in wedding terms is called the “four-in-hands” style.

For a more formal approach, your guy can wear an ascot tie, which is a wider tie style usually fastened with a tie tack. Skinny ties are very trendy and will look great now, but may be a bit dated when you check out your wedding photos in the future. A cummerbund is a polished finishing touch for any tuxedo. Sure, it’s just a band of fabric around his waist; but it coordinates

Wedding looks don’t have to be formal to be stylish. Just look at J. Crew – a company known for everyday casual style is in the wedding business these days. Plenty of brides and grooms love the clothing line’s comfortable yet classic appeal for work and now for weddings as well. For a casual day wedding, J. Crew offers a tan Irish linen suit; a “faded black” version that appears light gray; and more traditional suits in black, navy and heather charcoal. A vest is a modern approach that adds panache to your guy’s look even if he’s not wearing his jacket. Embrace this casual style by wearing the jacket for the ceremony and rocking just the shirt, vest and tie for the reception. For the groom who wants a little more formality, J. Crew’s two-button tuxedo jacket with a double-vented back has a GQ feel that’s pulled together and elegant. Finish the look with a colorful tie, a white pocket square, argyle socks and a militaryinspired watch.

OLD HOLLYWOOD Grooms aren’t afraid to go retro these days. From classic Hollywood-style black bow ties (think leading man at the Academy Awards) to the hip advertising crowd on Mad Men , your guy is getting lots of inspiration from vintage looks. Consider Leonardo DiCaprio and George Clooney, actors who know how to take a classic look and raise it to a wow level of cool. These guys wear a bow tie to one event and a straight black tie to the next gala; but on ever y occasion they look crisp and timeless. |


with the color and texture of the tie and tuxedo and it’s a timeless style.


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GETTING STARTED While you have probably already picked your color scheme, your guy still has a lot of things to consider from tux style to accessories. Don’t leave your guy’s wedding day


Black is the most common color for a groom to wear for his wedding, but it’s not the only option. Gray, navy blue and tan are just some of the colors your guy can sport as you get hitched. This is the place to show your personality and make a statement by adding color in all the right places. Well chosen accent colors can really pop on camera and in person, resulting in great style that will turn heads. Don’t be afraid of bright shades like teal,

red or yellow; as well as softer colors like light pink and powder blue; and rich tones including chocolate brown, jewel green and plum. Textured fabrics on cummerbunds and even dress shirts add an extra touch of interest to your groom’s look. He can pump up his style by wearing cuff links or color buttons.

attire to the last minute. Sure, he may not check out websites or magazines for fashion tips; but he should visit a few tux shops about five to six months before the wedding day to get ideas on what’s available. Finalize the decision by taking measurements and placing orders two to five months before the big day. Out-of-town groomsmen should visit a local tux shop to get measured professionally so you can order their attire right away. Professional measurements are always the way to go. Your groom and his groomsmen should leave the tailoring to a pro to make sure they get the best fit. There’s often a wedding bonus for your groom. Many shops have a deal offering the groom a free tux when his groomsmen order their formalwear from the shop too. Typically, a guy rents his shoes when he gets his attire, but buying a new pair of shoes is always an option. You love trying on clothes, buying new accessories and having fun with your look. Your guy might not have the same approach to fashion as you; but he does want to look his best on the big day. Step back and watch him transform from a regular guy into NWD a gorgeous groom. 2

Bellus Photo + Film


Heartfelt HEIRLOOMS fashion

Stroll down memory lane, unveiling your families’ love stories and weaving them into yours.

Rummage through hope chests, china cabinets and attics in search of the perfect heirlooms to honor your families as you personalize your day.

RELIVE MEMORIES. Use your grandparents’ old mailbox slot as table décor or the card holder at your reception. Be sure to not leave your guests in the dark by placing a small note of your memory with Grandpa walking to retrieve the mail. Wrap an old pocket watch around the base of your bouquet and take the memory of a loved one with you down the aisle.

LEGACY OF LOVE. Estate rings and stones passed down through families often become engagement rings or wedding bands for younger generations, as a way to continue the legacy of love from one man or woman’s hand to another.

HONOR LOVED ONES. Display wedding photos of those who have gone before you. Use your parents’ cake topper from their wedding. Make your ring pillow from your mother’s dress and other family heirlooms. Wear your grandmother’s pearls. Collect vases, cake plates and dishware from your families for table décor.

FAMILY TRADITION. Let Grandpa toast to the great love he has shared and the beginning of new love. Use the family’s classic car as your getaway. Don’t forget to make new customs that can be passed down through your children one day.



Brides come in with a budget but usually Daddy ends up letting her blow it when the gown she wants is $5000 more than they had planned on. While the show is highly entertaining, it’s not quite reality for most Nebraska brides. Yet some have come to believe this is the way things should work at their local bridal salon. Nebraska WeddingDay is here to set the record straight on 3 key issues that have arisen from this popular show.


Reality vs. Reality TV


THE DRESS  Many brides love to watch that fantasy reality show, Say Yes to the Dress. Brides bring a group of their closest friends, family and neighbors to the famous Manhattan bridal salon, Kleinfeld’s, where everyone oohs and aahs over each gown tried on. Written by:

48 | nebraska weddingday

Holly Lafferty

When you’re dealing with a smaller salon, bringing in an entourage of 15 just won’t work. It’s fun to have your entire family and bridal party there to help you choose your gown, but inevitably the situation will cause more confusion than camaraderie. Everyone has their own opinion, but the opinion that matters the most is yours. So while it’s nice to get feedback from one or two loved ones, if you bring many more than that, you could find yourself getting more unnecessary anxiety rather than the quality feedback you were looking for. As a warning, here is an actual quote from the show after a mother rejects her daughter’s favorite gown: “I want this to be the happiest day of her life whether she likes it or not.” Don’t put yourself in this position! A simple solution to this problem is to tell those that wish to come that your mother and your maid (or matron) of honor are going to be helping you with your gown search. For those still dying to be a part of it, ask them to come support you at a gown

fitting later on. Take it from someone whose aunt invited herself to her gown search – the day did NOT end well. I wanted my mother and my maid of honor there but having an unplanned guest was more stressful than helpful.

KNOW YOUR LIMITS. If you have a strict budget, honor it. Trying to persuade more money out of your future hubby or your parents can cause stress in every other area of your wedding. Make sure you prepare a budget reflecting the exact amount you can afford before you go gown shopping. If you find you can cut back in some areas to allocate

If your dress is one of your top priorities, make it one of your top budget points. a little more for your gown, that’s fantastic; just don’t find yourself at the end without enough money for a cake or sufficient tips for the professionals who worked hard to make your day perfect. If your dress is one of your top priorities, make it one of your top budget points. Just realize you may need to make other sacrifices (like those adorable mini-cakes you wanted to give out for favors, or the superexpensive orchids you were having brought in fresh from Hawaii) in order to get that dream gown.

BE HONEST WITH THE BRIDAL SALON ABOUT YOUR MAXIMUM BUDGET. Nothing can cause more frustration for both the bride and the bridal salon if you are uncertain about what you can truly Nebraska WeddingDay’s blog is updated daily and filled with fun tips and features. Our blog is all about finding creative things to do for your wedding, with easy-to-find information on local vendors and the hot new trends we’re discovering. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Look for NWD on Facebook and Twitter! |


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will have to start all over with you looking at gowns within your budget. And once again, you will find yourself frustrated because you’re dreaming of that $4000 Jim Hjelm you just couldn’t afford and resenting the attendant for showing it to you. Not only that, but you’re probably not going to be your attendant’s favorite bride, either. And when it comes to shipping,


afford. If you tell your attendant your budget is “around $4000” when really you would be maxed out at $3000, she will immediately star t bringing out breathtaking couture gowns within your budget. Naturally you will fall in love. Then what? At some point you will have to be honest and explain those couture gowns are too far of a reach for you. Then the process

measurements, etc. you want to make sure you’re getting the best service possible. Taking up twice the amount of time necessary from her will not only take commission out of her pocket but also back up the other brides waiting to look for their dream gown, some of whom might have had appointments that are now being pushed back. So just be honest. The bridal salon will want to work within your budget no matter how low or high it is. Above all else, they want you to leave a happy customer. Being straightforward and upfront ensures your gown buying experience is a positive one. Nebraska is filled with wonderful bridal salons where employees are just waiting to help you find that perfect gown at the perfect price. Come prepared and above all, enjoy the experience! Most likely, you’ll never get to spend this much money on a gown again. NWD 2




TO COME I spent years dreaming of my perfect wedding gown and hours trying on different styles until I found my gown. After I made the purchase, I anticipated the moment of putting it on and walking down the aisle to my beaming groom. Written by:

Megan Cooper |

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jhd photography

stains on the bottom, unidentified marks on the sides and overall was in poor condition. My husband and I only had two short days in Nebraska until we hopped on a


On my wedding day, I danced, twirled and had the time of my life. The next morning, as I gathered my things from our hotel room, I noticed my once perfect gown had

Photo by:



plane to our romantic honeymoon in Hawaii. I laid my gown on a bed in our guest room, where it remained for over a week until we returned. Exhausted and still tying up loose ends from the wedding, I let it lay there and pushed it back on my to-do list. One day I finally went into that spare room and picked up my gown. I was shocked and a little embarrassed at how bad it looked. I knew I had a great time dancing the night of my wedding, but had no idea how dirty and stained the dress would be. As a result, I decided to bring my gown into Omaha Lace Cleaners to get it taken care of. I was told of the cleaning process and how my gown would be cleaned by hand by a certified member of the Association of Wedding Gown Specialists. It made me take a deep breath of relief, knowing my gown was back in the good hands of a professional. Not only does Omaha Lace Cleaners pre-treat their gowns, they also give it an anti-sugar stain treatment to ensure any hidden stains or sugars do not caramelize over time. When I picked my gown up, Omaha Lace Cleaners informed me that after their state of the art preservation process was complete, they steamed my gown and placed it into a museum quality preservation chest ensuring it remains timeless for many years to come. To my pleasant surprise, they shared that due to their unique cleaning and preservation process, my gown was not vacuumed sealed or locked away for eternity. I was ecstatic about this feature as I am able to open the box without doing any damage to my dress. I was astonished with how clean and perfect it looked. The stains were gone and the gown looks brand new! I am so happy I made the decision to clean and preserve my gown. I now have a beautiful heirloom, that in the years to come, I can try on as often as I want and even better yet, my future daughters can NWD too!

meet the expert

BRIGHTEN PHOTOGRAPHY Known for bringing a different level of creativity and spunk to the wedding industry, making our clients our friends and making every situation a rockin’ good time.

Sean Flanigan

find them at

“Choose a photographer who you connect with on a personal level AND someone who’s work you love! It is so important to jive with your photographer because you’ll spend the majority of your wedding day with them!” - Whitney


“hotel photel” from 2011


“When we get a note from an ecstatic client who is crazy in love with how we captured the uniqueness of themselves and their story.” - Ben 54 | nebraska weddingday

“We love getting to capture the incredible and beautiful stories of people in a real way. And let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want to take photos of huge parties for a living?!” - Ben & Whitney



Most women want to feel like a princess on their wedding day. These are the high expectations brides have as they search for their gown. With all this in mind, how does a bride begin to find this amazing dress? She knows what she envisions, but will that type and style look incredible on her? The goal, after reading this article, is to become informed. The facts are useful, but should not limit what the bride likes or dislikes. Remember you are the final critic when it comes to selecting your gown. Just because one certain style is not recommended for your particular figure doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try this style at the boutique and decide for yourself.




When selecting the perfect wedding dress, deciding on the type of silhouette is a great place to start. This is the overall look of the wedding gown and most dresses can be categorized into the following three types of silhouettes.


It’s not just a dress; it’s an image, a keepsake and an incredible feeling that gives you goose bumps every time you think about it. There is nothing more beautiful than a bride in all her splendor as she walks down the aisle to be united with the man of her dreams. Written by:

56 | nebraska weddingday

Katie Kafka

The ball gown is the traditional wedding dress shape. When you think of Cinderella or Princess Diana on their wedding days, this is the style of dress they modeled.The fitted bodice leading to the puffiest skirt known to mankind, characterizes this silhouette. This style of dress will accommodate almost any bridal figure, although it is not recommended for petite brides.

A-LINE The A-line gown is a beautiful shape that flatters all types of bridal figures. This silhouette is known for its slimming waist that flares out to a wider hemline. The remarkable feature of this gown is its adaptability. The A-line dress is suitable for the bride planning an elaborate wedding and is also suitable for the bride planning a more casual wedding day. While combining these excellent features, don’t be surprised if this silhouette becomes your favorite.

SHEATH The sheath is the most difficult silhouette to wear, but is absolutely stunning when coupled with the right figure. Brides be aware, you can hide nothing in this dress. The sheath gown closely hugs the bride’s figure line from top to bottom. This silhouette best compliments those brides who are tall and lean as well as those brides who are petite and slender.

NECKLINE Another important characteristic of a wedding dress is the neckline. Once you have decided on the silhouette of choice, the numerous versions of necklines bring variation to the silhouette types. Selecting the perfect neckline enhances the bride’s features from her waist upward. Read further for essential information on various necklines.

STRAPLESS The name describes this neckline to a “T”. This popular style is generally cut as a straight neckline, although brides may see a slight variation to this rule as they peruse through the boutiques. As a side note, many times dresses with straps can be converted to strapless with some simple alterations. Strapless dresses look elegant and beautiful on just about everyone, however smaller busted brides may find themselves having a wardrobe malfunction with this style of neckline.

The goal, after reading this article, is to become informed. The facts are useful, but should not limit what the bride likes or dislikes. Remember you are the final critic when it comes to selecting your gown. |



to allow a hint of cleavage. A caution to the well endowed, too low of a scoop neckline may look as though the bride is spilling out of the dress.

SQUARE The square is a variation of the scoop neckline, but with obvious straight-line definition.This style provides bustier brides with the support they are wanting, but is equally flattering for all body types. Those looking for a more classic, conservative look will adore the square neckline.

OFF-THE-SHOULDER The off-the-shoulder neckline radiates romance and features a bride’s shoulders and collar bone area.This style is a great solution to those brides who do not enjoy the exposure of the strapless, but want a similar feel. The additional coverage brought by the offshoulder straps provides the needed support for the well endowed. It is suggested that brides with broad shoulders stay away from off-the-shoulder necklines. If you can throw a mean curve ball, consider the scoop or square necklines instead.



SPAGHETTI STRAP Similar to the strapless neckline, the spaghetti strap design brings a little more safety to brides wanting to let loose on the reception dance floor. The thin straps that secure the bodice portion of the dress characterize this neckline. Spaghetti strap gowns are an outstanding selection for slender brides, but the larger-busted brides may 58 | nebraska weddingday

need to consider other styles that offer them more support.

SCOOP Amazing on all bridal figures, the scoop neckline is shaped like a “U”. Both modern and modest brides will enjoy this cut, as the scoop neckline can rest conservatively above the bust-line or can rest daringly low

The sweetheart neckline was made for bustier brides. Resembling the shape of a heart, this style meets in the middle and ends in a point. Brides lacking in the cleavage area may discover better luck with other necklines.

HALTER Unique and contemporary, the halter neckline displays thicker straps that start at the top of the bodice and meet at the back of the neck. Brides who have spent time at the gym toning their shoulders and arms will discover the halter as the perfect opportunity to show off their hard work.

BATEAU The bateau neckline (also called the Sabrina) rests high on the collarbone and



BASQUE The Basque waistline is known for its slimming capabilities. This cut begins at the hips and lowers below the natural waistline to a point a couple inches below the navel. These features add length to the torso area while slimming the tummy and providing a sleek look. The Basque waistline is ideal for the pear-shape bride.

DROPPED Resting just below the waistline, the dropped style is commonly paired with Aline and ball gown silhouettes. Additionally, most necklines look radiant with the dropped waist.The characteristic of this style enhances curves, and is equally flattering for brides with either thick or slender waists.

NATURAL Women with an hourglass figure are definitely attracted to the natural waistline because it draws attention to their best features. This type falls directly at the waist and is stunning on various bridal figures.

EMPIRE The empire cut is determined by the high waistline. This style displays a fitted bust area and a waist that begins at the bottom of the bust line. The dress then extends into a wider, flared hemline. Ideal for brides with a thick waist area, the 60 | nebraska weddingday

bride is the ultimate judge when it comes to finding “the dress�. Just because one cer tain style is not recommended for your particular figure, by all means, try this style at the bridal salon just to make sure you agree. After all, sometimes trying the uncomplimentary dresses will enhance the excitement when finding the dress that is perfect for your special day. NWD 2

The final element of a wedding dress to consider is the waistline. This is a significant detail to consider as a bride selects her wedding dress. Different features of the waistline, like any dress, can accentuate areas a bride may want to conceal. Aspiring waistline aficionados, continue reading for the vital facts.

empire is quite slimming as the fabric subtly embraces a bride’s curves. Women with wider hips or a larger bust may discover the empire waist is least flattering. It is official. You are now an informed bride ready to tackle the dilemmas and joys of wedding gown shopping. The facts enclosed in this ar ticle are useful, but should not limit your likes or dislikes. The


is straight-lined. Wonderfully elegant for smaller busted brides, this neckline gives the appearance of a larger bust area. Broad-shouldered brides should shy away from this neckline as it draws attention to the shoulders.

what’s your bridalStyle

What caught your eye about your wedding dress? A golden yellow dress was the only color I could envision myself wearing. I had a late 1950’s bombshell style dress custom made in this color for the wedding. I also had a matching bolero created since our wedding was going to be outside in May at Mahoney State Park and I had no idea what the weather might bring us.

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Rebecca Cashman nnnnnnnn

How did you choose your accessories? I don’t like fussy details, so I kept it simple. I made a hair fascinator out of scraps of silk, leather and feathers for my own hair, and complimentary ones for my bridesmaids. I used golden yellow fabric leftover from my dress to make boutonnieres for my husband, the groomsmen and all of the parents. I thought wine colored shoes would look great with the golden yellow dress, and was shocked when I found some vintage style heels in my size for $10!

Style Icon: I am inspired by people who have their own developed sense of style without trying too hard. How many dresses did you try on prior to “the one”? This was the only dress I tried on. I am glad it worked out! How did you feel in your dress? “Shimmery.” The dress had metallic thread woven into it.

Nikki Moore Photography

Important details? My mom gave me my great-grandmother’s turn of the century ruby wedding ring the day before the wedding. It fits perfectly and I am still wearing it to remind myself of our wedding weekend, when I was overwhelmed by all the love from our family and friends!

Where did you buy your dress at? Whirling Turban. They do custommade vintage style dresses.

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Age: 34 City: Omaha, Nebraska Style: Sunny, Crafty, Vintage

Amber McIntyre nnnnnnnnnn What caught your eye about your wedding dress? I first saw my dress

Attanasio Photography

on several morning television programs as a “trendsetting” gown prior to my engagement and fell in love with it, being a huge fan of art deco and 1920’s style. I was immediately drawn to its modern silhouette that was ornately detailed with art deco patterns, crystal motif and layers upon layers of chiffon ruffles. The day after I was engaged, I scoured the internet to find out more about the designer (Lazaro). I booked a flight to Atlanta and made an appointment to try on the gown at the now-famous Bridals by Lori (home to one of TLC’s “Say Yes to the Dress”). How did you choose your accessories? I wanted accessories that didn’t compete with the dress, but enhanced and echoed its look and feel. I was fortunate enough to find a simple tulle cathedral veil at Lori’s while trying on the gown; I chose comfortable silver sequined Tahari flats, which mimicked the crystal motif of the dress. I wore a Nadri necklace, earrings and brooch on my bouquet inspired by vintage and art-deco. Style Icon: Katharine Hepburn

City: Lincoln, Nebraska

How many dresses did you try on prior to “the one”? Three. I tried on two styles I didn’t like just hoping I could put the Lazaro out of my mind (it didn’t work!). The third dress was another Lazaro that was similar in style to my dream dress, but from the previous Fall Season. The fourth gown was my dress and I didn’t want to take it off.

Style: Modern meets Vintage

How did you feel in your dress? I felt like I just walked off the Titanic – glamorous, chic, confident and beautiful.

Age: 31

Where did you buy your dress at? Bridals by Lori - Atlanta, Georgia

What caught your eye about your wedding dress?The way my mother looked in the dress is what caught my eye. It was the dress she wore when she married my father 31 years ago. I have always loved that dress…the lace detail, the long train that ruffles down the back and its gorgeous simplicity.

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Amanda Schneider nnnnnn

How did you choose your accessories? I spent a large amount of time looking for inspiration online. After many hours of research, I knew I didn’t want a full, stiff veil. The Bridal Collection in Grand Island did the cleaning and alterations on my mother’s dress and this is where I found my veil. The lace trim with the scalloped edge provided the perfect soft, romantic feel I was looking for. I wore vintage styled boots with cut-out detailing that looked like lace. They were perfect; very feminine, soft, rustic chic and romantic. Important details? Again, it was all about the dress. My father passed away when I was young so I was blessed to have my mother walk me down the aisle. It was a very special experience wearing a memory of my mother, but also one of my father and their wedding day. In addition to the dress, I wore my grandmother’s engagement ring on my right hand. I never had the privilege of meeting her, so it was a wonderful way to remember her as well. Style Icon: I think style is everywhere. I see inspiration in the land, flowers, fabrics, great pieces of furniture, vintage glassware, textured anything, beautiful architecture and of course in people.

Where did you buy your dress at? The Bridal Collection in Grand Island cleaned and altered my dress. When we pulled the dress out of the storage box, the lace was very discolored and aged. It was yellowed and I didn’t think that cleaning it was going to get the age spots out. The ladies at the shop did a fantastic job! They added one more ruffle to the bottom and modernized the back by adding the lace-up closure at the top. My mother loved that and wished it had been like that for her wedding. I couldn’t have been happier!

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Breeanna Feauto nnnnnnnnnn

Nikki Moore Photography

How did you feel in your dress? When I tried on the dress for the very first time, my mother said, “you look like a prairie princess.” That pretty much sums it up! I felt exactly the way I wanted my wedding atmosphere to feel like and look like. I felt beautiful, soft, vintage, rustic, romantic, comfortable and relaxed.

Age: 26 City: Hastings, Nebraska Style: Vintage, Rustic, Chic

What caught your eye about your wedding dress? It was on a manikin in the corner of the shop and was the first dress I saw. I immediately loved it. It was flowing and elegant and made me feel absolutely beautiful. How did you choose your accessories? I wanted to wear jewelry that was simple and wouldn’t take away from my dress. I love pearls and chose to wear a pearl bracelet with a small diamond clasp and found a pair of earrings that reflected the setting of my ring. I also dressed up my plain silk shoes with vintage flower clips from Any important details? As my bridesmaids and I were getting ready to head into the church, my mom and I shared a moment. She brought me a penny to put in my shoe for good luck that her late father had given her on her wedding day. Style Icon: Lauren Conrad and Olivia Palermo

Age: 26 City: Papillion, Nebraska Style: Classy, Natural, Girly

Iwen Exposures

How many dresses did you try on prior to “the one”? I went into it open minded about the dress styles I would try on, but when I saw it, I knew it was the one. Being the first dress I saw, I forced myself to grab a few others and try them on. Nothing else compared and I couldn’t change fast enough! How did you feel in your dress? I had never felt so beautiful in my life. I was so fortunate to have found my perfect dress. I think every bride should feel that way in their dress. Where did you buy your dress at? Bridal Designs at Suburban Bridals |


meet the expert

Ellynne Bridal Lynne Rustad KNoWN foR? Treating you like a Princess fouND AT? 4400 South 70th Street, Lincoln NE



“We watch as our brides pull dresses and we encourage her to try on one of every style - Because sometimes it’s the dress she never saw herself in… that she falls in love with. As the bride pulls, we’re looking for two things: styles she thinks she wants and price point.” “I tell girls to think of their most pretty features and then we find a gown that accentuates those areas. Small girls often get lost in a big ball gown – we need to give her height, therefore a fit and flare is most flattering.”

ExpERT ADvICE “Your first few steps down the aisle might be full of nervousness, but as soon as you look up and see him looking back… everything vanishes and he’s all that matters.” “I always ask a bride to remind herself of what she dreamed of as a little girl and what kind of dress she saw herself in…not that it will necessarily be the exact dress she falls in love with, but it may help her get back to that place of freedom and fairytale.”

TREND WATCH “We are doing lots of silhouettes that are A-line, fit and flare or mermaids with low backs. We’re also seeing a lot of lace and little cap sleeves. In 2013, we’ll see more romantic styles with elbow-length sleeves.”

If you CoulD DEsIgN ANy CElEb WEDDINg, WHo WoulD IT bE? “I would’ve liked to have dressed Chelsea Clinton! I love the dress she wore. It was pretty… Vera did an amazing job on that!” 64 | nebraska weddingday

spring fashion


GLITTERS The season’s prettiest gowns adorned with crystals, rosettes and ruffles. PHOTOGRAPHED BY: Geoff Johnson Photographer



spring fashion



spring fashion



spring fashion



spring fashion



Lo Love ve the styles y you ou see on the models? Check k ou out ut our style guide belo below be w to gget et that gorgeous sparkle you’ve th ou’ve fallen in love with.



sparkle pumps

Sparkle Sparkle from head-to-toe with these nude mps. We We ffound ound nude rhinestone pumps. these pretties at at Nordstrom.


be jeweled

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all that glitters

Top T op off y your our perfect updo with a rhinestone headband. A hair hairpiece piece is a ggreat reat wa way y to chang changee y your our look from ceremon ceremony y to rece reception. ption.



beaded bodice

This T his dress had us sswooning. wooning. corset A beaded cor set bodice with a full skirtt made of rosettes is ssweet skir weet and sophisticated. sophistica ted. Allure Bridals, available available aatt Ell Ellynne ynne Bridal.




p pout pretty p

The models wore bright pink lips The and full eyelashes. Too gget eyelashes. T et this look, tr try y Bare Minerals lipg lipgloss loss and Mak Makee Up For For Ev Ever er false lashes.

4 |


spring fashion





PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Iwen Exposures



strapless gown ELLYNNE BRIDAL, necklace EMBELLISH 2. tiered white frock ELLYNNE BRIDAL, necklace SILPADA 3. halter bubblegum gown ELLYNNE BRIDAL 4. blush frock ELLYNNE BRIDAL, necklace SILPADA

spring fashion


1 2


PHOTOGRAPHY BY: Iwen Exposures



teal pleated gown ELLYNNE BRIDAL, necklace SILPADA 2. midnight blue gown ELLYNNE BRIDAL 3. seafoam frock

ELLYNNE BRIDAL, necklace SILPADA 4. summer’s eve dress ELLYNNE BRIDAL, necklace EMBELLISH

spring tablescapes


Location at HillCrest Country Club

Photographed by Bellus Photo + Film Floral Design by Suit Up! Tuxedos, Florals and More



A peach rose adds color on top of the gold china and silverware at each place setting. THE DETAILS: China, stemware and silverware by AAA Rents.

A soft lace applique of white fondant adorned with pearls, compliments the golden bow. THE DETAILS: Cake by Butterfly Bakery.



With a soft gold pattern and crisp melon hued details, your guests will love this design. THE DETAILS: Invitations, menu cards and favors by Ally B Designs.

A tall centerpiece adds drama to your table. Small arrangements of tulips and roses add an extra punch of color. THE DETAILS: Linens, chairs and chair covers by AAA Rents. |


spring tablescapes

Pretty In

Pink Floral Design by Florals Etcetera


Beautiful white orchids pick up the pop of pink the astilbe stems bring. The table glows with mercury glass votives. THE DETAILS: Floral design by Florals Ectetera.


Petals adorn this 3-tier white buttercream cake to match the whimsy charm at each table. THE DETAILS: Cake by Russ’s Market.


A pale lilac and pink invitation creates a romantic look for your guests. THE DETAILS: Invitations by Diane’s Stationery and Invitations.


Floral applique linens and beaded chargers leave a lasting impression on guests. THE DETAILS: Chairs, linens, stemware, chargers and china by AAA Rents. |


spring tablescapes


Floral Design by Petal Creations



Several white vases line the table to create a full and dramatic effect. THE DETAILS: Floral design by Petal Creations.

A clean and crisp invitation with a pop of spring green. THE DETAILS: Invitations, menu cards and place cards by Inkblot Paper Designs.



An all white stunner sparkles in the light with crystal trim. THE DETAILS: Cake by Sweet Art Wedding Cakes.

The silver details keep this table modern and formal. THE DETAILS: Stemware, linens, chargers and china from AAA Rents. |


do it yourself projects

DIY PROJECTS Nothing says spring like bright, bold hues and fresh fruit jam. Send guests home with a sweet treat or a scented candle to keep the memory of your wedding day alive day after day.


For the unexperienced DIY bride: take-home strawberry jam. Simply wrap ribbon around the basin of the jar and secure the custom label on the front. We recommend cutting a piece of fabric and securing it to the top for a pop of color.






Cut 4” strips of craft paper and fold it accordion style. Then print or handwrite guests’ names on 4” circles. Hot glue the folded strips of craft paper on the back of the name plate to create a fun place card.


Sending guests home with a scented candle is easier than it looks with the help of microwavable wax. We purchased soy wax flakes and candle wicks in a craft store along with a scented bar of wax. Simply melt the soy wax flakes and scent in the microwave, pour in any glass jar and add a wick. Let cool and cover with a colorful piece of fabric.


Punch holes in craft paper and sew a few simple stitches in wax paper. This creates a pouch to hand out to guests to throw after your ceremony.



Download clip art

real weddings

WHAT CAUGHT HER EYE ABOUT HIM: “Ben is a carefree and fun-loving guy. My first attraction was his genuine and hearty laugh, and his caring demeanor. He instantly put me at ease when I was around him.”

FAVORITE DETAIL OF YOUR WEDDING: “Our favorite detail of the wedding was how we worked to incorporate personal touches of our personality into the day. Everything from the ceremony music and vows to the signature cocktails and menu, were all carefully chosen by both of us to reflect who we are and what is important to us. We even had two meal options, ‘Ben’s Favorites’ and ‘Kaitlin’s favorites’, that featured all of our favorite foods.”

BEST DECISION: “Our best decision was to have the wedding on a Friday in September. We hoped the guests would make a weekend of the wedding and have Saturday and Sunday to watch the Husker game, spend time with others and enjoy an entire weekend filled with fun.” “In lieu of wedding favors we chose to donate to a cause that is dear to our hearts: Nebraska Organ Retrieval Systems.”

FIRST DANCE SONG: These Are the Days by Van Morrison.

Kaitlin and Ben Grohmann September 9, 2011

BRIDAL ADVICE: “Do as much as you can to incorporate your family and friends into the day. The wedding is about the new husband and wife, but it’s also an extremely special day for those who are able to take part in it….and have fun! Don’t take anything too seriously because it will be over before you know it!”


Photographer: Attanasio Photography | Ceremony Location: St. Peter’s Catholic Church | Reception Location & Catering: Embassy Suites Lincoln | Cake: The Lincoln Cake Lady | Music: The Rumbles Band | Flowers: Emily Hendricks | Rentals/Decorations/Favors: Elite Events Rental | Transportation: Luxury Limousine | Invitations/Programs: inclosed letterpress & paper goods | Hair/Makeup: Lason & Spa | Bridal gown: Bridal Extraordinaire | Bridesmaids’ gowns: Monique Lhuillier | Men’s Formal Wear: Men’s Wearhouse | Lighting: Theatrical Media Services |


real weddings

HOW THEY MET: Chad and Lesley met during Spanish class in 1995. Chad was Lesley’s high school crush. They reconnected after college in 2007 at a mutual friend’s birthday party.

FAVORITE DETAIL: “It would have to be the invitations; they were a lot of work and extra special to me since I printed them with my Father. I’ll have that memory forever. The letterpress invitation set was printed with two colors, peach and pewter. The formal invite was printed on a Crane Lettra paper, the reply card was printed on hand-made peach scented paper dyed peach and the reception card was printed on hand-made gray paper with glitter in the mixture. The set was then wrapped with light pink baker’s twine and neatly placed into a muslin bag which we letter pressed our logo onto the front of it.”

BEST MEMORY: “Walking down the aisle and seeing Chad for the first time, I’ll never forget that moment or feeling.”

YOUR INSPIRATION: “Chad’s last name

Lesley and Chad Pick June 4, 2011

is Pick and mine Peterson, so we had a “P” theme. Everything in our wedding started with a “P”. Our colors were peach, poppy, pewter and pale pink. Our flowers were mostly peonies, parrot tulips and peach & poppy colored David Austin Roses. We used parasols in our flower arrangements, pennant flags in our programs, peaches as our table assignment cards, pennant flags for escort cards that were tucked in pails. We had signature cocktails during the cocktail hour: Peach Margarita, Peach Belini’s and Peach Tea, all accompanied with a decorative striped straw.”

BRIDAL ADVICE: “Be respectful and nice to your vendors, they will go the extra mile for you!”

LOCAL RESOURCES Photographer: Geoff Johnson, Photographer | Ceremony Location: St. Mary Magdalene’s Catholic Church | Reception Location & Catering: The Holland Performing Arts Center | Cake: Graham’s Goodies | Videographer: Geoff Johnson, Photographer | Music: Ceremony/Cocktail Hour – Four String of Swing; Reception – The KC All Stars | Flowers: Blume Floral Design | Rentals/Decorations/Favors: AAA Rents; inclosed letterpress and paper goods shop | Chair Covers: Chair Cover Elegance | Invitations/Programs: inclosed letterpress and paper goods shop | Hair/Makeup: Garbos; Blush Makeup Artistry | Bridal Gown: Ellynne Bridal | Bridesmaids’ Gowns: J.Crew | Men’s Formal Wear: Tip Top Tux | Other Vendors: Bella Umbrella; Porridge Papers; Princess Lasertron |


real weddings

HOW THEY MET: In August 2006, Stephanie moved to Boston from Nebraska to attend graduate school at Boston University. She and Mark were both working in Residential Life at BU and met on the first day of training. INSPIRATION: Nebraska summer was the theme in all of its simple beauty: fresh cut flowers, watermelon, barbeque, cotton candy, pies, mason jars, lemonade and dancing under the stars. It was simple and romantic.

FAVORITE DETAIL OF YOUR WEDDING: “Our Nebraska Wedding tomato seed packets. Mark is an avid gardener and came across some heirloom tomato seeds called Nebraska Wedding. Since we were planning a Nebraska wedding, we thought these would be a great favor.”

FUNNIEST MOMENT: Stephanie’s fouryear-old nephew really wanted to be on the dance floor the entire time. So during their first dance, he had to be restrained. When the newlywed’s song was over, he did a fly by on the dance floor with his arms spread out yelling “yay” because he was so happy that Stephanie and Mark were done dancing. FAVORITE MEMORY: “Having all of our close friends and family together in one place: Nebraska! It was surreal having people from different parts of our lives that live in different places be together in one room, celebrating with us.”

FIRST DANCE SONG: Make You Feel My Love by Adele

Stephanie and Mark Hansen August 21, 2011

BRIDAL ADVICE: “I don’t believe in the advice that ‘it’s YOUR day’ because it’s not just about you; it’s about you and your husband and most importantly, your family. They’re the reason you’re you and you should include them in planning because it makes it even more enjoyable and special.”


Photographer: James Bitz Photography | Ceremony/Reception Location & Catering: Country Pines | Cake: Butterfly Bakery | Flowers: Blooms and Bouquets | Music: Jason Sitzman | Invitations/Programs: Template from the Handmade Weddings book | Bridal Gown: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaids’ Gowns: J. Crew | Other Vendors: Sweet Rebelle by Tess Rousey; Ken’s Kegs |


real weddings

HOW THEY MET: September of 2009 during a Randy Rogers Band concert at Uncle Ron’s in Lincoln. They danced and he taught her how to two-step. It wasn’t until they ran into each other at a second concert that their relationship took off.

WHAT CAUGHT HER EYE: “His dark eyes, strong features, pearl snap shirt and boots.”

OUR FAVORITE MEMORY: “How we felt from the ceremony on. We have never been so happy in our entire life. It was awesome to be surrounded by the people we love and who were supporting us and loving us back.” FIRST DANCE: Best for Last by Aaron Watson

BEST DECISION: “Creating a wedding that uniquely reflected us. The men wore suspenders, the bridesmaids wore mismatched dresses and boots. There was no cake, we ate Mexican food, our reception was in a barn, we collected junk for decorations and we played yard games. I loved our straw bale couches, thumbprint guest book, photo booth, bunting banners, sundae & root beer float bar, my veil and wearing my mother’s dress. We incorporated burlap runners, chandeliers, antlers and a was perfect. We were comfortable, happy and able to focus on what really mattered - each other.”

FUNNIEST MOMENT: “Besides Phill for-

Amanda and Phill Schneider August 20, 2011

getting to follow the pastor through the ring vows, the garter auction was great! Phill’s brother threw the last dollar in the pot and won. I thought the auction would never end, as guests generously gave a large sum of cash for our honeymoon trip. We set a record for the auctioneer!”

BRIDAL ADVICE: “It’s your day to create your dream, do whatever fits you best.”


Photographer: Nikki Moore Photography | Ceremony & Reception Location: Prairie Loft Educational Center | Catering: Qdoba Mexican Grill; Reno Sports Bar | Sweets: Sundae Bar & Rootbeer Float Bar; Qdoba Mexican Grill | Music: Exit 342 Band | Flowers: Allie Belle Creations | Rentals/Decorations/Favors: Custom Rental Services; Allie Belle Creations | Bridal Gown: Mother of the Bride’s dress | Cleaning/Alterations: The Bridal Collection | Men’s Formal Wear: Banana Republic |


Happiness is a moment with you.



You have a list of things that are supposed to happen at some point, but what happens when? Strong communication with your DJ or band is the key to how smoothly your reception will go. This handy guide will help you plan your reception down to the last detail so you can avoid those embarrassing moments. 6:00 PM (FIRST HOUR): One of the most frustrating things for guests is arriving at a reception and waiting 2-1/2 hours for the wedding party to show up. Of course you may want to drive around in the limo for a bit, celebrating and getting some pictures, but don’t take more than an hour to get to the reception. During this time, have hors d’oeuvres and cocktails available for guests. They’ll be a lot happier waiting if there are food and drinks.



7:00 PM (5-10 MINUTES): Introduce the wedding party, the maid of honor/best man and then the bride and groom, in that order. (You should plan this time out with your DJ or band ahead of time – give them a list of names and the song you want playing when you enter.) 7:10 PM (1-1/2 HOURS): Dinner or buffet.

You think you have your whole day planned out, down to the last detail. Then it happens…the wedding par ty is introduced at the reception, followed by cheers, followed by an awkward silence. What happens next? Photo by:

Brighten Photography

8:25 PM (5 MINUTES): Toast by best man and maid of honor (this can come before or after dinner). 8:30 PM (15 MINUTES): Cutting of the cake (some photographers ask that you do this prior to dinner, so check with them). |



8:45 PM (5 MINUTES): Bride and groom’s first dance. 8:50 PM (5-10 MINUTES): Father/daughter, mother/son dances (together or separately).

9:00 PM (1/2 HOUR): Open dancing. 9:30 PM (15-30 MINUTES): Bouquet and garter toss, in whatever order you prefer. 10:00 PM (55 MINUTES): Open dancing again.

10:55 PM (5 MINUTES): Last dance. 11:00 PM: Say your goodbyes, and be on your way! • This timeline covers a 4-hour time period with your DJ or band, which is typical. If you want a longer dance, you may want to book your music for 5 hours to avoid paying over time fees the night of. Keep this in mind with the photographer and caterer as well. Make sure everyone is on the same page. • When it comes time to serve the food, the wedding par ty gets their food first, followed by the bride’s parents’ table, then the groom’s parents’ table. Plan ahead what order you want to release the tables in and have someone prepared to release the tables. • Have someone (usually the bride and groom’s parents) designated to gather up the bride and groom’s belongings at the end of the night. • Having hors d’oeuvres out after the meal for guests to snack on is always appreciated.

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• Keep the guest book in clear view at the reception (a good location is usually the gift table). NWD


gets married!

Megan W Wirth irth and Tyler Tyler Coo Cooper oper met acebook where in 2 2OO6 OO6 through F Facebook Megan sent Tyler Tyler a message messa of support during his tour in Iraq. Iraq. F Four our months later when he returned for his two week leave, they met faceto-face and were inseparable from that day on.“When we finally met, after hours of talking over the phone and email, it felt as if I had known Tyler T yler all my life,” says Megan. The following summer Tyler Tyler returned retu home and the couple continued to date. One Sunday O ne sunny S unday afternoon September, in S eptember, Tyler Tyler dropped droppe one knee in Pioneers Park Park and asked Megan to be his wife. ““ItIt was simple, private and meaningful,” “Tyler’s was says Megan. “T Tyler’s yler’s proposal prop straight from the heart and one of the happiest moments of my life.” Tyler planned their Megan and T yler plann August 2Oth A ugust 2 Oth wedding in 11 months. ““II knew I wanted the day to be about our marriage and the start of our life together together,” ,” says Megan. “The flowers, cake, dresses and decor were all just an added bonus that I had a blast designing.” She She chose a palette of blush pink and cham cham-pagne that would complement the garden-like atmosphere she hoped to evoke. When asked about the plan plan-ning process, Megan had a few words of wisdom to share. “K “Keep eep your focus on your marriage. IIff a DI DIY Y project is overwhelming you, let it go. N No o decoration or wedding element is as important as becom becom-ing husband and wife. E Enjoy njoy every FOR FASHION, FASH ASHION, DESIGN AND party parrty planning, coordinating a wedding that was all things thin beautiful and romanroman- minute of it!” tic was right up our Creative Director’s Director’s alley. alley. With With the goal of creating a classic >> TTurn urn the page to get a sneak feel and a timeless look, Megan selected very few trendy items and focused on peek into Megan’s garden-inspired wedding. the atmosphere and experience that blossomed into a lovely wedding day. day.

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Hillcrest Country Club was decorated with champagne moiree linens, candles and garden-like centerpieces set in pale green urns. Megan and her mother spent months collecting candlesticks they then spraypainted and placed at each table. “I was blown away when I walked into o the room. The candles, the flowers, the music, usic, the people, everything was perfect.” >> The bride carried a handkerchief embroidered with the couple’s custom monogram and wedding date in blue. << Starting a wedding day tradition for their future children, Megan had a locket engraved with a special saying,”My whole heart, my whole life”” and had it twisted into her bridal bouquet. uet. Petal Creations used full garden rosess and dusty miller to create a lush and romantic bouquet. >> “Driving away from the church in a vintage black Ford waving to friends and family out the window, listening to all the cheering and seeing all the smiles created an overwhelming sense of joy,” says Megan.

<< The centerpieces were created by Petal Creations and were composed of blush pink spray roses, lambs ear, hypericum berries and mixed greens.


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A Wishing Tree served as a guest book and focal point upon entering the reception where guests were asked to “write a wish for the bride and groom.”

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A four-tiered white buttercream cake was a stunning focal point. The tiers were made up of white w wedding cake and chocolate cake with raspberry filling and were created by Sweet Art raspbe Wedding Cakes. Weddin

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A signature drink of raspberry vodka, mixed with lemonade and topped with a raspberry garnish left guests asking for more.

>> The bride wore a gorgeous, full skirted,, > Tara Keely A-line gown with pockets. A T flfloral encrusted belt added to the romantic c feel of the dress. Megan finished her look fe w s, with blush pink peep toe heels. The dress, belt and veil were all purchased at b Ellynne Bridal. E > The groom and his groomsmen wore >> the same black vest and tie for a classic th look, foregoing boutonnieres in favor of lo pink silk pocket squares. p Guests laughed and cried during the love G s story video created by A Sound Impression. s The video captured the couple’s personality, how they met and what they p loved most about one another. lo



Rhinestones or DIY projects? Handmade details or a custom made candy buffet? You have a unique style but you’re not sure how to define it. Use the guide below to discover your bridal design style.




handmade cake


wildflower blooms


You love handmade decorations and it doesn’t bother you if things aren’t perfect. Wildflowers and hand drawn invitations are the details that make you swoon.

hand drawn art




crystal accents


candy buffet


Diamonds, feathers and crystals are your favorite things to decorate with. You want your wedding to be larger than life and fit for a celebrity. “Bigger is better” is your motto for decor.

rhinestone cake




custom headpiece

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pop of color


bold wedding cake

Custom headpieces and dresses are just what you need on your special day. You love that touch of art and want to make a statement with color, design and decorations.


While the wedding day tends to get the most attention, you’ve got many other parties to look forward to and enjoy. NWD breaks down what you need to know about each event; so clear your calendar and prepare to have a good time.



CELEBRATIONS Your big day is your focal point. You’re all about finding the right cake, choosing the perfect invitations, learning your first dances and figuring out which signature drink to serve. Your par ty planning is very time-consuming. Written by:

104 | nebraska weddingday

Kristen Castillo


Photo by:

Iwen Exposures

The Event: It’s probably the earliest pre-wedding celebration you’ll enjoy. The engagement party is a chance to share the news of your upcoming nuptials. This easygoing par ty is relaxed and happy. Host: This one’s a toss-up. Sometimes brides and grooms pay for the party; other times the bride or groom’s family hosts the event. Styles, menus and prices vary from party to party. Prices tend to start at about $15-20 a person for dinner. Guest List: Invite your social circle, including family, friends and even co-workers. Expect to include about 50 people. This is a night to celebrate, so be sure to include guests who you know will have a great time! What’s Included: The party is informal and all about having a good time. Appetizers and cocktails are staples of engagement par ties; so order up some hot and


cold snacks; host an open bar and have a fun evening.

BRIDAL SHOWER The Event: This gathering is all about making sure you and your groom are ready to set up house. For this, you’ve registered for appliances, silverware, linens and household knickknacks. Now kick back and enjoy the company of your family and friends as you prepare to become a Mrs. Host: The maid or matron of honor typically hosts the bridal shower. Guest List: You’ll see everyone from your grandma to your co-workers at this par ty, which can be girls-only or Jack & Jill style (where men and women attend). If you have a preference for one type of party over another, tell your maid of honor before she makes plans. What’s Included: Bridal showers can be fairly traditional, which means you and

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your guests could be playing games for prizes. You’ll open presents about halfway through the par ty and all the while guests usually have lunch, simple cocktails and nibble a congratulatory cake. Menu prices usually star t at $10-15.

BACHELOR & BACHELORETTE PARTIES The Event: Men receive bachelor parties while women relish bachelorette parties. Both par ties are ways to let loose, enjoy your friends and spend a night on the town. Men often go out for drinks, a game of cards or pool, or attend a spor ting event. Ladies often pamper themselves with a spa par ty and cocktails. For guys and girls, things can get rowdy and racy. Chat with your guy about your expectations for his good time and your good time during your respective par ties. There’s no need to get upset with each

other, especially so close to the wedding. Host: Members of the wedding par ty usually pay for the bride and groom’s respective par ties. Guest List: You’ll hang out with your wedding par ty, close friends and siblings. The smaller the group, the better time you’re likely to have. What’s Included: Your par ty is a highly customizable event that can include drinks, dinner and dancing. You may choose to stay in for the par ty – rent a luxurious hotel room and rock the night away – or head out. Take the par ty on the road to cut loose at bars and clubs. Don’t forget to have a designated driver and a safe ride home!

BRIDAL LUNCHEON The Event: This intimate gathering is all about showing your love and appreciation for the ladies in your wedding par ty

REHEARSAL DINNER The Event: The rehearsal dinner is traditionally celebrated the night before the big day. In recent times, there’s been some flexibility with the schedule, allowing the dinner to be held anytime during the week of the wedding. However, most often this dinner is held after the wedding rehearsal, the trial run of the ceremony. Pick the venue you want to showcase your style. Host: The majority of the time, the groom’s family pays for the rehearsal dinner. That’s because traditionally the bride’s family pays for the wedding. These days, many brides and grooms are pitching in to host the rehearsal dinner. Since the dinner can be informal or formal, price ranges vary greatly. Check with your venue for their up-to-date pricing.

Guest List: A rehearsal dinner is usually a small event with a limited guest list. The average guest list is under 50 people, but it can be larger too. Invite your immediate family, members of the wedding party and their guests, and all out-of-town guests. What’s Included: This mellow par ty is fun and tasteful. Guests usually enjoy yummy food, delicious drinks and the oppor tunity to meet and greet others, including out-of-town guests and people from the other side of the wedding par ty. The groom’s guests may be meeting the bride’s guests for the first time, so be sure to use this dinner as a chance to forge friendships. No matter what the pre-wedding celebration, you’ll be the center of attention. So buy a few new outfits; freshen your hair and lipstick; and get ready to be the life of the par ty. NWD |


to savor a tasty drink or two like champagne, sangrias or mar tinis.


and all other women in your life whom you treasure. The lunch is usually held a few weeks or a few days before the wedding. You’ll enjoy a light lunch and lots of girl-time. Host: The bride hosts this luncheon as a way to thank all the members of the bridal par ty. You won’t break your wedding budget either – prices for lunches run about $10 per person. Guest List: This “ladies only” luncheon includes all the women who will be a part of your wedding day such as your bridesmaids, your sister, your mother, your mother-in-law and any other females who are close family or friends. Once again, the smaller the lunch, the better – you’ll really enjoy spending time with a close-knit group of girls instead of feeling pressured to mingle with a big guest list. What’s Included: Bridal luncheons are usually informal and feature a light meal like salads, fruits and sandwiches. Expect



You don’t have to be a bridezilla to ask for a favor every now and then. Ask your mom to help you address invitations and ask your bridesmaids to help decorate the church. Your fiancé can handle some of the details too…ask him to plan the honeymoon or book the DJ for your reception. You may have to give up some control, but in the end you’ll be glad you did.



WEDDING DAY Don’t be afraid to delegate. Pass some duties on to family and friends, that’s what they’re there for! Written by:

108 | nebraska weddingday

Holly Lafferty |

Photo by:

Bellus Photo + Film

Your vendors have a wealth of knowledge when it comes to weddings. Ask them for any advice they are willing to give– budget concerns, figuring out the timeline, etc. Their expertise will help your wedding go off without a hitch!

BE ORGANIZED. Come up with a plan and keep it all together in a wedding book or folder. The best way to prevent disaster is to plan ahead. It’s not a guarantee, but if you don’t procrastinate, the odds your wedding day will be a calm one definitely increase.

BE HEALTHY. Take care of yourself. Planning a wedding is stressful. If you’re not sleeping or eating properly, it’s only going to make things worse. Eat healthy, work out on a regular basis and maintain a consistent sleep


schedule. While it takes a time commitment, you’ll feel better in the long run.

REMEMBER THE BIG PICTURE. Of course your wedding day is important. However, the most important thing is the man and the marriage. Focus on the future and don’t put all of your eggs in the

proverbial “wedding day basket.” At the end of the day you will have made a commitment to someone to spend the rest of your life with him, for better or for worse.

work. Writing out a to-do list will help you keep things moving along smoothly. Focus on one task at a time, and don’t worry about anything else until that task is taken care of.

STAY FOCUSED. Overloading yourself will only increase your stress and make you miserable. It’s commonly agreed that multi-tasking doesn’t

BE FLEXIBLE. Remain open to change. If you find out the beautiful reception hall you always dreamed of won’t hold all the guests at your wedding, don’t let it dash all of your wedding dreams. You may not be able to afford that big bash in Jamaica, but you can still have a wonderful day if you learn to go with the flow.

TAKE A DAY OFF. Take some time to pamper yourself; it will help renew your energy. Turn off your phone, grab your maid of honor and go to a spa. It doesn’t matter how much money you spend…take a bubble bath at home and give yourself a pedicure. The important thing is taking some time out to recharge your batteries. Planning a wedding is hard work – you need a little break every now and then!

HAVE REALISTIC EXPECTATIONS. It would be nice if everything went perfectly, but that’s not likely to happen. When the flower girl throws a tantrum in the middle of the ceremony or the DJ plays the chicken dance after you explicitly told him not to, don’t get upset. If you don’t set your expectations sky-high, you may even find you’ll be able to laugh it off!


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Preparing for the wedding isn’t nearly as important as preparing for the marriage. Take some time to go on dates with your fiancé and make sure you get pre-marital counseling. Spending time together will remind you why you’re going through all of this in the first place, and will definitely make that walk down the aisle a happy one. NWD


Even with the best planning, the unexpected is sure to arise. You can minimize surprises, unexpected expenses and hur t feelings with some simple planning techniques.



GUEST LIST Your wedding day is one of the most special moments in your life. You will share the day with the most special people in your life. But as many couples have learned, creating the guest list can be one of the most complicated aspects of wedding planning. Written by:

112 | nebraska weddingday

Sue Durio |

Photo by:

Bellus Photo + Film

The best way to manage your budget is to manage your guest list. Food and drinks are typically the most expensive costs of a wedding. A full buffet or plated dinner can run $10 to $70 per person, depending on food selections and location. For an open bar, a good rule of thumb is approximately 1-1/2 to 2 drinks per person per hour. Since catering is charged on a perperson basis, it’s easy to see how the costs of an additional 20 or 30 invitations can quickly impact your budget, par ticularly since most invitations are for a couple. Decide how many people you can afford to invite. If your budget is tight, keep it small.

WHAT’S YOUR DREAM WEDDING? Have you always dreamed of an intimate wedding in a small country chapel or


a big bash with all your friends and family? What does your fiancé want? Is it more impor tant for you to have an expensive meal for 30 people or a large event on a tighter budget? Once you’ve determined the type of wedding you both envision, you’ll have a better idea of the appropriate guest list size. Star t with your wish list of guests, but be ready to cut.

WHAT’S THE VENUE? If your dream wedding is in the small country chapel, inviting several hundred people probably is not realistic. You’ll need to decide what is more impor tant – the location or the number of guests. Keeping the wedding small cuts costs and also gives you the freedom to consider more non-traditional settings like a small inn, yacht, or elegant restaurant. If your guest list simply can’t be cut, look for a larger venue rather than trying to pack too many

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people into an uncomfor table space. The venue’s event coordinator can provide estimates for wedding and reception seating capacity. Be sure the facility has adequate parking for your guests as well.

WHO’S PAYING? Traditionally, the bride’s parents pay for the wedding and determine the number of guests to be invited. However, many couples today pay part – or all – of their wedding tab and are more likely to determine the guest list. If your parents are paying, talk to them first about the number of guests they want and how those invitations will be divided between the bride’s parents, groom’s parents and the couple. You may find your parents have a larger guest list in mind than your dream location will accommodate. If they are paying the bill, try to keep their wishes in mind and negotiate a comfor t-

able compromise you both can live with. If you and your fiancé are footing the tab, it will be easier for you to determine the guest list size, but be sensitive to your parents’ wishes. In the end, a few extra guests will not make a huge difference in the bottom line and may be wor th adding to avoid hur t feelings.

HOW DO WE ESTIMATE RSVPS? The formula commonly used for estimating how many people will attend your wedding is to double the number of invitations you send and subtract 33%. Example: If you issue 120 invitations, expect 161 guests to attend. In other words, typically about two thirds of your invitees will actually attend. However, this is just a guideline. Don’t invite people thinking they will never show. Be prepared for surprises.


For one thing, it’s not uncommon for guests to mistakenly RSVP for more guests than you invited. Most wedding guest lists end up, believe it or not, with a few additional names added by guests themselves. Many people mistakenly believe that because it is up to them to fill in the response card with the number of guests attending, they are allowed to include an additional guest or two. They do this, intending no harm, often entirely unaware that this is any form of social blunder. If that occurs, you’ll have to decide whether adding the guest causes a real problem – for instance, if you are already at your venue’s capacity. If so, the best solution is to call the individual to whom the invitation was sent (or have the groom’s parents call if it involves one of their guests) and politely let them know that while you would like to accommodate the extra

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guest, your facility already is at capacity. If the extra guest is not causing a real problem, the best response is no response. Keep in mind the social faux pas was probably not intentional, and you will be better served by graciously ignoring it.

HOW DO WE CREATE THE LIST? Once you have determined how many guests to invite, divide the number in thirds: 1/3 - Guests of the bride’s parents 1/3 - Guests of the groom’s parents 1/3 - Guest of the bride and groom. Next, prioritize each list into three separate categories. A-List: Must-Haves – These are the people you have to invite. This includes family and close friends. Also on this list should be the officiant and his or her spouse or guest. Who is so important that you can’t imagine getting married without

them there? Until you have your reception and ceremony venues finalized, you won’t know how big your guest list can be. However, it’s a good idea at this stage of the game to star t counting family and close friends to get a sense of how many essential invites you have. After all, if you have 60 essential invites, you should probably forget about the charming chapel that only seats 50. Remember to send invitations to your parents and the wedding par ty as keepsakes. They don’t have to reply. Wedding etiquette exper ts also say children over the age of 16 should receive their own invitation. B-List: Should-Haves – These are the people you should invite, such as distant family members and good friends/acquaintances. The B-List guests are the ones with which most couples struggle the most. Do you really need to invite your mom’s great


aunt from Tallahassee? How about her staff from the office? A good rule of thumb: Invite only people you personally know and like. As for friends-in-law you wish you’d never met, star t with this crucial connubial ground rule: You are separate people with different tastes. You don’t have to like each other’s friends, but letting them share

some champagne with you on your big day is not going to hur t anyone. C-List: Like-To-Haves – These are the ones you’d like to include if there is room. This list might include your first-grade friend (whom you haven’t seen in years), old neighbors or business associates. If the issue at hand is the potentially hur t feelings of the uninvited, remember

remote cousins often feel as indifferent toward you as you do toward them and may be happy not to come. The same goes for distant friends. A wedding is not an excuse to round up every friend you have known since you were 10 – focus on people who matter now.

WHAT ABOUT THE “NO-WAY-ARE-WE-INVITINGTHEM” GUESTS? If there are ex-girlfriends, ex-spouses, obnoxious drunks or estranged family with whom you’d rather not share your special day, now is the time to speak up. Decide together who is absolutely not on the guest list.

HOW DO WE HANDLE “NO CHILDREN”? For some couples, one of those notwelcome groups is children. You have a few options for letting your guests know not to bring their children. One is simply to leave their names off the invitation. You can also rely on family to pass the word that children are not invited. Or, you can take the direct approach so there is no misunderstanding or hurt feelings. On the invitation reply card, include wording such as: • Adult Reception • We hope that the (# of) of you will be able to join us. Remember though, “no children” means no children. Bend the rules for your favorite niece, and you’ll have a lot of hur t guests.

WHO PAYS FOR EXTRA GUESTS OVER THE ALLOTTED NUMBER? Once you have established the number of guests each group may invite, any additional guests should be at the expense of the individual initiating the invitation. If the groom’s parents add an extra 50 names to their list, for instance, you should remind them of your budget and ask that 118 | nebraska weddingday


DO SHOWER GUESTS HAVE TO BE INVITED TO THE WEDDING? The shor t answer is yes. Inviting people to a wedding shower but not to the wedding implies that you are only interested in a gift. Avoid hurt feelings by assuming any guest at a bridal shower will also be on your wedding guest list.


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HOW DO WE STAY ORGANIZED? Managing your guest list can be as simple

as creating a spreadsheet that tracks names, addresses, RSVPs, gifts, and thankyou notes. For a low-tech option, set up a card file. Create a card with each guest’s name and address. Highlight the name (example, pink for guests of the bride’s parents, blue for guests of the groom’s parents, and green for your guests) to help in seating arrangements. Leave room at the top of each card to note RSVPs and provide space elsewhere on your list to track gifts received and thank-you notes that you have mailed. Online tools are also available at to help manage the guest list and RSVPs. also provides a web site for the wedding couple. By following these suggestions, you should be able to overcome the challenges of the guest list and star t enjoying your NWD big day! 2

What if you’ve prioritized the list and made initial cuts, but it is still too large? You may be able to trim the list a bit more with these steps: • Make the reception “adults only”. Caterers usually charge per person, including small children.

• Don’t invite coworkers. Nixing all office invites is a simple way to pull in the reins on your ever-growing guest count. • Limit the number of friends your parents invite. If they are inviting friends of their own, especially ones you barely know, set a limit for both sets of parents and stick to it if space and budget are limited. Wedding announcements can be sent to those not on the list in lieu of invitations. • Eliminate the “and guest” if a friend or relative is not in a serious relationship. As long as there are familiar faces at the reception, your solo friend will be fine. • Invite only close family and friends. That third cousin or first-grade best friend you haven’t seen in years probably won’t care that he or she is not invited.


they either trim their list or cover the additional costs.


Nebraska WeddingDay sizes up your style options to see what type of wedding venue is a match.




There’s always a lot to think about when planning your wedding. Finding your style is one of the more time-consuming decisions you’ll make. One of the best ways to get started figuring out your style is to ask yourself what kind of mood you want to create for your event. Take some time to discuss your vision with your fiancé and write out your wants and needs for your wedding. Once you have an idea of what style works for you both, you’ll be able to find a venue to match that style. Don’t hold back when considering your style. Get creative and be honest so you can make your wedding fantasy a reality. Here are some of the popular styles that brides go for when planning their wedding.


It’s not easy choosing a wedding venue. You need a place that suits your budget, accommodates your guests and suits your wedding style. Whether you’re a nature lover, a modernist or a hopeless romantic, there’s a perfect location just for you. Written by:

122 | nebraska weddingday

Kristen Castillo |

Photo by:

Iwen Exposures

You plan to wear your hair in a simple updo and you love a gown with simple lines. For your ceremony and reception, you want a space that’s timeless. An understated location like a traditional ballroom is a perfect fit for you and your groom. It’s not that you’re stuck in the


past – it’s more that you value classic elements like gorgeous views and amazing architecture.

CHIC MODERNIST You read all the latest fashion magazines; you eat at the trendiest restaurants; and you party at the hippest clubs–why should your wedding be any less cutting-edge? You crave a setting that has modern appeal and all the amenities you’ve come to expect. Contemporary brides are attracted to urban venues like highstyle hotels and one-of-a-kind locales. Creative places to look might be an old warehouse or a loft-style restaurant. You’ll be married and partying in the heart of the “it” scene. Don’t forget to modernize your menu, too. Consider combining the ethnic backgrounds of the bride and groom by serving items like Persian kabobs and Mexican fajitas. Think of it as a delicious way to merge two cultures.

Since your venue is the backbone of your wedding celebration, you need to find a ceremony and reception site that works overtime to please you and your groom. Figure out your style and choose a space that meets your needs and your tastes. NATURE LOVER You’re most comfortable outdoors with the breeze in your hair and a beautiful view on the horizon. Your dream wedding is casual, quaint and full of natural elements like water and greenery. Say “I Do” at a local park or barn. A tented event would work great with your style. Look outdoors for breathtaking views. Whatever spot you choose, embrace the great outdoors and share these natural wonders with your guests.

HOPELESS ROMANTIC You’ve been planning your wedding since you were a little girl. You know exactly what you want in accessories, flowers, stationery 124 | nebraska weddingday

OFF-BEAT BRIDE Not every bride wants the fairytale wedding seen on TV and in movies. That can be a good thing, because it’s an opportunity to do something different as you say your vows. Do your own thing: Wear a vintage gown, serve organic food and donate to charity in lieu of wedding favors. It’s your wedding, so you call the shots. Consider a hidden treasure like a retro 1950’s diner or a restored older home. The key to making one of these places work for an off-beat wedding is to let your personal style shine through. Serve the foods you want: A medley of salads, burger stations or even an array of decadent bite-sized desserts.


EMBRACE YOUR STYLE Since your venue is the backbone of your wedding celebration, you need to find a ceremony and reception site that works overtime to please you and your groom. Figure out your style and choose a space that meets your needs and your tastes. Then you can sit back, relax and savor every moment of your wedding day. As you plan your big day, look for opportunities to make the most of your personal style. Your wedding venue has style, as do your invitations, your menu and your gown. Embrace these wedding particulars and everything NWD else that makes your event distinctive. 2

You look your best at all times and you’re looking for a spot that matches your impeccable style.You need a space that has great

character, color and location. You may be the center of attention on your big day, but your venue needs to shine as well. Think about a new place most guests haven’t heard about or visited – that way you’ll seem stylish to everyone attending your wedding. Another option is to celebrate at a specialty venue – a hip club, a private estate or even an open-space site that’s ready for your décor style. When you crave glamour, you need to think big and bold for your event. Guests will count on you to host the party of the year, so make a stellar decision that doesn’t disappoint! |


and a gown. Now you need a venue that meets the one in your dreams – a place that’s charming and inviting, just like your guy. A historic building or an elegant hall will be your best bet. A place that can be dressed up with all the trimmings will ensure everything turns out exactly how you envisioned.



You’re starting to worry because Aunt Betty and the rest of the family aren’t ready to hear what he may have to say. A best man with a few drinks and a microphone is sure to send the bride and possibly the family into shock. What do you do? Relax. Whether you’re celebrating a traditional wedding or not, wedding speeches and toasts are great ways to set an informal and relaxing tone for the rest of the evening. After all, the ceremony is over and it’s time to cut loose.




It was once thought that brides and grooms only toasted one another; however, today’s couples are thoughtfully considerate to publicly toasting others closely involved in the wedding. The most important people to toast are: Best Man, Groomsman, Groom, Maid of Honor, Bridesmaid, Bride and the parents of the Bride and Groom.


Your best man just finished his third toddy at dinner and he’s star ting to get a little crazy. Right before he eats his cake, he remembers he needs to make his toast. Written by:

Kelly Krause |

126 | nebraska weddingday

Photo by:

Geoff Johnson Photographer

Traditionally, the order is as follows: 1. Toast to the bride (from the best man, a family member or friend) 2. Toast to the bride and groom 3. Groom’s response (first to the bride, next to thank the first toaster, then both sets of parents and finally the bridesmaids)

WHERE DO I START? Every great toast should have a good opening and closing. You should think of funny stories or meaningful moments, like the first time you met the person. So sit back and let your best man have a few drinks before he begins to speak. After all, if he’s read this guide to a classic toast, you’ll have nothing to worry about! 2

the bride, the groom, or a family member, a heartfelt message will mean the most. What better opportunity to thank those who mean the most to you in front of everyone; and what better way to get your audience to laugh, cry, smile and applaud? Words to the wise: Keep the drinking to a minimum before a toast so you don’t offend anyone or embarrass yourself.


4. Others (words from ushers or close friends) 5. Father of the bride (he makes the last remarks, thanks everyone for coming, and announces the festivities are ready to begin). Nontraditionally, the order is as follows: 1. Emcee toasts the newlyweds 2. Groom thanks the Emcee, guests and the bride 3. Bride thanks the groom, guests and both sets of parents 4. Father of the bride toasts the bride and thanks ever yone for coming, then announces the festivities are ready to begin


HOW LONG IS A TOAST? A classic toast is only about 2 lines and 30 seconds, but if you are really close to the bride or groom or have a great story, go ahead and go longer. But remember others are waiting to speak too.

IS THERE A PROPER WAY TO TOAST? First, make sure all glasses are filled before toasting. Next, raise your glass with your right hand and be sure the glass is held straight from the shoulder. According to, when toasting first began, it was not unusual to find a sword, dagger or other weapon in the right hand or concealed in the clothing, and the traditional toasting position proved you had come in friendship. Making noise by clinking glasses together was thought to frighten evil spirits away.

WHAT DRINKS DO YOU TOAST WITH? Any drink such as wine, champagne, cocktails or non-alcoholic mixed drinks is suitable for a toast. You should never toast with tea, coffee or water.

WHAT SHOULD I SAY? Whether you are the maid of honor, |




REMEMBER You said “I do,” the ceremony is over, the photographer has snapped the last photo and now it’s time for some fun! How do you make your reception one that’s memorable? You need to find that perfect venue and caterer to really make your event top-notch. Written by:

Jean Hailey |

Photo by:

ORGANIZE A PLAN Once the wedding date is set and you have a good idea of how many guests you will be inviting, it’s time for you and your fiancé to start making decisions. The best approach is to determine one theme for your rehearsal dinner and another for your reception. You can also get plenty of ideas from the professionals you will find in this issue of Nebraska WeddingDay. The most popular reception sites book early, so once the ceremony site and date have been selected, begin to focus on the reception. Make your reception the most romantic and memorable event you have ever experienced. Because receptions are the most complex event you will ever plan, you will need plenty of time to bring it together. 128 | nebraska weddingday

Geoff Johnson Photographer

Plan on scheduling appointments to visit prospective reception sites nine to twelve months before the wedding. Talk with your caterer as soon as possible, especially if your wedding is scheduled during the busiest wedding months of May through October. Some types of receptions can be planned in less time, but nine months is preferred. The more time you have to plan, the better prepared you will be. With this extra time, the caterers will be able to customize the entire event to your tastes. The locations for receptions are limitless. You could choose the grandeur of a restored mansion, the elegance of a country club ballroom, the charm of a Victorian home or the beauty of a country setting. Many hotel and reception facilities have the flexibility to accommodate large groups. Browse the pages of this magazine and note

the many fabulous locations Nebraska has to offer its brides. Additionally, reception sites will usually have the space to accommodate more than one type of wedding-related event, including rehearsal dinners and bridal luncheons. Also, each hotel or reception site will offer a different choice in location, style and atmosphere. Major factors in determining the selection of your reception site are your style and budget. The most important thing to consider is what style or theme you want for your reception. From there, you can find something that will work within your budget. Do you appreciate times gone by and desire a location with a story? If so, Nebraska has a plethora of locations rich in history. You and your fiancé could choose one of Nebraska’s historic sites with stained glass windows and a fabulous staircase ideal for tossing your bouquet. If you would like a unique setting, you may want to consider a breathtaking site overlooking a beautiful lake or lush gardens. If you appreciate nature but still want an elegant evening, a country club would be the perfect environment for you to invite your closest friends and family to celebrate your new beginning. Arrange for a tour and interview at each site before making your decision.

FOOD AND BEVERAGE There’s a lot more that goes into planning your reception than

just choosing the venue. You will also need to think about the food and beverages you will be serving your guests. Food selection includes a variety of options, such as light hors d’oeuvres, heavy hors d’oeuvres, a dinner buffet or a seated dinner. Beverage options run the scale from coffee and punch to a fully hosted bar with champagne, beer, wine and cocktails. Many couples are opting to have only beer and wine as the available beverage at the reception as younger crowds may not miss the cocktails. Budget, time of day, the theme of your wedding and your caterer will all help determine your final menu choices. Early afternoon tea or late evening receptions will normally cost less since the amount of food you will need to provide will be less. The same goes for the seating and rental equipment. If you are working with a tight budget, this is an excellent choice. Receptions scheduled at these times usually do not last as long as those scheduled at early to midevening times. Most evening celebrations include a full meal, a bar and dancing. The dinner buffet or heavy hors d’oeuvres meal is rapidly becoming the serving style of choice. These styles allow a more casual atmosphere and encourage more mingling than a plated dinner. Many Nebraska caterers recommend this style for that reason. There is some question as to what the difference is between |



the dinner buffet and heavy hors d’oeuvres. It may be just a matter of semantics, but normally a dinner provides seating for most or all guests. There will be several entrees from which to choose. One is usually a carving station with beef, turkey, or ham; two salads; two starches; and possibly vegetable and fruit dishes to round out the selections available. Heavy hors d’oeuvres may be slightly lighter, but still consider including a carving station and possibly a pasta bar. Using multiple food stations helps to minimize long lines and frustration for your guests.


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Begin your search by logging on to From the homepage, click on the “Ceremony and Reception” category. There you will find a large variety of venues to explore, along with vir tual tours, which allow you a peek into numerous spaces. The website also features an extensive directory of caterers under “Cakes and Catering.” Your intuition is very important. Let your instinct guide you, and when you find the reception site and caterer that are just right for you, you will know it. Your image of the perfect reception will NWD begin to take shape!


GO FOR A SPLASHY PRESENTATION Ask the caterer or reception hall manager to serve the drinks in specialty glasses: Tulip or fluted glasses for champagne; large bowled glasses for red wine; or curved-top glasses for white wine.

OH THOSE BUBBLES Champagne is a festive beverage, perfect for hors d’oeuvres, toasts and wedding cakes. Here are a few tips for making the most of the champagne experience at your wedding:

WINE 101 Skip the wine class. We’ve got a crash course below to help match the right wine with your menu: Rule #1) You don’t have to serve red wine with meat and white wine with fish. Mix it up a little! Rule #2) You do need to decide whether you want a full or light-bodied wine (red or white) by considering the ingredients of your meal. A taste test will ensure you choose the perfect wine for your dinner. If you’re offering a choice of fish, beef or poultry, choose a light-bodied red wine such as pinot noir. It goes with everything. Consider the weather: Guests will often prefer a lighter wine in the warmer weather and a richer one in the cold. Sipping tips: Choose full-bodied red or white wine for cuisine that is spicy, richly sauced or hearty, such as pasta or red meat. Choose light-bodied red or white wine with meals that are delicate, such as broiled fish.

STOCKING THE BAR You’ve finalized the menu for your reception. Now you need to zero in on how to stock the bar. If you’re working with a caterer, you may want to ask about specialty drinks in addition to the regular offerings. Some trendy couples are opting for an array of micro-brewed beers. Signature drinks created especially for couples are also hot right now. Be sure to include one with and one without alcohol. Here’s a typical rundown of what to include at the bar based on a guest list of 100: Beer: three cases Bourbon: one to two liters Champagne: one-and-a-half cases Dry vermouth: two bottles Gin: two liters Red wine: eight bottles Rum: three liters Scotch: three liters Sweet vermouth: two bottles Tequila: two liters Vodka: six liters White wine: one-and-a-half cases NWD Whiskey: one to two liters 2

Add a romantic touch to your wedding with pink champagne, provided it goes well with your wedding colors. Supply a bottle of champagne on each table for the toast; or, if you need to avoid the cost-prohibitive nature of providing bottles for each table, have waiters bring around pre-filled glasses of champagne for each guest (plan for two glasses per guest). If champagne is still going to be a budget-buster, consider using sparkling wine instead. It’s essentially the same thing as champagne; the only

difference is that it’s not produced in the Champagne region of France. |


Melenbacker Photography




SIGNATURE Cocktails Signature drinks are a great way to personalize your cocktail hour. Many couples are now selecting one or two drinks

available during their reception in lieu of an open bar. When selecting your signature drink, keep your guests’ tastes in mind as well. Vodka and rum drinks are often more popular and are not as taste specific as brandy or whisky. If you are having trouble creating a signature drink for your special day, reflect on your first date, your grandfather’s favorite beverage or your honeymoon destination. Here are a few go-to beverages that can shake up your reception.

The Fiancé

THE FIANCE INGREDIENTS: 2 oz. Hendrick’s Gin 1/2 oz. Darbo Elderflower Syrup Splash of Moet Nectar Champagne Stir all ingredients except for the champagne in a metal cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled champagne glass and top of with Moet Nectar Champagne. Garnish with a colored rose petal, depending on the bride’s color scheme.

Diamond Dazzler

DIAMOND DAZZLER INGREDIENTS: 1 1/2 oz. Belvedere Cytrus 1/4 oz. Grand Marnier 1/4 oz. Fresh Sour Mix 2 oz. Fresh White Peach Puree Top with Moet & Chandon Champagne

Add all ingredients except for champagne to a shaker filled with ice and shake. Strain into a chilled mar tini glass, and top with champagne.

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Cranberry Kiss

CRANBERRY KISS INGREDIENTS: 3/4 oz Rum 2 oz Collins Mix 2 oz Cranberry Juice 1 Lemon Wedge Add rum, collins mix, and cranberry juice to ice-filled highball glass and stir. Garnish with lemon wedge

Wedding Belle Cocktail


1 Dash of Cherry Brandy 1 Dash of Orange Juice Shake all ingredients with ice, strain into a cocktail glass and serve. |





You want your wedding reception to be the party of the year! Chances are youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re already spending a lot of time focusing on food, flowers, entertainment and dĂŠcor, so why not look for some event inspiration by checking out these four reception trends we adore. Written by:

134 | nebraska weddingday

Kristen Castillo

CREATIVE COCKTAIL HOUR Impress your guests with a cocktail hour that looks and tastes amazing! From drinks to food to décor, you can create a party environment that’s rich in detail and style. Personalize your event with colorful and flavorful libations like sangria cocktails which can be paired with themed food stations such as paella. Or consider tropical drinks which can be refreshing signature cocktails. Think flavored vodka with fresh ingredients like ginger and Thai basil. Whatever cocktails you have, find a clever way to label the drinks so everyone knows what they’re drinking and why. If a certain cocktail is the beverage you sampled on your first date, let everyone know the drink’s significance! Serve flavorful hors d’oeuvres to start the party right. After all, your cocktail hour is the beginning of your reception and you want to use this time to make a high impact statement about the cocktail hour and the rest of the event too. Smaller sized appetizers are trendy, which allows guests to sample many different food options. Comfort foods can be quite tasty and nostalgic too. That’s why mini sliders, corndogs, french fries, mac n’cheese, tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches are so popular. |



Remember food presentation matters too! Work with your caterer to ensure the hors d’oeuvres will look as great as they taste. Consider serving mini portions in shot glasses, curved spoons, tiny plates and martini glasses. Rent tall tables and colorful linens to give everyone a pretty place to have a drink and mingle. You can even coordinate your food colors with your event colors. Set up interesting vignettes throughout the cocktail hour such as framed photos of you and your guy and your families throughout the years; hire a caricature artist to draw photos of the guests; and rent a photo booth so everyone can create photo memories on the spot.

LATE NIGHT SNACK Late into the reception, the party can rock on with yummy foods and a relaxed attitude. A late night snack can keep the party going strong, so plan ahead so you can provide snacks that guests will crave. Your caterer can create a snack menu for you including your favorite nibble. So if you and your friends love Buffalo wings and cold beer, this is the time to indulge! Food trucks are the newest buzz idea in weddings. You can hire a food truck to pull up to your event after-hours to serve snacks like tacos, pizza, donuts, burgers and fries.

Wedding cake is a tradition but that doesn’t mean you can’t have more sweets. Dessert stations can be stand alone instead of wedding cake or they can be served with the cake. DESSERT STATIONS Wedding cake is a tradition but that doesn’t mean you can’t have more sweets. Dessert stations can be stand alone instead of wedding cake or they can be served with the cake. The choice is yours and it’s a delicious choice to make. Serve up chocolate mousse with chocolate cake served with vanilla ice cream and raspberries. Or offer cookies, cake pops and ice cream sundaes. Be sure to have lots of variety so guests can nibble on many different treats.

MIDWEEK WEDDINGS Sure the majority of weddings happen on Saturdays, but other days of the week are options too. 136 | nebraska weddingday



Book a Wednesday or a Thursday wedding event and watch how much money you’ll save since vendors typically don’t have events those nights, which means they’re more likely to be available and often more willing to give you discount prices. Many venues that have a minimum fee for a Saturday wedding won’t have that fee for a midweek celebration. If your schedule allows for midweek flexibility, then take advantage of these great deals! These off-peak choices can help you secure a popular venue which may be otherwise booked far in advance. Off-beat venues are trendy too. Consider celebrating your nuptials at a local museum, a private home or even your personal home. All of these trends are pretty cool, but don’t forget to make your celebration personalized for you and your guy! NWD |



What’s acceptable in 2012 is very different from what your grandmother experienced at her wedding 50 years ago, or even what your sister thinks she knows after her wedding in 2002. That’s where Nebraska WeddingDay comes in. We’re here to aid you in determining some of the wedding myths floating around today and how to handle the misperceptions of others. In the end, you must make your own judgment calls, but it never hurts to have a little help.

Geoff Johnson Photographer



UNVEILED As you are planning your wedding, you’ll hear a lot of well-meant advice along the way. How do you sor t out the “right” info from the “wrong” info? Written by:

138 | nebraska weddingday

Holly Lafferty

A Wedding Planner is an Unnecessary Expense. Sure, wedding planners cost money. Doesn’t everything these days? But a wedding planner can offer invaluable advice, save you from headaches and end up actually saving you money with her business connections. Consider this scenario: You’re trying to negotiate a sensible group rate with a hotel for your out-of-town guests. They aren’t budging on what you consider to be an unreasonable amount of money for your guests to spend.You have your heart set on this particular hotel and are beginning to get frustrated. Enter your wedding planner, stage right.You’ve been wasting valuable wedding planning time on an issue that isn’t going to get resolved by you alone. Your wedding planner has worked with this hotel before and brought them years of business. She can use that previous business relationship with the hotel sales manager to not only settle on a more satisfactory cost, but also save you the time and effort of trying to work out a situation that wasn’t going your way. Everyone wins!

WEDDING MYTH #2 Only the Bride Should Wear White. Thanks to the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, that tradition has gone out the window. After all, if the Duchess of Cambridge doesn’t mind her maid of honor wearing a white dress, why should you throw a fit when your aunt shows up in one? There are rules to this, however. One should always check with the bride to make sure she’s okay with the color choice. More than anything, this rule is made to be broken when it comes to the wedding party. Puffy pink bridesmaid dresses are out, and anything goes when it comes to color now. Whether that means your bridesmaids are decked out in different shades of green, blue or ivory is up to you. As long as you’re comfortable sharing your color, everyone else should be too. And let’s be honest: is anyone really going to steal the attention away from you on your big day just because they’re in a similar shade? We think not.

reasonable. But there are tons of fantastic professionals out there waiting to do the job for you and help ease your burden, so use them. Trying to take on everything by yourself is just asking for a mental breakdown before your big day.

WEDDING MYTH #4 Seating Charts are a Waste of Time and Money. While it’s true that seating charts aren’t the etiquette requirement they once were, there is still a huge benefit to taking the time to put one together. First of all, if you listened to NWD’s advice and hired a wedding planner, she can do a lot of the dirty work for you. Second, they show your guests you put a lot of time and effort into caring about their comfort at the reception. You’ll certainly breathe a sigh of relief knowing your Uncle Eddie won’t be getting flirty with your

poor single friend Alyssa when they accidentally end up at the same table. And finally, there are so many fun options with seating charts and cards these days! If you’re doing an outdoor reception, do something creative with an artsy friend and a chalkboard. If it’s an elegant indoor reception, have some classy table numbers and place cards printed. Here’s where your DIY skills will come in handy. Just remember to be conscious and considerate of everyone’s needs; and have several people look over the chart to make sure you’re not forgetting about a feud or an ex-relationship.

WEDDING MYTH #5 Buffets are Cheaper than Plated Dinners. In the past, it’s been assumed that buffets are a money-saving option for your guests’ dinner. While this has generally been the case, buffets these days can include

WEDDING MYTH #3 Having a DIY Wedding Will Save You Money. The truth is, DIY projects can be timeconsuming and expensive. You may end up learning this the hard way after you and your five bridesmaids have logged about 100 hours of work creating handmade invitations to absolute perfection. Then you look ahead and remember you’re still planning on making the reception decorations, designing and putting together your own floral arrangements and crafting your own wedding favors for a guest list of 200; and your heart drops. On top of that, you realize all the materials for your beautifully designed invitations ended up costing you about $7 each in manpower and product. Suddenly a DIY wedding doesn’t sound so wonderful after all. Cheer up. A DIY project doesn’t have to kill you as long as your plans are |



by throwing a big party for everyone, why care who objects?

some very costly options. However, buffets can also be fantastic for offering your guests a variety of choices and allowing you a little culinary experimentation. Don’t automatically count out the benefits of a plated dinner reception, which can still allow your guests choices (don’t forget to mention the “chicken or fish” option on the RSVP card) while bringing an extra level of elegance to your reception.There’s nothing quite like being served a delicious meal to make a guest feel pampered and satisfied.


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A Big Second Wedding is Tacky. The rule here: Just because you’ve already done it once doesn’t mean you can’t do it again. This is especially true when it

comes to your second (or third, or fourth) wedding. Don’t let your Great Aunt Gertrude guilt you into toning down your wedding simply because things didn’t work out the first time. You don’t have to be relegated to city hall for your second wedding. After all, you mean your vows just as much for your second wedding, so why shouldn’t you be able to celebrate your love in a big way? Every bride deserves her day, no matter how many times she walks down the aisle. If you and your groom can afford it, go all out and enjoy your union. Just remember it doesn’t matter what others think.Your wedding day is about celebrating the love you and your groom share for one another and if you want to do that

It’s Bad Luck for the Groom to See You Before You Walk Down the Aisle. Thankfully, this tradition is not a given anymore. With wedding photos now a huge priority for brides, it’s more convenient and just as romantic to photograph a “first look” hours before you walk down the aisle. Plus, think of all the benefits that come from taking photographs early. Your guests don’t have to wait two hours before the wedding party arrives for dinner. You and your groom get to spend more of the day together enjoying each other. It even affords you the time to sneak off and take photos in a unique location, offering more precious memories from your big day. If you want to follow tradition and wait for him to see you walk down the aisle, there’s nothing wrong with that either–the moment will be special either way. Just make sure you do what’s comfortable for you and not what you think you “should” do. When it comes to today’s weddings, anything goes. Weddings are supposed to be a celebration of love, not a lesson in political correctness. So let loose and enjoy NWD yourself! 2

Shane & Sunny Photography







From a toss of rose petals to fireworks in the sky, your exit as husband and wife is a staple in your wedding album. Here are four ideas to lead you down an aisle of bliss.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: Keep the tradition alive by handing out paper shaped cones stuffed with rose petals; balloons are a fun and inexpensive way to add color and excitement to your exit; fireworks are sure to make a lasting impression on guests as you exit your reception, encourage your guests to bring their glass of champagne to enjoy the show; sparklers light up the path as you make your way to a getaway car, make sure to create a wide tunnel to prevent any accidents. |





Before you write off the idea, take a moment to think about the variety of advantages a smaller wedding offers.

DREAMING OF A SMALL CHAPEL? You may have thought the tiny church that only seats 75 people was out of your reach. If you cut down the guest list, you can say your vows in the lovely little space you’ve admired since you were four years old.

FIJI, HERE WE COME! You can sock away the money saved on your wedding for an unforgettable honeymoon. Enjoy a two week adventure in paradise and still have the wedding of your dreams.

LET YOUR INNER DIY DIVA LOOSE. With a smaller wedding, suddenly those special little details that would be overwhelming with a large guest list become more manageable. Name cards for 40 people instead of 40 tables become a fun project instead of a chore. Everyone will reap the rewards of that extra personal attention.

TURN AWAY THOSE PEOPLE YOU WERE SCARED TO SAY NO TO BEFORE. If it’s only immediate family and a few close friends, you don’t have to worry about offending your second cousin twice removed. Simply say, “it’s only immediate family.” Granted, there may be some complaints, but everyone will have to fall into line if you’re consistent with your guest list.

Gone are the days of the 500 person guest list (not that there’s anything wrong with a big wedding!). Intimate weddings are in right now, and they’re helping you save your wedding budget. Written by:

142 | nebraska weddingday

Holly Lafferty |

Photo by:

Nikki Moore Photography

REVEL IN THE EXTRA ALONE TIME. Less people means more time with each guest and with your new husband. You’ll be able to take a few moments and enjoy your special day with each and every loved one, instead of flitting from table to table for a

quick hug and a “thank you”.Your guests will feel more appreciated, and you’ll love snuggling up with your hubby instead of frantically running around to greet everyone.

SAVE YOURSELF SOME TIME. If you’re having 30 people instead of 300, you won’t be spending nearly as much time addressing invitations, designing a seating chart and planning a menu. Everything will be on a smaller scale, including your time commitment.




Don’t worry about impressing all of your co-workers. Don’t fret over whether everyone will get served before the food is cold. Hosting a smaller wedding means less people-pleasing and more fun–for you, your husband and your guests. Breaking it down, it’s easy to see why an intimate wedding is so appealing. Saving money is only one benefit among many that make a smaller event desirable. If the thought of a huge guest list makes you feel overwhelmed and overextended, maybe it’s time to think about paring down your list and giving yourself a break.You can have the wedding of your dreams without having a NWD headache to go along with it. |



That’s why many brides and grooms hire an off-premise caterer, which is a caterer who can prepare food for many different venues. Not being tied to one location can mean the caterer has more flexibility to offer a variety of menus and custom packages. You can find an off-premise caterer to create just about any wedding menu from Hawaiian barbeque to New England seafood to sushi stations. They can even prepare family recipes like Mom’s potatoes or Grandma’s biscuits.




Food is often the focal point of your wedding reception. From appetizers to entrées to delicious desser ts, the right caterer can elevate your event from tasty to scrumptious! Written by:

Kristen Castillo

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Photo by:

Paula Moser Photography

Off-premise caterers often are hired for receptions held at private estates, warehouses and lofts, backyards and even parks and beaches. These caterers typically offer quality ingredients, precise food preparation and impeccable service. From breads to sauces, most items are homemade. They will custom design menus and service plans to fit your wedding style, your theme and of course, your budget. That means you can help craft your event’s dinner scheme including linens, silverware, food options and presentation.

HIRING AN OFF-PREMISE CATERER Sometimes a venue requires a bride and groom to use a specific caterer or to choose from a list of “preferred” caterers. Many times that means the “preferred” caterer has to pay a fee to the venue to be on that list. It can be frustrating if you want to hire an off-premise caterer but your venue doesn’t approve. So what can you do?

Before you hire a caterer, you definitely want to taste the food they can provide for your event. Bite by bite, you’re looking for excellent food quality, taste and presentation.


If the caterer doesn’t have a restaurant for example, a tasting may be the only way a couple can get a sense of the caterer’s food, taste and presentation. That caterer would have to prepare a custom meal for two, which typically costs a caterer $400 to $800. Generally, tastings are just for the bride and groom so if you want your mother, your maid of honor or your best friend to attend the tastings too, expect to pay for those guests. Go ahead and unfold your napkin, pick up your fork and get ready to sample some amazing cuisine. With off-premise caterers preparing your wedding menu, everyone will be impressed! 2

Before you hire a caterer, you definitely

want to taste the food they can provide for your wedding event. Bite by bite, you are looking for excellent food quality, taste and presentation. Tastings can happen in a few ways: some are just for the couple and free of charge; many are group events where many brides and grooms sample the food for free or for a fee; and others for the bride and groom require a fee which would go toward a signed catering contract if the caterer is hired for the event. The question of whether or not to charge for tastings is a challenge in the wedding industry because the tastings can be expensive for the caterer, especially when a couple decides not to hire them for the wedding.


Ask your would-be caterer to provide their professional credentials like licenses and insurance information to the venue. Then speak to the venue’s manager or owner to see if you can work out the arrangements. Often you can use your desired caterer if you’re willing to pay an additional fee to the venue for choosing your own vendor. If you feel stuck because your venue won’t accommodate an outside caterer, you might have another alternative. Look for comparable venues that would accommodate your desire for a specific caterer.




WEDDING WEATHER FORECAST You and your soon-to-be hubby are all about the outdoors. It’s been your dream to tie the knot under the big oak tree in your parent’s backyard or near the lake where you first locked lips. But you’re planning a Nebraska wedding and the weather here is unpredictable. Thanks to KLKN Chief Meteorologist Kevin Coskren, NWD is able to provide you with several factors to consider when planning an outdoor wedding in Nebraska.

By Chelsea Amundson

• It’s all about averages! Look at the average highs & lows over a period of time, but don’t forget to look at your record highs & lows as well. According to Coskren, “This is what really tells you the temperature extremes, which will be helpful when picking your wedding date.” • Watch out for severe weather! To avoid thunderstorms, plan a late morning wedding and a luncheon reception. Thunderstorms tend to pop up between 3:00 PM and 9:00 PM…and don’t forget about those Nebraska winds that tend to kick up in the afternoon. A tented reception by Lincoln Tent or Midwest Tent & Events is always a good option when planning your outdoor wedding. • What’s your Plan B? You can control your wedding, but you can’t control the weather. Always have a well-thought out backup plan in case the thunderheads decide to roll in on your big day.


Avg. High/Low

Feels Like

Avg. Precipitation

Severe Weather

Wind Conditions



4.25 in

High Possibility of Severe Weather Tornados

High Wind Conditions



Mild Temperatures An extreme change in temperature from the beginning to the end of the month. Minimal humidity Warm & Slightly Humid

3.5 in




3.5 in



Hot & Humid The last two weeks of July are the hottest during the year. Hot & Humid

Highest Possibility of Severe Weather Tornados Chance of Thunderstorms

3.5 in

Chance of Thunderstorms

Low Wind Conditions



Mild to Moderate Temperatures Less humidity

2.92 in

Severe Weather is Unlikely

High Wind Conditions

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*Recommended months to wed outdoors in Nebraska according to local Chief Meteorologist Kevin Coskren are May, June & September.






We love seeing a glimpse of heritage, customs and traditions in weddings. Select something meaningful to you like your family, place of origin or traditions through decor, programs, food and dress.

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM: Tell guests of your backgrounds and traditions on your programs, they will love reading what brings you two together and the events of the day; traditional dress is a great way to unify your customs and traditions; traditional dress is meaningful for your wedding day and should be captured in film to hand down to your children; keep guests cool and add a piece of you or your husband through items like fans, knots or other cultural traditions. |





When the day of your wedding comes, don’t be unprepared! Know ahead of time what to do about gratuity. Some places include gratuity in their contracts; others expect a tip for their services; and still others don’t expect anything beyond their contracted fee. Written by:

Holly Lafferty |

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Photo by:

Shane & Sunny Photography

How do you know who you need to tip and when? You should always check your contracts to make sure gratuity is or isn’t included, but if it’s not, this guide will straighten things out for you: Hairstylist/Makeup artist: A 15 to 20 percent tip at the time of service is expected. Officiant/Clergy: While an officiant typically does not require you to compensate for his services, he will expect you to make a contribution to his church or organization. $100 is usually a good star ting point, and a tip to the officiant himself could be given as well. A good time to tip the officiant is right after the rehearsal or ceremony. Have cash envelopes prepared for all vendors in advance. Traditionally it is the best man’s duty to take care of tips on your behalf on your wedding day, but if this is not an option, entrust the task to someone else, like the father of the bride. Musicians for Ceremony: $25-40 is considered an appropriate amount to tip your ceremony musicians. You can also tip them right after the ceremony. Delivery staff (including set-up, florists, bakery, etc): $5-$25 per person at the time of delivery. Base the amount you tip on the difficulty of tasks–for example, the people setting up your giant wedding tent should probably be tipped on the higher |


ice charge to the bar bill, tip the bar tenders 10 percent of the total amount of the liquor bill at the end of the reception. This can then be divided evenly among the bar tenders if there are two or more. Attendants (powder-room, coat-check and parking): Each person should receive about $1-$2 per guest at the end of the reception. For parking attendants, base the amount on $1-$2 per car. DJ/Musicians at Reception: This gratuity may be included in the contract, but if it’s not, they should receive a 5 to 20 percent tip at the end of the reception. The following vendors will not typically expect a tip, but it is certainly always appreciated, especially if you feel a vendor has gone above and beyond in the quality of his or her ser vice: • Photographer and assistant • Wedding planner • Florist • Caterer • Cake Baker • Bridal and tuxedo shop consultants • Seamstress • Videographer • Jeweler NWD 2

end, while the delivery person dropping off the cake may not need as much. Wedding Day Transportation: Check and make sure this is not already included in your contract. If it isn’t, tip 20 percent of the total cost either in advance or once the service is completed. (It can be a good idea to wait until the end of day to ensure you will receive the best service possible.) Reception Hall Manager: Again, check and make sure it is not in the contract in the form of a service charge. Clarify with the manager who the service charge goes to (it may be a small fee added for the manager, or it may be a larger fee that goes to all wait staff and attendants). Don’t be afraid to ask! If a service charge is not included, 15 to 20 percent of the total bill or $1-$2 per guest is appropriate. Have your best man give this to the manager at the end of the reception. Wait staff (at rehearsal dinner and reception): If gratuity is not added, tip 18 to 20 percent per person. You can always tip more if you’d like, depending on the level of service you receive. Wait until the end of the dinner or reception to tip each server (you can give the envelopes to the reception hall manager to distribute). Bartenders: If the bar manager has not already added a serv-


Attanasio Photography



ENTERTAINMENT Your wedding ceremony is first: a serious, formal and dignified affair. After saying “I Do” and walking back down the aisle on the arm of your new husband, it’s time to breathe a sigh of relief, let your hair down and celebrate at the reception. Written by:

150 | nebraska weddingday

Anne Blankenbiller

With family and friends all gathered in one room to toast your new marriage, the last thing you want to see is your guests sitting at tables staring at each other, texting everyone in their contacts list or even being tempted to leave early. Today’s receptions are more than cake and a cash bar. Couples are taking entertainment options seriously and getting creative to ensure guests of all ages have a fun experience. After the wedding, your guests may not remember some of the simple details, but they will remember if they had a good time dancing, visiting and eating.

LET THE MUSIC PLAY From big band to rock-n-roll, music is an all-impor tant choice for your function. Over the last few years, the wedding industry has seen a rise in the popularity of the “iPod wedding reception”. Couples download their favorite tunes to play at the reception and simply plug it in. This is an economical option and saves the expense of hiring a professional DJ or band. However, Nebraska WeddingDay cautions brides about relying on an iPod and

Sunny and Shane Photography

asks them to consider questions such as: Who is going to be the emcee? How are you going to know when to have your entrance? How will you know when to have your first dance? Brides should consider the emotions and the timing of the day. For example, you don’t want your first dance song to begin playing while you are in the bathroom. In general, hiring a good band is more expensive than hiring a DJ. Both can provide an upbeat musical atmosphere and get guests off their chairs and onto the dance floor. NWD recommends couples watch a band or DJ perform live before hiring them. Don’t rely on demo CD’s that can be remixed to sound better.

CAPTURE THE MOMENT Your photographer will capture many memorable moments during your wedding and reception. Take it a step further and turn photography into part of your entertainment by setting up a photo booth for guests to pose for pictures. Some shots may be silly and others Today’s brides and may be valuable family por traits. Either way, grooms have an your guests will have fun and you will receive endless array of unique photos of them. Some wedding phowedding entertainment tographers can provide this service and set up a options, from classical professional photo booth complete with and traditional to quirky props and proper lighting. A more inexpensive and boisterous. route is to hire someone with a good camera and a knack for photography. Many rental companies now offer retro portable photo booths allowing guests to take home a fun par ty pic. Or, provide a lowcost portable printer that can download camera photos so guests can print pictures on the spot. Be sure to provide a plentiful supply of photo paper and ink and ask them to print a copy for you as well.

KEEPING KIDS CORRALLED If your wedding reception will include children, consider planning some special enter tainment just for them. A popular option is to hire a balloon ar tist, clown or magician to enter tain children during the cocktail hour. Setting up a special kids’ area with games, crafts and a small |


Sunny and Shane Photography


DVD player can keep the little ones occupied and be a godsend for parents. Ask older teenage cousins to supervise and play with these younger guests. If your reception food isn’t kid-friendly, provide a few kid snacks in this area, such as small crackers, cookies, veggies with dip and juice boxes (white grape or clear in case of spills).


152 | nebraska weddingday



Wedding reception enter tainment doesn’t need to be confined to just music and a stage act. Use your enter tainment to reflect your personality, background or heritage. Try an interactive approach with guests and turn them into the entertainment. Hire a dance instructor to teach a short group lesson on salsa, swing or polka dancing. This gives guests an extra incentive to get out on the dance floor and practice their new moves. Another great idea is to hire a live ar tist to paint your par ty. Guests are able to watch as your ar tist paints your reception in motion, and you have a wonderful keepsake after the night is over. Fireworks displays can be very enter taining, especially near the end of the festivities or during an outdoor event. Even simple and inexpensive items such as a chocolate fountain or ice sculpture are a form of enter tainment. If you are planning a Nebraska fall wedding on the same day as a Big Red football game, consider renting a projection TV. Put it in an out-of-the-way corner so spor ts fans can keep up with the game and still enjoy the wedding. Go all out in creating a lounge for the area, complete with drinks, couches and lighting. Today’s brides and grooms have an endless array of wedding entertainment options, from classical and traditional to quirky and boisterous. Couples should think seriously about their entertainment and find a good balance by reflecting their personality as a couple and ensuring guests of all ages enjoy their wedding celebration. NWD

Reception Guide

This invaluable guide to Nebraska’s most exciting reception venues is designed to introduce engaged couples to a variety of great reception possibilities. This guide provides only a glimpse into all that these venues have to offer. Please visit our website to view virtual tours of many of the facilities listed here.

Ameristar Casino & Hotel

Anthony’s Steakhouse

Just bring the joy. We’ll supply the rest. Ameristar is committed to creating the wedding of your dreams. Our team of experts will create an unforgettable event, perfect for you. Our luxurious ballroom – a candlelit beauty – is pure elegance and will delight your guests. Menus crafted by our award-winning culinary team,160 elegant hotel rooms, Free valet parking, Onsite child center, Whirlpool suites, Outdoor site for receptions and ceremonies, Dedicated staff, start to finish.

With a reputation for great steaks and Italian cuisine, a wedding reception at Anthony’s is the perfect idea! Anthony’s beautiful 9,000 sq. ft. Grand Ballroom has 3 full-service bars, a spacious dance floor, full audio/ visual capabilities and a private patio complete with a waterfall, gazebo and covered seating. We will provide you with the venue and services to make your wedding reception an event to remember.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

350 Y N Varies Y Varies 135

712.396.3117 F 2200 River Road Council Bluffs, IA 51501

The Apothecary Lofts

350 Y N N Y Call for rates 135

402.331.7575 F 7220 F Street Omaha, NE 68127

Arbor Hall

Atrium Banquet Facility

Add the “WOW” factor to your wedding memories in Historic Haymarket’s Apothecary Lofts. Whether you host just your wedding reception or book a “wedding package”, you too will say “WOW”! Schedule a tour to discover Lincoln’s best-kept secret, where you can enjoy a complete wedding weekend including your rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony and reception, wedding overnight, and gift opening brunch. WOW!

With a spacious interior, outdoor garden, and ample parking, Arbor Hall is the perfect venue for your wedding reception and ceremony site. With over 10 years of experience, we specialize in stress free weddings. Let us take care of all your wedding needs, including food, alcohol, cakes, flowers, hair and make up, photography, DJ service, and private dance lessons.

Elegant, Stylish & Affordable…No Additional Tax Here! The Atrium Banquet Facility offers a personal touch you don’t find anymore and the phone is always answered by the owner. We alleviate stress by offering services such as: Wedding Cakes, Catering, DJ, Full Bar, Waiters & Bartenders. Magnificent high ceilings and pillars with natural lighting accompany this spacious banquet hall. Visit our website or call for a private tour today!

Chez Hay offers a beautiful urban loft-style banquet space located in the heart of downtown Lincoln, only a few blocks from the UNL campus. Our space features large windows overlooking the city, a spacious wood dance floor and exposed brick walls. With full food and beverage service, we promise to keep every guest satisfied, whether there are 2 or 260.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

299 Y Y Call for rates N N/A 124

402.474.1812 140 N. 8th Street Lincoln, NE 68508

325 Y N $500 + Y $12.95 + 137

402-884-2269 F 14040 Arbor Street Omaha, NE 68144

350+ Y N Varies N Varies 9

402.706.8983 14333 S. Hwy 31 Gretna, NE 68028

Chez Hay

260 Y N Varies N $11 + 118

402.489.7445 210 North 14th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 |


reception guide

The Club at Indian Creek The Club at Indian Creek is the perfect choice for your event. Open to the public for wedding receptions and rehearsal dinners, Indian Creek is a wonderful setting. We can accommodate groups from 20 to 400. With beautiful golf course views, an outdoor veranda, classic mahogany décor and professional event coordinators, Indian Creek will customize your event to make it all you have ever dreamed!

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

400 Y N Varies Y $15 + 117

402.289.0900 3825 N. 202nd Street Omaha, NE 68022

The Durham Museum

Creighton University-Skutt & Harper Centers Situated in the midst of the beautiful Creighton University campus, the Skutt and Harper Centers’ ballrooms can accommodate up to 350 guests for your wedding reception. Pricing includes all setup/teardown, A/ V, dance floor, staging and complimentary, convenient parking. Our full-service, on-site caterer can customize an affordable menu. Our staff will work with you to make sure that every detail of your special day is perfect! Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

350 N N $600-$1600 N Call for rates 137

402.280.1493 2500 California Plaza Omaha, NE 68178

DC Centre Our rental fees are all-inclusive; we provide the linens, china, centerpieces, assistance with cake cutting and decorating, bartender, and security at no additional charge. DC Centre’s culinary staff provides exquisite meals at an affordable price. Our employees are trained to provide excellent customer service so we can ensure that each reception is well taken care of. The DC Centre is where affordability and elegance meet.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

1200 Y N Varies Y $10.95 + 130

402.393.7431 11830 Stonegate Circle Omaha, NE 68164

DoubleTree by Hilton Omaha Downtown When it comes to making your wedding special, DoubleTree is committed to making every moment memorable. Our planners will help you create a wedding that is luxurious, personalized and unique. Offering upscale accommodations and amenities at our full-service hotel, DoubleTree can accommodate weddings of all sizes. This is the day you have been dreaming of; DoubleTree will create the spectacular day you so richly deserve. Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

700 Y N $900-$1600 N Varies 103

402.636.4900 F 1616 Dodge Street Omaha, NE 68102 directory/doubletreeomaha

Embassy Suites - La Vista

Embassy Suites - Lincoln

Embassy Suites - Omaha

Discover why there’s no other venue for hosting private events like The Durham Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. The most discerning event planner will revel in this exceptional venue, offering the finest combination of stunning architecture and historic grandeur. Sophisticated enough for the most romantic wedding celebration, the museum offers you an ideal setting that is sure to leave a lasting impression on your event guests.

The Embassy Suites Omaha-LaVista Hotel & Conference Center offers a beautiful setting for grand gala weddings as well as smaller intimate weddings. Available for ceremonies, wedding receptions, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners, the Embassy Suites-LaVista is conveniently located at I-80 and Giles Road. Contact our professional and experienced catering staff to turn your big day into everything you dream it to be.

As a full-service on-site catering hotel, the Embassy Suites – Lincoln offers a lavish menu, all-inclusive packages, wide-ranging décor selections and large ballrooms. Your out-oftown guests will find comfort in our two-room suites. Please call us to hear about our complimentary amenities, including a weddingnight suite for the bridal couple.

Embassy Suites Omaha-Downtown/Old Market; located in the heart of the historic Old Market, offers a perfect location and ideal setting for the Perfect Wedding Day. Experienced catering staff onsite to take care of all the details. Available for ceremonies, wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, Embassy Suites - Omaha offers a lavish menu, all-inclusive packages and wide-ranging décor selections. Call our Wedding specialist today!

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

600+ Y Y Varies N N/A 110

402.444.5071 801 South 10th Street Omaha, NE 68108 154 | nebraska weddingday

325-800+ Y N Varies Y $32 + 109

402.331.7400 12520 Westport Pkwy La Vista, NE 68128

500-800 Y N Varies Call for Info $23 + IFC

402.474.1111 1040 P Street Lincoln, NE 68508

500-800 Y N Varies N $25 + IFC

402.346.9000 555 South 10th Street Omaha, NE 68102

Georgetowne Club

Grand Manse

Havelock Social Hall

Hidden Valley Golf Course

The Georgetowne Club is a beautiful facility conveniently located in the heart of West Omaha, a perfect location for your memorable wedding reception. Our staff will handle your reception from beginning to end, allowing you to be a guest at your own reception. Let the staff at Brandeis Catering handle all the details, because you have more important things on your mind than the menu!

Your wedding deserves a setting – not just a space. The Grand Manse provides unique rooms rich in character, history and architectural beauty. Built in 1904, the Grand Manse has been artfully renovated to savor the feel and texture of the past while providing every modern amenity. Something old and something new come together beautifully in one of Nebraska’s most elegant event settings.

At Havelock Social Hall, we dedicate ourselves to providing you with a worry-free wedding reception. With over 15 years of experience, we can help you with every detail of your special day. We will provide you with quality food, excellent service and reasonable prices. Seating for up to 400; Large dance floor; Separate stages for DJ & wedding party, and Large private parking lot.

At Hidden Valley, we are dedicated to making each reception as unique as the couple. We strive to exceed our guests’ every expectation through our attention to details, preparation, professional service and friendly, helpful staff. With a true passion for coordinating events, we will make every effort to satisfy our guests. Come experience the best place in town to celebrate your marriage!

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

600 N N Call for rates Call for info $18.95 + 114

402.334.5446 2440 South 141st Circle Omaha, NE 68144

100-850 Y Y Varies N N/A 115

402.476.4560 F 129 N 10th Street Lincoln, NE 68508

250 / 400 N N $600 / $700 N $8 + 140

402.467.3002 4538 N. 62nd Street Lincoln, NE 68507

402.434.5151 10501 Pine Lake Road Lincoln, NE 68526

Holiday Inn Downtown Lincoln

Hillcrest Country Club

Hilton – Omaha

HiMark Banquet Facility

Hillcrest Country Club…where your dream wedding becomes reality. Built in 1928, Hillcrest offers over 75 years of tradition and excellence. Whether you are planning a casual or formal event, we offer a unique and elegant atmosphere with first-class service. Our experienced staff puts its heart into ensuring your evening will never be forgotten. Rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, and wedding party golf outings are also available.

Elegance & Style: Your perfect marriage at Hilton Omaha, recognized as the premiere venue for weddings. Hilton Omaha features more than 39,000 square feet of flexible event space, including the dazzling 10,000 square-foot Grand Central Ballroom. We provide a professional coordinator to assist you, a dance floor and staging area, in-house catering by our renowned chefs, ice sculptures, a state-of-the-art sound system, bridal suites and a health club with spa treatment rooms.

HiMark Banquet Facility features two beautifully decorated Banquet Rooms with scenic Golf Course views. We can accommodate groups of all sizes – perfect for Wedding Receptions and Rehearsal Dinners. Our experienced staff will work with you to customize your event, making it everything you have imagined. Included amenities: Linens, Table Settings, Centerpieces, Dance Floor, Bar Services and beautiful golf course views perfect for your photo backdrop.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

300 Y N $1000 Y $15 + 124

402.489.7111 9401 O St. Lincoln, NE 68520

700 Y N Varies N Varies IBC

402.998.3400 1001 Cass Street Omaha, NE 68102

225 Y N Call for rates Y $14.95 + 145

400 N N Varies N $13.95 + 107

402.488.3900 or 402.488.7888 8901 Augusta Drive Lincoln, NE 68526

The Holiday Inn Downtown has two ballrooms; The Lincoln Ballroom, which holds up to 500 people and the Nebraska Ballroom, which holds up to 250 people. We provide you with a dedicated wedding coordinator to personally assist in planning all the aspects of your reception, a professional staff to provide you with uncompromising service and superior food quality. For inquiries, call our wedding coordinator – Hollie Waldo. Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

500 Y N Varies N Call for rates 113

402.475.4011 141 N 9th St. Lincoln, NE 68508 |


reception guide

Holiday Inn Downtown Omaha

*With restrictions

Celebrate your special day in style at the Holiday Inn Downtown Omaha’s Bacardi Ballroom. With floor to ceiling windows overlooking the downtown skyline, the Bacardi Ballroom is sure to provide the perfect backdrop for your special event. Located in downtown’s up and coming NODO district, Holiday Inn is the ideal location for guests with catering from our on-site facility, romantic suites and indoor water park. Call for more information. Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

250 Y Y* $1,000+ Y Varies* 119

402.341.0124 F 1420 Cuming St Omaha, NE 68102

Holiday Inn Southwest Lincoln There is a new wedding venue in south Lincoln! The Holiday Inn Southwest is a fullservice hotel with on-site catering. From light hors d’oeuvres to an elegantly served dinner, our culinary team prepares the finest food in Lincoln. We can help you plan your wedding from the rehearsal dinner, to the gift opening. You and your guests will love our modern ballroom and guest accommodations.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

250 Y N $500+ N $12.95+ 119

Lauritzen Gardens Lauritzen Gardens offers a breathtaking facility for your wedding or reception. Our unique garden areas offer just the right setting for an outdoor wedding ceremony. There are six garden areas available for you to choose the right location that will be perfect for you. Or, our indoor facility offers a stunning elegance that can be designed for large celebrations or intimate gatherings.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

280 Y N Varies Y Varies 98

402.421.1893 ext. 153 2500 Tamarin Ridge Road Lincoln, NE 68512

402.346.4002 F 100 Bancroft Street Omaha, NE 68108

Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall

Livestock Exchange Building

The Lodge at Wilderness Ridge

The Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall has an affordable dynamic entertainment space that can provide an unsurpassed atmosphere for your wedding reception and even the ceremony! Features included are a large kitchen, HD projector/screen, free convenient parking, centerpiece items and decorations. We are located close to downtown and our helpful and professional staff would be pleased to be a part of your special day.

The historical Livestock Exchange Building is the ideal location for your elegant wedding reception. Two separate ballrooms located on the 10th floor, with the ambiance of the evening skyline of downtown Omaha, make this a classy choice for your event. Our staff will handle your reception from beginning to end, allowing you to be a guest at your own reception.

Our grand Yellowstone Ballroom features a fireplace and wrap around veranda. With plenty of room, a dance floor, and accommodations for all of your food and beverage, our spacious Yellowstone Ballroom is sure to impress. The Lodge at Wilderness Ridge has become one of Lincoln’s most coveted locations for wedding ceremonies and receptions.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

300 Y Y Call for rates N N/A 98

402.477.6001 241 Victory Lane Lincoln, NE 68528 156 | nebraska weddingday

150-560 N N Call for rates Call for info $18.95 + 114

402.334.5446 4920 South 30th Street Omaha, NE 68105

250 Y N Varies Y Call for Info 149

402.434.5121 1800 Wilderness Woods Place Lincoln, NE 68512

Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm offers a naturally gorgeous backdrop to a day that is uniquely yours. Reception and ceremony venues accommodate groups up to 280 and range from timeless, traditional banquet rooms to historic barns and rustic lodges. Treat your guests to award-winning food and exemplary service while you embrace every moment of your special day. Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

280 Y N Varies Y $23.95 + 146

402.873.8705 or 800.546.5433 2700 Sylvan Road Nebraska City, NE 68410

Magnolia Hotel Nestled in one of Omaha’s most treasured landmark buildings, the Omaha Magnolia Hotel creates a perfect blend of historic features, elegance and class. Our renowned outdoor courtyard is the premier space for wedding ceremonies while the chic ballrooms accommodate up to 250 guests. Each wedding includes a personal wedding coordinator, bridal suite, tables, chairs, linens, china and dance floor. Let your memories together begin here. Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

275 Y N Varies Y Varies 105

402.231.6040 1615 Howard Street Omaha, NE 68102

Millard Plaza Ballroom

Minden Opera House

Nebraska Champions Club

The Nebraska Club

While being pampered at the salon, our team is at work! While slipping into your wedding gown, our team is at work. While exchanging vows with the love of your life, our team is at work. While walking down the aisle as husband and wife, our team is putting the finishing touches on the wedding reception of your dreams. Relax! We’ll see you when you’re married.

The most unique setting in Central Nebraska, the Minden Opera House offers a venue that your guests won’t soon forget. We offer you: • Our spectacular starlit ceiling • Freedom to choose your own catering service • Seating for up to 350 • A full bar, dance floor, and audio/visual capabilities Call us today. We make fabulous memories!

Make your wedding reception an unforgettable event at the Nebraska Champions Club. With a selection of five caterers, you have an endless selection of delicious menu options to accommodate a variety of tastes and budgets. Located next door to Memorial Stadium, the Club provides free on-site parking, audio visual packages, and outstanding service from our team of champions. Call or email to schedule a tour of this beautiful venue!

Located in the heart of the city at the top of the US Bank Building (20th floor), we have panoramic views overlooking the beautiful city of Lincoln. We not only offer the best banquet facility and fabulous gourmet cuisine, but we also offer the best value to our brides. This is truly the perfect place to accommodate your reception, prenuptial dinner and shower needs.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

*Financing Available: With Approved Credit

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

350 Y N $675-$1550 N $15.50 + 149

402.891.0779 F 5339 S. 139th Plaza Omaha, NE 68137

250-325 Y Y $800-$1000 N N/A 145

308.832.0588 322 East Fifth Street Minden, NE 68959

350 Y N Call for rates Y $16.95 + 143

402.472.6435 F 707 Stadium Drive Lincoln, NE 68501

Nomad Lounge

Omaha Sheraton Hotel

The Players Club

Urban, rustic and romantic…Nomad Lounge is Omaha’s best location for non-traditional weddings and receptions. With it’s beautiful hard wood floors, brick walls, pillars and creative capability - Nomad Lounge features Omaha’s most cutting edge events that celebrate art, design, music, fashion and international culture. Nomad’s exceptional service and team are here to make your wedding everything you’ve dreamed and more. Call us today for a private tour. Outside caterers welcome.

Omaha Sheraton Hotel offers access to the best of it all. Located adjacent to I-680 in the heart of Omaha, just minutes away from all of Omaha’s best attractions. The Omaha Sheraton Hotel is dedicated to Consistency, Comfort, Cleanliness, Commitment, Class, Community, Recognition, Respect, Rewards, Safety, Security and Unparalleled Guest Service. Come Experience True Dedication.

An unforgettable event...The Player’s Club invites you to host your wedding, reception, rehearsal dinner or bridal shower here at our spacious, state-of-the-art, full-service clubhouse. With seating up to 325 in our newly expanded dining room we are pleased to offer you first-rate accommodations with the finest amenities.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

325 Y Y Varies N N/A 133

402.884.1231 1013 Jones St. Omaha, NE 68102

220 Y N Varies N $22.95 + 121

402.496.0850 655 N. 108th Avenue Omaha, NE 68154

325 Y N Varies Y Call for rates 123

402.963.9950 12101 Deer Creek Drive Omaha, NE 68142

250 Y N Varies N Call for rates 146

402.476.3228 233 S. 13th Street, Ste 2000 Lincoln, NE 68508

Ramada Plaza Omaha Hotel & Convention Center | Coco Key Water Resort Details should be your last worry! Make planning simple by taking advantage of all the services and amenities we have to offer. Conveniently located at 72nd Street and I-80, our formal banquet rooms offer the perfect venue for a grandeur wedding for 500+ to an intimate celebration for 50. We’ll take care of all of your ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner or bridal shower needs! Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

1500 Y N $300-$1600 N Call for Rates 3

402.517.3072 3321 South 72nd Street Omaha, NE 68124 |


reception guide

Regency Lodge

The Ridnour Room

Sandhills Convention Center

Scott Conference Center

Distinctive surroundings…Extraordinary events! From the ceremony to the reception, enjoy exceptional accommodations in a unique atmosphere. Located in west central Omaha, we can accommodate up to 300 guests and provide you with all the amenities necessary to ensure a successful event. Some of these amenities include: professional wedding coordinator; complimentary whirlpool suite for bride and groom; reduced guestroom rates for guests.

1st Class quality at an affordable price! Nestled in the Heart of Lincoln’s Historic Haymarket District, the Ridnour Room provides an extremely elegant atmosphere to fulfill all of your wedding dreams. After reserving the Ridnour Room, located inside the Apothecary Building, you will receive complete control over the food and beverage catering—you can even host the food and beverages yourself.

The Sandhills Convention Center – it’s simply the best place for your wedding reception. Let us help you create the perfect atmosphere for your special day. We offer an on-site wedding consultant to coordinate all the details, a complimentary Whirlpool Honeymoon Suite with champagne for the bride and groom, and special room rates for guests, along with many other amenities. Call our wedding consultant today!

Your Details… Our Specialty - Scott Conference Center is the ideal backdrop for an unforgettable reception. We’ll handle the details so you can enjoy your special day. Beautiful, versatile space for 50-500 guests; professional staff on-site from planning to clean-up; culinarytrained kitchen professionals; customized packages to fit any budget; specialized customer service and so much more…

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

300 Y N Varies Y $19.95 + 111

285 Y Y Call for rates Y N/A 124

402.397.8000 909 South 107th Avenue Omaha, NE 68114

402.474.1812 140 N. 8th Street Lincoln, NE 68508

Simply Ballroom

The Thompson Center at UNO

Located in the new Mid-Town of Omaha just seconds from the interstate, we are the ideal choice for wedding receptions and countless other functions. Advantages: Free off-street parking, close to hotels, shopping and restaurants, seconds from the interstate, use your own caterer, decorate as you wish! All tables, chairs, linens and set up of these items are included in the rental rate. Come see Omaha’s best kept secret!

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

150-300 Y Y $650-$1200 N N/A 136

402.933.6678 F Omaha, NE 68131 2679 Farnam Street , Suite 204 158 | nebraska weddingday

Celebrate your special day at Omaha’s premiere wedding and reception site – The Thompson Center at UNO. Our elegant yet affordable facility accommodates as many as 350 guests, is beautifully decorated, centrally located and perfect for outdoor weddings, receptions and prenuptial dinners. Experienced event planners and caring staff will attend to every detail. Ask about Friday night, Sunday and UNO alumni discounts! Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

350 Y N Varies Y $18.95 + 139

402.554.3368 67th and Dodge Streets Omaha, NE 68182

700 Y N $450-$1400 N $14.95 + 120

308.532.9090 F 2102 S. Jeffers Street North Platte, NE 69101

500 Y N Varies N Varies 129

402.778.6317 6450 Pine Street Omaha, NE 68106

Tip Top Ballroom

Tiburon Golf Club

The Tip Top Ballroom is located north of downtown on 15th & Cuming in the new “NoDo” area of Omaha. The Grand Ballroom is the perfect location for your memorable wedding reception. Amenities that are part of our wedding package: professional staff on-site for set up through clean up of your reception; experienced culinary team; complimentary experienced bartenders.

Tiburon Golf Club is perfect for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, bridal showers and other special occasions. From the time you first enter the grand lobby until the last song of the night, our professional staff will be waiting to assist you. We can customize the perfect menu for your evening, along with bar service to accommodate your needs. Leave the worrying to us so you can enjoy every moment of your special day!

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

700 N N Call for rates N $18.95 + 114

402.334.5446 1502 Cuming Street Omaha, NE 68102

375 Y N Varies N $18.25 + 1

402.896.1323 10302 S. 168th Street Omaha, NE 68136

Tower Hall

Wick Alumni Center

Yankee Hill Country Club

Younes Conference Center

Located 10 minutes from Lincoln, Tower Hall is the perfect place to celebrate your wedding! Offering on-site catering and bartending, plus clean up afterwards, is always our job. Our clean, 450 capacity facility has a large private parking lot. Weekend and winter rates are available. We offer a separate room for food preparation and serving, a large dance floor, linens and a decorations room.

Come visit us at the Wick Alumni Center in the heart of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln campus. Our affordable reception hall features stunning, award-winning architecture, with a 55-foot vaulted ceiling and twin staircases rising to the unique second-level mezzanines. The Wick Alumni Center is the perfect backdrop for outdoor weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners or other special events. With a selection of five caterers, you have an endless selection of delicious menu options.

Yankee Hill Country Club features spacious rooms with beautiful golf course views. We have rooms of all sizes – perfect for any of your event needs. Our experienced staff will work with you to customize your event, making it everything you have imagined. Included amenities are linens, table settings, centerpieces, dance floor, bar services, an array of menus; all while overlooking a stunning golf course.

Younes Conference Center is Central Nebraska’s largest and newest facility and is the premier venue for your special day. We provide a professional wedding consultant, delicious onsite catering, and discounted room rates for your guests in any of Younes Hospitality’s 4 adjacent hotels, and a complimentary guest room for the bridal couple. Younes Hospitality prides itself in offering a superior product at a competitive price.

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

Geoff Johnson Photographer

402.432.3807 or 402.432.9457 Luke and Karen French-Owners

300 Y N Varies Y $16.95 + 143

402.472.6435 ✦ 1520 R Street Lincoln, NE 68501

275 N N Varies N $14.95 + 107

402.488.3900 7600 San Mateo Lane Lincoln, NE 68516

Bellus Photo + Film

450 Y Y Varies Y Call for rates 116

1,000 Y N Varies N Varies 5

308.234.7300 510 Talmadge Road Kearney, NE 68845

Visit us Online

To stay up to date on the latest fashion, décor and wedding trends, visit us online at You will have access to extended image galleries of your favorite tablescapes and fashion photo shoots. You will also find step-by-step directions and free clip art for DIY projects and even more fabulous Real Nebraska Weddings. |


meet the expert

ELIZA PORTRAIT DESIGN KnoWn for? Boudoir Photography found at? Sexy Lil Photography by Eliza Portrait

Design – (

What is Boudoir photography? “We create classy, artistic, sensual, magazine quality photographs that promote a healthy body image, boost self-confidence and strengthen relationships.” “Every woman deserves to know just how beautiful she truly is. We hope each client walks away feeling empowered, excited and confident …while treating her man to the sexiest gift of all…herself!” “Boudoir photography is not for everyone and that’s ok. Browse our website, take a virtual tour through our private boutique studio and determine the reasons for a boudoir shoot.”

Classy, artistiC & sexy

Eliza “Give him a gift he’ll never forget™” expert adviCe “Practice posing in front of a mirror and buy lingerie that makes you feel confident.” Creating the atmosphere “Each shoot is completely private. Our all female staff is here to make the client feel as relaxed as possible. We provide professional hair and make-up stylists to pamper our clients before the shoot.”

What should i Bring? “Steal his college football jersey, favorite tie or equipment from his favorite hobbies. We also recommend bringing lingerie, accessories, props and a selection of highheeled shoes. However, we carry a wide selection of lingerie, jewelry and shoes in the studio.”

do you do retouChing? “Yes. All blemishes, fine lines and under eye bags are retouched. During the shoot, we can hide trouble spots with posing and lighting techniques to showcase what’s uniquely beautiful to each individual client.” 160 | nebraska weddingday

destination weddings


The couple on the following pages traveled to the Gulf Shores of Alabama to get hitched - and they wouldn’t have done it any other way.



family and a breathtaking view, Kelly and Darren shared their personalized vows with the Alabama shore under their toes. Residing in Sidney, Nebraska, this couple wanted to be close to family during their most special day. “We chose Gulf Shores, Alabama for our wedding location because that is where Darren’s parents live. That, and I am from the south too, so we knew that we wanted a very “Southern” wedding,” says Kelly. Twenty-five friends and family members joined the couple at a twelve bedroom beach house. “Over the four day weekend, we had plenty of time for fun both before and after the wedding. Most of our guests just spent their days relaxing in the sand or at the 2 pools the house had. We also organized trips into town for shopping and dining, a gulf fishing trip and sightseeing trips to the historic civil war Fort Morgan, which was just 5 minutes from our beach house.” says Kelly. For the ceremony, Kelly and Darren stepped out onto the beach and recited custom vows. “We kept them a secret from each other until we recited them during the ceremony. Darren also wrote vows to each of my daughters as well,” says Kelly.

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“During the ceremony, Darren’s cousin, artist Matthew Moon, played Songbird by Eva Cassidy on the beach. It was breathtaking.” The bride’s 8-year-old daughter, also one of her two bridesmaids, decided to take a dip in the ocean midceremony. “She finally came back to join the ceremony after playing in the ocean, only to do “snow angels” and bury the pastor’s feet in the sand. We all about died laughing.” says Kelly. For the reception, the couple cleared out the living and dining room inside the house to seat their guests. Centerpieces were created with shells, sand and magnolia flowers. The wedding menu consisted of seafood gumbo, raw oysters, Royal Red shrimp, cheese grits, fried green tomatoes, fried okra and lima beans. For dessert, the couple had a 3-tier cake adorned with fondant magnolia flowers. The couple also had mini coconut cream and pecan pies for “his and her” favorites. Leave it to Kelly and Darren to treat guests to a fun-filled weekend, surrounded by great company, delicious food and genuine southern hospitality. >> NOT SURE IF A DESTINATION WEDDING IS FOR YOU? FLIP THE PAGE TO DISCOVER YOUR STYLE.


destination weddings


Not sure if a destination wedding is for you? Discover a vacation spot below that just may inspire you to say, “I do.”


Grace Bay, Turks & Caicos

Not only is Grace Bay a tropical paradise, it’s also considered one of the best beaches in the world. With almost 12 miles of coastline, romantic strolls on the beach are a must. Plus, it’s less crowded than counterpart Parrot Cay (a celebrity hot spot), so you’ll be able to enjoy more privacy with your new husband. STAY HERE: The Somerset on Grace Bay is known for its luxury and matchless customer service.


Shanghai is admittedly a pretty packed tourist area, but it’s not often considered a popular honeymoon spot. There are tons of amazing cultural sites to see in this vibrant city. Make sure to put The Bund waterfront, the Jin Mao Tower, the Yu Yuan Garden, the Shanghai Museum and the Shanghai Acrobatic Troupe on your list for a trip that’s full of beautiful scenery, engaging history and amazing entertainment. STAY HERE: If you’re traveling all the way to Shanghai, chances are you’re not pinching pennies, so go the distance and stay at the flashy Park Hyatt Shanghai. It offers every luxury and a fantastic view at the highest point of Shanghai.

FOR THE NATURE LOVER Estes Park, Colorado

If you’re looking for romance, adventure and breathtaking scenery close to home, there’s no better place than Estes Park. You don’t have to be an outdoor lover to appreciate the glorious backdrop of the Rocky Mountains; and there are plenty of quaint shops on Elkhorn Avenue to keep you occupied if horseback riding or hiking isn’t your cup of tea. STAY HERE: RiverWood on Fall River offers luxury cottages along the river and is just 2 short miles to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park.

wan·der·lust [won-der-luhst] a strong, innate desire to rove or

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travel about.


There are numerous other picturesque places in France that would make an ideal honeymoon (Cannes, Nice, Provence, etc.) but they all come up short in comparison to romantic Paris. Full of history, outdoor cafes and scenic bridges along the Seine, Paris is a shopping mecca and home to some of the most famed landmarks in the world. Among them: The Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Notre Dame. Visit the less-traveled Musée D’Orsay for an artistic experience just as satisfying (if not more so) than the Louvre. The Palace of Versailles is just a short distance from Paris (about 30 minutes by train) and is a must-see. STAY HERE: Hotels in Europe are much more modest than America, so unless you’re prepared to spend closer to 4 figures a night, choose the Hotel Relais Bosquet for its prime location near the Eiffel Tower, as well as modern amenities in an affordable package. |


destination weddings

However, planning your wedding hundreds or even thousands of miles away presents a set of challenges completely different from planning a wedding in your home town. Read on for a crash course on how to plan your wedding when it’s not in your own backyard.



PLANNING Destination weddings have exploded in popularity in the last decade, and for good reason: Planning your wedding in another locale offers unique oppor tunities to make your day memorable and can also be budget-friendly if done right. Written by:

166 | nebraska weddingday

Holly Lafferty


Photos by:

Brighten Photography

Think carefully about the locale of your wedding. Do you want to go somewhere that won’t require a great deal of travel for your guests, like the Rocky Mountains? Or would you rather go all out and enjoy the sand and surf of Jamaica? Do you harbor a European dream? There are countless breathtaking locations for a dream destination wedding, from Estes Park to Tahiti to London. Just make sure you’re educated on which area is best for you. The options are vast and varying. An all-inclusive resort can be an excellent money-saver if it fits with your dream destination. Most destination locations have special packages available for out-of-town weddings. Make sure you take into account the weather possibilities that go with a particular location and season.You may not want to plan a wedding in Florida during hurricane season. Likewise, a fabulous winter affair at Lake Tahoe could be beautiful, but not if half of your guests are trapped in a snowstorm. Be prepared.

SEND OUT YOUR SAVE-THE-DATES It’s considered good etiquette to send your Save-the-Dates at least six months in

Brighten Photography

destination weddings

advance to allow your guests plenty of planning time. Some may wish to turn the wedding trip into a family vacation; and others may need time to save up for the trip. Giving your guests plenty of time to plan will be appreciated and give you plenty of time to make sure you receive RSVPs, since it will be more imperative planning from afar. Include impor tant travel info in the Save-the-Dates: Will your guests need passports? Which airport is best to fly into? Inform them of a reserved block of hotel rooms for their convenience. This sor t of info is best to get to your guests as early as possible.

HIRE AN EXPERT For all the things you believe you can do from a distance, there are twice as many little details that will be more difficult to attend to from afar. Hire a coordinator in your wedding area or look for another expert to help. Travel agents are very good resources for everything from booking a venue to finding great rates for you and your guests. Hotel coordinators will also be obliging â&#x20AC;&#x201C; many have a wealth of knowledge in helping brides plan destination weddings and will be your advocate in your absence. More and more hotel coordinators are taking on full planning responsibility â&#x20AC;&#x201C; particularly if it is a destination wedding location.

CONSIDER YOUR LOCAL PROS There are countless talented Nebraska vendors that love to travel for destination weddings. The travel costs often balance out as many destination vendors may charge more initially. The benefits of hiring Nebraska vendors are numerous â&#x20AC;&#x201C; you can find a vendor through Nebraska WeddingDay or personal referrrals, which will cer tainly ease your stress about their trustwor thiness. Many vendors may also be able to help you in choosing a location, as many have 168 | nebraska weddingday

destination weddings

Brighten Photography

traveled to a variety of areas and can recommend their favorite places. You get the benefits of a seasoned, proven professional who may also be familiar with your destination location – it’s win-win.

PLAN A VISIT Ideally, you’ll want to visit the location of your destination wedding at least once before you head down for your “I do’s.” Scout out where you want to say your vows – most likely, if you’re planning a destination wedding, you’re looking for the perfect outdoor scenery. Whether beachside or mountaintop, you want to choose the best backdrop possible. Also during your visit, make it a point to visit with as many of your long-distance vendors as possible: your planner, florist, officiant, photographer, caterer, cake artist, etc. This will not only ensure you are able to clearly communicate your wishes for your wedding day, but will also help establish a positive rapport between you and your destination vendors, which is tantamount to pulling off a fabulous event. Also make sure to arrive with plenty of time before your wedding when the big day approaches. Allow yourself several days to make sure the finishing touches are all in order. Giving yourself this extra time will ensure everything runs smoothly and ease the stress of planning your wedding from a distance.

EMBRACE YOUR INNER QUIRK A destination wedding is the perfect chance to go all out. You won’t feel pigeonholed into a country barn wedding if you’re going to Iceland, after all. Research the wedding traditions and trademarks of your destination to create an authentic feel. That doesn’t necessarily mean you need to wear tribal garb for a wedding in Kenya, but you can add some fun touches to your wedding and feel a little less restricted by choosing a faraway location. 170 | nebraska weddingday

Choosing a destination with a connection could be a great way to honor a family heritage. Maybe your family is French so a traditional wedding in the Cognac countryside is a perfect fit for you and your man. Or perhaps you’re a UNL transplant looking to get married in your home state of North Carolina with a classic Southern affair. Take your location into account when adding those special details.

Don’t forget to check into the legal issues of getting married in a different locale. CROSS YOUR T’S AND DOT YOUR I’S Don’t forget to check into the legal issues of getting married in a different locale. Find out what you need to do to get a proper wedding license wherever you’re getting married. Each US state has its own set of rules to follow, and if you’re heading out of the country the rules become even more complicated. You don’t want to have a beautiful wedding in Turks and Caicos and then endure a second “ceremony” in Kearney’s city hall when you return home.




A destination wedding is not for the faint of heart. The margin of error and likelihood of miscommunication is much greater. If your candles won’t stay lit from the ocean breeze or your officiant is ten minutes late, it’s not the end of the world. Accept that things may not go off without a hitch; and be prepared to have a sense of humor about it. Don’t let the little things ruin a beautiful destination wedding – just remember why you wanted to marry your NWD man and enjoy the unexpected! |


2011-2012 Nebraska WeddingDay’s

Newest Newlyweds

Kylie & David Seger

Krystal & Ayoub Talha September 10, 2011

Megan & Jacob Kophamer

July 16, 2011

June 10, 2011 L SQUARED DESIGN &


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2011-2012 Nebraska WeddingDay’s

Newest Newlyweds

Stacia & Jason Olsen September 24, 2011

Tracy & Ian Hembry May 29, 2011

Katey & Dan Schwarzlander August 20, 2011





2011-2012 Nebraska WeddingDayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s

Newest Newlyweds

Ali & Jamison Rexilius June 4, 2011

Kelsi & Andrew Shields Megan & Eric Ehmen

June 10, 2011

April 16, 2011



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2011-2012 Nebraska WeddingDay’s

Newest Newlyweds

Brittany & Mark Sullivan July 16, 2011

Britney & John Geist Abbey & Tim Ockinga

September 16, 2011

May 14, 2011




meet the expert

BLOOMSand BOUQUETS Melissa Ryks-Schock, Owner & Designer

KnOwn fOr? Creativity fOund at?;; 402.730.2640 to set up a consultation

recOmmendatiOns fOr first cOnsultatiOn

“Once you know your date, venue and colors, we will help you create the “look” you’re going for. I recommend bringing photo inspiration and a checklist of needs to the first consultation.”

hOw tO create “the lOOK”

“By using a variety of floral options and elements. For example, we can create texture and ruffle by redesigning the petals to create a composite rose instead of using peonies. We can help a bride stay within budget without sacrificing quality.”

“Dare to be different. The most memorable weddings are those that are different and reflect the personality of the couple.”

expert advice “Ask a professional – they are a part of hundreds of weddings each year and are a wealth of knowledge.”

One wOrd that epitOmizes yOur style. “Unexpected.”

mOst OutrageOus flOral creatiOn? “A feather-trimmed, 18 foot tall backdrop of floor length crystal strands, woven with roses and illuminated by event lights. Sounds dreamy, right?!”

if yOu cOuld design any celeb wedding, whO wOuld it be? “Dr. Suess – He would be fun to work with and his designs would be unique and out-of-the-box creatively!” 176 | nebraska weddingday


THEMES Personalizing an event can be as easy as choosing a theme. Select a theme that suits you. Consider a style like retro fun; your favorite vacation spot, like skiing or a city escape to New York; or something that inspires you such as music or fine cuisine. No matter what the theme, be sure to focus on one specific thing. For example, if you love sports, concentrate on ways to make sports a focal point of the party, such as having the groom and his groomsmen wear commemorative sports pins instead of boutonnieres.

The Moment it Clicks




Wedding planners execute memorable events all the time. They’ve seen it all and they know what needs to be done and when to do it. But you don’t need to be a planner to get their wedding insight. Read on as Nebraska WeddingDay shares these great wedding ideas. Written by:

178 | nebraska weddingday

Kristen Castillo

Designers predict the Royal Wedding will have a big influence in coming wedding seasons. Consider Kate Middleton’s small, but pretty bouquet as your bridal inspiration. The charm of that bouquet? Each flower had special meaning to the bride and the royal family. The size and styling of the bouquet also worked well because it didn’t compete with the bride’s gown or her overall look. Use your accessories to accent, not overpower your look!

RENTALS Consider event rentals to add impact to the party. Linens and china are popular, as are furniture rentals. Chiavari chairs may be the standard, but check out chameleon chairs which are the hot seating choice. They are comfy, look great and best of all, can be customized to coordinate with the party’s décor.


COLORS Wedding color schemes range from plum to pink to ivory, as well as bold hues. Purple is especially popular because it can be both vibrant and elegant. Plus it complements many other hues such as teal. For a more traditional, classic look, many brides are choosing classic tones with a splash of color. Neutrals like white, cream, peach and gray are trending. No matter what the colors you choose, the selections don’t have to be predictable. Whether bold or subdued, colors can be a little different, yet still be lots of fun. Remember colors don’t have to be perfectly matched to look fantastic together or on their own.

ENTERTAINMENT Wedding entertainment is definitely about making a statement at the party. These days, bands are back! Some couples are even hiring “bar bands” who typically play pubs, not parties. Keep your entertainment fun and interesting. Play classical music or jazz early into the reception, followed by party music from a DJ later on.

HAIR Little details can have a big impact. Your accessories are an easy way to add pizzazz. Dress up your hair with fashionable accessories. Birdcage veils, feathers, pins and hair pendants can add pizzazz to an otherwise pretty look.

PHOTOGRAPHY Pre-wedding photo sessions are gaining in popularity because they’re a great way to get amazing photos without the stress (and rush!) of shooting between the ceremony and the reception. Here’s how it works: you and your groom get ready for the wedding and then pose for lots of photos as a couple, with family and as individuals too. The sessions can be more relaxed than a post-ceremony shoot, plus with the extra time after the ceremony, you both can actually attend your wedding cocktail hour!

DRINKS Full bars are back. Some couples may suggest old school cocktails too like Manhattans and Old Fashioneds. Others want cocktails rich in interest and antioxidants too, such as acai fruit cocktails with acai flavored vodkas and acai Cosmos.

FOOD Planners agree that customized wedding menus are in demand. Buffet stations are popular too because guests like the variety of foods and flavors. 180 | nebraska weddingday

Brighten Photography

Think sushi stations, carving stations and cheese stations, as well as mini soufflés, mini sandwiches and ceviche in martini glasses. Remember, presentation matters too. Display food on interesting plates and use special cutlery.



LIGHTING The right lighting can really transform a reception from standard to sensational. Lighting can have a big impact on the look of a space, plus it gives the room a pop of color. It’s not just uplighting or LED lights either. Candles can make a romantic statement. For example, you can light up an entire table with candles for a pretty look that’s very good for your budget too.

FAVORS Traditionally brides and grooms give their guests a small gift, such as a photo frame or drink coasters as thanks for attending the wedding. While you want to show guests their gratitude, choose favors that are far more practical. Go for plants and foods, which your guests will actually use. Trends come and go, but it’s your big day, so make a statement with your style choices! NWD 2

These days, décor is simple and classic which means flowers are subdued, but stylish. Go for lots of greenery which adds texture and interest to your bouquets, as well as a back-to- nature feel. Fill cylinders with water, flowers and floating candles. Or create visual interest with high and low centerpieces, accented with candles. Multiple centerpieces give the impression you spent more money on florals than you really did. Linens and candle details create fullness and add color to the tablescape.

You can also reuse your ceremony flowers at the reception too. Repurpose the bridesmaids’ bouquets as floral décor for the dessert tables or the bar. |


Wedding cake is often a wedding must, but designers say you can serve much more than a slice of cake. Some brides serve a variety of pies instead of cake. Offer guests your favorite pies including flavors like apple, pumpkin, pecan and chocolate cream. From pie to cake to cookies and pastries, you can finish the party with any treats you like. Some popular dessert options? Anything mini, such as cheesecakes, tarts and whoopie pies. Another option is a fun throwback to your childhood. You can hire ice cream trucks to show up after the ceremony or at the reception to give each guest a treat like a Popsicle, bomb pop or an ice cream bar.


Megan Christine Photography


BOUVARDIA Slightly spicy, light scent

CARNATIONS/DIANTHUS Spicy, sometimes strong

DAFFODILS Sweet, light scent

DAPHNE ODORA First scent of spring; strong

EUCALYPTUS Sharp and woody; fresh coastal air

FREESIA Citrus, spicy or peppery scent

GARDENIA Intoxicating, extremely fragrant; warm, tropical nights

GENISTA Sweet perfume scent, reminiscent of springtime

JASMINE Early spring; exotic; Persian 182 | nebraska weddingday

LAVENDER Fragrance lasts forever; south of France

LILAC Heady; old-fashioned garden scent

LILY-OF-THE-VALLEY Sweet, new grass

MINT Fresh; men welcome this scent

PAPERWHITE NARCISSUS First flower of spring; overwhelming to some, heavenly to others

PEONY Springtime, lightly, rosy fragrance

ROSES Range from light and sweet to heavy and floral. Sterling roses are lavender-colored and have a light citrus smell. Charlotte roses are red, with a long-lasting sweeter fragrance.

ROSEMARY Strong, aromatic; herb garden

SCENTED GERANIUM Leaves add fragrance to any bouquet. Varieties range from chocolate and mint to lemon and rose.

SNAPDRAGONS Sugary, candy scent; very light

STARGAZER LILY Big, heavy, ripe, evening

STEPHANOTIS Tropical, gardenia-like scent

SWEET PEA Sweet, innocent, heavenly

TUBEROSE Strong, tropical, sensual

VIOLET Sweet and delicate

WISTERIA Highly perfumed


B •R •E •A •K •D •O •W •N

Wheat Grass Cymbidium Orchids


HyVee, Melenbacker Photography

Dusty Miller

Hypericum Berries Rose Hips

Peach Standard Roses

White Dahlias

Peach Garden Roses

Hypericum Berries


Emily Hendricks, Attanasio Photography


Blooms and Bouquets, Attanasio Photography


Standard Mums

Brunia Berries

Cymbidium Orchids


Stem Gallery, Megan Christine Photography

Purple Aster

Purple Hydrangea

Ocean Song Rose

Ming Fern Lavender Wax Flower |


Shane and Sunny Photography



DESIGNER Selecting your wedding flowers should be a festive experience. From bouquets in old-fashioned vases for the ceremony to romantic flowers for your bouquet, the beauty of the flowers will enhance your wedding from beginning to end. Written by:

186 | nebraska weddingday

Jean Hailey

But in order to find those perfect flowers, you must find the perfect floral designer. Floral designers, like brides, are each unique. If you do not “click” with the first person you meet, consider continuing your search for the right one. A talented, creative designer will offer knowledge, guidance and numerous ideas. As a bride, you need to be comfor table with this person as they will create all of your floral needs. In this magazine, Nebraska WeddingDay presents the most talented floral designers in all of Nebraska. Do your research before making appointments and try to visit at least three florists. Remember, there are no silly or stupid questions. A floral designer proud of their work will be eager to show you photos of their designs and to listen to your vision for your wedding. The most talented and creative florists book up quickly. You will want to star t searching for your florist as soon as the reception location has been secured; if possible, nine to twelve months before the wedding. Some designers only book one event per day, and some book one event per weekend.

Before you begin your appointment with each florist, take some time to look around their shop. What is the décor of the shop like? Is it creatively decorated? Do they have interesting floral arrangements? Do they use unique vases or items in their arrangements? Look in their cooler : Do the flowers look fresh? Do they have interesting varieties of flowers or just your standard roses or carnations? Remember, you are not just buying flowers; you are buying the creativity and style of the floral designer. A few things you will need to bring to your appointment: • Pictures of flowers and arrangements you like from magazine clippings or websites • Picture of your wedding gown and swatches of material from your bridesmaid’s gowns • Picture of your reception room

• Containers for the arrangements, if you are supplying • List of all the flowers and arrangements you need and whom they are for so the florist can label corsages, boutonnieres and bouquets with correct names or titles

QUESTIONS TO ASK YOUR FLORAL DESIGNER: • Did he or she design the flowers from the floral designer’s portfolio? • What are their opinions about your ideas? You don’t have to take their advice but at least take the time to listen. You never know, you might like their ideas better than your own. • Is there a delivery charge? • Is there a setup fee?

• Can you change your order if you have another idea? What’s the cut-off date for new ideas? • What time will the flowers be delivered to each location? • Will the florist transport ceremony decorations to the reception location? Is there a fee? • Can they make a sample of your bouquet and centerpiece? • Will the florist write up an itemized quote? • Are the flowers you have chosen in season? What flowers are in season for your date? • Can the florist work with a mixture of silk and fresh flowers?

• Do they have rental supplies?

• Are there any additional or hidden costs?

• Do they need a map for the different delivery locations?

• Is the florist familiar with your reception and ceremony locations? |



If your wedding date is around the time of a holiday such as Mother’s Day or Valentine’s Day, your floral costs may be higher during. The florist will be very busy during these holidays, so be prepared with all of your information. An excellent place to star t is with the bride and bridesmaid’s bouquet. Work with those colors and flower types to create your centerpieces, altar arrangements and other floral décor. You don’t have to book with the florist on the spot. Take your quote home and think it over. The more information you give your floral designer, the better they will understand what you want. If you choose flowers that are not in season and have to be shipped, you are looking at a bigger expense. Also, you don’t know what effect the shipping may cause on your flowers. Try and find a florist whose style and price you like. Be specific about your tastes and what you want. Don’t just say I’d like a white bouquet of roses. With so many different styles, shapes and sizes, you don’t want to be disappointed. Now that you’ve chosen your designer, it’s time to show your style. In the months before your wedding try to save photos of the style you like, the shapes of bouquets or just colors that really catch your eye. Magazines, books and websites are great for ideas. Not only wedding magazines, but garden and home related media will help you become aware as to what is available in flowers. Bring all of these photos to each appointment with your floral designer. Along with his or her exper tise, knowledge of flowers, extra time and patience, you will be able to come up with the perfect selection.

Megan Christine Photography

Brighten Photography


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Geoff Johnson Photographer



Selecting all the necessary items for the bridal par ty, ceremony and reception can seem like an overpowering task. However, once the style and feeling of the flowers are determined, it quickly falls into place. Star t with the bouquets, move on to the ceremony décor and finish up with the reception. To help alleviate anxiety on your wedding day, ask these questions ahead of time. • What type of services will be offered the day of the wedding? • Where, when and by whom will the flowers be delivered? • Will there be someone at the ceremony to pin on the boutonnieres and corsages, set-up the altar designs, pew décor, runner, etc? Will the floral designer transfer the ceremony flowers to the reception or do I need to arrange for this to be done? Your floral designer will be one of your best assets on the day of your wedding. All the flowers should be delivered to the locations specified in the contract. A trained professional knows how to transpor t and reset these delicate items so they will look fantastic at the ceremony and the reception. If you invest a little time before the wedding day to look for the very best floral designer that shares your vision for the perfect wedding, you will be delighted with the outcome. The more you let your personality show, the easier it will be for a designer to create something that shows the real you. A floral designer that is enthusiastic about their work leaves a little piece of their NWD hear t with each bride. |




After a long day of wedding planning, the only cake on your mind is the one you want to eat right now because you’re so stressed. Sure, there are a lot of factors to consider when it comes to selecting your wedding cake, but the sweet treat is important and you should make an informed decision. After all, your cake is a lot more than an after-dinner snack.

Colleen Dustin Photography


Chocolate or vanilla? Square or round? Simple or embellished? Choosing a wedding cake is a tough but admittedly tasty decision. Written by:

190 | nebraska weddingday

Kristen Castillo

A wedding cake has got to taste delicious. It’s the end to a fine meal and indicative of the sweet life awaiting the bride and groom. So what’s on the desser t menu? Fruit flavors like peach, lemon and orange mandarin are all the rage. For couples with a love for rich desser ts, chocolate is always an option. It may seem too decadent, but it’s a hit at receptions because it’s so compatible with other flavors like toffee, almond, caramel, butter cream and peanut butter. Remember, a cake can be any flavor on the inside and still be traditional white on the outside, so have fun with the flavor of your choice.

Flavor isnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t everything. A cake needs to look as good as it tastes. Brides are getting really creative and working with their bakery to come up with some amazing desser ts. Basic and beautiful decorations like Swiss dots or simple stripes are classic looks that will never be out of date. Crafty cakes can feature design elements like pearls, crystals and origami birds; and sugar decorations such as seashells, calla lilies and daisies. Cakes have been simple and elegant in recent years, but anything goes nowadays. Personalization is becoming a wedding cake priority. One example is adding monograms on the cake top. Another trend is including a variety of colors like mint green, bright pink and sunny yellow.

Brighten Photography




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MORE THAN CAKE While cake is the typical wedding dessert, many couples expand the dessert menu and focus on sweets in a big way. Cookies, éclairs and petit fours are just some of the sweet treats you can serve up. Offer guests a nibble of cookies like cherry oatmeal and chocolate cream cheese pinwheels. Candies are another sweet way to end a meal. From lollipops to chocolate bars, candy can be used as a table decoration or a favor. Whatever capacity you use them in, they’re a tasty way to enjoy the par ty.

CAKE COSTS Prices for wedding cakes vary. Talk to your cake ar tist for an accurate estimate. Keep in mind that wedding cakes with

exotic flavors and over the top designs could end up costing you quite a bit more. If cost is a concern, consider a popular way to cut expenses – have two cakes. Many couples order a small or mediumsized cake to photograph and cut for ceremonial purposes and then order another

One big style consideration is whether you want a traditional round cake or something more geometric. Selecting a non-traditional shape or size is one way to make your cake stand out as something special. inexpensive and simple sheet cake. Both cakes are cut, and most of the time guests don’t know whether their slice was cut from the traditional cake or the sheet cake. No matter what the flavor or the design, your wedding cake is sure to please. Cut the cake, grab a slice and dig in. It’s your wedding, so go ahead and satisfy your sweet tooth. NWD


shape or size is one way to make your cake stand out as something special. Miniature cakes and cupcakes are cute and classy ways to break out of the norm. Individual cakes can help a bride and groom incorporate different flavors, colors and decorations into the dessert menu; but because they’re so personalized, these designs can be more expensive than a standard cake.


Many brides spice up the cake with boldly colored ribbons or a funky black ribbon with white polka dots. Whether they’re wrapped in ribbon, topped with colorful flowers or embellished with colored decorations, wedding cakes are getting a little brighter while still remaining beautiful. Fresh flowers are another wedding cake standard, but now there are more floral options than ever. Gum paste flowers look pretty and elegant, but the newest trend is edible crystallized flowers. The big wedding cake dilemma this season is the tasty debate over the cake’s topping: Some brides want whipped cream, others want buttercream, and still others crave rolled fondant. Before you choose sides, consider another of the hottest desser t trends – chocolate ganache, a cake topping like no other. Ganache is a blend of chocolate and boiled cream, which is spread on top of the cake in place of buttercream. You may have decided on a flavor and a topping, but does your cake have a style? One big style consideration is whether you want a traditional round cake or something more geometric, like the growing trend of square cakes. Selecting a non-traditional

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Our signature fabric pom flowerettes unite around a fabric-wrapped wreath form to create this sweet cake adornment. The Oh Happy Day Cake Wreath measures 6â&#x20AC;? wide by 10" tall. |




THE AISLE “I love being crafty and making things personal,” says bride Michelle, who married her husband James a year ago. “It makes me proud to say, ‘I made that!’ ” Written by:

194 | nebraska weddingday

Kristen Castillo |

Photos by:

Brighten Photography

Michelle was a “Do It Yourself ” (DIY) bride who made many wedding items herself, including 200 handmade invitations, hairpieces for the bridesmaids and flower girls and bouquets for herself and her bridesmaids. She didn’t stop there. Michelle made her garter belt, guest name cards and signs directing guests to the wedding site. The couple was going for a unique vibe, so customizing their favors helped ensure they had the exact right feel. Some of the interesting favors included in their reception were lollipops, cinnamon candies and temporary tattoos. “We added extra pizzazz to normally bland objects with ribbons, pearls, beads and personalization that said our name and the date on them or had the phrase ‘love never dies’ on them. We painted items and ‘bejeweled’ them,” explains Michelle. Michelle had a lot of DIY success but even she admits not all projects worked out as expected – she changed her bouquet three times. “I would have an idea that sounded great, but didn’t turn out so great once I tried to make it,” she says. “I just rolled with the punches and tried for something else until I liked it.” Michelle, who estimates she and her groom saved about $1500 with DIY projects, advises other DIY brides to get started well before the big day. “Weddings are an important time to personalize your day,” she says. “Don’t do things ‘by the book’; you don’t want to have the same wedding as everyone else. This day is all about you and your mate, so let your wedding scream that.”

She says all the work was worth the effort: “You have a fabulous wedding day that not only encompasses your personality, but is something you can be truly proud of because you made it your own with your own two hands!”

DIY DIVAS Being a DIY bride can be creatively fulfilling but can also be exhausting. Still, many brides are trying to get crafty for their wedding projects. Whether you want to create your own stationery, centerpieces or accessories, you can fashion anything you imagine. Doing a DIY project takes a lot of time and a lot of patience. DIY brides admit the process often takes longer than you’d think. That’s why it’s a good idea to star t a project early and keep it simple. Instead of feeling like you have to craft 100 save-the-date cards, try to make one and see how it turns out. It may be too pricey or too much work; or maybe you just won’t like how it looks. That’s okay. This is definitely a trial-and-error process, but it can be a lot of fun as well. Get your family, your groom and your wedding party in on the crafting. They can all pitch in to help create your wedding essentials, from table decorations to favors.

PASSIONATE ABOUT PROJECTS When Alicia planned her wedding, she chose DIY projects to save money. “That way we were able to save on certain aspects; and it allowed us to splurge on other aspects, like photography,” she says. The bride chose to make her own programs for the ceremony and to handle the décor as well. “I made pomanders for along the aisle at the ceremony and I created pretty much all the décor for the reception – centerpieces, a candy buffet, table numbers and other tables,” she says. Alicia admits that not all projects went as planned. “The biggest challenge I faced with my DIY projects was a lack of creativity on my part,” she explains. “Sadly, I just don’t have an ‘eye’ for it and that is where a lot of my projects went awry.” |


Like Michelle and other DIY brides, Alicia warns fellow brides to plan ahead as much as possible. “Keep ahead of the game, because you don’t want to be stressing out in the days leading up to your wedding with unfinished projects,” she says. “Also, don’t

give up if something doesn’t go well the first time. “If this is not something you do often, sometimes it takes making a few mistakes and re-working your projects to get your desired outcome. It’s really true that practice makes perfect.”

Alicia estimates she spent “several hours” on researching and completing DIY projects. She was pleased with the end result. “Seeing the final results on the wedding day and knowing that I was the one who made a lot of it happen only made it sweeter,” she says. All that work also saved Alicia lots of cash. “The pomanders alone would have cost a few hundred dollars and I made them for less than $8 each,” she says. Large or small, elaborate or simple, DIY projects give brides a lot of pride and ownership in all the things that make their big day special. That can only mean one thing – it’s time to grab your glue gun and get started as a DIY bride!



Be realistic. A DIY project can take on a life of its own, so before you get the project underway, consider how much time, effort and cash the project will cost. You don’t want to waste these resources if the project isn’t likely to work out. Ask yourself if you’re really getting a deal. At a glance, your project may seem to be saving you a bundle; but make sure you do the math. Figure out how much time you’ll be spending on the project as well as how much your supplies will cost. You need to know all these factors before you get started. Keep it simple. DIY projects work well when they’re easy and straightforward. If they’re too complicated, you may lose your focus and the quality may suffer. Simple tasks like candy favors are easy to handle; plus, you’ll still feel proud of the finished product. Get started now. No matter what DIY project you envision, you should probably get started ASAP. These projects can be tedious and time consuming. Get help. DIY projects are a lot of fun and it’s easy to want to handle the projects by yourself, but it’s far more practical to use the buddy system to help you. NWD

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Brighten Photography


But if the thought of going with the typical candle lighting seems awkward and outdated, consider making this moment a sweet gesture that represents you and your husband. NWD offers some ideas on creative alternatives to the traditional unity candle.

A KNOT CEREMONY For this simple gesture, have a cord or a ribbon. You tie one end and your husband ties the other. Then, tie the knots together as a symbol of your coming together as one. This tradition comes with many cultural variations; for example, a Mexican tradition has the couple wearing a lasso together over their shoulders.




Pouring two containers of sand into one larger container, an idea increasing in popularity, is another meaningful way to represent your unbreakable bond. You can order two different colors to represent the blending together of yourselves. Have your mothers bring the sand and pour it into two individual containers for a ceremony echoing the classic unity candle, but with a twist.


One of the most impor tant moments in your wedding is the lighting of the unity candle. This symbolic gesture represents you and your husband becoming one â&#x20AC;&#x201C; a team, a united front. Written by:

Holly Lafferty |

Photos by:

Attanasio Photography

Before your wedding, write a love letter to your spouse and have him do the same. Find a small decorative chest where you can each place the love letters during the ceremony. Plan to open the chest on your 10th anniversary and relive the day of your wedding and the love you felt for each other. |


Attanasio Photography


FLOWERS Your mothers can bring up two small vases of flowers at the beginning of the ceremony. During the unity tradition, you and your hubby can transfer the small bouquets into a larger vase, symbolizing the beauty of your relationship and your union.

TIME CAPSULE For this, you and your husband can both bring a variety of items that reflect upon your relationship–a CD with your song, a ticket stub from your first movie date, a photo of the two of you together–and place them in a time capsule to be opened on your 10th anniversary. Rediscovering the items that may be long forgotten but represent your dating relationship will be a special moment for the two of you to share.

DIRT This may sound incredibly unromantic, but keep reading! Instead of sand, you and your man can both bring dir t from your childhood homes to pour into one container. The dir t will signify not only your romance, but also your childhood dreams being realized now that the two of you have found one another.

UNITY CUP Bring wine or a non-alcoholic drink of your choice and have your mothers pour the drink into your respective family cups. Then you and your husband can pour part of each drink into one larger cup that you can both drink out of together. If you want to honor your individuality, you can both take sips from your family cup before pouring into the cup together.

CANDY Perfect if you and your husband are having a laid-back or funky ceremony, pouring together bowls of M&M’s or Reese’s Pieces is an ideal way to add a bit of childlike levity to your day. If you have a sweet tooth, this is a really fun idea. 198 | nebraska weddingday

Pouring two containers of sand into one larger container, an idea increasing in popularity, is another meaningful way to represent your unbreakable bond. You can order two different colors to represent the blending together of yourselves.

As long as you don’t mind a bit of noise in your venue, place a bottle of wine into a box and nail the lid on together. This is another tradition that can be celebrated on your 10th anniversary – like a bottle of wine, your marriage only gets better with age. On your anniversary, open the box and enjoy!

Similar to the knot tying ritual, you can have your officiate tie you and your husband’s hands together. This will embody the act of marriage binding you to one another. Hand fasting dates back to a Celtic wedding tradition and is a great way to honor your heritage if you have Celtic ancestry. The ideas for representing your unity are endless. These are only suggestions, but in today’s world of weddings, anything goes. If you have an idea of something unique, go for it! If it honors the relationship between you and your husband, it is guaranteed to be a special moment you will remember NWD forever.

PLANT Plant a Unity Plant or Tree together after the ceremony. If you don’t mind getting your hands dir ty, this is a wonderful way to create a natural lasting bond between you and your man. Other bonus: it’s perfect for couples hosting a “green” wedding. |







Give your loved ones advance notice so they can plan ahead for your special day.

Attanasio Photography



Congratulations! You’ve picked a day to get hitched. Now it’s time to tell all your family and friends – and all other potential guests – the good news. Save-the-Date cards are a great way to spread the word about your wedding. Written by:

200 | nebraska weddingday

Kristen Castillo

Your Save-the-Dates should include your full names, the day of your wedding and mention that a formal invitation will follow at a later time. Feel free to include the location if your wedding is a destination wedding or if the location of the wedding is more than an hour from where most of your guests live. Out-of-town guests may want more information, such where to stay when they’re in the area for your wedding, so feel free to include a note that reads something like this: “Special Rates at Hotel ______. Contact the hotel for more information.” Be sure to include the hotel’s phone number and website. Include any other relevant information that may help your guests plan ahead. If you have a wedding website, include that information on the Save-the-Date card so your guests can stay informed on the details of your nuptials. Send Save-the-Dates to everyone you plan to invite to the wedding, especially outof-town guests who may need to make travel plans months before the big day. Sending advance notice to every guest is a nice gesture, especially in our busy, overscheduled society. Before sending your Savethe-Dates, you need to have a fairly solid idea of who’s invited to the wedding. Often, would-be guests can’t make it to your big day, so there will be some flexibility for your guest list even if you send advance notice.

Don’t go overboard with your Savethe-Dates. It’s fine to share the good news, but make sure you don’t get overzealous and send out too many. If everyone reserves the time, they’ll be expecting an invite. You could end up in the sticky situation of either turning guests away (a nono), or having to accommodate a larger guest list than you expected, which can be frustrating if you’re on a budget or getting hitched in a small venue that can’t handle a large number of guests.

TIMELINE Your wedding invitations should be sent about two months before the big day. To give your loved ones advance notice, send your Save-the-Dates out at least six months before the wedding. For a destination wedding, you will want to send them even earlier. Sending them out at least a year before the wedding will give guests ample time to plan ahead for your special day. Having a date and a place helps your guests star t making travel plans. They can request time off from work and plan ahead for air travel, car rentals and hotel accommodations. Chances are your guests will be buzzing with excitement once they receive your notification. Whether you’re planning a local ceremony and reception or a destination wedding, your guests will appreciate the advance notice so they can clear their calendars and get ready to celebrate with you and your groom. Once you send your Save-the-Dates, you can expect to start hearing from your future guests. This initial mailing is actually a pre-invitation. That means you can get a head start on the final guest count, since many of your guests will start to RSVP for the big day. They’ll be excited to let you know if they can “save the date.”

STYLE Feel free to use your Save-the-Dates to set the tone for your event. This is the time |


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motifs such as palm trees, sailboats, hearts and even calendars with that special date highlighted or circled. For the ultimate personalization, include your engagement photo on the magnet. Friends and family won’t hesitate to place that magnet on their refrigerator door. Magnets work well, especially if your wedding colors, themes and styles aren’t figured out yet. If you choose a card or a note format and don’t have your style planned, don’t worry; that’s okay. Pick something fun and go with it. Even if your plans and theme change later, you can coordinate all the other elements – invitations, wedding programs, place cards, thank you notes and stationery – in that new color, font or theme.

SAVE-THE-DATE TIPS Keep It Brief. It’s tempting to crowd your Save-the-Dates with lots of info, but hold back a bit. Keep the motto “less is more.” Remember Save-the-Dates are supposed to be teasers for your invitation. Make an Impact. Use Save-the-Dates to show your style and personality. This is the first impression your guests will receive regarding your wedding, so wow them as best as you can. Don’t Overdo It. You’re excited about your wedding, but be cautious before you start mailing Save-the-Dates to everyone you know. They’ll all be expecting an invitation to the wedding and you don’t want to accidentally exceed your guest list NWD limit. 2

to showcase colors, fonts and themes for your wedding. Be fun, bold, stylish or sophisticated – whatever suits you and your groom. Save-the-Dates are not supposed to be overly formal. They can be postcards, note cards, pamphlets or even pens complete with all your special day info on the barrel of the pen. Some styles even come with removable stickers saying things such as, “Allison & Mike,” so your guests can place the sticker on their calendar and remember the date. Make your mark with Save-the-Date magnets. It’s a fun, practical way to share preliminary details of your day. Save-the-Date magnets can be personalized and many have

Fun and sassy, short and sweet or elegant and sophisticated, your Save-theDates serve one purpose – to notify your family and friends about your nuptials. No matter how you do it, be sure to inform your guests about your upcoming wedding and continue to update them as much as possible. Send them travel itineraries, maps and local recommendations (such as where to eat and where to stay) and then be available to answer questions and share in their excitement about your special event.


Megan Christine Photography


INVITATION Do’s & Don’ts Written by:

Holly Lafferty

Your invitation will give guests their very first impression about your wedding day – don’t you want it to be a positive one? NWD offers a handy guide to help you avoid any embarrassing gaffes when addressing your invitations.

Do Don’t Do Don’t Do Don’t Do Don’t Do Don’t

use proper names. use inappropriate nicknames.

include the names of minor children you are

inviting on the inside envelope. That way there will be no confusion about who you wish to attend. forget to specify the dress code. Encourage

your guests to dress appropriately for your affair. print your return address on the back flap of the


give too much information – there’s no

need to overwhelm the guest. If you have a lot to say, direct them to your wedding website or blog. use sealing wax. The newer brands hold up well in

the mail.

send invitations via email. It will undermine

the formality of your wedding. call guests who haven’t RSVPed a week before

the wedding. This will help ensure that you have an accurate count of how many people will be attending. invite more people than you can

accommodate – there’s always a small chance everyone will be able to attend; and you don’t want to be ten meals shor t!


choose invitations you love – there are plenty of

beautiful invitations out there at a wide range of prices. You 2



don’t have to cut corners by printing your invitations at NWD |



Six weeks before the wedding, guests will open your invitation and see your style reflected. They will know what type of wedding it’s going to be and what to wear from the type of announcement. The invitation alone may be enough to help them decide whether or not to attend. So choose carefully when selecting your invitations, and remember to have fun with them! They should be a reflection of your personality…classic, elegant, fun, or funky. Setting the tone for your wedding can be a delicate matter when parents have separated or divorced, passed away or are otherwise not involved in your life. Sometimes, both the bride and groom’s parents host the wedding. Here are some examples to help solve those difficult “howto” problems when choosing the words to use in your invitation layout.


ETIQUETTE What single item sets the tone for your wedding? What gives your guest the first impression of your soon-to-be wedding? If you answered “wedding invitations,” you are correct! Written by:

204 | nebraska weddingday

Joy Armstrong |

Photo Courtesy of:

Porridge Papers

Hosted by bride’s parents: Mr. and Mrs. David Lee Householter request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Christy Diane to Donald Dayton Fellows Saturday, the twenty-third of July two thousand and nine at five-thirty o’clock St. Martin United Methodist Church Omaha, Nebraska

Hosted by both sets of parents: Mr. and Mrs. David Lee Householter request the honor of your company at the marriage of their daughter Christy Diane to Donald Dayton Fellows son of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Fellows Saturday, the twenty-third of July, etc.

When bride’s parents are divorced: The invitation is usually issued by the parent who raised her. Hosted by relatives: The relationship between the host and the bride replaces “their daughter” on the invitation.

Hosted by friends: The invitation lists the bride’s full name with Miss or Ms. preceding it.

If divorced parents send a joint invitation: Ms. Sara Jo Collins [or Mrs. Sara Jo Ray, if remarried] & Daniel Robert Collins request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Elizabeth Leigh To Theo Michael Richardson Saturday, the eighth of July two thousand and nine at two o’clock in the afternoon Grace Baptist Church Lincoln, Nebraska |



When the bride’s father or mother is a doctor: Sometimes parents, bride and/or groom have achieved professional or military titles, which deserve acknowledgment in the invitation: Dr. and Mrs. Samuel Bailey request the honor of your presence, etc. Dr. Adrianne Bailey and Mr. Samuel Bailey request the honour of your presence, etc.

When both the mother and father are doctors: The Doctors Bailey request the honor of your presence, etc.

Military titles for parents: Captain and Mrs. Larson Armstrong request the honor of your presence, etc. Mr. Larson Armstrong & Major Sylvia Armstrong request the honor of your presence, etc.

Military titles for the bride and/or groom: Mr. and Mrs. John Kenny request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Commander Shari Dru O’Connor United States Army to Major James Lewis Nelsen United States Navy, etc. 2


Hosted by the couple: The honor of your presence is requested at the marriage of Miss Christy Diane Householter to Mr. Donald Dayton Fellows Saturday, the twenty-third of July two thousand and nine at five-thirty o’clock St. Martin United Methodist Church Omaha, Nebraska


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Not only is Central Nebraska rich with natural beauty and historical sites; it’s also blooming with wedding experts. Here’s a few of our favorites…


Admiring all things lovely, whimsical and chic… this event planning and design development boutique is a gem of creativity. WHERE TO GO: Located ‘On The Bricks’ in downtown KEARNEY (


Tucked into the heart of Nebraska, this family owned and operated floral boutique brings to life the finest array of floral arrangements, décor and creative insight to your wedding day. WHERE TO GO: Located in KEARNEY. (


Nestled within Town Square, this opera house is home to one of Nebraska’s beautiful historic buildings. After new life was recently breathed into this hidden treasure, it became a hot spot for local weddings, receptions and events. WHERE TO GO: Located on E. 5th Street in downtown MINDEN. (


^^ YOUNES CONFERENCE CENTER Reception Perfection - arrive, celebrate and let the wedding professionCentral Nebraska’s glossiest collection of wedding rentals – tables, als at Younes take care of the rest. chairs, linens, centerpieces, décor Your traveling guests with little ones will love Captain’s Lagoon, an indoor – and creative services is a rite of recreation center. WHERE TO GO: passage for creating memorable events. WHERE TO GO: Located in Located in KEARNEY. ( KEARNEY. ( |


Corey Rourke Photography



FAMILY TIES It was a lovely crisp winter evening on the Plaza in Kansas City when my now husband, Chris, got down on one knee and asked me to be his bride. Written by :

208 | nebraska weddingday

Tracy Brester

There were romantic words and tear-soaked kisses and I remember thinking that planning this blessed event was going to be the most joy-filled and easy thing I would ever do. Little did I know, planning a wedding that involved divorced parents would be very complicated. I love both of my parents deeply and I knew they wanted nothing but the best for my wedding day. But in order to not hurt feelings, step on toes or cause anyone to be uncomfortable I really had my work cut out for me. So my mother and I dove into The Bride’s Book of Etiquette to find how best to handle things such as invitations, seating arrangements, receiving line, pictures and such. Here are some suggestions I found to make your special day as wonderful as you and your family want it to be.

INVITATIONS There are several different ways for you to word your wedding invitation. The usual formal invitation starts out by listing the hosts of the wedding, the bride’s parents. Now, of course, you will need to consider your own unique family situation when focusing on this particular element. For example, if your parents are divorced, customarily the person who raised you would issue the invitation. In a situation where the host parent is remarried the invitation might look something like this: Mr. and Mrs. Jon Smith request the honor of your presence

SEATING During the ceremony the bride’s parents usually sit side by side in the front row followed by the grandparents in the second row. If your parents are divorced, not remarried and remain on friendly terms then it is certainly appropriate for them to sit in this manner as well. If not, then the parent who raised you is the one who sits in the front row, while the other is seated in the third row along with his/her spouse if he/she is remarried. If there are any stepsiblings or extended step-family, they would be seated with the respective parent and his/her spouse (Book of Etiquette, 144-145). For both the rehearsal dinner and the reception, in a divorced family situation, it is a good idea to have a seating chart ready beforehand and place cards for the event itself. You will want to be sensitive to the feelings of both of your parents when choosing how close to put them and their families during both meals. Use your best judgment when it comes to choosing seating for this social time.

RECEIVING LINE The receiving line order of appearance usual goes like this: The mother of the bride, the father of the bride (optional), the mother of the groom, the father of the groom (optional), the bride, the groom, the maid of honor (optional) and the bridesmaids (optional). In a divorce and/or remarriage situation it is often easier and suitable to have the fathers mingle with the guests during

at the marriage of Mrs. Smith’s daughter Stacy Renea Adams… If you wish for both parents to be listed and one or both are remarried, the invitation would state: Mr. and Mrs. Jon Smith and Mr. (and Mrs.) Randy Adams Request the honor of your presence At the marriage of their daughter Stacy Renea Adams… Whatever your specific situation, there is an appropriate way for you to customize your invitation so it respectfully reflects all those involved. It is important that you and your fiancé consult your parents on their opinions and feelings. Also know it is completely appropriate to omit parental names all together and include only you and your fiancé’s names: Stacy Renea Adams and Bill Robert Johnson along with their parents Invite you to join them in the uniting of their hearts and lives… (Book of Etiquette, 75-76). |



this time. If you are close to a step-parent, it is also just fine to have them as part of the receiving party as well (Book of Etiquette 212213). Again, use your best discretion when making these decisions.This is simply a guideline for you to use as a starting point. Just like your invitations, your receiving line will bear the stamp of your special family!


It is wise for all brides, no matter what the family situation, to have a list of important pictures for the photographer prior to the wedding day. It helps your picture-taking time to go smoothly and more quickly; also insuring you won’t miss any important photo opportunities. A list is particularly important if you have a unique family structure. For example, if you have divorced parents who are both remarried with stepchildren, you may have just doubled your family picture time. It would be beneficial to sit down a couple of months before the wedding day and write a list of all family members who will be attending the wedding. From that list, compile a second list of family picture combinations that will be important for both you and your family to have. Consider consulting both parents and possibly step-parents on photos they would like to have as well. If you go into your pre or post-wedding photography session prepared, having consulted and organized all those involved, you will find that it will be enjoyable for everybody. Be sure to make your photographer aware of any unique family circumstances so he/she may steer clear of any potentially awkward situations. Each family is unique just as each bride is unique. The wedding day is a wonderful time for the coming together of all those who love the newlywed couple. With a little planning and compassion for all those involved you can make your special day exactly what you want it to be. Bride’s Book of Etiquette By the Editors of Bride’s Magazine NWD Published 2003

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Your wedding is your chance to shine. Naturally you want every detail to be sophisticated and personalized. With a little imagination and help from wedding professionals, your reception plans will shape up quickly. The result? A stylish and special event. Written by:

Kristen Castillo

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Photos by:

Geoff Johnson Photographer

1. CLASSIC COLORS. You can’t go wrong with black and white. This classic look is very streamlined and stylish; it’s also easy to match. Many couples are sticking with timeless wedding colors like black and white, which are both ideal when it comes to rentals as nearly every item imaginable is available in these two simple colors. This streamlined color combination is par ticularly dramatic with basic reception décor elements like chairs, tablecloths and napkins. Use flowers for a pop of color amidst the black and white theme. 2. CUSTOMIZATION. Not ever y wedding element is rentable off-the-rack, so to speak. Some items are custom ordered. Luckily, this is not the hassle you’d think it might be. Work with a rental company to place an order on a custom project. Remember custom jobs take more time and often cost more than in-stock rental items. Still, custom items are made-to-order and will fit your specifications so your event can be all you want it to be. In many cases, rental prices for custom items aren’t too expensive if the rental company agrees to


Lace overlays on ivory or white are popular looks. Lace helps set the mood for a romantic event. Use it sparingly to create a luxe look without overdoing the trend. rent the items again. That way you’ll be the first client to use a rental product, but you won’t have to pay all the costs you would if you had to foot the bill for a custom project you had to keep. 3. LACE IS BACK. It’s a classy fabric that’s both traditional and elegant. Now lace is back on the wedding scene. Lace overlays on ivory or white are popular looks. Lace helps set the mood for a romantic event. Use it sparingly to create a luxe look without overdoing the trend.

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4. BUDGET-CONSCIOUS BRIDES. Don’t let finances ruin your wedding plans or your décor. You can be a budgetconscious bride and still pull off a memorable reception. One way to save money but not skimp on style is to use flowers in season, such as tulips in spring. Another idea is to approach your vendors and ask for budget help. Most of the time, your vendors will want to work with you to make your event the best it can be, no matter what the budget dictates.

Geoff Johnson Photographer


Getting those impor tant elements may mean cutting back on extras like plate chargers or over-the-top centerpieces, but it’s all a balancing act to make sure each couple gets what they want without too much sacrifice. 5. LOUNGING AROUND. Not everyone enjoys dancing the night away. Your guests will be happy if you have a lounge area for them Lit centerpieces are a to kick back and relax in hit, especially if you during the reception. Lounge areas can be large (seating for up want to impress your to 40 guests) or small (seating for six to eight guests. Lights can people). Choose a lounge setup that works be added to flower for your guest list, but remember you don’t arrangements, tables need a comfy chair for every guest. Not every- and other décor eleone will want to sit in the lounge, so a simple ments to add a warm setup that offers an opportunity to hang out glow to the event. is all you need. 216 | nebraska weddingday

Geoff Johnson Photographer

There are many lounge choices to consider, including cabanas for a poolside retreat; a mix and match of sofas and chairs; and benches and ottomans. Pick a style that suits your taste and the mood of your par ty. 6. COLOR, COLOR, COLOR. You don’t have to be so traditional about color. Go for vibrant tones like coral, seafoam and poppy. Some of the hottest wedding hues are shades of plum, cherry and berry. These berry colors work throughout the year, especially during the fall. Jewel tones such as rust, rose and gold are trendy. Luckily, a lot of rental items from linens to chair covers are available in these colors. 7. EVERYTHING’S AGLOW. Glowing furniture like tables, chairs and bars might sound tacky, but think again. Done right, it’s very stylish and modern. Lit centerpieces are a hit, especially if you want to impress your guests. Lights can be added to flower arrangements, tables and other décor elements to add a warm glow to the event. For a bolder look, go for a lighted dance floor, lighted fabric columns and lighted acr ylic end tables. A range of color choices are available, including blue, green and pink. For example, a rectangular coffee table lit up in blue adds a hip, fresh look. Your guests will feel like they’re hitting a hot club for a night on the town. |


Geoff Johnson Photographer


Other options include lighted mirrors and lit up sculpture pieces such as cubes and pyramids. They’re colorful and cer tainly a conversation piece for you and your par ty guests. 8. SOPHISTICATED CHAIRS. You had never thought so much about chairs until you started planning your wedding. Now you’re overwhelmed with all the chair choices. One of the most popular options is the Chiavari chair, which is an elegant-looking framed chair with openings between slats. The chairs come in an array of colors such as gold, white and black. They’re also easy to embellish with cushions, ribbons, flowers and other decorations. 9. A RETURN TO COMFORT. Many people are reaching out for touches of home and all things that are comfor table and familiar. Texture on the tables is big. Consider using crushed fabric in the décor and adding chargers to dress up plating. Another comfor table choice involves the wedding venue. Home weddings and park weddings are back because they’re different from standard ceremonies and receptions and they’re cozy for couples and their guests. 10. SMALL DETAILS. Little touches go a long way. Spending a few extra dollars to dress up your reception tables will be well wor th the expense. Embellishments like sparkly gems, fabric and feathers can add interest to table settings. Even peacock feathers and ostrich 218 | nebraska weddingday

Don’t miss an opportunity to showcase your event. Embracing the little details like napkins and thank-you notes will make a memorable impression on your guests.



feathers can be used in moderation in bouquets and centerpieces for a bit of texture. Don’t miss an oppor tunity to showcase your event. Embracing the little details like napkins and thank-you notes will make a memorable impression on your guests. Chair covers are another way to dress up a simple chair. Check out the chair cover selections rental companies have to offer. Wedding trends come and go, but creating a memorable wedding ceremony and reception has staying power. Look for and use special touches to make your par ty stand out from others. You won’t regret going big on style with small details like chair covers and centerpieces. It’s these design elements that make or break your NWD wedding, so don’t hold back. Nebraska WeddingDay’s blog is updated daily and filled with fun tips and features. Our blog is all about finding creative things to do for your wedding, with easy-to-find information on local vendors and the hot new trends we’re discovering. We can’t wait to hear from you!

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We are blown away each year by the truly breathtaking brides that reside in this wonderful state we call home. From chatting with you about wedding details at local bridal shows to seeing your feedback on our blog discussing decor and fashion to scouring through Real Wedding submissions, we are always overjoyed by the smiles on your faces and the love you put into your special day. Here are a few things that have inspired us and they all stem from you.

There is nothing better than a solid support system on the day of your wedding. We love seeing these carefree, smiling faces


Our Nebraska brides are not color shy and we think it is fabulous. This bouquet is simply stunning.







This cake had us swooning. We love the handmade bunting and cake topper.


This is a moment of pure bliss between a bride and groom and it simply melted our hearts. 220 | nebraska weddingday

Our mouths were watering when we saw these tasty treats. We know your guests left full and happy!


The DIY chalk boards, table numbers, aisle runners and decor are perfectly crafted and exploding with personality.



You aren’t afraid to show off your unique sense of style and we hope you never stop! We love your mismatched bridesmaid dresses and cowboy boots.










Kat ie


TELL ALL Nebraska WeddingDay has followed four Nebraska brides and their steps down the aisle throughout the past 9 months through NWDâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s blog. The girls would share their weekly tasks, inspirations, and plans with our readers. We asked these four brides to sit down and answer some burning questions we had for them and we loved the advice they shared! For more great tips and inspirations, follow

What was the first vendor you booked when planning your wedding?


Our church. Once we had those details set, we booked our reception venue and set up room blocks for guests. Blair: Our reception hall. We set a date before contacting any venues, so that 222 | nebraska weddingday

knocked out right away a lot of amazing spaces that were already booked. It definitely limited our options, but we have multiple sentimental attachments to our date. As it turned out, fate also made our date the only Husker bye week this year, so if I thought finding a hall was hard, finding other available vendors after that was even harder!

If you could give one piece of advice on budgets, what would it be?

Blair: To have one in the beginning and stick to it! We didnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t really work from one until midway into the process. For any

Nicole downloadable template, I would suggest manipulating the percentages they suggest for each spending category to reflect your own priority list and make it more realistic. Katie: My advice would be to discuss your budget early on and prioritize how you want to spend your money. I think money is a hot topic for all couples, whether in the planning stages or marriage itself. Be honest about what is important to you, and be willing to compromise at the same time.

What items are worth splurging on and what items are worth saving on?

Dani: When I was putting my budget together this was a question I was constantly asking myself! I just had to stop and ask myself, "Is this something I will be disappointed if I don't have on my wedding day?" After discussing these things with Kane we decided the photography was something we wanted to splurge on, since this is an item we can actually take away from our wedding day and have for years.

Nicole: I would say the entertainment and food are worth splurging on. People are going to remember if the food was good and if they had a good time.

Blair: For me, photography and a live band were at the top of the list of nonnegotiables and I was going to figure out everything else later. But everyone is different and that’s what makes weddings great!

Nicole, looking back on your wedding, what was your favorite part?

people we love the most and to see how much fun everyone was having celebrating our special day was amazing.

Nicole: Oh that’s so hard to pick! It was the best day of my life and went way too fast! I would say my favorite part was seeing Ryan for the first time and the dance at the reception. The dance was so great! It was so awesome to let loose with the

What aspect did you feel you should have spent more time on?

Nicole: I am really pleased with how our wedding turned out, but I wish I would have spent more time on our favors. I really wanted to do flower shaped cookies on

When dress shopping, how many dresses did you try on before finding the one?


I tried on so many dresses; I couldn't even guess what the final count tallied up to be. I think I ended up shopping in at least 8 stores.

Nicole: I tried on about 20 dresses. I didn’t want to look at too many because I thought I would get confused by all of the different styles. I think it was a good amount to choose from. Dani:

Three, I was really lucky!

What did you find most surprising about your wedding gown search?

Blair: I didn’t go into my search with a ton of pre-requisites. I think if you really want something in a gown, like lace for me, there is definitely a dress out there that will have a way to incorporate that, even if it’s not exactly in the way you thought or exactly like the picture you loved in some magazine.

Dani: I found that the gowns I liked reflected who I am as a person and my everyday style, which is very simple. The dress I actually ended up choosing looked awful on the hanger and I almost passed it up – good thing I didn't! Nicole: I think it’s important to try on different shapes and styles because you never know what is going to look good on you. Also, take advice from the associates working because they have an eye for things you may not. Don’t be afraid to try something on. |



sticks and have them displayed in flower pots at the entry of the reception but I thought about it too late.

How much say does your groom have in wedding plans?

Dani: Kane, my groom, wants to be involved in the wedding planning, so we work together on the bigger aspects to make sure the final decision reflects both of our

personalities. However, for the smaller details, like flowers, I usually make the decision. Katie: Jerad has a lot of say in our wedding plans. He's been really involved in the planning process so far, which I am so appreciative of! I think we have a pretty good system in place - I do the ground work on vendors I'm interested in, then he makes the phone calls to get the information we need and work out the details.

Blair: I was surprised by some of the opinions Matt chose to have but I knew if he was speaking up about something, it meant something to him and I would try to find a way to include that. For example, I despise dollar dances but it was one of his non-negotiables, so we’re still going to do it. In return, I was allowed to scrap the unity candle I didn’t want that he didn’t really care about. Compromise is key! Was there something you have learned about planning that surprised you?


DIY is not always the cheapest route! Also, don't be afraid to explore and compare different options with your vendors. I probably talked to and compared at least 10 different photographers before settling on mine.

Nicole: I learned a lot through the process. I knew there were many details that went into weddings but I was still surprised when we had to pick the shade of purple for the monogram on the sheet cakes and small things like that. I also was surprised how fast everything added up from a cost perspective. What is your something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue?


Something old is my paternal great grandmother's pendant given to her by her husband on their 50th wedding anniversary, and my maternal great grandmother’s watch.


For something blue, I plan to carry my father's blue crystal rosary with my bouquet.

Nicole: My something borrowed was a necklace from my grandmother that her bridesmaids wore in her wedding.

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Blair: My something old is a handkerchief made from my Grandma Sinnett’s own wedding dress that I will wrap about my bouquet and carry with me throughNWD out the ceremony.


Your wedding is fast approaching and you’re getting excited because the RSVP cards are arriving daily. The rooms you have blocked at the chosen hotel are slowly filling up and you begin to wonder : What are your out-of-town guests going to do with all the extra time that is not spent at your wedding and reception?

Attanasio Photography

NEBRASKA Have no fear! We have created a list of some of the most interesting and entertaining attractions that two of Nebraska’s largest cities have to offer. Along with providing a list to your arriving guests, we also have some great suggestions to make them feel welcomed and appreciated. They have traveled many miles to honor you on this day and giving them a gift basket filled with goodies is a great way to say thank you. In this basket, include a map of the surrounding area, along with some suggestions on eating establishments nearby. An itinerary of wedding events is also an appropriate inclusion, especially if they are directly involved. Top it off with some snacks, candy and a couple of water bottles. If you’re feeling especially creative, create your own labels that say “Welcome to Nebraska” or “Thank You”. You can rest assured that your arriving guests will be impressed with your creativity and gratitude; and most importantly, they will feel at home here in Nebraska!

FUN THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND OMAHA Ameristar Casino...................................................................712.328.8888 Blue Barn Theatre..................................................................402.345.1576 Botanical Gardens .................................................................402.346.4002 Fontenelle Nature Association ........................................402.731.3140 Funny Bone Comedy Club................................................402.493.8036 Fun Plex Amusement Park ................................................402.331.8436 Gerald R. Ford Bir thplace ..................................................402.444.5900 Great Plains Black Museum...............................................402.345.2212 Harrah’s Casino ......................................................................712.329.6000 Henry Doorly Zoo ...............................................................402.733.8401 Historic Old Market Indian Cave State Park ........................................................402.883.2575 Joslyn Ar t Museum................................................................402.342.3300 Lancers Hockey Game........................................................712.325.4231 Mahoney State Park .............................................................402.944.2523 Omaha Children’s Museum...............................................402.342.6164 Omaha Community Playhouse........................................402.553.6288 Omaha Royals Baseball Game .........................................402.738.5100 Omaha Symphony Orchestra ..........................................402.342.3560 River City Star Boat Excursion........................................402.342.7827 Strategic Air & Space Museum........................................402.944.3100 Vala’s Pumpkin Patch............................................................402.332.4200

Folsom Children’s Zoo and Botanical Gardens ........................................................402.475.6741 Governor’s Mansion .............................................................402.471.3466 Great Plains Ar t Collection...............................................402.472.3208 Historic Haymarket in Downtown Hyde Observatory................................................................402.441.7895 James Ar thur Vineyards.......................................................402.783.5255 Lincoln Children’s Museum ...............................................402.477.4000 Lincoln Community Playhouse ........................................402.489.7529 Lincoln Saltdogs Baseball Game .....................................402.474.2255 Lincoln Stars Hockey Game .............................................402.474.7827 Lincoln Symphony Orchestra...........................................402.476.2211 Museum of Nebraska History .........................................402.471.4754 Nebraska State Capitol Building .....................................402.471.0448 Pioneer Stables .......................................................................402.477.5509 Sheldon Memorial Ar t Gallery and Sculpture Garden .........................................................402.472.2461 University of Nebraska State Museum ........................402.472.2642

FUN THINGS TO DO IN AND AROUND LINCOLN Arbor Day Farm ...................................................................402.873.9347 Arbor Lodge State Historical Park and Arboretum..............................................................402.873.7222 Bluestem Tree Farm and Vineyard..................................402.817.8733 Downtown Lincoln |



Q: What else can I decorate my ceremony chairs with besides ribbons and bows? – Jennifer Goldstein, Omaha NE

A: There are many items you can use

Attanasio Photography

to spruce up your ceremony décor. Some of our favorites are wreaths, seasonal items like wheat, hanging vases or mason jars, ribbon tied to the top of the chair and paper flowers. Many of these ideas can translate into reception décor as well and serve as double purpose. One thing to keep in mind: don’t go overboard on your aisle décor. You want to ensure your guests comfortable and visibility.


EDITOR Written by:

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Courtney Lockridge

Q: Some of our friends and family sent us early wedding gifts, should I wait until after the wedding to thank them? – Kelsey Oberle, Lincoln NE

A: To confirm your gifts arrival, it is best to send thank you notes right after you receive them. This allows your friends and family to not only know that you received the gift, but that you enjoy it as well. Make sure to acknowledge whether they plan to attend your wedding or if they are unable to make it to your special day.

Q: I have a large family and multiple people want to throw me bridal showers. Can I invite the same people to more than one shower? â&#x20AC;&#x201C; Emily Heidbrink, Arlington NE

family are planning to shower you with gifts. However, it is frowned upon to invite the same guests to more than one event. Immediate family like mothers and sisters are fine to invite more than once, but try to keep each shower to separate guestsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; lists. Also, never invite someone to a bridal shower if they are not invited to the wedding.

Attanasio Photography

A: It is wonderful that your friends and |



Q: When do I create my wedding website? – Ellen Wilson, Kearney NE

A: Your wedding website should hold your basic ceremony and reception information, as well as your registry and any special notes or directions. Typically, brides send out a note card stating the website with their invitations. That being said, your website can be created once all information is confirmed. Wedding websites are intended for guests only, so keep all links off of social media outlets.

Q: I want to include my mother’s or grandmother’s wedding gown. How do I incorporate these heirlooms without either wearing the dress or tying it around my bouquet? – Carrie Johnson, Bellevue NE

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There are several ways to incorporate these cherished garments into your wedding day. For a more traditional route, have a hanky made or construct a ring bearer pillow out of the fabric. Another alternative is to use lace or embellishments from the gown and edge your veil with them. To incorporate the gown in a fun and unique way is to have a shor t gown constructed of the material with a more modern silhouette. This is a great way to wear her dress either at your rehearsal or reception. Turn to page 46 for more creative ways to incorNWD porate your wedding heirlooms. 2

Brighten Photography




ANOTHER Planning my wedding was 11 months of trial and error. Online purchases gone wrong, buyer’s remorse and overcoming the ultimate fear of “pulling the trigger” were all obstacles I faced along the way. Written by:

Megan Cooper |

Photo by:

Leah Lund Photography

I was at dinner with my parents one evening when I felt the tears star ting to well up in my eyes. If only someone would have prepared me for these little lessons I bumped into week after week. Every bride’s experience will be different, but if even one of these 10 lessons would have been shared with me, my wedding planning experience would have been more of a breeze. 10. Start Saving. Mom and Dad are paying for the entire wedding? Fantastic! Still plan ahead and star t saving your pennies. Wedding party gifts, gifts for your parents, bachelorette par ty dress, bridal shower dress and not to mention your new honeymoon wardrobe will soon star t to add up. The lesson I learned? Star t saving now. I wish I would have star ted saving months prior to my wedding to avoid the panic when my bank account star ted dwindling. Oh, and those license tabs I had to purchase the month of my wedding would not have been such a pain if I saved the cash in advance so I could splurge on a few more travel items! Make a list of all the items you need to purchase prior to the wedding (perfume, groom’s gift, undergarments, etc.) and make a rough budget. That way you have a ballpark of how much you can spend and you can budget your income accordingly. 9. The internet: Pros v. Cons. You can find so many amazing things online and in fact, there are some items you almost have to purchase online to make your wedding unique. I had many battles with internet purchases and was only successful with a |



few of them. I learned you don’t always get what you think you will (this point is especially true with sites like and you have to constantly be scouring your favorite website for great deals. The best deal I found online was a pair of gorgeous bridal earrings for over 50% off. My biggest online fail? A pair of earrings I wanted for the reception that I assumed were pink and arrived at my doorstep clear. After some debate with the seller on Etsy, he refunded my money. Lesson learned: if it does not state things clearly in the return policy or item description, ask the seller! 8. Plan Ahead. The one thing that kept my head from spinning was the fact that I completed as many smaller projects as possible weeks prior to my wedding. The last two weeks are so packed with meetings and appointments, panic can really set in when you have 200 favor boxes to assemble and programs to order or print. The only projects I left for the week prior to the wedding were placing candy in the favor boxes, creating the table chart, place cards and printing the programs. Use an accurate timeline and create a list of goals for each month. By spreading out your projects you will not only feel like you’re saving time, but you’re spreading out payments that can easy add up. 7. Avoid Pointless Spending. Since I placed so many orders online, I found many items I thought I just had to have. It was so easy for me to get stuck in the, “this is my wedding and I’ll only get this once so what does $100 matter?” Well, that $100 does matter, especially when you later change your mind and it cannot be returned. Or, you use that excuse 5 times and it turns into $500! Spend your money wisely. One of my favorite purchases was a gold Kate Spade “Mrs.” necklace. The price tag wasn’t light, but every day I grew more and more anxious to wear it postwedding. It was money well spent because it meant something to me, and I had more than one use for it. 230 | nebraska weddingday

6. Be Open to Design Changes. I purchased my gown in 3 hours. It hit me when I got home and realized I finally learned to “pull the trigger” on decisions. When you spend years dreaming up ideas, knowing you can freely change them whenever a better, more beautiful idea comes to mind, it’s hard to narrow down your options and select what you want. Now that I had to make real decisions, like purchasing my bridal gown, I became timid. The hardest obstacle I had to overcome was not being afraid to make decisions. Chances are you know your gut (after all, you said yes to that handsome groom of yours) and you have had years to figure out your real style. If you told the whole world you will only use peonies and then learned the price tag, find a new alternative. Chances are you will love it even more. Also, don’t be afraid to speak your mind. And if it’s not too late, change your mind. After all, it’s your wedding and your vendors want you to be happy! Just remember to be gracious about it. 5. Embrace Differences. I had the perfect photograph of a bouquet for my floral meeting. I thought to myself, “This will make my wedding.” Well, I quickly learned that bouquet I selected would cost a pretty penny and the majority of flowers were not in season. I felt as if my wedding wasn’t anything I wanted without that bouquet. My florist explained how she would use several of the flowers from that bouquet, but substitute the others with similar blooms. I learned to let go of that dreamy bouquet, and embrace the fact that it was out of reach. I also learned to trust in professionals and to listen to what they recommend before I shot them down because I could not envision it. 4. Don’t Expect Too Much of Others. Some people are quick to help and others may try to avoid it at all costs. If someone offers to help you, let them. They want to help because they care about you and want to be a par t of your big day. On the

that reminded me of us. I focused on the life we were about to create and live together. I would be lying if I told you my wedding planning process wasn’t stressful or overwhelming at times. I kept my eyes on the end of that aisle and the handsome groom that was about to promise me forever. If that doesn’t shake away your nerves, then I don’t know what else would! 2

style. Although that is true, it is only a small fraction of what the day is about. Think of it this way, your guests could have the finest cuisine with candles and flowers everywhere, but if they don’t see and feel the love you and your groom radiate, then your day is a dinner par ty rather than a wedding. I stayed focused on my groom by dreaming up heirlooms and special touches


other hand, you may expect all of your bridesmaids to plan a fabulous bridal shower or bachelorette party and none of them seem to take the lead. Don’t take things personally. Although it may feel like they are not interested in you, maybe they feel insecure or uncomfor table planning a huge soiree. Some people get shy of DIY projects or par ty planning. They don’t feel crafty enough or feel like their ideas may not be good enough. Include them always, but let it go if they don’t jump when you ask them to help. 3. Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff. Things will not go always as planned but don’t let it ruin the rest. I became obsessed (yes, obsessed) with finding light pink rhinestone earrings to wear to the reception. I spent hours looking online and ordered two pairs which ended up not being accurate. I was so upset that I never found a pair that I missed out on the excitement of finding the most adorable shoes and dress. There are a million little pieces that create your wedding day, so don’t lose sleep over the little things. Embrace them and move on. 2. Stay Focused. Since you surround yourself with everything pretty all day long when planning a wedding, it’s easy to get distracted. Stay focused in more than one way. First, focus on the essentials. Did you reserve the church and the reception hall? Will your guests be fed? Before you dive into the details, confirm the necessities. Secondly, focus on the actual marriage and not the par ty afterwards. I realized I felt less anxious and stressed after I remembered I am getting married to the man of my dreams. That and a few deep breaths will put you back in the game! 1. Always Put Him First And The Wedding Second. As cliché as it may sound, your wedding is only one day, whereas your marriage is a lifetime. I felt a lot of pressure to create the dream wedding that I know my family and friends expected. I knew this wedding represented me, my tastes and my





Close to Home If you’re looking for something nearby or a little fur ther away, the U.S. offers three fabulous options for an unforgettable honeymoon, destination wedding or vow renewal. Roaring Fork Valley in Colorado, the Big Island of Hawaii and Miami, Florida all offer a variety of incredible experiences guaranteed to make your trip memorable. Written by:

Nebraska WeddingDay brings you an easy how-to travel guide to these three locations, with some of our top picks for places to stay and things to do.

ROARING FORK VALLEY, COLORADO Containing the popular tourist destinations of Aspen, Snowmass Village and Glenwood Springs, Colorado; there is something forever yone in these gorgeous mountain towns, from indoor luxur y to outdoor adventure. Where to Stay The Hotel Jerome, Aspen The Hotel Jerome is filled with the kind of picture perfect historical elegance brides dream about. Whether you’re picturing a high-end Victorian wedding or an unforgettable honeymoon suite, the Hotel Jerome will not disappoint. It is known for its excellent service and elegant, stylish looks. 234 | nebraska weddingday

Holly Lafferty

What to Do The Silver Queen Gondola, Aspen No trip to the Roaring Fork Valley is complete without taking the Gondola to the top of Aspen Mountain. Literally one of the best views in the state of Colorado, Aspen Mountain has a variety of entertainment once you reach the top (and the view riding up is pretty good, too). Great for families visiting for your wedding or couples looking to capitalize on the romantic view, Aspen Mountain is one of the best bets for an afternoon well spent in the area.

THE KOHALA COAST, BIG ISLAND, HAWAII Picture this: The perfect destination engagement, wedding, honeymoon and vow renewal location all rolled into one perfect coast on one perfect island. It’s impossible to describe with complete accuracy the unspoiled beauty of the Kohala Coast on Hawaii, the Big Island; no one is able to do the breathtaking scener y, hospitality of the islander and secluded romance justice with only words.

Another prime spot for sun and surf a little bit closer to home, Sunny Isles Beach is located midway between Miami and Fort Lauderdale. It offers an abundance of outdoor activities and plenty of entertainment to make it the perfect spot for young couples. Where to Stay Marena’s Beach Resort and Spa This is the place to go if you are looking to avoid crowded areas and noise. Going against the southern Florida stereotypes, Sunny Isles and Marena’s is a relaxed, more secluded area. However, it still offers many available activities if you wish to indulge. What to Do Everglades Tour For a very reasonable fee you can choose to explore the Everglades in a variety of ways. Air boat rides and swamp safaris are at the top of the list; and will give you an opportunity to get some NWD amazing snapshots to take home of your adventures! 2

What to Do Snorkeling, Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Not a confident swimmer? No problem. Whether you are or aren’t, the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel provides a guided snorkeling experience at Kaunaoa Bay along its distinctive coral reef that will stretch your capabilities while providing the ultimate scenery of the ocean. Guided patiently, you can push yourself farther out than you ever imagined into the ocean and experience glimpses of endemic sea turtles, octopuses and numerous different fish and sea urchins.



Where to Stay The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel The Mauna Kea Beach Hotel is a fabulous historical locale. The oldest hotel on the coastline, it is also the smallest. Founded by Laurance S. Rockefeller back in 1965, the hotel has the island’s oldest and most diverse art collection, a perfect place to experience culture at its finest. Rockefeller made certain the design would be innovative; as a result the hotel is also an architectural revelation.



HONEYMOON The honeymoon is your big reward at the end of that stressful production commonly called a wedding. After all of the craziness, you and your spouse finally get to sit back, relax and enjoy each other. Written by:

Molly Davenport |

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Photo by:

Megan Christine Photography

Whether you’re visiting the Cayman Islands, taking a romantic Alaskan cruise or driving through Europe, Nebraska Wedding Day has some helpful tips that will send you off to healthy, happy and anxiety-free honeymoon. The Caribbean has always been a popular choice for couples, mostly due to the abundance of all-inclusive resorts around the region. These resorts often offer package deals, including meals, rooms and many extras to make the trip worth the price. Whether you want to snorkel with sharks and sting-rays or hike on dormant volcano craters, most all-inclusive resorts offer services and guides that are sure to keep you informed and safe. There’s also no shortage of golf courses, tennis courts, and luxury spas and pools to appeal to your less adventurous and more luxurious side. The availability of all of these features assumes that you won’t already be soaking up the sun on the biggest attraction of all – the beautiful beaches right outside your resort room window. Recently, couples have been choosing European destinations as an alternative to the beach. Trading the tropics for the “Old World” might cut down on the sand and salt water, but not on romance and adventure. Many guided tours are available through a myriad of travel companies that can be found on the Internet or through a travel agency. When visiting foreign language speaking countries such as Italy, Spain, France or Germany, these companies are your best bet. They’ll make sure you’re transported safely to historical sites like the Coliseum or the Roman Senate ruins.They’ll also point you towards the best museums, like the Louvre and Musée D’Orsay in Paris or the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. The decision to plan your own honeymoon or use a travel agent is an important one, no matter where you’re going. Travel agents offer the security of experience; most won’t land you in a dive hotel six miles out of town. They often know the best places

most special times in your marriage. It’s something that can often be neglected in your planning because of the diversion the actual wedding creates. The honeymoon belongs only to you and your spouse, so remember to treat each other as extravagantly as you would any wedding guest. Start early, research well and be prepared for the NWD time of your life! |


recent outbreaks of anything from flu viruses to more serious diseases, and what level of health you should have to safely travel to those areas. It’s a good site to visit if you’re headed to an exotic site that requires certain vaccinations. Whether you’re still in the planning stage or have moved on to the packing, remember your honeymoon is one of the


to stay and can even find you discounted rates. They’ll also ensure your destinations are guaranteed entertainment, making sure you have plenty of choices in the cities and towns you visit. They can give you advice on how much currency to exchange and even what type of clothing to take with you. If you’re looking for a more personalized honeymoon, a driving trip through the British Isles will offer you the safety net of the English language while still exposing you to a completely foreign culture.You can often plan these trips without the help of a travel agent, and the fun of doing the research together can make the honeymoon even more special. Internet resources abound, and there are numerous comprehensive websites offering fares on flights, hotels, car rentals, and train tickets, as well as useful tips. Fodor’s and Lonely Planet are destination guide companies that boast thorough research on mainstream tourist attractions as well as out-of-the-way romantic spots. Cost is a gamble in these situations:You may save the small fee travel agencies take for planning your vacation, but you have to make sure you really put the time into researching your costs and fares to know you’re getting a good deal. If using a travel agent, your good fare is a guarantee. The Internet also provides great travel tips after you’ve decided on your destination. The Transportation Security Administration’s website,, can give key advice on subjects like what to pack in order to avoid airport security delays what time to arrive for departures and what size of carry-on luggage is allowed.They also provide security information on most traveling areas so you can check on any unstable political activity that may be occurring near your destination.The Center for Disease Control’s Travelers’ website,, gives health notifications and information for specific destinations.They can tell you where it’s unsafe to drink the water or what kinds of local food to stay away from. This site will also inform you of any areas that have had


Visit these vendors online at

Index Of Fitness



Max Muscle ..............................................................................................30 Tiger Rock Academy ............................................................................31

Alterations & Cleaners

Omaha Lace Cleaners .........................................................................57 Williams Cleaners..................................................................................60

Bridal Fashion

Hair Salon Déjà Vu ..........................................................................................29



One Makeup Ar tistr y...........................................................................31



A Slice of Heaven ...............................................................................195 Bliss Old Market Baker y...................................................................195 Dolce ......................................................................................................191 Pettit's Pastr y ........................................................................................198 Russ's Market........................................................................................196 Sweet Ar t Wedding Cakes ..............................................................193 Butterfly Baker y ...................................................................................192

Bridal Designs at Suburban Bridals.................................................49 Ellynne Bridal ...........................................................................................65 Ready or Knot (Wedding Chic).......................................................77 Rhylan Lang ..............................................................................................79 Sublime Couture ....................................................................................50

Jewelry Borsheims .................................................................................................32 Sar tor Hamann Jewelers.....................................................................35 Silpada ........................................................................................................34

Men’s Formalwear Savvi Formalwear ...................................................................................43 Suit Up! Tuxedos, Florals and More................................................44 Tip Top Tux.......................................................................................41, BC

Favors Just Nuts, Inc. ........................................................................................195

Floral Beyond the Vine...................................................................................188 Blooms and Bouquets .......................................................................177 Field's Flower Shop ............................................................................180 Floral Expressions ...............................................................................189 Florals Etcetera ....................................................................................181 Memories Bi-Design...........................................................................187 Mulhall's...................................................................................................180 Petal Creations .....................................................................................179 Suit Up! Tuxedos, Florals and More................................................44 Stem Galler y .........................................................................................183

Invitations A to Z Paperie .....................................................................................205 Ally B Designs.......................................................................................205 Cornhusker Beverage and Bridal..................................................203 Diane's Stationer y and Invitations ...............................................203 Inclosed Letterpress + Paper Goods Shop .............................209 Inkblot Paper Designs........................................................................201 Porridge Papers....................................................................................201

Rentals AAA Rents .............................................................................................219 Chair Cover Elegance........................................................................211 Countr y Elegance................................................................................216 Crete True Value ..................................................................................213 Grand Illusions......................................................................................214 Honeyman Rent-All............................................................................216 Nostalgia Vintage Event Rentals ....................................................217 Platinum Event and Wedding Rentals .........................................218 Theatrical Media Ser vices................................................................214 United Rent-All ....................................................................................217 Weddings Across America ..............................................................215 238 | nebraska weddingday



Primerica Financial Services ..............................................................23

Insurance Jeff Munns Agency, Inc. ........................................................................23

Registry The Pampered Chef .............................................................................22 Royal Prestige ..........................................................................................21


Enchanted Honeymoons ..................................................................237


A Better Exposure..............................................................................206 Attanasio Photography ........................................................................19 Bauman Photography ...........................................................................36 Bellus Photo + Film.......................................................................59, 61 Brighten Photography ..........................................................................55 Casey Fritton Photography .............................................................165 Colleen Dustin Photography ..........................................................171 Corey Rourke Photography............................................................199 Douglas Gunder Photographer........................................................45 Eliza Por trait Design ..........................................................................161 Elwood Photography ............................................................................51 Erin Stoll Photography ......................................................................224 Geoff Johnson Photographer ....................................................25, 27 Images by TLC ......................................................................................171 Iwen Exposures ..............................................................................46-47 James Bitz Photography ....................................................................202 jhd photography ..................................................................................173 L Squared Design & Photography................................................223 MaKenzi's Photography and Gifts.................................................175

Dwyer Photography ...........................................................................172 Megan Christine Photography..........................................................87 Megan Marie Photography ..............................................................174 Melenbacker Photography...........................................................14-15 The Moment It Clicks ..........................................................................53 Nikki Moore Photography ...............................................................168 Paula Moser Photography................................................................170 Peters Photography............................................................................210 Richmond Photography ....................................................................164 Sarah Pfeiffer Photography....................................................167, 169 Shane and Sunny Photography ........................................................37 Sullivan Photography and Videography ............................198, 228 T. Free Photography..................................................................232-233 T. Sterba Photography .......................................................................174


Wedding Services

Wedding Inspiration Show.................................................................11 Omaha Bridal Showcase .....................................................................13 Midwest Bridal Association................................................................18

Consultants/Planners Lovestruck Social Events.....................................................................12 The Wedding Planner Omaha ..........................................................17



9 South CharGrill................................................................................143 A Better Catering Solution ..................................................................9 Attitude on Food ................................................................................106 Chez Hay ................................................................................................118 Brandeis Catering................................................................................114 Catering Creations .............................................................................130 Patricia Catering ..................................................................................125 Venue Restaurant and Lounge.......................................................127

Art and Dance Allison Fees............................................................................................136 Bridal Por traits by Terr y ...................................................................136 Simply Ballroom ...................................................................................136

Entertainment CapturePodneb ....................................................................................152 Complete Music...................................................................................151 Harris Music Studio............................................................................152 Heidi Beran, Harpist...........................................................................151 A Sound Impression...........................................................................227 Primetime Music and Enter tainment ..........................................152

Intimate Settings James Ar thur Vineyards.....................................................................127 Venue Restaurant and Lounge.......................................................127

Reception Halls Ameristar Casino & Hotel...............................................................135 Anthony's Steakhouse .......................................................................135 The Apothecar y Lofts .......................................................................124 Arbor Hall ..............................................................................................137 Atrium Banquet Facility .........................................................................9 Chez Hay ................................................................................................118

The Club at Indian Creek................................................................117 Creighton University – Skutt and Harper Centers...............137 DC Centre .............................................................................................130 Doubletree by Hilton Omaha Downtown ...............................103 The Durham Museum .......................................................................110 Embassy Suites – LaVista .................................................................109 Embassy Suites – Lincoln ..................................................................IFC Embassy Suites – Omaha .................................................................IFC Georgetowne Club ............................................................................114 Grand Manse.........................................................................................115 Havelock Social Hall...........................................................................140 Hidden Valley Golf Course .............................................................145 Hillcrest Country Club .....................................................................124 Hilton – Omaha ...................................................................................IBC Himark Banquet Facility....................................................................107 Holiday Inn Downtown Lincoln ....................................................113 Holiday Inn Downtown Omaha....................................................119 Holiday Inn Southwest Lincoln......................................................119 Lauritzen Gardens .................................................................................98 Lied Lodge & Conference Center ...............................................146 Lincoln Firefighter's Reception Hall ...............................................98 Livestock Exchange Building ...........................................................114 The Lodge at Wilderness Ridge....................................................149 Magnolia Hotel .....................................................................................105 Millard Plaza Ballroom.......................................................................149 Minden Opera House .......................................................................145 Nebraska Champions Club ...........................................................143 The Nebraska Club ............................................................................146 Nomad Lounge ....................................................................................133 Omaha Sheraton Hotel ....................................................................121 The Players Club .................................................................................123 Ramada Plaza Omaha Hotel & Convention Center | CoCo Key Water Resor t ................................................................3 Regency Lodge .....................................................................................111 The Ridnour Room ............................................................................124 Sandhills Convention Center..........................................................120 Scott Conference Center ................................................................129 Simply Ballroom ...................................................................................136 The Thompson Center at UNO ...................................................139 Tiburon Golf Club ...................................................................................1 Tip Top Ballroom .................................................................................114 Tower Hall..............................................................................................116 Wick Alumni Center..........................................................................143 Yankee Hill Country Club ...............................................................107 Younes Conference Center .................................................................5

Guest Accommodations

Chase Suite Hotel...............................................................................225


Extreme Limo .......................................................................................230 Luxury Limousine................................................................................231


A Sound Impression...........................................................................227 Bellus Photo + Film.......................................................................59, 61 Chris Moravec Cinematography ...................................................228 Sullivan Photography and Videography ............................198, 228 |



BEHIND THE SCENES From left to right, top to bottom: a snapshot from the metallic bridesmaid photo shoot; a toast to the royal newlyweds; our creative assistant, Chelsea, working hard behind the scenes; Courtney, our editor, selecting fabric swatches for bridesmaid dresses; Shane Melenbacker behind the lense at our country-side couture fashion shoot; Megan, our creative director, celebrating a birthday with a sweet treat; a snapshot from our winter fashion shoot; Geoff Johnson in action during our winter fashion shoot; the girls taking a quick photo at the end of our bridesmaid shoot. 240 | nebraska weddingday

Profile for Nebraska Wedding Day

2012 NWD Spring Issue  

2012 Nebraska WeddingDay

2012 NWD Spring Issue  

2012 Nebraska WeddingDay