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WINTER 2015

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Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design


hello! We wish to welcome you to our 2015 Edition of Nebraska WeddingDay magazine! We are simply delighted that you have found us and hope that by tapping into the resources provided throughout our magazine, website and blog, you will find your wedding-planning process to be one of the most joyful experiences of your life. Our goal is to be a one-stop shop for all that you need to plan the wedding of your dreams. Between these covers, you will find a lovely mix of inspiration, information, planning tools and wedding vendors. At any time that you feel the stress building, just remember that planning your wedding day is a journey — a series of small steps to achieve the goal of your perfect wedding! Each Friday afternoon on our blog, we share a bit of inspirational advice in our Pearls of Wisdom series. We like to think of it as a little respite from the intensity of wedding planning. A touchstone – a moment to catch your breath and remember what is most important during this time in your life. One of our most steadfast Pearls of Wisdom is simply this:

“Great things are done by a series of small things brought together.” - Vincent Van Gogh Whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, just remind yourself that all you need to do is take small steps. It will be the compilation of your planning that will make your day unfold just as you envisioned. No single decision will make or break your wedding day. So if some small element of your planning doesn’t come together as intended, do not despair — no one will be the wiser. We all know that life is not perfect and life just happens, no matter how hard we try to control it. Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

Remember what is most important about this day — celebrating the extraordinary love you have with all those near and dear to you as you make a lifetime commitment to the love of your life! Thank you for allowing us to be a part of this uniquely special time in your life! We always strive to bring you the very best that we have to offer in stunning images, original inspiration, valuable information and extraordinary wedding professionals who are dedicated to helping you bring together your own series of small things to make a great thing – your wedding!

-xo-

the team at Nebraska WeddingDay

2015 EDITION PUBLISHER Marjie Grove CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lindsey Grove MEDIA + MARKETING SPECIALIST Emily Park SALES DIRECTORS Megan Borgmann Kelcie Keeling ART DIRECTOR Judi Privett PUBLICATION LAYOUT Studio Graphics AD DESIGN Emily Edson-Aveni

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS NWD Staff Suzanne Geist Holly Lafferty Joy Armstrong CONTACT INFO Nebraska WeddingDay neweddingday.com neweddingdayblog.com info@neweddingday.com 402-489-0531

NEBRASKA WEDDINGDAY Published annually by Uncommon Delivery, LLC

Copyright 2015. All rights reserved. © Reproduction of any part 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

FOR THE WEDDING PROFESSIONAL If you have a product or service for the wedding market, NWD offers an array of advertising opportunities along with bride

cannot and does not guarantee accurracy. Nebraska WeddingDay cannot and will not be held liable for the quality or performance

lists, an updated website, and daily blog - all

of goods and services provided by advertisers

geared specifically to the wedding industry.

or by any other portion of this publication.

SPRING COVER Image by Kelsey Buss Photography on location at Slattery Vintage Estates, Bridal gown from Ellynne Bridal, Jewelry from Borsheims, Bouquet by Mulhall's Floral, Hair by Salon DeJa Vu, Makeup by Ashley's Makeup Artistry. SUMMER COVER Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design on location at Elmwood Park Grotto, Bridal gown from Bridal Traditions, Menswear from Tip Top Tux, Jewelry from Borsheims, Floral design by Mulhall's Floral, Hair by Ann Luchsinger, Makeup by Ashley's Makeup Artistry. Models for the Spring Feature, Summer Feature and Menswear were provided by Select Model Management.


TABLE OF CONTENTS

16

2015 Nebraska WeddingDay NWD Editorial

29

features and Articles

Perfecting Your Bridal Glow

10

My Little Girl

14

simply stunning

16

Alluring Attire

20

Twists on the Traditional

24

by your side

29

Helping Hands

36

menswear & accessories

41

51

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41

Stunning Sparkler

46

ooh la la

51

Tickled Pink

56

Something Borrowed

60

From Inspiration to Actuality

66

sweet satisfaction

68

Praiseworthy Paper Goods

78

Darling Details

84

joyfully invited

88

A Successful Start

92

Build Up to the Big Day

96

Practice Makes Perfect

102


TABLE OF CONTENTS

68

2015 Nebraska WeddingDay NWD Editorial

88

108

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features and Articles Savvy Savings

105

tea party

108

I Thee Wed

120

Kicking Off the Night Right

122

A Sublime Site

126

Mastering Your Guest List

130

Away We Go

132

tickle your taste buds

136

Cue the Music

142

Asking the Right Questions

144

Tying the Knot

150

Weather Permitting

154

Only the Near and Dear

156

Expect the Unexpected

158

Digital Wedding Day

160

The New Normal

164

Reserved

168

Making the Most of It

170

Avoiding the Budget Blues

172

Fond Farewells

176

VENUE GUIDE

178

Wedding Wrap-Up

188

FROM OUR NOTEBOOK

190


PERFECTING YOUR BRIDAL GLOW Attaining stunning bridal beauty

Once the budget, venue and vendors are decided, you can move on to selecting the final details of your menu, flowers, décor and most importantly, your look. Enjoy this amazing time during your weddingplanning process! Between follow-up phone calls, dress fittings and finishing up handcrafted details, you may likely be distracted from your hair and makeup for the big day. So, rather than considering your beauty consultations as simply items to check off your list, use them as a time to relax and be pampered by the professionals. When deciding on hair and makeup styling, remember that your groom fell in love with YOU – he wants to see YOU walking down the aisle, not someone he hardly recognizes. By implementing a few easy suggestions, not only will you be well-prepared for these sessions, you will truly enjoy them!

BRIDAL MAKEUP CONSULTATION When approaching your wedding makeup, remember that less is more. Your wedding day is not the time to try a new smoky eye shadow or bright red lip color if you’ve never worn these dramatic looks before. Your makeup artist will get a great read on your beauty routine, if you follow these few steps. It is important to show your true self on your wedding day, rather than introducing a new alter ego.

WEAR YOUR EVERYDAY MAKEUP On the day of your consultation, wear your everyday makeup to your appointment. Your makeup artist will see how much makeup you wear on a day-to-day basis and she can discuss with you any features you might like to accentuate. If your daily routine includes only wearing concealer and mascara, discuss some neutral eye shadow colors and light lip gloss options. If you love to wear eyeliner and darker shades, your makeup artist will see that you do not shy away from a bold look. She can consider this when discussing options for the day of your wedding.

BRING PHOTOS Bring a few inspiring images with you, such as photos of celebrities or Pinterest finds. Do not hesitate to pick and choose certain elements from the images! Explain what you like and do not like about each. You may love the rosy cheeks on one and a full lash line on another. Most women have a difficult time describing their makeup wishes, so bringing along an image or two can illustrate for your makeup artist what look you would like to achieve on your big day!

Image by T. Free Photography

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Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

PLAN A NIGHT OUT The best way to test the longevity of your makeup and to fully enjoy your consultation is to plan an evening out with friends or go on a date with your fiancĂŠ that evening. This will not only serve as a test to see if you love sporting those false lashes for a few hours, but you will enjoy an extended wear time, giving you a feel for your makeup. Snapping a few images of yourself is also a great way to see how comfortable you feel with the results. You want your makeup to look flawless, all the while highlighting your gorgeous features. Be certain to take note of any changes you would like to make after this test.

BRIDAL HAIR CONSULTATION Much like your makeup, your wedding-day hairstyle should be comfortable and reflect your personality and fashion sense. Your fiancĂŠ fell in love with you and expects to see your radiant self walking down the aisle without a last-minute bang cut or extra-long extensions. Be true to yourself and wear your hair in a style that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful.

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HAIR CARE Many hair stylists will agree that your “day-after” hair is typically the best to style. By not arriving with freshly-washed, squeaky-clean hair, your stylist will have some texture and body to work with. As always, when scheduling your consultation, ask your stylist for his/her preference.

COME ONE, NOT ALL Since most salons are smaller spaces, it can quickly become distracting and intimidating for a stylist to practice your wedding-day style with a crowd surrounding the chair. By only bringing one or two guests, you will relieve the stress and boost the enjoyment factor of your session. Remember this is a practice run-through. While you should be very satisfied with your bridal hairstyle before leaving the salon, it is not the time to obsess over every bobby pin in your updo. Focus on (a) how comfortable you feel with the style, (b) how long the look will last throughout the day and into the evening, and (c) if you have any desired changes such as more or less volume or curl.

BRING YOUR ACCESSORIES If you plan to wear a veil or other hair accessory, don’t forget to bring it along to your consultation. Allowing your stylist to practice with the piece in advance will ensure that the appointment on your wedding day will be a breeze. Plus, you will have the chance to try different positions for your veil or accessory and then snap a few photos of these looks to decide which you prefer.

WEAR MAKEUP If it does not work into your schedule to plan your makeup and hair consultations back-to-back, at a minimum wear your everyday makeup to your hair consultation. Wearing makeup to your hair appointment will allow you to feel more comfortable visualizing your final bridal look and your hairstylist can then consider your personal beauty routine when styling your hair. |NWD|

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MY LITTLE GIRL Supporting your daughter each step of the way By Suzanne Geist

The day I had been waiting for had finally arrived – my daughter’s wedding day. This special day brought with it many mixed emotions. I was happy for her and her future, bittersweet that my baby was no longer my baby and relieved that the day was finally here. Now that this memorable day has come and gone, I reflect on it from time to time asking myself, “If I had to do it again, what would I do differently?” Inevitably, the day passes much too quickly. Several times since the wedding, friends have asked my advice on navigating the year-long journey as Mother of the Bride. What worked well for me was to operate by a few well-chosen principles.

THE BRIDE’S DAY This is your daughter and future son-in-law’s day. That seems like an obvious statement, right? Well, not so fast! Keeping this simple fact in the forefront can be challenging, especially if you are paying for the wedding. It is so easy to get caught up in planning a gathering for your friends and theirs that you momentarily forget the true focus of the day. You must always remember that the little touches and personality of this event should reflect the couple – and no one else. Keep them involved! Ask questions about what they like, ask about their vision and remember to ask what they do NOT want as part of their day.

LET HER TAKE CENTER STAGE Sorry Mom, it’s not about you. I know I just said that, but it bears repeating. This is where many plans hit the skids. You must step aside and let your daughter take center stage. Keep this guiding principle at the top of your mind and plan accordingly. First things first – be mindful of your attire. Many people will be in attendance, so you want to look your best; but your daughter is the one who should be grabbing their attention. Select attire that suits your body type and personal style, yet does not distract from the wedding party. The colors need to blend nicely. You definitely don’t need to match the bridesmaids, but you don’t want to clash with the color palette either. Beware of plunging necklines or high hemlines. It will be a long day and those choices limit your ability to move about freely as well as compromise the comfort of you and your guests. As you tackle the long list of details, keep repeating, “It’s not about me, it’s about the kids.” If you do this, you will be on the right path toward planning a wedding that is truly personal to the couple while keeping the relationship with your daughter intact. Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

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Image by Nikki Moore Photography

KEEP YOUR POISE Staying poised is sometimes easier said than done. Planning a wedding will present stressful times. This is where you can shine! Freak-out moments are had by most; but if you stay calm and rational, it will give your daughter so much assurance that things are well in hand. Also, it is contagious. Almost every detail can be fixed, adapted or worked around. I made it my goal to assure the planning was as stress free as possible for my daughter. Now, I am definitely not Wonder Woman and I cannot control every event. I just realized that if I was a “mom-zilla” to the florist or had a meltdown over the color of the party mints, my daughter was likely to feel that stress. She should not have to worry about my behavior along with all the details of planning. So if you take care of those concerns, you will have a wonderful event. Behind every relaxed, beautiful bride is a mother with strong shoulders who can deflect any negativity and keep smiling. Do your best to dispel any frustrations and the day will be grand!

COMMUNICATION IS KEY Keep communicating! Talk about the details as much as time will allow. Talking through the day will almost always bring up something you haven’t thought about. Also, it is imperative to talk with the groom’s family. They often wish to be involved in some aspect of the planning and it is your job to initiate that communication. Visit with the Mother of the Groom about your dress. That will make her more comfortable about her own selection. Communicate about budgets. Whether high or low, talking about it keeps everyone informed and on track. Mom, remember that you are the mood setter, initiator and all-around problem solver of this event. While no one can guarantee the day will go without a hitch, if you keep these principles in mind, you will look back on the day with great pride, joy and anticipation about what is to come! |NWD|

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NWD Editorial | beauty

simply stunning beauty inspiration to change your look for all of your bridal events

photographed by jessica blex photography & design the thompson center 16 | nebraska weddingday


bridal shower neweddingday.com | 17


bachelorette party


rehearsal dinner

hair + makeup by jaree parker for urbane salon & day spa jewelry provided by elisa ilana jewelry


ALLURING ATTIRE Picking your perfect bridal gown By Holly Lafferty

We all know that reality television is developed with one purpose in mind – to produce interesting programming by maximizing drama. While you may be familiar with the reality show, Say Yes to the Dress, it obviously is not always an accurate depiction of the ideal bridal gown shopping experience. More drama equals more stress, so most brides are seeking the exact opposite. We welcome you to a more accurate reality when shopping for your wedding gown. It is completely within your control to make your bridal gown shopping an experience that dreams are made of – rather than nightmares. In the reality show, brides flock to a famous bridal salon with close friends, family members and assorted others to select a wedding gown. As the bride slips into different dresses, her large entourage gushes over each gown. Usually, the bride enters the salon with a budget in mind, but often ends up blowing the budget when the gown of her dreams is significantly more expensive than her budget allows. While the show is highly entertaining, it is not the best model to follow when shopping for the gown of your dreams. So, Nebraska WeddingDay is here to set the record straight on a few key misconceptions that have arisen as a result of this popular show.

TOO MANY COOKS IN THE KITCHEN When you are dealing with a smaller bridal boutique, bringing a large entourage just won’t work. It may sound like a great idea to have your entire family and all your girlfriends there to help, but inevitably the situation will cause more confusion and stress, making the entire experience less enjoyable for you. You will find that everyone has their own opinion. As the bride, you know the only opinion that truly counts is your own. So, while it is nice to receive feedback from one or two loved ones, bringing along multiple people could create unnecessary anxiety. Set yourself up for success by taking along a select few that will provide the quality feedback you seek. There is a simple solution to limiting your shopping crew. Inform others who wish to come along that your mother and your maid (or matron) of honor are going to be helping you with your gown search. Often, that will stem the tide of volunteers as they realize those are the women closest to you. For friends or relatives that still persist with being included, simply ask them to support you later at a gown fitting. If your resolve begins to weaken with an insistent few, find courage to politely decline by remembering that having an unplanned guest along is often more stressful than helpful. Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

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KNOW YOUR LIMITS Before you set out for gown shopping, make certain you set a budget that reflects the exact amount you can afford. If setting a higher budget for your gown is a top priority, look for other areas of your wedding budget to trim, thereby allocating a little more for your gown. Just be cautious about eliminating any of the necessary elements of your wedding simply to increase your gown budget. Ultimately, you will not be happy if you have not allocated properly to pay for the cake or to provide sufficient tips for the wedding vendors who worked so hard to make your day perfect. If your dress is a priority, make it one of your top budget items. This can work as long as you realize you may need to make other sacrifices – like rethinking those delicious mini-cakes you wanted to provide as guest favors, or the expensive orchids you were having flown in for the centerpieces. If you have a strict budget, you need to honor it. Trying to negotiate more money for a gown from your fiancé or parents can cause stress in all other aspects of your wedding planning as well as add tension to the relationships.

BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR MAXIMUM BUDGET Nothing causes more frustration for both the bride and the bridal boutique as when you are uncertain about what you can truly afford. If you tell your salon attendant that your budget is around $4,000, she will bring out breathtaking couture gowns within the $4,000 budget. But, if in reality your maximum budget is $3,000, you risk falling in love with a gown that is beyond your means. At some point, you will have to be honest with the salon attendant about your true budget figure and then the process must begin again with gowns that fit your budget. Sadly, you may then find yourself frustrated because you are longing for that $4,000 couture gown you simply could not afford. Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and don’t frustrate your salon attendant by wasting time on gowns you cannot consider purchasing. You will benefit greatly from building a relationship with your salon attendant. When it comes to shipping, measurements and all the details of the dress fitting, you will want to make sure you are getting the best service possible. A good relationship goes a long way toward that end. Taking up unnecessary time not only costs the salon money, but it is also disrespectful to other brides waiting to shop for their dream gown. Many salons work on an “appointment only” basis, so those brides with appointments following yours will have to be pushed back or rescheduled to another day if you are not shopping with a purpose. The best approach is to always be totally honest from the very beginning, with both the salon attendant and yourself! The bridal salon will work within your budget – no matter how high or low it may be. Above all else, they want you to leave a happy bride. Being straightforward and upfront ensures your gown-buying experience will be a positive one. Nebraska has many wonderful bridal salons with knowledgeable attendants just waiting to help you find the perfect gown at the perfect price. Just come prepared with a list of your wants and needs. Above all else, cherish the experience! |NWD|

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TWISTS ON THE TRADITIONAL Helpful tips on having your wedding your way

Like many special occasions, a wedding is full of traditions that date back generations. Often, but not always, these common traditions are key in making your wedding day meaningful. We are here to tell you that you don’t have to feel bound by any of the “wedding rules” if the tradition doesn’t hold meaning for you or if it is simply not a good fit. Whether referred to as rules, guidelines or traditions, we have outlined some common wedding customs that are okay to dispense with if they are not appropriate to your situation. At the end of the day, your wedding should be unique to you and your groom and a true representation of your taste, style and personality as a couple.

FOOTING THE BILL Traditionally, the parents of the bride are expected to step up to cover a hefty portion of the wedding expenses, leaving the rehearsal dinner and a few minor weddingday essentials for the groom’s family to absorb. Keep in mind you don’t have to follow this tradition. In fact, many would agree that it is common to find the couple paying for much of their own wedding – especially if the bride and groom are a little older, more financially established and settled down on their own. This doesn’t mean parents can’t contribute to the wedding expenses. The bottom line is that there are no steadfast rules that must be followed. The discussion of who will contribute how much should be addressed early in the wedding-planning process and should be revisited if a significant change in budget or circumstance occurs. Depending upon ability and willingness to pay, the bride and groom should have a conversation with each set of parents to discuss the budget and their respective contributions. Regardless of tradition, no one should pay beyond what they are able to afford.

WEARING WHITE Have you ever wondered where the tradition of the bride wearing white on her wedding day originated? This custom dates back to the white lace gown worn by Queen Victoria in 1840. The Queen selected white as most brides wore gowns of color during that period. Current trends indicate that many brides are backing away from true white and turning to designers who are showcasing an array of bridal gowns in blush tones and light grays. Whether you opt for a subtle shade of blush or decide to turn tradition on its heels with a bolder color or pattern, remember to keep your wedding-day details in mind. Before finalizing your choice, be certain to ask yourself if your dress choice coordinates with the style and theme of your wedding-day décor? No doubt, you

Image by Elayne Woods Photography

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will be the star of the show, so select a color or pattern that will complement your wedding style rather than to gain attention. If you choose to step outside of the traditional boundaries with color, consider opting for a classic style for balance to ensure an appropriate bridal look.

MATCHING BRIDESMAIDS It is time to focus on your leading ladies. We all know the popular look for bridesmaids is to outfit them in the same color, style and look. However, choosing one dress style for all of your maids may present some challenges due to the variety of body types, ages and even personalities. Instead, you might consider offering your maids a choice. This allows your gal pals to choose the style and shade of dress that best complements them. Remember to set some boundaries and don’t complicate the process with too many choices. It is important that your bridesmaids maintain a coordinated look. By sticking to one color palette and letting your bridesmaids mix and match from a selection you provide, your supporting cast will be excited to participate in the decision-making process and also be outfitted in a fashion that thoughtfully considers their opinion.

NO PEEKING BEFORE Is it bad luck for the couple to see one another before walking down the aisle? There was a time when it was common for the bride and groom to avoid seeing one another in their wedding attire before the moment the bride walks down the aisle. This tradition stems from a time when arranged marriages were common and the bride was not allowed to show her face until the final moment before the ceremony. Many couples still follow the “no-peeking� tradition to build anticipation before the ceremony, yet others embrace the opportunity to steal away a quiet moment together. Just the bride and groom (and the photographer) step away from all the commotion for a few minutes, simply to concentrate on this momentous occasion. A first-look session with the photographer before the ceremony often provides some of the most precious memories of the occasion.

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So why is a “first look” so important to many couples? It not only gives you that unique photo opportunity with a beautifully-completed look, it also gives you time to be alone with your soon-to-be spouse. If you are a traditionalist, but still yearn for those first-look photos or a chance to hold hands with your groom for a minute, you can arrange to meet with a door separating you or consider each wearing a blindfold. This allows you to take a moment to catch your breath and relax before the ceremony without losing the anticipation and excitement of your first look while walking down the aisle. It is as simple as talking it through as a couple to determine what best fits your style.

WHITE WEDDING CAKE If a traditional white wedding cake with white frosting does not tickle your taste buds, do not despair! Options abound with cake and icing flavors, fillings, colors and styles. From layer cakes to cupcakes to specialty cakes, the choices are endless. Now if wedding cake just isn’t your style or if you happen to have an insatiable sweet tooth, you could consider treating your guests to a wedding-day dessert bar that serves up a mix of your favorite sweet treats. There are many options available to complement or replace the traditional wedding cake at your reception. Many alternatives also offer the added advantage of serving a variety of tastes. Be certain to keep your budget in mind when choosing your dessert alternative as some delectable desserts may actually have a cost per serving greater than you anticipated. If you are having a larger wedding, consider having a dessert bar with only bite-sized goodies. This will allow your guests to mix and match whatever small-bite desserts catch their fancy. Have as many desserts as your heart desires, but just remember to incorporate a cohesive element of décor to tie your choices together. Wedding-cake alternatives can be as original as your personal style. For example, if you and your husband-to-be have a fond habit of making

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Image by T. Free Photography

Sunday morning donut runs, create a donut tower for you and your guests to enjoy. You can even add a single-tier cake to the top for you and your groom to cut. Decorate your donut tower to incorporate your wedding style. It will add a little flare to your tasty treats and put a unique spin on the traditional wedding cake that your guests will love! A few other sweet ideas include pies, macarons, meringues, cookies, brownies, bars, cheesecakes, tarts or even cream puffs – mini or full-sized – the sky’s the limit! Other non-traditional options include a fruit tower, cheese tower or even a wedding cake made of crepes. If you choose a creative alternative, consider ordering a small cake or dessert you and your groom can cut to symbolize the beginning of your life together. So whether you follow traditional wedding customs or decide to break with tradition, it is your day and it should reflect the true beauty and style of you and your groom. |NWD|

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BY YOUR SIDE Photographed by prairie star photography The Durham Museum

Bridesmaid Dress + Shoes from AVENUE BRIDAL neweddingday.com | 29


NWD Editorial | bridesmaids fashion

Bridesmaid Dresses + Shoes from ELEGANT OCCASIONS GOWNS 30 | nebraska weddingday


Bridesmaid Dress from BLUSH BRIDAL BOUTIQUE


Bridesmaid Dress from AVENUE BRIDAL


Bridesmaid Dresses + Shoes from ELLYNNE BRIDAL

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NWD Editorial | bridesmaids fashion

Bridesmaid Dress from BLUSH BRIDAL BOUTIQUE

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CREDITS Hair: Alyssa Saxton & Natalie Westerhold for Salon MohVi & Spa Makeup: Ashley’s Makeup Artistry Jewelry: Michael Tish Jewelers Bouquets: Events Etcetera

Bridesmaid Dresses from BRIDAL TRADITIONS


HELPING HANDS Advice for acing your supporting role

You have just been asked to be a bridesmaid or maid of honor at an upcoming wedding. After the tears of joy and squeals of excitement, what’s next? You’ve been invited to be a part of the bride-to-be’s wedding day - one of the most exciting and significant events of her life. Whether you’re a bridesmaid or maid of honor, there is a list of responsibilities associated with each role. Chances are, you may have questions regarding etiquette, responsibilities, attire and duties for the big day. So we have put together an easy-to-follow guide for potential bridesmaids and maids of honor to help you ace your role! As either maid of honor or bridesmaid, you are considered to be one of the bride’s closest friends or family members and while there are some general guidelines for you to follow, every bride has her own idea of what she expects from her maid of honor and bridesmaids. From pre-wedding activities to day-of responsibilities, you may be unsure of your specific duties. So before jumping into the role of being a bridesmaid or maid of honor, sit down with the bride to discuss her expectations. Be upfront with her if you have any financial concerns. The bride will appreciate you taking the time to be certain you are both on the same page. Here are some general guidelines to follow if you have been asked to be a part of a bride’s special day.

BRIDESMAID • Help with pre-wedding planning. When the bride is preparing for her wedding day, she may ask her bridesmaids to help with a number of tasks in preparation for the big day. This could include stuffing envelopes, making wedding favors, helping with DIY projects and addressing invitations. • Buy bridesmaid dress and accessories. While some brides may be able to purchase the bridesmaid dresses and accessories for her entire bridal party, it is traditionally the bridesmaid’s responsibility. The bride will pay for your bouquet and some brides may pay for hair and makeup. Remember, if you have financial concerns, it is important that you discuss those obligations with the bride. • Assist with planning the bachelorette party and bridal shower. While this is generally a task left for the maid of honor, an aunt or a friend, bridesmaids are always welcome to lend a hand. • Attend the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. Even if you are an out-of-town bridesmaid unable to attend the bridal shower or bachelorette party, it is important that you are in attendance at the ceremony rehearsal and rehearsal dinner to get all the important details from the bride about the wedding day. Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

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• Assist with out-of-town guests. The wedding party can be a big help to the bride in making any out-of-town guests feel welcomed. This may include meeting guests at the airport or possibly preparing and delivering gift baskets to guests’ hotel rooms. Welcome baskets or totes may include a personalized note, a map of the area, important phone numbers, a list of area activities and a few of the bride and groom’s favorite local goodies. • Assist with last-minute details and errands. The bride cannot easily run last-minute errands on the morning of her wedding day. Offer to take care of those errands and to assist with final details with wedding vendors.

MAID OF HONOR • Help with pre-wedding planning. Serving as the maid of honor is both a great honor and a great responsibility. You are the bride’s right-hand gal during the entire wedding-planning process. So be willing to help her in any way you can. This could include attending hair and makeup appointments, dress fittings, setting up appointments and even doing a little wedding-planning research. • Plan the bachelorette party and bridal shower. While the bridesmaids often assist with planning the bridal shower and bachelorette party, the primary planning is done by the maid of honor. Talk with the bride to make sure her wishes are fulfilled and the parties go off without a hitch. • Handle wedding-day details. It is important that the maid of honor be aware of the wedding-day timeline to keep everyone on schedule – from hair and makeup appointments, to the ceremony details to the final dance. The wedding day can be very stressful for the bride, so to alleviate stress, be willing to keep everyone on track and act as the contact person for the day. • Assist the bride during the ceremony. During the ceremony, it is the maid of honor’s responsibility to be sure everything runs as smoothly as possible and the bride looks her best. This can include making sure the flower girl and ring bearer make it down the aisle, repositioning the bride’s train at the altar, holding the groom’s wedding band and holding the bride’s bouquet during the vows. • Make a speech at the reception. As the maid of honor, you have a special relationship with the bride that likely will grow even closer during the wedding-planning process. You will be by her side through all the preparations and you will stand beautifully next to her during the ceremony. The bride will be deeply touched as she listens to your reflections on your friendship as you toast the happy couple. Whether you are the maid of honor or a bridesmaid, you are an essential member of the bride’s support system as she is planning her wedding. There is no doubt that she will appreciate your love and support through the ups and downs of the planning process. Just remember to listen to the bride, make her laugh, tell her how much you love her and always be supportive as the big day approaches. You will both look back on this unique experience with great love, affection and the fondest of memories. |NWD|

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NWD Editorial | menswear

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Menswear from MR. TUXEDO


Menswear from TIP TOP TUX


Boutonnieres provided by MULHALL’S FLORAL

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STUNNING SPARKLER Choosing a ring you will always love By Holly Lafferty

You have probably heard that it is important to consider the 4 Cs – cut, color, clarity and carat weight – when it comes to selecting a diamond engagement or wedding ring. A diamond’s cost is based on these elements of quality as these four characteristics are graded and categorized by the diamond industry. The higher the grade, the rarer the diamond and the more expensive it will be. However, equally important to these factors is how it makes you feel when you are wearing it. This is not something measurable and can only be determined by you. We understand that shopping for your engagement and wedding rings can sometimes seem overwhelming when considering the 4 Cs, the price, as well as your emotions. Let us guide you through the basics so when it is time to make the final decision, it will be a comfortable one for you and your fiancé. There are numerous trends and styles available in engagement and wedding rings, and some of the most popular sets have real staying power. If you are not sure where to start, consider whether any of the current trends reflect your own personal style.

VINTAGE RINGS One extremely popular and timeless trend is vintageinspired rings. Vintage- or antique-inspired rings usually feature intricate details, such as gemstone baguettes or floral accents. A vintage ring will never become outdated because of its timeless character and, often times, the nostalgic sentiment it provides the person wearing it.

CLASSIC RINGS Classic rings are still all the rage and for good reason – they stand the test of time. While white gold is increasing in popularity, yellow gold remains a highly-popular characteristic of a classic ring. A simple round-cut solitaire diamond conveys a very classic feel.

EMERALD-CUT STONES Emerald-cut diamonds are more unusual than the everpopular princess-cut diamond. Selecting an emerald-cut diamond for your engagement ring will set you apart from the crowd. Since these stones are also more affordable than other shapes, you can generally purchase a larger stone for the same price as a smaller stone in another cut. However, take note that flaws are more visible in an emerald-cut diamond, so it is important to pick a top-quality gem when selecting this cut.

COLORED STONES Selecting a colored stone for your engagement ring is another way to showcase your personal style. While colored stones have been a celebrity trend for years, it is

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Image by Marla Austin Photography


a sleek appearance that border on plain, but work well for everyday wear. If you desire something cutting edge, a modern design might be the right style for you.

PLATINUM Platinum is still the precious metal choice of many brides. Platinum is much stronger than gold, which makes it a better investment in the long run. It is pricier than gold, which is why some brides who are attracted to the silver color of platinum end up choosing white gold. White gold offers the look of platinum without the higher price tag. However, if durability is very important to you, it is probably worth the added expense of platinum. Image by Kelsey Buss Photography

growing in popularity among the general public. Considering a colored stone also broadens your options. While many brides opt for a colored diamond, it is now totally acceptable to choose an entirely different gem for your ring. Brides are choosing anything from rubies to sapphires to opals as either the primary stone or as accent stones. Anything is possible, and a unique gem will definitely draw attention to your unique sense of style.

MULTIPLE DIAMONDS While solitaire settings are still enormously popular, many brides are choosing a large diamond framed by tiny diamonds. Such a design gives a nod to vintage styling while also creating the illusion of a larger stone. Brides also love the look of either three-stone or five-stone settings, which provide a traditional yet glamorous quality. The broader range of design options available with multiple diamonds adds to the appeal of choosing this style of ring.

MODERN STYLES Think clean and simple, usually in platinum or white gold settings. Tension-set diamonds are characteristic of this look. Modern rings have

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Once you have settled on your dream engagement ring, you and your fiancé should go shopping together for wedding bands. While engagement rings are still an ideal way to show off your individual style, wedding bands are becoming more personalized as well. Here are some tips when making your selections. • Mix it up. It is not a problem if you and your fiancé have different tastes in wedding bands. A matching his-and-her set is not necessary – although you may save money by selecting a matching set. Each of you should be able to wear what you love, whether it matches one another or not. • Incorporate your personality into your selection. Consider including a special engraving on the ring or adding another meaningful detail. Designers today can do just about anything you can think of to make your ring more personal. For instance, you can have the jeweler custom design a new ring with stones from your great-grandmother’s ring. • Think about what you will be doing day-to-day as you wear your ring across the years. Consider that certain stones or softer metals combined with an active lifestyle can diminish the beauty of your ring over time. If your fiancé is in construction, simple is probably better because the ring will endure significant wear and tear.


• Stick to your budget. Decide on the maximum amount you can spend before you go shopping and don’t sway from that amount. It is easy to be tempted when you see the vast offerings, so it is important that you and your fiancé hold one another accountable on price. While a common rule-of-thumb is that the wedding rings should account for about 3% of your budget, it is up to you and your fiancé to decide what the right budget is for you. • Think long term. When narrowing the choices, a key question to ask yourself is if you will love it as much in thirty years. If not, continue your search. • Take your time. Visit several jewelers and never feel pressured to buy anything until you are certain it is a good match. • Plan accordingly. To allow for sizing, engraving or any other modifications that will need to be made, purchase your rings two to three months before your wedding date. Don’t wait until the eleventh hour and risk not having a wedding band to slip on your finger for your big day! • Find inspiration online. Viewing ring options online can still be 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 romantic night of perusing. The best advice when shopping for your rings is to always keep in mind that 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 music has faded, your rings will still be on your fingers as constant reminders of the vows you made to one another. Remembering their significance during the selection process will help you make the best possible decision. |NWD|

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TICKLED PINK Selecting a color palette that speaks to you

Whether your wedding will be held on a sunny spring morning or a crisp fall evening, the color palette you choose will be at the heart of many wedding decisions. With an unlimited array of color combinations available, it is best to narrow down color choices that appeal to you and your fiancé early in the planning process. It goes without saying that finalizing your color palette is a “must” before moving forward on a wide array of your planning decisions. Color scheme plays a role in endless aspects of your wedding style, including paper goods, bridesmaid dresses and florals – just to name a few. To make the task a bit less daunting, we have put together a few tips that will help you navigate through the broad spectrum of beautiful hues. Whether you lean towards pretty pastels, classic neutrals or the occasional splash of bold color, read on for some helpful tips to consider.

YOUR SETTING As you begin your search for the perfect venue, keep in mind your desired color palette. Some venues are very neutral and can accommodate any color scheme easily; however, other venues might impart a more distinctive sense of color and style. If you find the perfect venue, yet it doesn’t seem to mesh with your desired color palette, consider adjusting your color selections to avoid competing palettes.

WEDDING-PARTY ATTIRE Keep your leading ladies and gents in mind when picking your color scheme. Your bridal party will be wearing these colors for the entire day, moments that will be immortalized on film, so you want them to look and feel their best. Remember that there are many hues to each color, so a fail-safe plan is to select one or more variations of a color for your bridesmaid dresses. When it comes to the other half of your wedding party, consider all of the available menswear choices, which have grown considerably in recent years. There are many colors and styles to choose from across all types of menswear – from formal to semi-formal to casual attire.

DÉCOR Your color palette is also a key element in your floral design, table decorations and other wedding décor details. Choosing a unique color combination that may not be readily available in florals, linens or other décor elements can limit your ability to mix and match the exact tone of your colors. This challenge can also create additional stress throughout the entire planning process. So give thoughtful consideration to availability when reaching your final color-palette decision. Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

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PICK YOUR SEASON If you are not naturally drawn to certain colors, no worries. Get inspired by the season! Once you choose the date for your big day, use seasonal inspiration to help develop your color palette by simply letting nature be your guide. Often you will see pastels paired with neutrals in the spring, whereas summer weddings lend themselves towards a pop of bright color. Warm harvest tones are ideal to accentuate the beauty of fall in the Midwest. Have your sights set on a winter wedding? You will find shades of white and gray pair beautifully with rich winter greens, reds or deep purples. Allow nature’s beauty to bring out the perfect color combination for you!

DON’T OVERTHINK IT It’s easy for brides to get caught up in following the latest color trends even when they do not fit well with their personal taste. Remember that this day is about expressing the personality and preferences of YOU – the wedding couple. Choose a color scheme that is an expression of your style. Since your color palette will dictate many wedding-planning decisions, don’t make it too complicated. Limit your palette to only two or three colors and remember that not every little detail of the wedding has to be the “perfect” shade. Relax and let the colors you choose enhance your day and guide you through the wedding-planning process with ease. |NWD|

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SOMETHING BORROWED Using rentals to enhance your wedding style

When it comes to weddings, rental pieces have the power to enhance your venue in ways that you never imagined. Regardless of the space, they can add a special touch or be completely transformational. Rental pieces can revamp the venue into a stylish and personalized atmosphere – just for you. Our rental walk-through will assist you in selecting pieces, outlining what to expect and illustrating why it is all worth it.

SEATING The most important consideration when formulating your perfect reception is to envision the tables in the space. What will be the size and shape? If you are working with a large venue, consider using rectangular and square tables. This will give you a sleek look while seating guests comfortably. Long, banquet tables will give guests a more intimate and interactive experience. If you opt for long banquet tables, keep the size of your guest list in mind. This setup typically works best for weddings of 75 or less. Also, your linen costs may increase when dressing tables that are not round. Consult your wedding or reception planner about the options. They will know what will work best in the space and with your guest list. These professionals also know how many different linens you will need. For seating options, there are many different styles and treatments to transform reception chairs. The most popular chair rental is the chiavari, an elegant spindle-back chair that can be rented in a variety of colors. Although these chairs are a fabulous option for completely transforming the space, they may not be one of your top budget priorities. If this is the case, consider chair covers. There are many different styles and treatments to choose from in chair covers. You can consider covering the entire chair or just the back. If you plan on covering your chairs, again, keep your guest count in mind. Completely covering a large numbers of chairs (150-200) can quickly make your space look like a sea of fabric. It is important to consider the entire scene, all the while keeping the table centerpieces the main focus.

TABLE TREATMENT The options for table linens are virtually endless. There is a rainbow of colors available in standard linen fabrics along with a more limited selection of colors in textured linens. Simply covering tables in floor length linens will dress them up and add significant interest to the space. Many reception venues include china in the facility fee. If you are looking to save on china rentals, simply dress up the standard white china with colored napkins and plate chargers. If your vision includes stepping it up a bit

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Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design


more, consider renting china and flatware. Utilizing gold flatware and goldrimmed china will create an elegant and sophisticated ambiance. Remember to bring along your menu when selecting china rentals to ensure you are choosing the appropriate dishes. The best way to make guests feel special is to pay attention to the details. Providing a unique table experience will leave a lasting impression. It is easy to add special touches through napkin rings, menu cards or small tokens of thanks. Having your guests find a thoughtful touch at their place setting will immediately make them feel comfortable.

FILL THE SPACE Many reception venues are large, open rooms. To create a cozier atmosphere, separate the space into smaller sections. Consider renting lounge pieces to create unique areas for guests to gather after dinner. Another rental essential is an assortment of cocktail tables, allowing guests to easily socialize during the cocktail hour.

VINTAGE RENTALS Vintage rentals are very versatile and can be used with any theme or style of wedding. If you love the rustic look, renting vintage birdcages, suitcases or lanterns would be a great way to incorporate that look and feel. Looking for a more refined reception? Vintage rentals often carry gold and silver pieces that can be used for floral centerpieces or serving trays, imparting sophistication and charm. Regardless of your style, vintage rentals can add a unique look and old-world comfort to your dĂŠcor.

OUT OF THE ORDINARY There are many rental items available that would never come to mind prior to planning a wedding. Many companies rent dance floors, partitions and lighting. Special lighting can be a significant enhancement to your reception venue. Consider spotlighting elements such as your wedding

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cake or simply lighting the walls with your wedding colors to pull guests into your distinctive atmosphere. You can use lighting to showcase elements that you want guests to notice or to disguise aspects of the space that you wish to downplay. Whether you are hosting your reception in a tent, a barn or at a traditional reception venue, rentals are terrific tools to transform the setting. Don’t hesitate to use them in unique ways to add interest to your space.

HOW TO RENT RIGHT Here are some quick tips and tricks to keep in mind when considering wedding rentals. Know Your Numbers – Always ask if they have enough of each item to accommodate the size of your guest list. If you have a large guest list, consider combining two colors to get the volume you need. Know Your Needs – Ask your venue what is included in the facility fee. If they provide the tables, chargers and china, budget dollars may become available for upgraded rental chairs and linens. Delivery Fees – Clarify your venue’s rules and guidelines on rental delivery and pick up. It is likely that your venue and the rental company have worked together on prior events, so they are probably very familiar with the protocol and the space. Also, inquire about rental company delivery or late fees. Limit Your Helpers – Only bring one or two others when selecting your rentals. In fact, it may be best to make the visit solo or only with your fiancé. There will be many choices to consider and decisions to make. Making your selections can become more difficult when too many opinions are interjected into the process. When in doubt, keep it simple because little touches do make a difference. |NWD|

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FROM INSPIRATION TO ACTUALITY Working with vendors to achieve your dream wedding

While selecting your wedding vendors is a crucial step in the planning process, it also can be great fun imagining the possibilities with these planning partners. With all that is to be considered, it is easy to forget about asking key questions or expressing whatever concerns you may have. When meeting with a vendor, always bring along information about the basics of your wedding plans (date, time, locations) and keep an open mind to any suggestions your vendors may have. We have laid out some simple tips for ensuring you have a successful meeting with each of your wedding professionals.

FASHION No doubt you have ripped pages from your favorite bridal magazines or scoured the web to save images of your favorite wedding gowns. If you have a certain designer in mind, research where that line is sold. You will want to keep those images handy for your visit to a bridal salon. However, keep in mind that your favorites may change once you begin to try on dresses. You will see how flattering certain styles look on you. Tap into years of valuable expertise by telling the bridal consultant your wishes, allowing them to incorporate those wishes into your wedding dress selection whenever possible. They are knowledgeable on brands, fabrics and silhouettes, offering great advice and options to create your unique and stunning bridal look.

Whom to Bring Your bridal gown selection process is often the most sensitive and special time during your wedding-planning process. You may have dreamt of your wedding gown for years, but here is where your dreams meet reality. Just remember the importance of feeling stunning, yet comfortable in the gown you select. By only inviting one or two close friends or family members to your appointment, you will feel more at ease. We suggest bringing your mother, sister or maid of honor with you as they know your style and comfort level. They can also gently remind you of your price point. Avoid bringing any small children, as they may distract you from the task at hand.

Be Upfront While absolutely loving your final selection is a top priority, a critical consideration is staying within budget. Always be honest with your bridal consultant about your price point. She will be able to select gowns without breaking the bank or breaking your heart. Also, be upfront with your style and fashion preferences. If you dreamt of an all lace trumpet silhouette, tell your bridal consultant that lace is very important to you. She will Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

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appreciate your honesty when pulling gowns for you to try on. But also remember to give other styles a try. Wedding dresses usually look very different on your body than they do on the rack. Stay open minded during the selection process. Even if you try on a dress that is not really you, it will ultimately give you greater confidence about your final selection.

What to Wear Nude undergarments are always encouraged when trying on bridal gowns. They are not distracting and look the best under any sheath gowns. Also, wearing your makeup and doing your hair will allow you to feel more confident and comfortable when trying on dresses. If you have any heirloom sashes, broaches or other items you wish to incorporate into your gown, bring them along as well.

FLORAL AND DÉCOR Finalizing your décor and floral designs often is one of the most difficult areas of wedding planning for many brides. After dreaming of your perfect wedding, it becomes challenging to commit to ideas and designs, fearing you may change your mind. Keeping an open mind to suggestions made by the floral designer and event planner will allow you to create a wedding day exactly how you pictured it – often times better!

are paying for an event-design partner who will help formulate your entire wedding-day décor.

What to Bring As always, arrive prepared with your wedding details in hand. Gather information beforehand about what is available to use at your ceremony and reception sites. Have a ballpark budget in mind to share with your floral designer during the first consultation and stay true to that figure. This allows your designer to offer options on how to create your ideal arrangements within budget. You can also bring along any images of floral arrangements and bouquets so your designer can gain a sense of your taste. Come prepared to discuss what you like about each image so the designer can pick up on any trends or styles you favor. Remember to focus on the overall look you wish to impart, rather than the specific flower. This will dramatically expand options for the designer to create what you truly desire, all within your budget. |NWD|

Selecting a Designer It is nearly impossible to compare floral designers side-by-side without asking very detailed questions regarding supplies and labor. When interviewing floral designers, be upfront about your budget and what elements are important to you. Keep an open mind to their ideas and vision; trust in their knowledge and expertise as designers. They know what type of flowers will be in season, what will last through your wedding day and they will have fresh ideas and designs that you may love. The best designers work within your vision to create your perfect day. Remember, you are not paying for just a floral designer, but rather you

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NWD Editorial | cakes

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PRAISEWORTHY PAPER GOODS Picking paper goods to pique your guests’ interest By Joy Armstrong

Whether formal or casual, contemporary or classic, refined or quaint – the first impression of your wedding is made by your invitations. In addition to the styling, you will want to give consideration to several other details, such as paper selection, font type and colors. All of these elements factor into making your invitations the best it can be. Below we have outlined the many details that are part and parcel of your invitations. Keep in mind that your paper goods vendor is an expert in his/her field and can answer questions or make recommendations for the best way to accommodate any particular need.

SAVE THE DATE A save-the-date announcement notifies guests to mark your wedding date on their calendar well in advance. It allows out-of-town guests time to plan early for travel arrangements as well as to plan for time away from their home. You can send your save-the-date announcements five to twelve months in advance of your wedding date. A save-the-date notice can be a postcard, magnet or any other creative medium you choose.

WEDDING INVITATION About four to six weeks before the wedding, guests should receive your invitation in the mail. Upon opening that special envelope, your wedding style will be revealed and from the invitation your guests will know what type of wedding you have planned. So choose carefully when selecting your invitations, and remember to have fun with them! Your invitations should be a reflection of your style and personality as a couple. Are you and your fiancé modern, classic, fun or funky? Traditionally, wedding invitations utilize two envelopes, an inner and an outer envelope. However, current trends omit the inner envelope. If your selection includes an inner envelope, the invitation is inserted into the inner envelope facing the back flap, with the names of those invited handwritten on the front. The inner envelope is addressed as follows and if children are invited, do not use “and family.” Each family member should be listed by name, such as: Mr. and Mrs. Rogers and Marissa, Colin, and Emily An address is not included on the inner envelope. Also, this envelope holds other pieces of the wedding invitation such as a reception card, RSVP card and

Image by The Moment It Clicks

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envelope, accommodation card and a map or directions card. After the inner envelope is properly addressed and stuffed, it is slipped into the outer envelope. The inner envelope can be ordered with a colored liner, which may increase the invitation cost slightly, but adds a splash of color and style. All envelopes should be handwritten. If your handwriting is not legible, consider using a calligrapher or asking a friend with attractive handwriting to address the invitations. If neither option is available, run the envelopes through your computer printer selecting a font that coordinates with your wedding style. We recommend you have your return address pre-printed on the outer envelope flap.

INVITATION VERBIAGE When deciding on the appropriate verbiage for your wedding invitation, you will want to be mindful of both families. Using the proper language is important as your family circumstances may be a delicate matter when parents of the couple have separated or divorced, passed away or are no longer part of the couple’s lives. From time to time the bride’s parents, together with the groom’s parents, host the wedding. We have provided examples that are helpful when addressing these sensitivities. You will find these examples in the FROM OUR NOTEBOOK “Invitation Guide” at the back of this issue. Please note that the more formal phrase “the honour of your presence” is traditionally reserved for weddings that take place in a house of worship. For less formal ceremonies, “the pleasure of your company” or “the honour of your company” usually indicates that the ceremony will not include a worship service. When deciding on the use of “honour” vs. “honor,” consider the style of your wedding and your personal preference. For formal invites you should use “honour,” which is applicable with more formal functions. Also, be consistent by using “favour” instead of “favor,” when utilizing a reply card.

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While informal wording is becoming more common, remember to make it perfectly clear whether guests are being invited to a wedding ceremony or to the reception only. An example is, “…would be delighted by your presence at the marriage of their children” or “invite you to join them at the wedding reception of…” The key to properly wording the invitation is to be socially appropriate while remaining comfortable with the verbiage. When the bride’s parents are divorced, the invitation is often issued by the parent who raised the bride. If both parents raised the bride, the names are listed on separate lines with the mother always named first without “and” between them. If the mother of the bride is remarried, use her married name. While it is not traditional to include a deceased parent, many couples feel strongly about doing so. Appropriate verbiage is suggested in the FROM OUR NOTEBOOK "Invitation Guide" in the back of this issue.

RECEPTION LINE OR CARD When the ceremony and reception are being held at the same location, a single invitation can be issued. If the reception is held at a different location, a separate card is helpful, but not required. NOTE: It is not considered acceptable to invite guests to the ceremony but not the reception.

R.S.V.P. LINE OR REPLY CARD It is best to include a reply card with a stamped, self-addressed envelope to encourage guests to respond to their invitation in a timely fashion. Even though it is not required by traditional etiquette, doing so increases the probability of receiving a reply. If you choose to use an RSVP line on the invitation, proper placement directs it to be printed in the lower left corner. You can also include a

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mailing address, phone number, email address or website for their response. If you prefer to use a separate card, the traditional fill-in-the-blank version provides the first letter of Mr. or Mrs. or a more casual option reads, “Please let us know whether you will join us” with space for writing. If your reception includes a plated meal wherein the guests choose from a selection of entrees, those options should be printed on the reply card, one per line with a short blank line preceding each selection to fill in a number.

SPECIAL DETAILS ON THE WEDDING INVITATION If your reception will not include a meal, it is courteous to inform your guests by using a phrase such as “and afterward for cocktails” rather than the classic “at the reception.” If you wish to stress the importance of the style of dress, for example black tie or casual attire, print that notation in the lower right corner or the invitation or on the reception card. It is important to note that your registry information should never be indicated anywhere on the invitation or the inserts. Before ordering your invitations, verify that it contains all critical pieces of information, such as the (1) host, (2) request, (3) bride and groom, (4) date and time, (5) ceremony location, (6) reception location and (7) RSVP. This information can be worded and arranged in a variety of ways to reflect the style of the occasion and the changing times. While it is always important to consider proper etiquette, also consider your personal style when selecting your invitation and the appropriate phrasing. Use our “Invitation Guide” included in the FROM OUR NOTEBOOK section of this issue for more helpful information. |NWD|

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DARLING DETAILS How to make your style shine through your décor

Brides are quickly discovering the truth behind the paint, glue, ribbon and rhinestones of handcrafted details. When you rely on your own crafting talent, it doesn’t always save you money and without a doubt, it requires an investment in time. The do-it-yourself craze has been prominent for many years and we truly love what such elements bring to wedding styling. So below we have outlined some considerations to keep you sane while creating an event that incorporates your unique touches.

BALANCE We have spent a fair amount of time contemplating what would be the perfect balance of handcrafted details for the average bride. In a perfect scenario, you could have your dream wedding, stay within budget and hire Martha Stewart herself. Well, we are here to tell you that you don’t need Martha to do it. You can pull off a wedding that is perfectly balanced by simply focusing on just a few distinctive design elements.

SIGNAGE By adding interesting signage to your ceremony and reception space, you are not only adding function, but you are adding style and personality as well. When determining signage options, take a good look at the space you are using. Are there any remarkable focal points you would like to highlight? Did you catch yourself missing a critical turn that attendees would need to recognize? If so, these are great opportunities to create some signage for your guests. The key to successfully executing any handcrafted project is to focus on practicality. Chalkboards serve well to greet guests, display menus or designate table numbers. A larger version can even serve as a fun photo booth backdrop. Purchase a can of chalkboard paint for less than $20 and transform a thrift store silver tray or ceramic serving platter for a menu board to be displayed at the start of your buffet line. Certain fabrics, like canvas, can be painted with your names, monogram or even a simple “welcome” and hung from a flag hook. If you do not have the highest confidence in your calligraphy skills, rent or borrow a projector to perfect any monogram or text. Remember to use the same font and/or motif throughout your designed pieces to provide a common style across all signage.

PLACE CARDS Are plain white place cards not your style? Good news! There are literally hundreds of unique and cost-efficient ways to direct your guests to their designated tables. Image by Multi-Images Photography

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Some of our favorite double-duty place cards are old-fashioned soda bottles with name tags tied around the necks. Or how about wrapping a cookie in parchment paper? Just add a simple tag with the guest’s name tied on with baker’s twine. Another option would be to consider a fun and unique way to display traditional place cards. Craft a frame from chicken wire and tie on each place card with colored string. Even mimicking bowties with scraps of fabric tied and glued onto the place cards can add interest and creativity for minimal cost.

TABLE NUMBERS Grab your guests’ attention with unique table numbers. Use a numerical rubber stamp on fabric or carry your chalkboard signage through to table numbers by using small white ceramic dinner plates. Paint the center of the plate with the chalkboard paint and then use plate stands to prop up each plate on the table. Purchase a neat set of dinner plates at a thrift store or collect unique plates at flea markets or garage sales. Painted papier-mâché letters look great and can make a big statement as well. For a more rustic feel, scraps of wood can be simply stunning adorned with white lettering.

PLACE SETTINGS You do not need to break the bank to wow your guests as they arrive at their seats. Small details like sprigs of herbs or fresh greenery make a huge impact on white china or linens. Some of our favorite ideas include menus printed on craft paper or small muslin bags stamped with a monogram or emblem, then stuffed with salted caramels or salt water taffy and tied off with ribbon or twine. Using striped ribbon or twine tied around a simple folded napkin can also make a large impact for just a few dollars.

FAVORS Many couples are opting out of giving guests wedding favors due to the potential price tag; but here is one solution to that concern – double-duty your guest favors to stretch your budget. Items like mini mason jars filled with fruit crisp or cobbler doubles as a favor and a dessert. Another fabulous idea is to fill small craft-paper bags with gourmet popcorn or chocolates. Tie the bags closed with ribbon or fold down and seal with a monogramed self-adhesive sticker. Display them on a cake stand to add another décor element to your cake table. This also allows guests to easily serve themselves and take their favor home with them. The key to keeping your handcrafted projects stress free is to know your limits and consider your timetable. Many brides become overwhelmed with the countless projects they have planned and often fail to calculate the true time needed to complete each project. Our advice is to simply focus on the basics. Use an idea you have seen and make it your own. The smallest detail added to a place card or menu may be all that is needed. Remember, often less is more. In the end, your guests will be impressed with the thoughtfulness behind your day rather than the extensive projects you have displayed in every corner. |NWD|

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FOR YOUR PAPER GOODS NEEDS

JOYFULLY INVITED PHOTOGRAPHED BY MARLA AUSTIN PHOTOGRAPHY

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A SUCCESSFUL START Making the most of your wedding-registry selections

With so many options to choose from, your registry experience might be a bit like being a kid in a candy store. From basics such as linens and cookware, to potential heirloom pieces like silver candlesticks and serving platters, your gift registry will cover a large array of household wants and needs. As you plan for your home together, you will likely find this part of the wedding-planning process filled with fun and excitement. We share with you here just a few suggestions to consider before reaching for the scanner to register.

WHEN TO REGISTER Some wedding professionals suggest registering for a few items immediately after you announce your engagement. These selections provide close friends and family with ideas for engagement gifts. This is especially helpful if you are planning an engagement party. If you are not planning an engagement party, you can create your gift registry six to nine months prior to any showers or your wedding date. Keep in mind that many products you list may become unavailable over time, so periodically check on your registry accounts to determine if you should select additional items.

WHERE TO START It is best to select two to three stores when registering for your wedding. These stores should include gift selections with prices spanning from low to high. Since guests will need to follow their own budget when selecting your gift, it is thoughtful to include options across a wide array of price points. Also, keep in mind where your guests are located. If you select retail stores that are not located within driving distance to your guests, it will force them to purchase your gifts online. While this may be convenient for out-of-town guests, it may be an added expense for those who live in the area. Registering with a store that provides either option is an added convenience for guests. An important step in determining where you wish to register is to educate yourself on the store’s registry set up and return policy. Large retail stores have simplified the registry process. These stores are able to record your guests’ purchase history and any shipping addresses, thereby making thank you notes a breeze. However, some stores may limit the number of returns or exchanges without a proper gift receipt, making it difficult to return or exchange duplicates. A one-of-a-kind boutique or smaller retail store may have a printed copy of your registry available in the store, but not available to out-of-town guests. Simply ask the store (1) about their return policy, (2) if they keep a purchase history of your items and (3) how guests will be able to access your registry selections.

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Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design


Another option increasing in popularity is online-only gift registries. There is a wide variety of sites offering services – some with a particular niche appeal, such as a site for the environmentally-conscious bride. On this site, a couple can register for gifts from green merchants as well as cash gifts, such as donations to charities. Many sites also include a “partial” gifting option to accommodate the couple that wishes to include more expensive gifts. Some sites even include the option for guests to contribute a cash gift to the wedding couple’s honeymoon fund or house fund. Whether using a cash or product-driven online registry site, a benefit is that guests can save time and money by avoiding busy stores, expensive gift wrapping and possibly shipping costs. Should you decide to register with an online service, remember it is important (1) to make certain the site is user friendly, (2) to fully understand the associated fees for the site and (3) to understand the site’s registry and return policies.

GETTING STARTED Before you begin selecting items for your registry, take a thorough inventory of your belongings and those of your fiancé to determine your needs. Are you still using towels from college? Do you have an incomplete dishware set? Take note of any items that you are currently missing or that need replacing. Tip: Compile your list categorized by room so you can easily remember these items when you hit the stores. Another consideration before you visit the store is to envision your home in five to ten years. You may not host dinner parties now, but will you in a few years? Do you see yourself hosting holiday events such as Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner? Before skipping over certain areas like serveware, anticipate your future lifestyle. That wine decanter may not seem like a good fit now, but in a year or two you may find a need for it. Just like wedding planning, you should first cover your basics when developing your gift registry. Items like sheet sets, mattress pads, towels, pots and pans, cutlery and stemware are everyday needs that you will use for many years to come. When looking at the basics, we suggest sticking to white or ivory in color. Crisp white sheets and towels not only match any change of décor, but are easy to treat and protect. Investing in a neutral palette will extend the life of your gifts beyond those trendy animal prints that you may desperately want in your master bathroom. After you cover your basics, move on to other items that you wish to acquire. Items like crock pots, kitchen mixers, coffee makers, laundry baskets, decorative lamps and soap dispensers are great registry selections that guests love to choose. Keep in mind that selections should include low, medium and high price points. The last items that you should add to your registry should be unique and special gifts like china, silver serveware or engraved picture frames. These items may appeal to close family members and friends who wish to give you a wedding gift that will become a true keepsake, standing the test of time. These items should not be trendy, but rather classic and timeless in design, thereby assuring you will use them over and over again. If you can’t resist something on the less practical side, by all means select a few fun and charming items that strike your fancy. They will likely become conversation pieces in your home for years to come.

FINAL STEPS After you complete your selections, check back with each store from time to time. You might wish to add items that you missed the first time around or to rebuild the list after receiving items from your showers. When receiving gifts prior to the wedding day, it is proper etiquette to send a thank you note within a week or two, so the guest knows their gift arrived and that it is deeply appreciated. If there are gifts remaining on your registry after your wedding, many stores offer a completion program. This program may provide you a discounted price, often 10% to 20%, off any items remaining on your list. Some stores send a completion coupon several weeks after your wedding date, so it may be wise to hold off splurging on big ticket items until then. |NWD|

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BUILD UP TO THE BIG DAY Special events leading up to your wedding day

From engagement parties to bridal showers, you will have many opportunies to celebrate your engagement with friends and family. Not only is this an excellent time to share good food and drink with great company, but it also provides a unique opportunity to spend quality time with those closest to you. The team here at Nebraska WeddingDay has compiled this go-to guide for special events leading up to your wedding day, complete with creative party ideas and proper party etiquette.

ENGAGEMENT PARTY Your engagement is an unforgettable and exciting event! Your engagement party is where all of your family and friends have gathered in honor of you and your new fiancé. It can often be the initial meeting for most of your family and various groups of your friends. An overwhelming sense of excitement and sheer joy often sets in at your engagement party. The engagement party is thrown shortly after the proposal and can be an intimate affair, traditionally hosted by the bride’s parents. However, it is entirely acceptable for the bride and groom’s friends or the groom’s family to host an engagement party, should the bride’s parents decline the opportunity. The options for engagement parties are diverse. The guest list may be short, providing for a more intimate gathering, or you may opt for “the more, the merrier” with a large cocktail hour event. The engagement party guest list should be limited to only those guests who will also be invited to the wedding. Both sides of the family should be invited unless due to geographical location, separate parties are held. Some grooms discuss the engagement party plans with the bride’s family prior to the proposal and then surprise the bride immediately following the proposal with a party. Engagement parties can be a simple cocktail party, a special dinner party or even a casual backyard barbeque. Above all, the event should reflect the couple’s style and personality. When possible, a couple is encouraged to create a preliminary gift registry before the engagement party so guests who wish to bring a gift to the party can access the couple’s selection of gift ideas. A good guideline for registries is to select items of varied price points to give guests the most flexibility in choosing a gift. Please note that it is not appropriate to list the gift registry on the invitation. However, since it is likely that some guests will wish to bring a gift, it is perfectly acceptable for you to inform close friends and relatives of your registry

Image by Gleason Photography

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preference in case someone asks them. It is important to keep in mind that unless all of your guests bring gifts to the party, it is best to open packages after the festivities to avoid embarrassing those who did not bring a gift. Also, it is proper etiquette for the bride and groom to give the host/hostess of the engagement party a gift as a token of thanks and appreciation.

BRIDAL SHOWER Bridal showers have been a tradition for many years and are a terrific opportunity to gather with friends and family to honor the bride and shower her with gifts. It is not common for the bride’s mother or family to host a shower, but rather the maid of honor and bridesmaids or friends. A bridal shower should be hosted months or weeks prior to the wedding and only wedding guests should be invited. Also, this is the one occasion that it is appropriate to list where the bride is registered on the invitation. There are many traditional games and activities for bridal showers. However, themed showers are becoming very popular. Depending upon the size of the guest list, bridal showers can become a challenge when entertaining and accommodating guests. Themed showers are fun and provide a unique way to entertain the guests. Below are some of our favorite themes and activities to consider when planning a shower.

BAKING THEME If the bride enjoys spending time in the kitchen, encourage guests to bring a shower gift inspired by baking. Set up a buffet of three to four desserts or baked goods for guests to sample. For the invitations, include a recipe card for each guest to jot down their favorite recipe to bring along to the shower for the bride to include in her recipe box. Send guests home with a jar of jam and a loaf of bread, tied with some colorful string and the recipe.

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QUILT

PARFAIT BAR

This theme is perfect if the bride has a family member who loves to quilt. Prepare fabric squares in the bride’s wedding colors or consider a neutral palette for each guest to write a special message on the square. After the party, have a family member or friend sew the squares together to create a beautiful and meaningful quilt for the bride.

Brunch showers are great for larger gatherings. Host a parfait bar for guests to build their perfect parfait with different yogurts, fruits, nuts and granola. This allows guests to mingle and also provides an easy food option for the hostess. This theme could carry throughout the party by pairing a variety of cut fruit, fruit juices and champagne to create a mix-and-match mimosa bar. This is a deliciously light and easy self-serve beverage option for guests. Guests preferring a nonalcoholic beverage could simply opt for the fruit juice.

SCRAPBOOK It is always a successful event when guests are able to mix and mingle and easily strike up a conversation. By supplying scrapbooking materials, guests are able to meet one another while engaging in an activity. Encourage guests to bring a few items that remind them of their relationship with the bride. These items may be movie tickets, concert tickets, special notes passed in grade school or even a special photograph. Each guest is given a page to decorate for the bride. The hostess then collects the individual pages and slips them into a scrapbook for the bride to keep and cherish for years to come.

COUPLE SHOWERS Bridal showers have been evolving over the years into couple showers and often include the groom and his buddies. Friends of the bride, the groom or both often host couple showers where the bride and groom’s friends are invited to celebrate the couple’s upcoming nuptials. These showers are typically more casual and relaxed and are ideal for the couple who already share many household items. Yard games and cold beverages are perfect for this type of shower, allowing guests to get to know one another and mingle.

DATE NIGHT The bride and the groom alike will love this theme, as it will supply them with months of activities and ideas for date nights throughout their first year of marriage. Encourage guests to bring a date-night themed gift pulled together with items from their gift registry. For example, movie passes and popcorn bowls or a blanket and a bottle of wine. As a shower activity, supply guests with note cards and markers so they can jot down date-night ideas. Ideas can range from free activities, such as a walk at sunset, to more expensive options like a date night at a fine-dining restaurant. Put each note card in a sealed envelope and mark it with an estimated cost. After their wedding day, the couple can pick from the envelopes to fund a unique date-night idea.

BACHELORETTE PARTY Many brides are shying away from limos and bachelorette games for this special event with their closest girlfriends. Some brides are gathering their friends to participate in a local cooking class while others might head out of town to relax by a hotel pool. The most important element of the bachelorette party is for the bride to feel comfortable with the plans, especially since this is a time for her to truly kick back and relax before the wedding day. Looking for some fun and creative activities that are a bit out of the ordinary? Below are a few of our favorite bachelorette party ideas.

COOKING CLASS Perfect for the bride who loves to spend her time in the kitchen, invite a small group of girls to participate in a cooking class. This gives the bride an opportunity to spend quality time with her friends while the guests are entertained and may even pick up a cooking tip or recipe.

VINEYARD TOUR This is a simply fabulous way to host a relaxing bachelorette party. Invite guests to a local vineyard to taste wines while catching up and chatting about wedding plans. The scenery itself will provide a relaxing experience for the bride and her guests.

ART CLASS Give guests an opportunity to create a gorgeous piece of art without the need for any true artistic talent. At some area art classes, guests are given step-by-step instructions to help each guest create a memorable painting, while also affording the opportunity to enjoy a glass of wine in celebration of the occasion. |NWD|

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PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT A guide to planning the rehearsal dinner

The dĂŠcor has been selected, the arrangements made and all the plans set in motion. Now is the time to savor each moment as the wedding weekend unfolds with family and close friends. The rehearsal dinner is often the first scheduled event of the weekend. Depending upon the guest list, budget and wishes of the hosts, the rehearsal dinner can be anything from a formal sit-down affair to a casual outdoor barbeque.

WHO SHOULD HOST Traditionally, the groom’s parents are the hosts of the rehearsal dinner. However, given that many couples are paying for their own weddings, the dinner can be hosted by both set of parents, grandparents or close friends and family. It is recommended that the host of this event confer with the wedding couple regarding the theme, menu, decorations and location. This assures that the event does not conflict with any of the wedding plans. The cost of a rehearsal dinner can vary widely as there are several factors to consider. Some factors include the size of the wedding party, the size of the families, the venue for the dinner as well as the menu chosen for the event.

WHEN TO SCHEDULE Rehearsal dinners often follow the ceremony rehearsal the evening before the wedding. However, the rehearsal event can be a brunch or lunch and is most often found to be a casual and informal event. If it is a dinner event, it is recommended that the festivities conclude relatively early in the evening to allow the bride and groom, wedding party and family members an opportunity to relax and unwind before the wedding day.

WHOM TO INVITE Depending upon the budget and capacity of the venue, the hosts of the rehearsal dinner decide the number of guests to invite. The bride and groom, wedding party, parents of the couple, officiant and spouse, readers and their guests must be invited to the dinner. However, you may also wish to include out-of-town guests and close friends to make the event more of a welcoming party for them. Written invitations are not required; however, it is a good idea to send invitations when the guest list includes more than family. Unless all wedding guests are invited to the rehearsal dinner, no information regarding the rehearsal event should be placed on your wedding website.

SETTING THE TONE Rehearsal dinners can be a terrific way to give guests a warm and welcoming experience for the weekend festivities. It can be a plated gourmet dinner, a tasty Image by The Moment It Clicks

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backyard barbeque or anything in between. It is often a great time for out-oftown guests to visit with family and spend time with the bride and groom before the big day. Stumped on what type of dinner to host? Here are some of our favorite ideas.

Backyard Barbeque Hosted at a family member’s home or acreage, this option is relaxed, budget friendly and perfect for couples with large families and small children. To make things easy and enjoyable, consider including yard games, setting up a self-serve beverage stand or hosting a bonfire for roasting marshmallows.

Food Truck If your ceremony is at an outdoor location such as a public park, it is a welcome change of pace to hire a food truck to arrive after the rehearsal. Prepackaged dinners are a fun way to treat guests and this option is perfect for a rehearsal dinner that includes the wedding party only. Bring some refreshments for the rehearsal and picnic blankets for guests to relax on the lawn and enjoy their dinner picnic style.

Restaurant For small rehearsal dinners, hosting the meal at a restaurant is ideal for the parents of the couple. This option minimizes any stress or mess the evening prior to the wedding. Either allow guests to select their meals off a limited-selection menu or ask them to RSVP with their favorite option. It is always recommended to include a note on the dinner invitation addressing dress code.

Reception Venue Many reception venues offer a discounted rate when you also host your rehearsal dinner at their facility. Some locations have both large and small areas to accommodate any size guest list. This option is truly ideal if

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you are both getting married and hosting your reception at the same venue site. Consider an “appetizer only” menu as an alternative to a full meal to slim down your rehearsal dinner costs while still providing a fun and relaxed evening for guests.

PROPER PROTOCOL Toasts are often a large part of the evening and can sometimes even be spontaneous. In this casual setting, guests feel more comfortable sharing memories, stories and well wishes for the couple. If the groom’s parents are hosting, the groom’s father will often greet guests and offer a toast to the bride and groom. The father of the bride can toast next, followed by any of the attendants or guests who wish to speak. The bride and groom also have the opportunity to greet guests, to say a few words of thanks and to present any gifts to the members of the wedding party in thanks for their support.

POTENTIAL SCHEDULE 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. – Rehearsal 6:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. – Travel to Venue 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. – Cocktail Hour 7:45 p.m. – Toasts and Dinner The best advice is to always focus on your guests’ comfort while showing appreciation for their time commitment. Your wedding day is about your vows and celebrating with friends and family, but your rehearsal dinner should honor the loved ones present who may have made a long drive or difficult flight to celebrate and support your marriage. Treat your guests to an evening of fun entertainment, tasty food and refreshing beverages to kick off a weekend that they will never forget. |NWD|

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Photographed by Marla Austin Photography | A View on State


bridal gowns from Elegant Occasions Gowns

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bridal gowns from Bridal Traditions

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bridal gowns from Blush Bridal Boutique

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NWD Editorial | winter fashion

bridal gowns from Hello Beautiful Bridal & Formal Wear

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bridal gowns from The Bridal Collection

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bridal gowns from Avenue Bridal

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bouquets by Events Etcetera | jewelry by Riddle’s Jewelry hair & makeup by Carmen Stukenholtz for Esquire Hair


WINTER CHIC

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L O V E

at the alter

photographed by T, Free Photography Omar Arts Events &

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NWD Editorial | winter feature

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NWD Editorial | winter feature

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| Petals to Platinum

| Mr. Tuxedo

| 89 Invites

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| Ellynne Bridal

| United Rent-All

| Michael Tish Jewelers

| Nostalgia Rentals

| Fjeran Moyle and Ashley Cook for

| Elite Events Rental

Urbane Salon & Day Spa


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the love story of ...

sarah + chris

Photographed by Mae Small Photography

Omaha, Nebraska Following a sky-high proposal while on board a Memphis Belle replica, this couple’s wedding day was destined to be a dream come true! After a stunning sparkler exit from the church, Sarah and Chris chose to escape the chill of winter and celebrate in a beautiful garden setting adorned with sparkling gold and black details, which perfectly reflected their wedding style of “traditional with some sparkle!” A favorite wedding-day memory for Sarah took place on their drive to the reception when a meaningful song to the couple started playing on the radio. She shares, “We turned it up, rocked out and had our moment. I just remember looking over at Chris and thinking, I’m so lucky! I get to spend the rest of my life with this awesome guy!” A perfect reflection of the couple’s dream wedding day, every detail of Sarah and Chris’s wedding was absolutely magical. Sarah says, “The love, support and encouragement of being surrounded by our friends and family made it the best day ever!” neweddingday.com | winter


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Bridal Gown + Accessories: Ready or Knot {Wedding Chic} | Hair Stylist: Carissa Schulz for Urbane Salon & Day Spa | Bride's Ring: Borsheims | Menswear: Mr. Tuxedo | Paper Goods: Trish Doebel | Floral Design: Piccolo's Florist | Cake: The Cake Gallery | Catering: Abraham Catering | Rentals: United Rent-All | Ceremony Music: Mahr Quartet | Reception Music: Complete Weddings + Events | Omaha | Gown Alterations: Linda Lee Bridal Creations | Guest Accommodations: Homewood Suites by Hilton Omaha-Downtown | Venue: Lauritzen Gardens neweddingday.com | winter


the love story of ...

erin + andrew

Photographed by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

Falls City, Nebraska While stargazing in the back of his pickup truck, Andrew’s sweet summertime proposal was something right out of a fairy tale! From a summer engagement to a winter wedding, Erin and Andrew’s special day was a classic winter wonderland. With hints of evergreen and elegant wintery details, this couple’s wedding day was a storybook romance, complete with the perfect picturesque moment as the bride and groom were showered with bird seed exiting the church as husband and wife. Reflecting on their wedding day, Erin’s favorite memory was seeing Andrew for the first time. “It was perfect,” shares Erin. “My wedding day was one of the best days of my life.” She says, “It was a dream come true, and I truly felt as if I was the luckiest girl in the world.”

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Bridal Gown + Jewelry + Gown Alterations: The Bridal Collection | Hair Stylist: Megan Goff for Studio M on Stone | Makeup Artist: Natalie Bartling with Kiss and Makeup Beauty Boutique | Rings: Sartor Hamann Jewelers | Bridesmaid Dresses: The Bridal Collection | Menswear: Men's Wearhouse | Paper Goods: Brandi Zuger | Floral Design: The Nursery School | Cake: The Cakery by Amber & Shanna | Catering: Melody Teton | Rentals: Takes Two Bridal & Event Rentals | Reception Music + Lighting: Complete Weddings + Events | Lincoln-Norfolk | Videographer: The Wedding Storytellers | Transportation: Nebraska Party Bus | Guest Accommodations: Grand Weaver Hotel + Vision Inn Motel | Venue: Prichard Auditorium neweddingday.com | winter


the love story of ...

nichole + justin

Photographed by Sam Swartz Photography

Lincoln, Nebraska What began as a set-up by their families was followed by a romantic surprise proposal, which ultimately led to Nichole and Justin’s glamorous winter wedding! Together they created a wedding style that was classic old Hollywood with the perfect mix of elegance and sophistication. This couple wanted their wedding to be unique - something they would love forever, and it was nothing shy of perfection! Nichole shares, “The ambiance of the venue was absolutely perfect for the vision we had for our big day!” As the snow began to fall, the couple shared a private moment outside for their first look - that sweet moment becoming Nichole’s favorite wedding-day memory. Nichole reflects, “Having all our friends and family in one place to help us celebrate felt like such a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and felt truly special!” With a day full of the couple’s favorite things, Nichole says, “It was such a perfect day; we could relive it all over again!” neweddingday.com | winter


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Bridal Gown + Jewelry: Ellynne Bridal | Hair Stylist: Brett Lucchino for Eve A Salon | Bridesmaid Dresses: Ellynne Bridal | Rings: Michael Tish Jewelers (engagement) & Elder Jewelry (wedding bands) | Menswear: Ellynne Bridal | Paper Goods: Star Digital Print | Floral Design: Hy-Vee Floral | Cake: Cindy's Cakes | Catering: Premier Catering | Rentals: Elite Events Rental + United Rent-All + omahachaircovers.com | Reception Music + Lighting: Eskra Event Production | Gown Alterations/ Cleaning/Preservation: Ellynne Bridal | Transportation: Leisure Limousine and Sedan | Guest Accommodations: Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln Downtown/Haymarket | Second Photographer: Christopher Tierney | Venue: Lincoln Station Great Hall neweddingday.com | winter


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Image by Mae Small Photography


SAVVY SAVINGS Tips and tricks to trimming the budget

Whether you prefer a grand event or an intimate affair with close friends and family, there are always opportunities to save a little cash during your weddingplanning process. These money-saving strategies just might allow you to splurge on that amazing honeymoon you have always wanted.

SPENDING SECRETS: THE VENUE Rental prices for your reception venue may vary depending on the month you are looking to wed. Typically, prices are lower in the off-peak months of November through April. So, if you don’t have your heart set on a summer or early fall wedding, saying “I do!” in the cooler months may save you significant dollars on your reception venue. Consider selecting a weekday or Sunday as your wedding day. Many couples are opting for a Thursday or Friday evening or even a Sunday celebration, simply to save on wedding costs. Not only do many reception venues have special pricing for weekday or Sunday weddings, but other wedding vendors also may offer discounts to couples who wed on a weekday or Sunday. If you feel a single evening is just not enough, consider making your Friday wedding into a weekend celebration with friends and family. It can be a great way to celebrate the occasion and gather the entire family together for a few days. Many reception locations provide rentals in their reception rental price. Items may include tables, chairs, linens, basic china and stemware. However, if you’re looking at an outdoor venue or even a non-traditional location, you may be faced with larger rental fees. If you are pinching your pennies, consider celebrating at a location that provides all the essentials. This may save you some money that you can devote to bringing in vintage china or allowing for an upgrade from your standard white linens to something with a texture or pattern.

SPENDING SECRETS: FOOD AND DRINK Many couples select a buffet option for their reception because they believe they are getting a better value and the most food for their money. But often times they are spending more than they would if they selected a plated dinner. Not only are plated dinners often less expensive per person because of portion control, but your guests’ dining experience is more relaxing without the interruption of standing in a buffet line. Drink options are many and varied. For those couples who do not wish to have an open bar at their reception, the perfect solution would be to provide guests a

Image by Elayne Woods Photography

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complimentary signature drink during the cocktail hour and dinner. Another option is to host beer, wine and a special signature drink instead of a full open bar. This provides your guests a selection of beverages without the risk of a hefty price tag. Work with your bartender for a customized drink that reflects (1) your personality as a couple, (2) your wedding style and (3) the season. It is common practice to host a cocktail hour with appetizers between the ceremony and reception. Many couples shy away from a cocktail hour because they don’t have room in their budgets to spend an extra $5 to $8 per guest. But, if you are looking to save some cash without sacrificing your cocktail hour, ask your reception coordinator to have appetizers butler passed, rather than hosting a buffet table. This controls the number of appetizers needed to appropriately serve your guests, and in turn controls the cost.

SPENDING SECRETS: FASHION AND ATTIRE If you’ve always dreamed of wearing a designer gown, but can’t afford the price tag, look into local trunk shows at area bridal salons. Often these events are posted online or you can even be notified by social media sites like Facebook and Twitter. Trunk shows give you the opportunity to purchase a designer gown at a discounted price. If you have your heart set on a certain designer, visit their website for any listed trunk shows in the area. Another way to save some money when purchasing a wedding gown is to attend sales events hosted by local salons. In order to make room for new wedding gowns hot off the runway, boutiques often have blowout sales for gowns that are from the last season or two. Not only will you score a stunning designer gown, but you will also save money that you can put towards new bridal shoes or accessories. The tradition of “something borrowed” has taken on a modern twist when it comes to bridal jewelry. Rather than borrowing your grandmother’s string of pearls, borrow expensive and stylish jewels from websites like adorn.com or renttherunway.com. Both of these sites offer weekend rental pieces that will make you sparkle at a fraction of the retail price.

SPENDING SECRETS: FLOWERS Rather than focusing on the type of flowers in your bouquet and centerpieces, focus on the color and shape of the blooms. Brides often set their hearts on certain flowers, such as peonies which only bloom in the spring. But by focusing on the hues of your favorite flowers, the floral designer is free to use different stems that may fit your budget better while still giving you the look and feel you desire. If you simply cannot imagine your special day without white peonies, use them sparingly by limiting their use to your bridal bouquet. Most wedding guests do not notice your bridesmaids’ bouquets, but their attention will be on you, the bride. Ask your florist to use a few stems in your bouquet and you will have the look you love without blowing your floral budget. Using plenty of mixed greens is not only on trend, but can also help stretch your floral budget. Be open to using different textures and colors with your floral stems to create a unique and stylish centerpiece. Trust in your florist’s vision when discussing floral elements, but be sure to ask questions if you are unsure of what they are suggesting. After all, they are the floral experts and may have some beautiful budget-friendly ideas that you will simply love.

SPENDING SECRETS: PAPER GOODS Paper goods add character and flair to weddings and often carry the theme from ceremony to reception. If your wedding budget is unable to accommodate much in the way of custom paper goods, get crafty with handmade embellishments. Opt for a simple wedding invitation suite and purchase some embellishments, such as baker’s twine, ribbon or a customized stamp. Not only will you have a gorgeous, well-printed invitation from a designer, but you are saving money by creating the finished product yourself.

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There are no rules when it comes to ceremony programs. If you are looking to cut costs, opting out of a ceremony program can help trim your budget. If you still want something to outline your ceremony procession, consider designing your own program. Many websites offer free fonts for a customized look. After designing your program, take it to a copy center for printing. You can double-duty your save-the-date announcements by reusing them as place cards or even as a guest book at the reception. Some fun ideas include asking guests to jot down their favorite recipe, love advice or scripture passage and then mail back their save-the-date cards. Once returned, the cards can be displayed in a recipe box or on a wishing tree at your reception. This is a fabulous way for your guests to feel more intimately involved in your wedding and as an added bonus, can save you some cash by replacing the traditional guest book. Simply speaking, the key to saving money while planning a wedding is to think outside the box. Work closely with your wedding professionals and be upfront about your budget. It will cause undue stress and will not serve you or your vendors well to agree to expenses that are beyond your means. Finally, listen to their ideas and be flexible with design and dĂŠcor. Local vendors hold a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Wedding professionals understand that brides are working within a budget and therefore, they are willing to be accommodating. |NWD|

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NWD Editorial | bridal shower

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CREDITS

Florals ... Sweet Cakes & Roses, Inc. Hair + Makeup ... JaRee Parker for Urbane Salon & Day Spa Jewelry ... Elisa Ilana Jewelry Cupcakes ... Mockingbird Cupcakes White Linens ... Honeyman Rent-All Tableware + Colored-Glass Cake Plates + Chairs + Chalkboard Sign ... Nostalgia Rentals


I THEE WED Marriage license details made easy

A license to legally marry is required by every state in the country and obtaining a marriage license is the responsibility of the bride and groom. In Nebraska, both parties about to marry need to sign the application in person at the local county clerk’s office. Identification is necessary and proper proof can be fulfilled by a driver’s license, military identification, passport or birth certificate. Social security numbers must be included on the application and the marriage certificate. A validly contracted marriage under the laws of another state or another country is effective in Nebraska.

WHAT ABOUT A PREVIOUS MARRIAGE? In Nebraska, if you or your groom have been divorced or widowed, the date of divorce or date of the previous spouse’s death must be provided. A divorce decree dissolving marriage becomes final six months after the decree was rendered or upon the death of one of the parties. A new license will not be issued and you cannot remarry until at least six (6) months and one (1) day have passed from the date the divorce decree was signed by the judge and filed with the district court clerk. The applicants will be required to submit the date the previous marriage ended. A divorce obtained in another jurisdiction is not effective if both parties are Nebraska residents at the time the divorce proceedings were begun.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? The fee for a marriage license is $15.00 with an additional $5.00 fee for a certified copy of the license, payable at the time of application. The certified copy is required to execute any legal name changes and will be mailed to you after receiving the completed marriage license. Additional certified copies may be purchased at a cost of $5.00 per copy. Nebraska no longer has a requirement for a blood test. Also, Nebraska no longer has a waiting period. So if all required information is provided, you will leave with the license when you apply. The license is valid anywhere in the State of Nebraska for a period of one year.

HOW DO WE GO FROM LICENSE TO MARRIAGE? You have your license and so now you can get married. No particular elements are required in the marriage ceremony, although each party must solemnly declare in the presence of the officiant and witnesses that they take each other as husband and wife. The ceremony may follow the rites and customs of the religious society to which the parties belong, with the moderator or officiant completing and returning the certificate of marriage to the appropriate county clerk. Every judge, retired judge or clerk magistrate, as well as every preacher authorized by the church to solemnize marriages may perform marriage ceremonies in Nebraska.

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After the ceremony, spouses, witnesses and your officiant sign the marriage license. The officiant then files for a certified copy of the marriage license and a marriage certificate. The difference between the marriage license and marriage certificate is that the marriage certificate is more of a keepsake. You will receive an original of both the certified license and the marriage certificate.

HOW DO I CHANGE MY NAME? Changing your name is a very personal decision. You may certainly choose to keep your name. However, if you decide to change your name legally, you should complete the paperwork as soon as possible after you are married or after returning from your honeymoon. Below is a list of items that may need to be updated with a name change. • • • • • • • • • • • •

Social security card Bank, credit union, investment accounts Vehicle registration Drivers license Mortgage Medical and dental records Health, life, auto and homeowners insurance Credit cards Deeds and property titles Passport Voter registration IRS forms

Many entities will require you to present a certified copy of your marriage license as proof of legal status to make your name change. We recommend that you request a few extra copies of the marriage license ($5.00 per copy) because when changing your name, many of these entities require you to provide an original copy. Please call your local county clerk’s office well in advance of your wedding date to confirm details about requirements. Check out FROM OUR NOTEBOOK in the back of this issue to find our handy “Ms. to Mrs. Guide” |NWD|

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KICKING OFF THE NIGHT RIGHT Tips for making the most of your pre-reception festivities

It is important to keep in mind that you have sixty minutes to set the tone for your reception and kick off the party. Why not do it in style! Far too often, the cocktail hour is an afterthought in wedding planning. But actually, the cocktail hour is a lovely opportunity for your guests to seamlessly transition from the ceremony to the reception rather than floundering about trying to kill time before the reception begins. The cocktail hour should be a relaxing atmosphere where the guests can mix and mingle, sip and sample, while the wedding party makes its way to the reception. Keep in mind that this is a little sneak peek for your guests as the evening begins to unfold. The cocktail hour can be styled in many different ways. Nebraska WeddingDay has compiled a few pointers to help transform your cocktail hour into an unforgettable experience, as well as setting the stage for your reception.

THE SETTING Take a moment to reflect on how you want your guests to feel as they move from the ceremony to the reception. View the space as a whole and consider the atmosphere you hope to create. For example, you may choose to have your guests led on a stroll through the “countryside,” encountering a local farmer’s market serving artisan cheeses with grapes, baguettes and complementary wines. Setting up the cocktail hour with satellite drink bars and food stations will create a casual feel, whereas serving drinks and appetizers via butlers or wait staff is a more formal approach. As you plan, consider the following: • The space should be open and free-flowing, so guests find it easy to mingle. • Music can influence mood, so don’t forget to include appropriate background music. • Select pieces to rent (chairs, settees, love seats and benches); situate to create an open seating plan. • Incorporate yard games if your space allows. • Arrange food and drink to be easily accessible. • Keep the area well lit to encourage guests to mingle.

THE MENU You have finalized the menu for your reception, so now you need to zero in on details of the cocktail service. You may want to develop a signature drink (both an alcoholic and non-alcoholic version) to coordinate with your hors d’oeuvres menu. Don’t forget to think in terms of food and drink pairings. Some of our favorite pairings include wine and cheese, beer and burger sliders or margaritas and mini-tacos. The cocktail hour is the perfect time for you to show off your personal style with a “his” and “her” picks menu. Infuse the cocktail hour with your favorite foods and local flavor. This is your opportunity to include personal favorites that may not be included at your reception. Be creative and present your pairings with a little style. This bit of personalization will create an unforgettable experience for your guests.

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If you are working with a caterer, you may want to ask about specialty drinks as an addition to the regular offerings. Some couples are opting for an array of micro-brew beers, signature drinks, mojitos or martini bars. If you’re looking for a festive beverage, champagne is always a special option. Additionally, it coordinates well with most celebrations and is a tradition in toasting. Plus, champagne cocktails pair nicely with hors d’oeuvres, as well as wedding cakes. Consider going for a jazzy presentation and serve the drinks in specialty glasses with customized stir sticks. As you are working through your options, be certain to consider the weather. Guests often prefer a lighter drink, such as wine or champagne, in warmer weather and a richer drink option, such as cranberry cocktails or mint mojitos in cooler weather. You could even consider warm-drink options in cold weather such as hot apple cider spiked with apple brandy or butterscotch schnapps. We recommend that you provide a variety of seasonally-appropriate beverage choices during cocktail hour and don’t

forget to include a few non-alcoholic options. We are always charmed by the nostalgia of root beer floats and old-fashioned soda pop.

THE ACTIVITIES & ENTERTAINMENT Keep your guests entertained while they pass the time waiting for your wedding party to arrive. For example, hire a string quartet to enhance the mood of your cocktail hour. If a string quartet isn’t quite your style, ask a friend to play guitar as your guests mix and mingle. Yard games, dancers, silhouette artists and photo booths are other fun options to entertain your guests during the cocktail hour. Remember to think a little outside the box. Consider adding an unexpected element to the occasion to maximize your individuality. Guests will be smiling and talking about it all night long!

THE TIMETABLE Be sure to keep your cocktail hour to sixty minutes. It is called a cocktail “hour” for a reason. Sixty minutes is the perfect timeframe for your guests to relax and mingle while the bride and groom regroup and the wedding party prepares for the reception. Etiquette dictates that keeping your guests waiting any longer than sixty minutes is discourteous.

THE TRANSITIONS The planned transition from the ceremony to the cocktail hour and then to the reception can be conveyed to guests in several different manners. We recommend including information about the cocktail hour on the wedding program. Verbiage on the program might read something like, “Following the ceremony, the happy couple invites you to a Mix & Mingle Cocktail Party at 6:00 p.m. preceding dinner.” When it comes time to announce the wedding party, instruct the master of ceremonies (MC) or your deejay (DJ) to invite guests to grab a drink, take a seat and welcome the bride and groom as the wedding party makes their entrance. The MC or DJ, a parent, a special friend or a spiritual leader should announce dinner after the wedding party has arrived at the reception. |NWD|

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A SUBLIME SITE Picking the perfect venue for you

There are many uniquely beautiful reception venues available to you, depending upon the size of the guest list and your wedding budget. The reception venue sets the tone for your wedding and is a crucial element in implementing your planned décor and design. From a wistful blooming garden to a well-manicured country-club lawn, here are a few options to help you discover your ideal venue.

BANQUET HALL Some banquet halls provide full-service packages thereby making the planning process easier and more affordable. Others have a “preferred” list of wedding vendors, allowing for choices within certain parameters. Depending upon the space, banquet halls are easy to transform into your dream wedding space. Also, the staff members are experienced and have worked with many local wedding vendors, creating an easier flow of communication. The only challenge for this venue is the possible turnaround time for decorating, especially when an event is scheduled the evening before.

BARN Many couples love a rustic barn setting for their reception venue. It provides shelter while also allowing guests to dance under twinkling lights or a moonlit sky. A barnyard reception can also serve as a special nod to family history or a cultural significance. The toughest challenge for this venue is arranging catering, restrooms and entertainment. Also, remember to consider the seasonal temperatures as usually a barn is neither heated nor air-conditioned.

COUNTRY CLUB If you dream of a classic space, a country club may be your most fitting option. Set on tailored greens, country clubs offer a sophisticated style and space. One of the few challenges posed by this venue is that your event may not be totally private due to club members accessing the pool or grounds.

GARDEN Nestled around fragrant blooms and a beautiful landscape, a garden reception can be transformed into a dreamy affair. Allow the garden setting to speak for itself. With nature as your backdrop, your table arrangements and other décor can be simple and subtle. For this reception venue, be certain to outline a rain plan, just in case the weather is not in your favor on your special day.

HOTEL If you picture a large wedding in a grand ballroom, a hotel reception may be perfect for you. Hotels are easily able to accommodate a large group and usually are able to

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arrange an appropriate space more suitable for a smaller guest list. The staff is knowledgeable and experienced with events. The only challenge is that you may be sharing the venue with a neighboring wedding or other large event on the same day or evening.

MUSEUM Surrounded by beautiful works of art, a museum is a stunning and sophisticated venue for your reception. Many museums have staff members who are experienced in executing weddings and can offer great insight for creating your ideal event. You may find that some museums may have a list of preferred vendors, which may limit your options for catering or dĂŠcor.

PARK Depending upon your ideal landscape, a reception comfortably settled in a park may be just the casual venue you are looking for. Arranging family-style tables, with your ceremony location nearby, gives guests a wonderfully intimate feeling. Prior to making your arrangements, be sure to check with the city offices for any necessary permits or special permission. Also, scope out the space to make certain there are adequate restroom facilities and sufficient resources to meet your electrical needs.

PRIVATE HOME There are countless fabulous weddings arranged at private homes. This venue provides a private and special space, uniquely your own. While most parents may shy away from the option due to the workload and preparations, hosting your reception at a family estate can be very intimate. The toughest challenge to overcome is arranging adequate kitchen space, restrooms and parking. If you are planning your event at a private home, inform the neighbors of your plans so they will not be frustrated by the traffic and possible noise that evening. If they know what is going on, they will be more understanding of the special occasion and not call law enforcement with a complaint.

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RESTAURANT If you are planning a small, intimate wedding, a restaurant is an excellent option. With possibilities for a unique menu and cozy ambiance, this type of reception venue is stress free and relaxed. You could even allow guests to order directly from the menu. Prior to booking your reception, consult with the restaurant owner or manager regarding space limitations and noise level of the restaurant during the time frame you are considering. If the noise inherent in a restaurant environment concerns you, simply inquire about the availability of a separate area for your reception, such as a party room. Otherwise, just prepare yourself not to be overwhelmed or distracted by other diners during your event.

TENT A tented reception is a fantastic option that can comfortably accommodate a large guest list. While providing guests with shade and cover, everyone is still able to enjoy the sunset and dance into the evening under the stars. A tent company will have many options for you to choose from, including lighting. Prior to finalizing arrangements, we encourage you to complete a walk-through of the land so you can provide any electrical outlet information to your rental company. For a full list of venues, review our VENUE GUIDE in this issue or visit neweddingday.com for more details. |NWD|

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MASTERING YOUR GUEST LIST Simple strategies for sorting through the ins and outs

The guest list is a significant element in shaping your wedding day and creating the guest list can be one of the most stressful aspects of planning your wedding. With parents and family requesting the inclusion of coworkers and distant cousins, it can quickly become a bit challenging to navigate the “in” and “out” lists. By following a few simple guidelines, you can avoid any social blunders as you develop your ideal wedding guest list.

MANAGE YOUR BUDGET The most significant wedding budget item is the amount spent on your guests’ food, drink and entertainment. A traditional buffet or plated dinner will cost anywhere between $15 and $50 per person, depending upon the meal selection and venue. After you decide the budget for your reception food and drink, you will need to do the math with your guest list. If you are over budget, reevaluate your guest selections and make the necessary cuts. If your parents are paying for the wedding, they may wish to include their friends on the guest list. Discuss your vision for the wedding day and the number of guests you wish to have in attendance. Also, establish a reasonable number of guests to be invited by the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents. This will eliminate any misunderstandings and will relieve additional stress.

SELECTING YOUR LOCATION It is ideal to have settled on your budget and your guest list before selecting your ceremony and reception venues. This will provide you clearer guidelines that will assist you in making final decisions on a site. However, if you have your heart set on a country chapel wedding, your guest list should reflect the intimate size and feel of the location. Think realistically when coordinating the size of your guest list with the capacity of your location. Ask yourself what is most important – the venue or the number of guests. If the number of guests cannot be scaled down to accommodate your dream venue, look for a larger space. It is better to relocate the reception than to crowd guests around tables with little room to move and no room for a dance floor.

CREATING THE LIST The first step after reaching an estimated guest count is to divide that number by three. List the names of all the people you wish to invite on one of three worksheets. (Microsoft Excel is common software that can be used to organize these lists and allow for easy changes.) The first sheet should represent the bride and groom’s guest list. The second should include the bride’s parents’ guest list and the third should delineate the groom’s parents’ guest list. In the first column on each sheet, enter the guest’s name. In the second column on each of the three lists, designate

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“A”, “B” or “C” next to the name. The names designated as “A” are must-haves that include siblings, aunts, uncles, grandparents, etc. Your “B” names are should-haves, such as good friends, distant relatives, etc. This is the most difficult category to decide. Many couples struggle with coworkers or friends. The final category, “C,” is like-to-haves that may include neighbors, sorority sisters, and the like. Should it become necessary to trim the guest list, sorting the names by category will allow you a clearer picture of who could be omitted. Also, as RSVPs are returned, you may find some expected guests cannot attend. At that time you can reevaluate your cut list to reconsider extending an invitation to any of those guests. You could send out a second group of invitations, but only if just a brief time has passed since mailing the first group so as to avoid hurt feelings for those not included in the first mailing.

ESTIMATING THE RSVPS The invitation RSVP will assist you in estimating the actual attendance at the wedding. The standard RSVP estimation tool calls for you to double the number of invites you send (since an invitation usually includes two people) then subtract 33%. In other words, two-thirds of your guest list will most likely attend your wedding. While this rule of thumb usually rings true, there can be factors that affect attendance. If your guest list includes a high percentage of out-of-town guests, your rate of attendance may be a bit lower due to guests not being available to travel. One thing is certain, there are always a few surprises when receiving RSVPs. When guests are asked to write in their names and the number attending, they may add a friend or child that you were not including on your guest list. Should this occur, do not despair as most likely it will not affect your budget. Should a guest add multiple children’s names and you do not wish for children to attend the wedding, politely call and explain your wishes. Just be certain to make no exception for other children attending, as this could cause hurt feelings among your guests. |NWD|

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AWAY WE GO Considerations when planning a destination wedding By Holly Lafferty

When done right, a destination wedding can be surprisingly budget friendly – all the while making your day uniquely memorable. Destination weddings have exploded in popularity in the last decade; however, planning your wedding hundreds or even thousands of miles away presents a set of challenges completely different from planning a wedding in your hometown. We offer this crash course on how to plan your wedding when it’s beyond your own backyard.

CHOOSE YOUR DESTINATION Think carefully about the locale of your wedding. Is it best to select somewhere that will not require significant travel for your guests – like the Rocky Mountains? Or would you prefer to go all out and enjoy the sand and surf of Hawaii or Jamaica? Do you dream of a European destination? There are countless breathtaking locations which would be ideal for a destination wedding – from Estes Park to Tahiti to London. Just be certain to educate yourself on which locale is best, as the options are vast. 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. Do not forget to take into account the weather conditions that are inherent to a particular location and season. You don’t necessarily want to plan a Florida wedding during hurricane season. Likewise, a fabulous winter affair at Lake Tahoe could be beautiful, but not if many of your guests are trapped in a snowstorm. Consider all factors!

SEND OUT YOUR SAVE THE DATES Proper etiquette dictates mailing your save-the-date announcements at least six months in advance, thereby allowing your guests adequate time to plan. Some may wish to turn the wedding trip into a family vacation, while others may need time to save up for such a special trip. Giving your guests plenty of notice will be deeply appreciated and will provide you plenty of time to receive accurate RSVP responses. The attendance count becomes highly critical when planning from afar. Be sure to include important travel information in your save-the-date announcement, such as passport requirements, destination airport suggestions and lodging recommendations. You should communicate to guests that a reserved block of hotel rooms has been arranged for their convenience. Providing this information to your guests early in the planning process is important.

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HIRE AN EXPERT For all the things you believe you can accomplish from a distance, there are twice as many little details that are more difficult to attend to from afar. Hire a wedding coordinator in the area or look for another expert to assist you. Travel agents are excellent resources for everything from booking a venue to finding great rates for you and your guests. Hotel coordinators will also be helpful, as many have a wealth of knowledge and experience assisting brides when planning destination weddings. This person will be your advocate in your absence. More and more hotel coordinators are taking on full planning responsibilities – particularly if it is a popular destination wedding spot.

CONSIDER LOCAL WEDDING PROS Countless talented local vendors love to travel for destination weddings. The travel costs often balance out, as destination vendors may charge much more for their services. There are numerous benefits to hiring local vendors, many of which you can find through Nebraska WeddingDay. Hiring a local vendor can assure better communication during the planning process, as well as ease your stress about hiring a competent wedding professional across the miles. Meeting face-to-face is often the best option and is obviously easier to accomplish when utilizing local vendors. Some local vendors may also be able to help you in choosing a location, as many have traveled to a variety of areas and are willing to recommend favorite spots. You will enjoy the benefits of a seasoned, proven professional who may also be familiar with your destination location – truly a win-win!

PLAN A VISIT Ideally, you will want to visit the location of your destination wedding at least once before you head there to pronounce “I do.” Scout out special spots where you want to exchange your vows. Most likely if you are planning a destination wedding, you are looking for the perfect outdoor scenery.

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Whether beachside or mountaintop, you will want to select the best backdrop available. Also during your preview trip, make it a point to visit with as many of your long-distance vendors as possible, such as your wedding planner, florist, officiant, photographer, caterer and cake artist. This will not only ensure you are able to clearly communicate your wishes for your wedding day, but will also establish a positive rapport between you and your destination vendors – a vital element to successfully executing a fabulous event planned from afar. When the time comes, be certain to arrive at your wedding destination with plenty of time before your big day. Allow yourself several days prior to the wedding to make sure the finishing touches are all in proper order. Giving yourself this extra time will ensure everything runs smoothly and will ease the stress of planning your wedding long distance.

license in that particular locale. Each state has its own set of rules to follow and if you are heading out of the country, the rules may become even more complicated. You do not want to have a beautiful wedding in the Turks and Caicos Islands to then undertake a second ceremony to make it official once you return home.

BE FLEXIBLE! Be aware that a destination wedding is not for the faint of heart. The margin of error and likelihood of miscommunication is definitely greater. If your candles won’t stay lit from the ocean breeze or if your officiant is ten minutes late, keep in mind that it is not the end of the world. Be prepared to accept that things may not go off without a minor hitch or two, so just keep 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 man and enjoy the unexpected! |NWD|

EMBRACE THE LOCAL FLAVOR A destination wedding is the perfect chance to go all out. Research the local wedding traditions and unique customs of your destination to create an authentic feel. That does not necessarily mean you need to wear tribal garb for a wedding in Kenya, but you can still add some local flavor to your wedding. Choosing a destination with a personal connection could be a great way to honor your family heritage. If your family is French, a traditional wedding in the Cognac countryside may be a perfect fit for you and your guy. Or perhaps you’re a college 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.

DOT YOUR I’S AND CROSS YOUR T’S Be certain to check into the legal requirements of getting married in a different locale. Research what must be done to obtain a proper wedding

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CUE THE MUSIC Ideas for setting the mood with music

Did you know that you are able to influence the mood and actions of your guests? Music can be used to cue guests for room movements, mood changes or program transitions. Consider the tone you would like to set when making musical selections for your cocktail hour and reception. Use music to set the tone for each progression of the reception and to guide your guests throughout the evening.

SELECTING THE MUSIC While it is not necessary to develop an extensive playlist, it is a good idea to discuss genres, decades and artists with your deejay or band. If you are hosting an elegant ballroom reception, light jazz plays wonderfully. If you are hosting your reception in a barn and want to keep the tone casual, consider playing light country tunes. Giving guidance to your deejay can be helpful, but don’t construct such a detailed playlist that your musical professional does not have any flexibility. Sometimes strict guidelines can create an unnecessary challenge. Give your professional deejay or band their own creative license and let them use their expertise and experience when reading the crowd for your event.

ON THE MIC If you prefer that the deejay is not involved in announcing activities or releasing tables, speak up. Often deejays may mingle throughout the reception and interact with guests. Many guests will be reuniting with family and friends and might prefer not to be disturbed throughout dinner with casual banter or announcements. If you wish the deejay to only announce your entrance and the toasts, remember to provide an itinerary on each table so guests know when to expect the cake cutting and first dance.

TIMELINE The standard sequence of events begins with a cocktail hour filled with light, soothing music, followed by dinner. Keep the volume of the music low so guests can enjoy their meals and converse with one another. Following dinner, the Father of the Bride will address the guests, thanking them for coming. He will then turn the microphone over to the Maid of Honor and Best Man. Once the toasts are complete, the first dance takes place. The best time to shift the mood and encourage guests to dance is preceding the first dance. Upbeat music will encourage guests to take to the dance floor for the remainder of the evening.

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TAKING CARE OF YOUR PROFESSIONALS Regardless of whether you hire a live band or a deejay, breaks will be needed throughout the evening. Bands typically take a few 15-minute breaks to rest and refresh. Your deejay is able to take breaks throughout the evening while keeping the music playing. Since these professionals work long hours with an early afternoon setup, music during your reception and a late-night tear down, remember to notify your caterer to provide food to them during dinner.

BE PREPARED Ask your vendor in advance about any additional equipment rental fees. Also inquire about their contingency plan should a band member or deejay not show or become ill. Remember to address what the deejay or band plans to wear as they should be properly dressed for the wedding’s level of formality. When planning an outdoor reception, design a contingency plan should the weather take a turn for the worse. |NWD|

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ASKING THE RIGHT QUESTIONS Staying organized throughout your wedding-planning appointments By Holly Lafferty

We have all been in situations where we needed to gather information, but didn’t have a clue of what questions to ask. After all, how can we be aware of what we don’t know? One of the challenges you will face during your wedding-planning process is how to best handle gathering and organizing the volumes of information you will compile relating to vendors and their services. How do you know if you’re asking the right questions or if they are providing you all the details you need to make an informed decision? Luckily, Nebraska WeddingDay is here to help you! Below is a list of critical queries we believe will help minimize the possibility of incurring unexpected costs or enduring unpleasant surprises due to a lack of information. Consider this list simply a foundation, as you likely have a great number of questions rolling about in your head to add during the interview process. Come to your appointments prepared. It is wise to review your questions shortly before the meeting. Bring along a notebook or journal to jot down all the information rather than relying solely on your memory for logging all the details. During the planning process, you will have many appointments and dozens of conversations, so taking notes is a great way to stay organized. Once you have completed your research, you will have a comprehensive set of organized notes for reviewing all the options. This information will be a lifesaver as you make decisions regarding your vendors. Begin by requesting from each vendor at least three references. This step is an important part of the process. From there, you can use the following questions as a guide. You will find the questions divided into categories by vendor to provide an organized reference guide. Keep in mind this list is not all inclusive. Just remember that your vendors want to ease any concerns you may have about using their services, so ask away!

EVENT PLANNER QUERIES 1. Will you come up with a timeline and communicate it to all vendors? This one is fairly basic, but many brides make the assumption a planner will do this without confirming it. When the big day arrives, the bride may be shocked to learn that her planner didn’t confirm set-up times with the vendors. Do not let this simple expectation be overlooked! 2. 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? Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

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3. Do you have connections with other wedding professionals? Often the added expense of a planner can be justified simply because his/her relationships with vendors will provide you special discounts. This is a huge plus and definitely a selling point for certain planners. 4. Are you well versed in wedding vendor contracts? You want your planner to be familiar with a wide variety of vendor contracts. He/she should also be familiar with the fine print that may be part of a contract. It may save you significant grief if he/she catches something that would have resulted in substantial additional cost. 5. Will you stay within my budget? You don’t want a planner that tries to pressure you into hiring his/her favorite photographer if that photographer costs more than you budgeted. Your planner should respect your budget limitations and work within them rather than try to push you beyond your means.

PHOTOGRAPHER QUERIES 1. What is your style? One style is classic/traditional with formal shots. Another style is photojournalistic with artistic, editorial and illustrative shots. The only way to get a true read on a photographer’s style is to see their work. It is key to mesh a photographer’s style with your preferences. Caution: Don’t consider someone based solely on pricing, because you most likely will not be happy with the end result. You need to stay within budget, but pricing is only one consideration. Always ask to see a full wedding portfolio rather than just the highlight photos. Consider how many useable photos the photographer captures when shooting 1,000+ images. Think about your style when reviewing the portfolio – do you like what you see? 2. How many photographers will be shooting the wedding? If they have someone else shooting with them, this can be crucial to ensuring all of the special little moments are captured. However, you also want to confirm you will not be charged extra to have another photographer on hand. Make sure you inquire about potential hidden costs, such as for overtime or an additional photographer. 3. Can you provide me with a list of photos to be taken? When it comes to posed family photos, your photographer should either provide a list of common shots or accept from you a list of the images you wish to capture. Since you cannot recreate the day, it is important to talk beforehand about all the shots that are meaningful to you. 4. How does proofing/printing work? Many photographers provide access to online proofs from which you choose images for printing. Other photographers provide you a disc of all images shot. It is important for you to know (1) exactly when to expect your images to be available, (2) how you will be able to view them and whether others will be able to view them, (3) how to order images and (4) what is included in your selected photo package. Find out what desired add-ons will cost, such as photo booths, digital archiving, wedding albums, etc. These questions apply to your engagement session as well. Be certain to ask whether the engagement session is included in the wedding package. 5. Have you shot weddings at this venue before? It is quite helpful when a photographer is familiar and comfortable with your venue. However, if a photographer has not shot a wedding at the venue you selected, do not count them out. If he/she is willing to schedule a walk-through to check out the property before the wedding, that should be enough to alleviate any concerns. Willingness to take the time for a walk-through provides you reassurance that customer service is a high priority to the photographer and that she/he is motivated to do excellent work.

VENUE QUERIES 1. Is my wedding date available? How many people can the space accommodate? Will there be other events going on during my wedding? Are outside caterers welcome? These are important

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qualifying questions to ask at the very beginning of the interview. While they seem obvious, it is very important to clarify these details before moving forward with the balance of your questions. 2. What is the inclement-weather contingency plan? If you are having a tented or open-air outdoor ceremony and/or reception, does your location have a back-up space available in case of inclement weather? You may not want to risk an outdoor ceremony/reception if your venue does not have another option. 3. Are tables, chairs, linens and glassware/dishware available? If so, are you going to be charged extra to use them or are these items included in the rental price of the space? If not available, does the venue arrange for rental or will you need to secure these items? Rental companies can provide all the items should you need, but factor in the cost of outside rentals when selecting your venue. 4. What are your accommodations for entertainment? Does the venue have an area for a live band to perform or is there only room for a deejay? How large is the dance floor? How late can the band or deejay perform? Answers to these questions will impact your entertainment options. 5. What are the service charges? Be fully informed about all service charges, including those that may not seem necessary at the time of booking. You never know what may become necessary as the planning unfolds. Don’t forget to inquire about applicable taxes as well. Lastly, clearly understand all deposit and refund policies.

FLORAL DESIGNER QUERIES 1. Will you be handling my floral design personally or will someone else? If you make a strong connection with your floral designer and you love his/her style, you want to be certain that particular designer will be the one creating your designs. If that particular designer does not work on the day of your wedding, that may or may not be a concern. If your floral designer works as part of a team, you will want to confirm that she/he is part of that team. 2. What floral recommendations would you make for my budget? You may have a specific floral design in mind, but your designer should be able to direct you to alternative blooms that will assure you stay within budget while maintaining the design scheme you envisioned. The designer should be knowledgeable about trends and also adept at incorporating desired details into your style. 3. Are you familiar with my ceremony and reception locations? It is important for your floral designer to be knowledgeable about your venue as you will want the floral design to enhance the positive attributes of the site, while accommodating your style. Similar to the photographer, the floral designer should be willing to tour the space if he/she is not familiar with the location. 4. How many weddings do you typically schedule for one day? This is a critical question when considering whether the floral designer or team can provide you the services you require on your special day. Some vendors are smaller operations that can only handle a limited number of events across any given weekend. However, a larger floral operation may be able to comfortably accommodate a multitude of weddings/events due to the large team of professionals involved in the process. Ask the question and listen carefully to how it is handled. If you are uneasy about their ability to make your day a priority, it might be best to consider other floral vendors. 5. What design styles are you comfortable executing? Every floral designer has a distinct style, so you will want to confirm that your visions align. If the floral designer leans toward modern and cutting edge but you are looking for something traditional, you may end up taken aback on your wedding day. The designer should have a portfolio of real wedding designs that are similar to your vision. Carefully considering the responses you receive when asking questions will help eliminate any surprises on the day of your wedding.

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CAKE ARTIST QUERIES 1. How do you price your cakes? Some cake artists price their creations by the slice, with certain styles and flavors costing more than others. In addition, some cake artists have a required minimum per-person cost. With numerous options available, confirm that you are clear on the associated costs before finalizing your cake selection. 2. What flavors do you offer? Nearly every cake artist provides traditional white cake. If you want something outside the norm, confirm that your prospective baker offers the fillings, cake coatings and decorations that you have in mind. Without a doubt, taste tests are an important and delicious element of the interview process! 3. Are additional fees charged for delivery and setup of the cake? Many cake artists will include delivery and setup in the pricing structure. However, don’t assume anything. Ask about these details as some vendors may bill such services as an additional charge. This is especially true if your venue falls outside the normal service area. 4. What happens if the cake is damaged during delivery or setup? While this is unlikely, occasionally it occurs. Ask if someone will be available for last-minute repairs or touch ups. Also, inquire as to whether a refund or adjustment in price will be issued should such an unfortunate event occur. 5. Am I able to create a custom cake or are there specific designs from which I choose? If you have a specific cake design in mind, provide photos to the cake artist. The artist should be able to create the cake based upon the photos and description you provide. However, if you have nothing particular in mind, most cake artists will have examples that may provide you inspiration.

CATERER QUERIES 1. How is your pricing structured? This element of the planning can often be the most expensive. Ask all the questions you deem important to become comfortable with the decisions you need to make about the food and drink that will be served. Since the list of options may be long and varied, it might be helpful to contact the caterer prior to the appointment to have them send you information. Many caterers have a website with their menu options listed. (Be aware that often pricing is omitted from online menu information.) Review any information prior to your appointment to narrow your choices and to minimize the chance of leaving the appointment without all the information you need to make a final decision. At the meeting, a good place to start is by asking about a minimum cost per person. Also, ask if the gratuity is included in the per-person cost or if it will be an additional charge. It is critical that you fully understand the pricing structure and how your caterer will bill you. 2. What do you recommend for my event? Given your guest list and the location of your wedding, your caterer should have suggestions about whether a buffet or plated dinner will work best. As a seasoned

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professional, the caterer will also have some suggestions for you about the type of food that would work well with the style of your event. 3. How will you present the food? Most caterers will have put some thought into presentation and how the food will be arranged on the buffet table or plated for service to the guests. 4. How much and what type of catering experience do you have? Find out how long the caterer has been in business. Ask how many weddings they cater per year. The answers to these questions will provide insight into the depth of their experience. 5. Will there be someone to manage things on-site the day of the wedding? It is important for your caterer to have an adequate number of servers on hand and also to have an experienced banquet manager assigned to your event. This will ensure that everything runs as smoothly as possible. The banquet manager will coordinate with your wedding planner to make certain food and drink service is executed at the designated time. 6. Do you provide a tasting of the menu items we are considering? If the answers to the previous questions are a good fit for you and your budget, you will want to arrange a time to sample the menu items under consideration for service at your reception. As you can see, there is a broad range of questions that are important to ask your vendors. The responses you receive will provide valuable information that will aid in your decision-making process as well as put your mind at ease. This list is by no means all-inclusive, but it should give you a good start as you meet with your prospective vendors. Since these professionals play a critical role in executing your big day, they understand the importance of outlining for you all the procedures, policies and details of their services. Once you become comfortable with all your vendors and the services they offer, your mind will be at ease and you will have greater confidence that your special day will unfold without a hitch! |NWD|

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TYING THE KNOT Symbolic elements to honor your union By Holly Lafferty

You and your spouse may choose to demonstrate to one another and all your guests that you are truly committed to the union. This symbolic gesture represents the joining of you and your husband as a team – a united front. Lighting the unity candle to represent two becoming one can be a uniquely intimate moment during the wedding ceremony. But if the thought of marking this special moment with the typical candle lighting seems outdated to you, there are other options. Consider utilizing an equally poignant gesture in a way that better represents you as a couple. Nebraska WeddingDay offers some ideas on creative alternatives to the traditional unity candle, while still honoring the significance of that special moment.

A KNOT CEREMONY For this simple gesture, use a decorative cord or ribbon. You tie a knot on one end and your husband ties a knot on the other. Then, tie the two knots together as a symbol of your coming together as one. This tradition comes with many cultural variations.

HAND FASTENING Similar to the knot-tying ritual, you can have your officiant gently tie you and your husband’s hands together with a decorative cord, ribbon, or special strip of cloth. This gesture symbolizes the act of marriage – binding you to one another. Hand fastening is an ancient Celtic wedding tradition and also a wonderful way to honor your Celtic heritage.

FLOWERS Consider having you and your fiancé’s mother each bring a small vase of flowers to the front 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.

UNITY CUP Have you and your fiancé’s mother each pour wine (or a non-alcoholic beverage) into your respective family cups. Then you and your husband can pour a portion from each family cup into a unity cup that you can both drink from together. If you wish to honor your individuality as well, you can each take a sip from your family cup before pouring the drink into the unity cup simultaneously.

SAND Pouring two containers of sand into one larger container is another meaningful way to represent your unbreakable bond. You can purchase two different colors to represent the blending together of yourselves. Have your mothers bring forward the sand and pour it into two individual containers that you and your groom will then pour into one. Image by Gleason Photography

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SOIL As an alternative to using sand, you and your groom can each bring a sampling of soil from your childhood homes to pour into a beautiful receptacle or pot. The soil will signify your childhood dreams being realized with the two of you having found one another and becoming one in a new life together. A variation might include having a special plant or tree sapling already planted in the pot to which you add your soil. Later the plant or tree could be transplanted when you purchase your first home. For example, a jasmine plant denotes love or a lavender plant signifies protection, love and longevity.

LOVE LETTERS This heartfelt alternative holds much emotion that will be cherished for many years to come. Before your wedding day, 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. Make plans to open the chest on your tenth wedding anniversary to read the love letters and relive the day of your wedding.

TIME CAPSULE Another unique option includes you and your husband both bringing a variety of items that represent different elements of your relationship – a CD with your special song, a ticket stub from your first movie date, a photo of the two of you together. You can place the items in a time capsule to be opened on your tenth wedding anniversary. Rediscovering the items long forgotten so many years later will be a special moment for the two of you to share.

WINE If permitted at your ceremony venue and as long as you don’t mind making a little noise, you and your hubby can place a bottle of wine into a special box and together nail on the lid. This is another tradition that can be celebrated on your tenth anniversary. Like a fine bottle of wine, your marriage only gets better with age. On your anniversary, open the box and enjoy!

PLANT Another variation includes planting a tree or other shrub together after the ceremony. If you don’t mind getting your hands a little dirty, this is a wonderful way to create a natural lasting bond between you and your man. As a bonus, it is a perfect gesture for couples hosting an earth-friendly wedding. These are only a few suggestions as there are truly an endless number of ideas for representing your unity at the conclusion of your wedding ceremony. Any variations on these ideas that will serve to make it your own are also perfectly acceptable. If you have a unique idea, don’t hesitate to go for it! If it honors the relationship between you and your husband, it is guaranteed to be a special moment you will remember forever. |NWD|

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WEATHER PERMITTING Working with Mother Nature in the great outdoors

Beauty is often found in the most natural of settings. It’s hard to beat the Midwest countryside, city skyline or about anything in-between for a stunning wedding backdrop. Despite our beloved region’s reputation for variable weather conditions, outdoor weddings can offer a uniquely beautiful experience if you get the weather’s cooperation. So if you have been dreaming of an outdoor wedding, we have provided a few tips to consider while planning your big day with an outdoor element.

LOCATION When considering the location of your outdoor ceremony and/or reception, determine where in the sky the sun will be positioned at the time of your event. To determine this, you can download a smart phone sun-setter application that will track the placement of the sun throughout your wedding day. If both the ceremony and reception will be held outdoors, think in terms of functionality. How will guests transition through the evening? What outdoor spaces will provide shade for guests? Be courteous and avoid seating your guests in direct sunlight or facing them into the sun. You would not want sun glare to interfere with their view or enjoyment of the occasion. Also, depending upon the time of year, the temperature may be a factor. You will want to do everything possible to make your guests comfortable in an outside environment. If covered or shaded areas are limited, consider having a mid-morning or early evening wedding to avoid everyone being subjected to the heat. Depending on your outdoor site, consider all rules and regulations for the location. A local park may make a beautiful backdrop for your wedding. However, before you order a tent, tables and chairs and other necessities, check with your local parks and recreations department. Many city parks require event permits and may have other regulations that you must consider.

OUTDOOR ELEMENTS Serving refreshing drinks, such as iced tea, lemonade or water, as people arrive at your outdoor celebration will keep guests cool and comfortable. To avoid bug bites and sunburn issues, offer guests repellent wipes ($25 for 48 at lafreshgroup.com) and sunscreen wipes ($5 for 30 supergoop spf wipes at sephora.com).

FOOD AND BEVERAGE It is best to avoid serving heavy foods when hosting an outdoor reception. Guests will appreciate a fresh and Image by Nikki Moore Photography

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light menu when trying to beat the heat. Replacing potato salads with pasta or tomato selections are great alternatives. You will also want to avoid serving fried foods as they will become soggy in short order due to the humidity. Baked chicken and fresh vegetables are always a crowd pleaser that will remain tasty despite a warm environment. If you are hosting a summer reception, guests will often drink more to stay cool. Be certain to offer guests non-alcoholic beverages and keep plenty of ice water within reach. By offering non-alcoholic beverages, guests can enjoy fun and fruity drinks without mixing high-alcohol beverages with high temperatures.

FLOWERS AND DECOR Be aware of the challenges that the outdoor elements will create when selecting flowers. Choose blooms that will be able to stand up to the heat, such as orchids and roses. Keep arrangements in the shade and out of the wind to extend their life. Avoid tall décor pieces as they may become hazardous on a windy day. Elements like driftwood, clear lantern candles, low floral arrangements and heavy vases are great outdoor décor alternatives that should withstand whatever the weather presents.

LIGHTING Rent outdoor lights or hire a company to hang outdoor lighting to enhance the setting and to keep guests safe. Strings of large bulbs are a gorgeous way to add ambiance to your reception space. Battery-operated lanterns look beautiful hanging over a dance floor. If you plan to hang mason jars or tea lights from trees, opt for battery-operated candles to avoid any fire hazards.

FAVORITE OUTDOOR RECEPTION IDEAS Tent Tents can be glamorous and perfect for a Nebraska spring, summer or fall wedding. They offer protection from most weather elements while also allowing guests to enjoy the great outdoors. Tent rentals can vary, so discuss your ideas with your rental company. The multitude of options can span from traditional white canvas tents to tents with plastic, see-through roofs allowing you to dine under the stars.

Barn If you have a friend or family member with a spacious barn, this can be a chic way to host a rustic wedding. If you don’t have a personal connection to a barn space, you will find some venues that offer a barn for rent. The key to hosting a dinner in an old barn is to clean, clean and then clean some more! Sweep and power wash all floors if concrete; rake dirt floors for debris. Hanging lights or large chandeliers will add sophistication to the venue and provide plenty of ambiance and lighting for guests.

Garden For a smaller wedding, hosting your reception in a garden is as romantic as you can get. A long, family-style dinner table is very elegant and brings an intimate feeling to a smaller reception. Renting lounge furniture and a dance floor will encourage guests to sit, relax and enjoy the evening surrounded by fresh flowers and the moonlit sky. No doubt outdoor weddings are beautiful, romantic and memorable. Just remember the importance of thinking through all possible weather threats in advance. Also, be certain to walk through your reception venue more than once, considering the experience from the vantage point of your guests. You will want to be assured of their safety and comfort throughout your special day. Finally, always have a backup plan if the weather takes a turn for the worse. Being prepared with a plan will allow your day, no matter the weather, to be everything you dreamed it would be. You will find a quick reference “Weather Guide” in FROM OUR NOTEBOOK at the back of this issue. |NWD|

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ONLY THE NEAR AND DEAR When an intimate affair is the best fit

By Holly Lafferty

There is absolutely nothing wrong with a large wedding, but when budget is a factor, a more intimate affair can be just as stunning as a large gathering. Actually, intimate weddings are very popular. For a multitude of reasons, a supersized wedding is a rarity these days. Before considering which is right for you and your groom, take a few moments to consider the many advantages of a smaller wedding. Everyone can fit into that quaint chapel you’ve been dreaming about. You may have thought that picturesque little church with a seating capacity of only 75 was not an option. But if you trim the guest list, you can say your vows in a lovely little space that truly speaks to you and your fiancé. Exotic locale, here we come! Consider allocating the money you will save by downsizing your wedding plans towards an unforgettable honeymoon. Enjoy an awesome adventure in paradise and still have the wedding of your dreams. Cut loose with your DIY talent. Special little details that would be overwhelming with a larger guest list become more manageable with a smaller wedding. Handcrafting name cards for 50 guests rather than 400 becomes an enjoyable project instead of a chore. You and your guests alike will reap the rewards of your personal attention to detail. Trim those guests you were hesitant to omit. If it’s only immediate family and a few close friends, you don’t have to worry about offending your second cousin twice removed or the former co-worker that you only see once a year. Simply say, “We are only including immediate family.” While there may be some disappointment, everyone will understand if you are consistent with your guest list. Revel in the extra time you can spend with those closest to you. Fewer guests in attendance will mean more time with each guest. You will be able to take a few extra moments with each and every loved one, instead of flitting from table to table for a quick hug and thank you. A more intimate affair will also make your guests feel special for being included. Save yourself time. If you are having 40 guests instead of 300, you won’t be spending nearly as much time addressing invitations, designing a seating chart, handcrafting favors and writing thank-you notes. Everything will be on a smaller scale, including your time commitment. Take the pressure off. Don’t worry about impressing all of your distant relatives and former co-workers. Hosting a smaller wedding will mean less people-pleasing and more fun for you, your husband and your guests. You can see why an intimate wedding may be appealing. Saving money is only one benefit among many. 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. You can have the wedding of your dreams without having a big headache to go along with it! |NWD|

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Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design


EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED Executing party protocol with style and grace

The flowers have been selected, the menu finalized and the bridal gown fitted, but now how do you properly handle those odd little occurrences that may pop up? While most of the details are nailed down, a few elements to the planning still require thoughtful consideration. These situations usually relate to proper decorum and require just a little patience and poise to navigate. Traditional etiquette and modern manners sometimes differ in the best approach to resolving such matters. So carefully consider what seems most appropriate to you in each situation. We have given you a guide to dealing with some of the most common social blunders, all the while maintaining proper manners and handling each with style and grace.

UNEXPECTED GUESTS The overarching emphasis whenever handling surprises is to always make your guests feel welcome. Regardless of whether your guest brought their date without including them in the RSVP or you spot an uninvited distant relative, everyone should feel welcome and comfortable. The key to accommodating unexpected guests is to be prepared by assuming more guests will attend than have replied. Rent three to five percent more of any linens, chairs, plate chargers and china. Also, when designing your seating chart, don’t completely fill every table. This will allow room for a guest to join at the last minute, even if they are not specifically included on the seating chart. To accommodate children you did not expect, ask your caterer to have a plan in mind for a simple children’s meal. Finally, if a guest informs you at the last minute that they cannot attend, remove their seating card immediately.

WEDDING GIFTS Tradition suggests all wedding gifts should be sent to the home of the bride or groom. However, the majority of guests in the Midwest present their gifts at the reception. To accommodate these gifts, prepare a table in an out-of-the-way spot. Ask a relative or close friend to direct guests where to set their gifts upon arrival. Many guests will bring a card, so it is wise to prepare a basket, box or other decorative receptacle to collect them thereby avoiding the chance of any being lost.

CEREMONY AND RECEPTION TIMELINE There are many reasons why your reception may not begin immediately following your ceremony. Often, it is because the church will not allow wedding ceremonies to take place after a certain time on Saturdays. If you are facing a lengthy gap between your ceremony and reception, it is important to consider the comfort of your guests. If the majority traveled from out of state and are spending the night, they are able to retreat back to a hotel room to freshen up. If the majority live in town, they

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Image by Chelsie Moreland Photography


are able to return to their home for a few hours before arriving at the reception. However, if your guests do not have an appropriate place to go before the reception begins, consider hosting a trolley tour of the city. Arrange for guests to take a tour of local landmarks or attractions. It is nice to prepare bottles of water and some light snacks for the ride. Another option is to provide your guests a map with local highlights, allowing them to take a self-guided tour if they desire.

RECEIVING LINE Many churches no longer allow a receiving line to take place after the ceremony due to an overlap with services. If this is the case, consider greeting guests near the entrance of your reception venue or at their tables between courses during dinner. It is important to make each guest feel welcomed and special. However, also take time to enjoy your husband and your reception without getting stuck in conversation the entire time.

INTIMATE CEREMONY + LARGE RECEPTION Many couples prefer a small private ceremony, but would like to invite all of their friends and family to help celebrate at their reception. The key to having the best of both worlds is proportion. To avoid any hurt feelings, keep the number of invited guests to the ceremony to a minimum. A good rule of thumb is to have a 1-to-10 ratio of ceremony guests to reception guests. An example of this would be to invite 15 people to the ceremony if you are expecting 150 to attend your reception. However, keep the meaning of your wedding day in mind as well. Guests wish to share in your excitement, love and the promises you make to one another. By including them as guests at your ceremony, they will feel honored and blessed to witness your vows.

ASSIGNING WEDDING ROLES It is an honor to be asked to stand by your side as a bridesmaid or groomsman, or to serve as an usher or reader. Often brides try to include as many friends and family members in their wedding day to avoid any hurt feelings. However, unless the role is something truly special, think twice before reaching out to your cousins and distant relatives. Small children will be overjoyed to hand out bubbles or programs, but your 16-year-old cousin may not. Sometimes it is best to keep wedding roles to a minimum and allow your friends and family to enjoy the day celebrating.

BALANCING GUESTS AND ALCOHOL If your family members love to drink and really get down on the dance floor, you may want to reconsider utilizing the open bar concept. Guests are not as likely to order a drink when the drinks are not complimentary. Consider having a “hosted” bar serving beer, wine and a signature drink. This will cater to all tastes without allowing guests to order strong alcoholic beverages or shots of liquor. If you simply must host an open bar, yet wish to ensure your guests do not overindulge, ask the bartenders to use a light touch when mixing drinks. Also, during the last hour of your reception, consider shifting to only nonalcoholic options and complementing the drink bar with a simple snack bar. This usually does not increase the cost of your reception by much, as you are shifting alcohol expense to snacks. Utilizing a snack bar will serve to sober up guests before they depart. Some popular ideas are sliders, nachos, tacos or pizza. Finally, don’t lose sight of your own alcohol consumption. Avoid having more than a few drinks and be certain to eat some food throughout the day and during the event. This way, you will fully enjoy your wedding reception while maintaining your poise and grace. |NWD|

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DIGITAL WEDDING DAY Considerations for sharing your wedding online

Living in the digital age provides the opportunity for every bride, groom and guest to have immediate access to social media, such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Wedding plans can be shared in the months leading up to the big day, as well as the big day itself. Some couples will revel in the idea of sharing this precious event through social media, cherishing every Tweet, Instagram photo and Facebook post from their wedding day. Others may choose not to have their plans unfold publicly among the social media sites. For those couples who embrace social media as a priceless tool in sharing the news and events of their wedding plans, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram can play a helpful role in wedding-day preparation. So we have laid out some helpful tips for incorporating social media into your special day.

THE ENGAGEMENT Your beloved has popped the question and you have accepted the marriage proposal! Congratulations! Now before rushing forward with getting the word out, be certain to take a few moments to revel in the occasion and truly enjoy this special time with your fiancé before announcing the engagement to your family and friends. While you are certainly excited to share your boundless joy and good news, remember to pause and embrace the joy you are both feeling – just one on one. After you have taken in the moment as a couple, you can then take a deep breath and consider how best to communicate the news. You definitely do not want your parents, siblings, grandparents and closest friends to find out through social media. Make a list of those that you need to talk to, in person or by phone, before considering your social media announcement. Those closest to you will appreciate hearing the big news from you and your fiancé personally. Once the news has been shared with loved ones, consider announcing your engagement through social media. Posting a creative photo of you and your fiancé with the obvious inclusion of a beautiful ring on your left hand is one way to go. Remember that your Facebook and Instagram friends want to celebrate this special moment with YOU, so make the social media announcement about your commitment to one another and not just about your ring. After the well wishes and congratulatory comments start coming in, take the time to individually respond and thank those who are sharing in the excitement. It is important to write a personal response to each message. The response does not need to be lengthy, but the personal touch goes a long way toward making them feel included during this special time. Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

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PLANNING The emergence of social media and online inspiration boards has changed the wedding-planning process for many engaged couples. After the engagement, some brides immediately turn to Pinterest and wedding inspiration blogs in search of inspiration. Clearly, it is important to develop a wedding style that truly represents the personality and taste of the couple. Wedding blogs and inspiration boards are a great starting point for brides to begin sorting out different elements of their personal style. Pinterest offers an endless array of ideas for wedding-day details, so it may sometimes seem overwhelming. Obviously no two couples are alike, so in the early stages of the planning process it is best to simply absorb the information you favor and later sort through whether it is truly a best fit for you and your fiancé. Keep in mind that some brides enjoy using Pinterest as a helpful tool to share ideas with the wedding party, family members and wedding vendors so they can weigh in on different options. We encourage you to visit neweddingday.com and neweddingdayblog.com for the latest wedding inspiration and information on the area’s most experienced wedding professionals. You can easily connect with area vendors in over 30 categories with just a click. As a registered bride on our website, you can also SAVE your favorites to revisit as your planning process continues. Don’t miss our online VENUE GUIDE with 80 venues to compare as you are selecting the most appropriate venue for your wedding. When done tastefully and in moderation, sharing information on social media during your wedding-planning process is a wonderful way to keep your friends and relatives feeling included and in touch with this momentous occasion. You might consider posting progress updates, registry information or an occasional photo of you and your guy enjoying this uniquely special time in your lives.

THE WEDDING DAY Some couples are using social media throughout their wedding day to document the joyous event. Creating a wedding hashtag for your guests to use on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook is the first step. Then share your hashtag via appropriate signage to notify your guests. Creating a hashtag unique to your event will allow you to go back after your wedding day and take a look at your wedding from the perspective of your guests! Using social media during your wedding will also allow you to share your special day with guests who could not attend through guest posts or live streaming of your event.

UNPLUGGED WEDDING A social media wedding may not be the best fit for all couples. You may prefer to see the faces of your guests during the ceremony instead of the back of their smart phones. An unplugged wedding also limits the chances of your guests interfering with your photographer capturing those must-have photos. Restricting social media during the ceremony and reception may be the best option for those couples who want their guests to remove themselves from technology and simply enjoy the special day with the bride and groom.

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If you choose to have an unplugged wedding, what does that mean? Do you want to have just an unplugged ceremony where your guests tuck away their phone only for the vows? Or do you want to have an unplugged day, where your guests are asked not to take photos with their phones for the duration of the festivities? Once you decide, you will want to find the best way to communicate your wishes to your guests. You can consider implementing one or all of the following: (1) include the announcement discreetly on the wedding program, (2) create signage to place at the entrance to the ceremony, (3) have your bridal party spread the word and (4) ask your officiant to make an announcement once everyone has been seated.

OFF THE PAGE a daily dose of refined wedding style & inspiration neweddingdayblog.com

Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

Whether you have a full-blown social media wedding day or a discrete unplugged ceremony, the key is to tell your guests so they aren’t left guessing whether or not they can share your day online. Be clear whether it’s okay for them to post any special moments while in attendance. Your guests will be happy to follow your requests and enjoy your wedding day with or without social media. |NWD|

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THE NEW NORMAL Outlining options for covering the wedding expenses

What a joyous occasion when your engagement is announced! But once the excitement settles down a bit, it is time to discuss the nuts and bolts of planning the wedding. Instrumental in that discussion is developing a realistic budget for all parties participating in hosting the various events that surround this special occasion. At the center of the discussion is the wedding couple. There are a variety of approaches to handling expenses, so the bride and groom need to thoughtfully consider what is best in their particular situation. Traditionally, the parents of the bride have been called upon to pay for the majority of expenses with the parents of the groom traditionally contributing only to certain minor expenses. But is that still the case? What is the “new norm” for financing weddings? Considering that the average wedding in the Midwest can cost upwards of $30,000, engaged couples are setting aside the traditional standard in lieu of establishing a budget based on a variety of factors.

SPARKING THE CONVERSATION The first step in managing budgetary guidelines is having a candid conversation with the families involved. This is truly the only way to make clear and comfortable financial arrangements with all those participating in the financial support of the events surrounding the occasion. Interestingly enough, it is clear that the traditional arrangement has not been replaced with just one alternative, but rather, families are taking a more customized approach based on a variety of factors. Considerations include financial resources and capabilities, the age of the bride and groom as well as the family dynamic. If the bride and groom have divorced parents or a blended family, these factors also play a role in the allocation of wedding expenses. Typically, step one is for the bride and groom to initiate a discussion with the bride’s parents to explore what they have in mind as to budget and contribution. Step two would involve sitting down with the groom’s parents. It will eliminate stress for all involved if the couple comes to those meetings prepared with any high priority must-have items for the wedding. This information provides a much needed point of reference for all involved in the discussion about an appropriate budget and necessary funding of the wedding. Following the initial discussion with parents of the bride and groom, the couple will be able to develop a more specific game plan and thereby allocate financial responsibility for each element of the budget. Having these details reduced to writing for all involved will eliminate much concern and frustration for the couple as they navigate through the decision-making process.

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FINANCING THE WEDDING Some of the more common formulas for allocating the wedding budget include: (1) the traditional arrangement, (2) the 50/50 split and (3) the three-way split, but there are clearly other options. The traditional arrangement is one in which the bride’s parents pay for the vast majority of the wedding. A recent sampling of area brides indicated that about 40% of weddings continue to be paid for in this manner. The 50/50 split is an arrangement in which the parents of the bride and the parents of the groom each pay one-half of the wedding costs. The survey found that about 16% of today’s weddings are financed this way. The three-way split is when the costs are paid for equally by the wedding couple, the bride’s parents and the groom’s parents. The sampling results reflected that about 22% of today’s weddings share expenses in this way. Other methods include the wedding couple paying for the majority of wedding expenses or the groom’s family paying for most of the wedding expenses. Whether you are planning a small intimate affair or a full-blown soiree, the details of who will be handling the costs are critical in making the transition from engagement to wedding one of enjoyment rather than frustration. The approach can be customized to fit the situation and should always include open and honest communication by all involved. The key to a solid plan is that it is understood and agreed upon by all parties responsible. While determining the financial arrangements for your wedding day may initially seem uncomfortable, having the conversation with your parents first to develop budget guidelines will certainly help relieve financial stress. There is no clear common standard for financing today’s weddings, so choosing a realistic approach that suits you and your families will ensure that you will have the stress-free wedding of your dreams! |NWD|

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RESERVED A place for everyone and everyone in their place

The main focus for your reception should be to make your guests feel comfortable with the surroundings and to put them at ease with the event. Although it seems logical that guests would enjoy sitting with whomever they wish, an open seating plan may cause stress for many guests. Think of your reception as a very large dinner party at your home wherein you would want each and every guest to feel welcome and completely comfortable. Seating charts can be an essential element when creating a welcoming atmosphere for your guests. Assigned seating has the added advantage of putting your guests at ease since they will not find themselves in search of an open seat. Whether you design a seating chart or decide upon an open plan for your reception, there are some important aspects to keep in mind.

HEAD TABLE It is proper etiquette that your wedding party should never be separated from their dates or spouses during your reception. By including the bridal party and their dates at the head table, everyone will be more comfortable and will not be retreating to other tables to visit and check in on their loved ones. If your wedding includes a large bridal party, there are several options for seating arrangements. The first option is to construct a large rectangle with your bridal party situated around all four sides. This can be arranged as a beautiful focal point, while still allowing you to converse with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. The second option is to seat your maid of honor, best man and their respective dates with you and your groom at a table. This allows you to spend the dinner hour with them, while allowing your bridal party to still sit together with their dates at nearby tables. The final option is to have a sweetheart table. This table is set for only you and your groom allowing for some private time together. The head table should be the main focus of the reception space since the attention will always be on you throughout the evening. You can showcase the head table in a variety of ways, such as with a larger floral arrangement or a collection of candlesticks. Make certain your table dĂŠcor is not too tall however, so guests can enjoy watching the special toasts as well as first dances from their vantage point.

RESERVING TABLES If you are opting for an open seating plan, arrange a few tables for immediate family members or special guests near the head table. Your parents, grandparents, ushers, readers and special attendants should be the closest to Image by Elayne Woods Photography

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Image by Elayne Woods Photography

you. By placing a few reserved signs on nearby tables, other guests will know that these should remain open. Prior to the reception, inform your family members and special guests that they will be seated at these designated tables so they know their seat has been prearranged.

STAYING ORGANIZED The key to any seating chart is organization. Start assigning guests to tables as soon as your RSVP cards come in the mail. Group guests by mutual friends, family members or simply common interests. A thoughtful hostess always thinks of her guests’ comfort first and foremost. If you know two family members often clash, simply seat them at separate tables. When designating guest placement on your seating chart, only assign table numbers. This way they are free to select their seat at the table and you will have less stress planning each and every seat. Keep the number of guests at each table low. The highest number of guests at each table should be twelve. Most often, you will seat eight at a standard round table. Guests should be able to sit comfortably and enjoy the meal without feeling crowded. When you plan a realistic number at each table, it provides an opportunity for guests to visit with each other around the table.

SAVING SPACE To ensure each guest has a place to sit at your reception, regardless of whether they have sent their RSVP or not, leave several spots open at tables while also planning an extra table for last-minute RSVPs. Keep track of any tables that have not reached capacity so you know exactly where to place any guest who attends your reception without notice. If your reception will have an open seating plan, it is especially important to provide extra space for guests. Since those in attendance will be able to select their own table, they may leave an odd number of chairs at some tables. By planning an extra reception table or two, you will ensure all guests have a place to sit even if they arrive late. For a quick reference guide to seating, check out our “Seating Guide” in FROM OUR NOTEBOOK in the back of this issue. |NWD|

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MAKING THE MOST OF IT Tips for hosting a wedding weekend

Whether you are planning a quaint destination wedding or a grand event in your local town, you and your fiancé might like to consider extending your big day to an entire weekend of celebration with your closest friends and family. We have all heard newlyweds say, “Our wedding was over before we knew it!” So if you want to extend the joyous celebration a bit, consider planning a three-day wedding weekend! Many couples have friends and family traveling far and wide to attend the wedding. Since those loved ones invest a great deal of time and money to help celebrate your special day, why not make it more than just a single whirlwind event. You can show your appreciation for their efforts and also revel in the warmth of family and friends a bit longer by planning a few additional activities for your wedding weekend. This will allow you all to spend more time enjoying the company of your guests, while assuring they are entertained for the length of their stay. While every situation varies, we thought it would be helpful to outline a sample itinerary for a weekend. We have included a few simple guidelines to ensure you are able to coordinate a fun and flawless weekend. The key is for guests to understand that attendance at any additional activities is optional, as their travel schedule and energy level permit. FRIDAY 4:00 pm – Ceremony rehearsal with wedding party and officiant 5:30 pm – Rehearsal dinner with close family members and wedding party 8:00 pm – Meet and greet for all guests who have arrived for the weekend SATURDAY 8:00 am to 9:30 am – Breakfast 10:30 am to 12:30 pm – Relaxing activity including light lunch with guests 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm – Wedding couple, bridal party and guests prepare for the wedding 4:30 pm – Ceremony 5:30 pm – Cocktail Hour 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm – Reception SUNDAY 10:00 am to Noon – Brunch and farewell to guests and wedding couple

A WARM WELCOME A top priority when planning your wedding weekend is to consider what will make your loved ones feel welcome. Whether your guests are traveling by car or plane, from the coast or another country, give them a few moments to

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rest and relax upon their arrival. Have your local wedding-party members help prepare and deliver welcome baskets that include a handwritten note to each of your out-of-town guests. This is a very thoughtful way to express your heartfelt appreciation for their time and expense in traveling to your wedding. Include locally-produced goodies - like a sweet treat from your favorite bakery, a map of the area with favorite sites highlighted and a list of your favorite local attractions and restaurants.

SOME SCHEDULED FUN Consider scheduling group activities for your loved ones as early as the first evening. A casual ice-breaker activity after the rehearsal dinner is an ideal time to interact with your guests, introduce guests to one another and encourage them to mingle before your wedding. Easy and fun interactive activities could include an ice cream social complete with sundae bar, toasting marshmallows and making s’mores around a campfire or renting a trolley or bus to tour the city. While planning an outing for your friends and family on the day of the ceremony, make the most of your location. Do not set up an outing that requires much travel. Use this time as an opportunity to show your guests all the reasons you chose this locale for your wedding weekend. To ensure your guests fully experience your love for the location, you could consider scheduling a wine tasting at a local vineyard, a walk at an area park or a visit to the local farmer’s market.

A FAREWELL BRUNCH The vows have been said, the bouquet tossed and the final dance has concluded. Now it is time to wind down the festivities with a Sunday morning brunch with your family and friends. Take this time as newlyweds to enjoy the company of your loved ones and thank them for helping you celebrate your union. To allow your guests adequate time to pack and prepare for their departure before heading home, keep brunch informal, encouraging guests to stop by as time allows for a final farewell. |NWD|

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AVOIDING THE BUDGET BLUES Budget management without the stress

Setting your budget is a crucial first step when beginning the planning process. It sets the stage for every element that is included in your special day. In addition, tracking your budget by recording your expenses regularly throughout your planning is critical to avoiding surprises. While tradition calls for the bride’s family to pay for most of the wedding, from time to time couples have relied on alternative methods for allocating their wedding budget. Simply follow these straightforward steps for an easier time establishing your budget and also to prepare you for handling any obstacles along the way.

FIRST STEP: WHO IS FOOTING THE BILL? Parents of the Bride If the bride’s parents are paying for the wedding, it is recommended that the bride sit down with her parents to agree on a specific monetary amount they feel comfortable contributing. Once this amount is established, the bride’s parents and the engaged couple should create a list of their top three wedding priorities. For example, the bride may have her heart set on special wedding photography, while her parents may feel that an open bar during the reception is essential. Once the parties are aware of each other’s wishes, delegating the budget to specific areas of planning will be easier. As wedding vendors are researched, the budget will be a helpful guide in narrowing the various options, as it may be necessary to exclude some vendors that would exceed your budget. The final step in the budget process is determining who will be in charge of tracking each expense along with payments to wedding vendors. This will minimize questions during the final planning process regarding the remaining balance on each account and when that balance will be paid. Since the bride is often very busy during this time, it is wise for the father or mother of the bride to be responsible for tracking the budget.

Parents of the Bride and Groom If both families are contributing to the wedding budget, separate conversations should occur between the engaged couple and their respective parents. The first topic of discussion is the monetary amount each family feels comfortable contributing. Some families would rather delegate the budget by paying for specific elements like the alcohol, entertainment and floral design rather than allotting a specific dollar amount for the total budget. Once this is decided, both families will feel more

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comfortable with the wedding budget. The couple and their families should discuss a payment plan for contributions to the wedding and delegate a single person to track the budget and any balances throughout the planning process. If the bride and groom are overseeing the budget, be certain to clearly communicate necessary obligations to both families throughout the wedding-planning process. Each family will then know their current balance owed and any upcoming payments well in advance of the due date.

The Bride and Groom It is not uncommon for many couples to pay for their own wedding, especially if they have been independent for several years or are planning a second wedding. Establishing a realistic budget for yourself is critical when paying for your own wedding. Many financial planners suggest formulating a budget that can be paid one-half before the big day and one-half within the twelve months following. Your wedding budget should never put you in significant debt. You do not want to start your new lives together buried by a mountain of wedding bills! Smart budgeting upfront will prevent that from happening. Simply review your plans and make cuts to expenses that are not essential. The best way to uncover areas that could be considered for budget cuts is for the bride and groom each to write down their top three wedding priorities. Anything outside of that list should be considered for cuts. For the groom, this could be a live band, special transportation and a signature drink. For the bride, this could be floral design, her wedding gown and a professional makeup artist. Once this is considered, it is easier to stay focused on what each other desires most, thereby allowing each to be more respectful of the other’s wishes when making necessary cuts. Also, it often reveals areas you both do not feel strongly about, making the budget cutting much easier. Finally, it may be helpful to hire a financial planner or wedding planner if you are handling the budget yourselves. A financial planner not only can assist in creating a realistic budget and payment plan, but can also establish helpful financial goals and tools for your future as a married couple. A wedding planner can assist in establishing a budget, in monitoring your budget, and in assisting with making necessary cuts. The wedding planner may also be able to work with vendors for discounts or specials, which in turn could more than recover the cost of hiring the planning specialist.

SECOND STEP: FORECASTING THE BUDGET It is often difficult to establish a wedding budget when you have no point of reference. The most important thing to remember is everyone views budgets differently. One bride may want to spend a large percentage of the overall budget on her wedding gown and settle for a cake and punch reception. Another bride may want a large wedding with a plated dinner for 400 guests and would trim her budget by purchasing a lower-priced gown. Prioritize your wishes. If you are still unsure after attempting to outline a budget, consider this: (a) 40-50% of wedding budgets typically are spent on the reception food, drinks and rentals; (b) 10% of the budget is typically spent on flowers; (c) 10% on attire; and (d) 10% on music and entertainment. Midwestern brides usually have large weddings of 200 guests or more, thereby shifting the budget toward accommodating a higher guest count. If you are looking at a smaller budget but a large guest list, it may be best to revisit your guest list and consider cutting some guests to stretch your dollars. It is best to breakdown your total budget amount into categories to better forecast how much money you believe each element will cost. This will keep you focused on the smaller dollar amounts that you have allotted when working with each vendor. If you are “under� budget in certain areas, either delegate that amount to another area of need or put that amount aside. Typically, most brides spend 10% to 20% more than budgeted. So, it is wise to place the money aside, rather than finding areas to spend it. This will ensure that you come in on or under budget after all expenses have been paid.

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THIRD STEP: STAYING ORGANIZED During your planning process, you will accumulate many contracts, brochures, menus and other paperwork that need to be organized. Delegate a close family member or trusted friend to be in charge of charting and managing your wedding budget and all associated information. This includes forecasting the budget, tracking actual payments, documenting all down payments and scheduling when the payments are due. It is important to have periodic meetings about the status of your budget, addressing areas where you exceeded the target budget and areas where you came in under budget. You will be more comfortable meeting with vendors when you know the status of your budget as a whole and how much money you are able to spend. Any time you become stressed or overwhelmed by your wedding budget, just remind yourself of the bigger picture – your wedding day! Remember your priorities and stay focused on the end result. Most couples have to sacrifice a few elements to afford their dream wedding. Trust in your wedding vendors and allow them to assist you in getting the most for your allotted budget. Finally, if your parents are contributing to your wedding, it is essential that you remain grateful for any financial assistance they provide. By following these simple steps, you can achieve your dream wedding on any budget, large or small! |NWD|

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FOND FAREWELLS Grand exit ideas to conclude the festivities in style

Once the ceremony and reception has concluded, the bouquet has been tossed and the final song has ended, it’s time for you and your spouse to make your grand exit as husband and wife. This timeless send-off tradition, which makes for a beautiful photo opportunity, dates back to the age-old custom of tossing rice at the newlyweds to symbolize prosperity and good fortune. This unique moment you share with your guests is one you will surely remember. All guests in attendance gather round to provide a joyous farewell bursting with love! Brides and grooms are now opting for a more unique approach to this longstanding tradition. From confetti to ribbons, here are a few creative ideas to make your grand exit truly memorable with a little help from your guests.

CONFETTI SHOWER Many couples love the look of a confetti send-off for their wedding day. Confetti provides beautiful pops of color for the wedding photographs while allowing the bride and groom to completely customize the look of their grand exit. Include confetti in a couple different shapes, sizes and colors to coordinate with your wedding dĂŠcor. Setting up a confetti bar can also serve as a fun interactive addition to your reception. Your guests can have fun creating the perfect blend of confetti to shower you with love as well as heaps of vibrant confetti! If this send-off option appeals to you, first make certain your venue allows the use of confetti and be sure you understand any restrictions as to usage and materials. You certainly do not want to forfeit your rental deposit due to a misunderstanding.

FLOWER-PETAL FAREWELL Flower petals are no longer only for the flower girl to toss during the ceremony. They make a delightful alternative to paper confetti. Many couples are choosing this as an alternative for their wedding send-off. You can have your guests toss bloom petals that are customized to match your wedding color palette or include petals from blooms that are incorporated into your bridal bouquet. For a personalized look, create customized paper cones full of petals to pass out to your guests. This romantic wedding-day farewell creates beautiful photographs of a stunning exit.

RIBBON WAVE For a ceremony or reception venue that has rules prohibiting tossing confetti or blooms, ribbon wands are a fun alternative that are completely mess free. Guests can send off the happy couple by waving these graceful colored wands and they also double beautifully as wedding favors! The wands can even be used throughout the ceremony and/or reception to create an interactive element to the festivities. With an unlimited

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number of ribbon styles, widths and textures to select from, customizing your ribbon wands to fit your color palette is a breeze. Your guests will have a blast waving their well wishes of love and joy throughout the day as well as when you make your exit as husband and wife.

SPARKLER SHOW For a reception ending after dark, opt for a glamorous farewell with one of the most popular tried and true wedding send-offs. Present your guests with sparklers in a customized wrapper unique to your wedding dĂŠcor. The key to capping off the celebration in style is to purchase wedding sparklers that burn longer. It is also important to have venue staff or family members prepared with butane lighters to light the sparklers for your guests. A stunning display of the newlyweds surrounded by a sea of light will provide the bride and groom with some amazing photos as their guests shower them with love.

WISH LANTERNS For a breathtaking nighttime send-off, make a memorable impact with your guests by launching wish lanterns into the night sky. Traditionally used in Asia for celebrations and festivals, brides are using this romantic element as a means for their guests to present well wishes for the newlyweds on their wedding night. Gather your closest friends and family members to participate in this memorable farewell and create an incredible photo opportunity. You and your spouse will be in awe as you take in the stunning nighttime visual with your loved ones. If you are interested in this option, be sure to do your homework first. Wish lanterns are a potential fire hazard, making it important that you obtain approval from your venue as well as verify applicable laws within your community before planning a wish lantern send-off. No matter the method, you can be certain that your grand exit will be bursting with love and joyous best wishes from all in attendance! |NWD|

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NWD | venue guide

A View on State Street

A View West

Overlooking the Fontenelle Hills golf course, A View is a local destination wedding venue sure to deliver a beautiful setting and a memorable event. Our excellent coordination team will work with you from day one to make your day special and flawless. Enjoy this intimate location with endless possibilities in making our venue exclusively yours for your wedding day. Call or email for rates and availability!

A View in Fontenelle Hills

A View on State is the newest venue to hit the Omaha area. This location has been designed solely and especially for hosting your wedding ceremony and reception. It is made up of three rooms that can be combined or separated for any number of guest accommodations. Each room has its own entrance, lounges, catering areas, and courtyards to ensure your day is just that – yours!

A View West is complete with a 30-foot high atrium and sprawling windows on the entire east side of the venue. This contemporary space is complete with Chiavari chairs, elegant lighting, and a large dance floor. Our coordination team will take care of you from the minute you call us to the moment you walk out of our doors as a married couple. Give us a call today!

Anthony’s Steakhouse Grand Ballroom is the premier wedding facility. Our beautiful facilities can easily accommodate on-site ceremonies. Our lush landscaping and elegant decor offer the perfect backdrop to your special day. To complement our facilities, we customize each event to meet your exact needs and provide a staff that cares.

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 Yes Yes Varies Yes N/A 39

1,000 Yes Yes Varies Yes N/A 39

Anthony’s Steakhouse

400 Yes Yes Varies Yes N/A 39

350 Yes No No Yes Call for rates 131

402-291-2582 1102 Country Club Court Bellevue, NE 68005 www.aviewfh.com

402-933-2929 13467 State Street Omaha, NE 68142 www.aviewonstate.com

402-991-9872 4141 North 156th Street Omaha, NE 68116 www.aviewwestomaha.com

402-331-7575 7220 F Street Omaha, NE 68127 www.anthonyssteakhouse.com

Arbor Hall

The Ball Room at Round The Bend

The Bel Air Banquet Room

Bellevue Volunteer Firefighter’s Hall

With a spacious interior, outdoor garden and ample parking, Arbor Hall is the perfect venue for your wedding reception and ceremony site. With over 11 years of experience, we specialize in stress-free weddings. Let us take care of all your wedding needs including food, beverages, cakes, flowers and decor, DJ service, photography, hair and makeup.

The Ball Room is located just 20 minutes from Lincoln or Omaha, set on the highest point in Cass County with a commanding view of the Platte River and the rolling hills of the countryside. We have plenty of free parking and easy access to the Interstate. So get out of the city and enjoy the country. The Ball Room ... Your celebration central.

Owner-operated banquet facility with on-site catering, bar, room decorating, and wedding cake services. We are proud to offer the best rates in town with excellent service for nearly 20 years!

In Old Town Bellevue, the perfect place for your bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, and wedding. Off-site catering welcome. We offer catering, beverage, decorating and linen services. Let our expert team help make your day a memorable one.

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 Yes No Varies Yes $12.95 + 129

402-884-2269 14040 Arbor Street Omaha, NE 68144 www.arborhallomaha.com

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450 Yes Yes Call for info Yes Call for rates 134

402-944-9974 30801 East Park Highway Ashland, NE 68003 www.roundthebendsteakhouse.com

250 Yes No $300-$600 No $11.50 + 198

402-333-5505 12100 West Center Road, Suite 520 Omaha, NE 68144 www.belairbanquet.com

235 Yes Yes $200-$600 No Varies 198

402-763-9127 2108 Franklin Street Bellevue, NE 68005 www.bvfd-inc.org


virtual tours @ neweddingday.com | NWD

Castle Unicorn

The Cedar Prairie Barn

Chez Hay

City of Omaha Parks

High atop the Loess Hills, this breathtaking 400acre wooded estate offers the area’s most incredible venue. This European-inspired brick Castle with adjacent Pavilion and sprawling manicured grounds provide for a beautiful and unique wedding and reception experience. Castle Unicorn’s beauty is surpassed only by its impeccable service, quality, and attention to detail. Amaze your family and friends with your dream wedding at Castle Unicorn.

The Cedar Prairie Barn was designed in 2014 by Mike and Andrew Rogge. The initial plan for the barn was to hold the reception for a family wedding. Word spread quickly about the unique country setting of the barn and visitors came from all over to see. Our many visitors inspired us to start holding weddings, receptions, and events at the barn.

Use our urban site in downtown Lincoln as your imagination’s canvas. Express yourself through remarkable food and an atmosphere to fit your creative muse. Let natural light shine on your special occasion. Our exposed brick walls, wooden dance floor, tall ceiling, and striking city view at night create the perfect ambiance.

Looking for a unique outdoor wedding ceremony location that you will cherish forever? Most Omaha Parks may be reserved for twohour time periods for a non-refundable fee of $99.

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 Yes No Varies Yes Varies 177

50-300 Yes Yes Varies Yes Varies 131

250 Yes No Email for info No Email for info 152

Varies Yes Yes Varies Yes N/A 135

712-527-5930 57034 Deacon Road Pacific Junction, IA 51561 www.castleunicorn.com

308-962-6433 62875 708 Road Du Bois, NE 68345 www.facebook.com/cedarprairiebarn

402-489-7445 210 North 14th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 www.chezhay.com

402-444-4653 1819 Farnam Street, #701 Omaha, NE 68183 www.cityofomaha.org/parks/rentals/weddings

The Club at Indian Creek

The Cornhusker Marriott Hotel

Creighton University – Harper Center

Creighton University – Skutt Center

The Club at Indian Creek is the perfect choice for your wedding ceremony and reception. Our banquet facilities will accommodate groups up to 400 with an outdoor veranda, beautiful golf course views, and classic mahogany decor. Our professional event coordinators will give every detail of your event their personal attention to transform your vision into reality.

Making your special day flawless from start to finish is our most important job, which is why our wedding planners are all Marriott Certified to provide distinguished service and attention to your every detail. At The Cornhusker Marriott choose from several of the top wedding ballrooms in the city, and enjoy the flexibility of our space for receptions of all sizes, as well as customized menu options. Call us to see everything The Cornhusker Marriott has to offer you and your guests on your special day.

The Harper Center Ballroom features vaulted ceilings, neutral decor with granite adornments, and gorgeous views from the top floor of the building. The space includes an open-air foyer with a grand piano and a built-in sound system – perfect for cocktails or any prefunction gathering. The space can be divided into three smaller spaces to accommodate groups of all sizes and needs. Pricing includes all setup/teardown, A/V, dance floor, staging and complimentary convenient parking.

In the heart of campus, the Skutt Center Ballroom is just steps away from St. John’s Church, the mall fountain and Jesuit Gardens. The garden-level, 8,700-square-foot ballroom features elegant decor with glass doors, lighted wall sconces and pre-function space. Pricing includes all setup/teardown, A/V, dance floor, staging and complimentary parking. Together with our full-service catering, we customize an affordable menu and create a special event designed around you.

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

400 Yes No Call for info Yes Varies 155

402-289-0900 Ext. 20 3825 North 202nd Street Elkhorn, NE 68022 www.theclubatindiancreek.com

700 Yes Yes Call for rates No Call for rates 161

402-479-8204 333 South 13th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 www.marriott.com/lnkfs

350 No No $800-$1,600 No $26.00 + 121

402-280-1493 602 North 20th Street Omaha, NE 68178 www.creighton.edu/reservations

350 No No $600-$1,200 No $26.00 + 121

402-280-1493 2500 California Plaza Omaha, NE 68178 www.creighton.edu/reservations neweddingday.com | 179


NWD | venue guide

DC Centre

Divots Conference Center

DoubleTree by Hilton Omaha Downtown

The Durham Museum

The DC Centre is a classic, elegant, and timeless venue sure to impress your most discriminating guest.

Begin your marriage in a magical setting with panoramic views of the wide-open countryside in Northeast Nebraska. Divots offers a beautiful destination, custom catering, on-site recreation, and lodging options for family and friends. We make every wedding event a unique and special affair. Our wide array of flexible event spaces make us the ideal location for wedding receptions, rehearsal dinners, parties, showers, and even the wedding ceremony itself.

When it comes to making your wedding special, DoubleTree by Hilton Omaha Downtown 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, we can accommodate weddings of all sizes. This is the day you have been dreaming of and DoubleTree by Hilton Omaha Downtown will create the spectacular day you so richly deserve.

Whether an intimate gathering or an elaborate affair, you will find the perfect setting at The Durham Museum. The breathtaking array of setting options ensures that your event will be both successful and memorable. One visit to The Durham Museum and you will see why it is considered one of Omaha’s most unique treasures. Create an event with your own special flair by selecting your preferred event planner, caterer, photographer and florist.

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

35-1,200 Yes No Varies Yes Call for info 167

900 Yes Yes $400-$1,200 Yes Call for rates 174

900 Yes No $350-$1,000 No Varies 119

1,000 Yes Yes Varies No N/A 147

402-393-7431 11830 Stonegate Drive Omaha, NE 68164 www.dccentre.com

402-844-2980 4200 West Norfolk Avenue Norfolk, NE 68701 www.divotsconference.com

402-636-4900 1616 Dodge Street Omaha, NE 68102 www.doubletreeomahadowntown.com

402-444-5071 801 South 10th Street Omaha, NE 68108 www.durhammuseum.org

Embassy Suites – La Vista

Embassy Suites – Lincoln

Embassy Suites Omaha – Downtown/Old Market

Founders One | Nine

The Embassy Suites Omaha – La Vista 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 – La Vista is conveniently located at I-80 and Giles Road. Contact our professional and experienced catering staff to turn your big day into everything you dreamed it to be.

Make your day a memorable one by holding your wedding at Embassy Suites. Our experienced catering team will help you plan, book and celebrate your wedding in style. Fullservice function space caters to events both large and small. There’s plenty of room to relax in our spacious two-room suites and open-air atrium, all while enjoying our evening Manager’s Reception and free cooked-to-order breakfast.

Embassy Suites Omaha, located in the heart of the historic Old Market, offers a perfect location and ideal setting for the perfect wedding day. Experienced catering staff are on-site 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 decor selections. Call our wedding specialist today!

Founders One | Nine is a new downtown urban chic event space with seating for up to 450 guests. With a spacious outdoor green space, the venue includes a large contemporary water feature with open access leading to the indoor pre-event space available for ceremonies and receptions. Other amenities include a bridal suite, an indoor fireplace, and ample surface parking. We offer exclusive award-winning catering from Catering Creations, voted first place as Best of Omaha caterer since 2011.

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

1,000 + Yes No Varies No $32.00 + IFC

402-331-7400 12520 Westport Parkway La Vista, NE 68128 www.embassysuitesomahalavista.com

180 | nebraska weddingday

1,490 Yes No Call for info No Call for rates IFC

402-474-1111 1040 P Street Lincoln, NE 68508 www.lincoln.embassysuites.com

600 Yes No Call for info No Call for rates IFC

402-346-9000 555 South 10th Street Omaha, NE 68102 www.omaha.embassysuites.com

450 Yes No Varies Yes Varies 124

402-558-3272 1915 Jackson Street Omaha, NE 68102 www.foundersomaha.com


virtual tours @ neweddingday.com | NWD

The Fountains Ballroom & Vineyard

The Fountains Ballroom West

The Georgetowne Club

German-American Club

The Fountains Ballroom & Vineyard is a unique wedding venue nestled in the picturesque Loess Hills and 15 minutes from downtown Omaha. It is designed as a blank canvas for you to create the wedding of your dreams. We’re not just a venue – we offer a variety of services including coordination, design and floral, photography, DJ services, and more. Call us today for a personal walk-through tour with one of our talented designers.

The Fountains West is a unique wedding venue located in the heart of west Omaha. Its warm, romantic charm allows you to create the wedding of your dreams. Just like The Fountains Ballroom & Vineyard in Glenwood, we’re not just a venue. We offer a variety of services including coordination, design and floral, photography, DJ services, and more. Call us today for a personal walk-through tour with one of our talented designers.

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 Brandeis Catering handle all the details, because you have more important details on your mind than the menu!

The German-American Club has the perfect setup to accommodate all of your needs. With beautiful landscapes and sceneries and large parking areas, we offer a full-service banquet facility with personal assistance to make your wedding unique and special. Our menu provides an endless amount of ideas and ability to match your budget.

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

480 Yes No Call for info Yes Call for info 133

280 Yes No Call for info Yes Call for info 133

600 No No Call for rates No Varies 125

650 Yes No Varies Yes $9.00 + 171

712-526-2426 51496 230th Street Glenwood, IA 51534 www.thefountainsballroom.com

402-496-3000 4714 North 120th Street Omaha, NE 68164 www.thefountainsballroom.com

402-334-5446 2440 South 141st Circle Omaha, NE 68144 www.brandeiscatering.com

402-333-6615 3717 South 120th Street Omaha, NE 68144 www.germanamericansociety.org

Grand Manse Events & Lodging

Havelock Social Hall

Hidden Valley Golf Club

Hillcrest Country Club

On the National Register of Historic Places and located in the heart of downtown Lincoln, Grand Manse is where history and elegance mingle. The Jasmine Room, Grand Hall, and The Vault each offer unique settings for everything wedding! Our condo-style lodging suites offer spacious luxury to call Grand Manse home for your entire wedding weekend. Call us today for a tour and begin your forever at Grand Manse!

We dedicate ourselves to providing you with a worry-free wedding reception. With over 19 years of experience, we can help you with every detail of your special day. We provide highquality food, excellent service, and reasonable prices. Amenities include a large dance floor, separate stages for DJ and wedding party, and a large parking lot. We offer The Lincoln Room that accommodates up to 400 guests and The Havelock Room that accommodates up to 250 guests.

When looking for the perfect place for your next event, look no further than Hidden Valley Golf Club. Our beautiful country setting, located just outside the city lights, is fast becoming the destination for weddings, anniversaries, meetings, and special occasions.

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.

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

400 Yes Yes Varies No N/A 169

402-476-4560 129 North 10th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 www.grandmanse.com

250 and 400 No No $675 and $875 No $9.00-$18.25 153

402-467-3002 4538 North 62nd Street Lincoln, NE 68507 www.havelocksocialhall.com

175 Yes Yes Call for rates Yes Call for rates 148

402-434-5154 10501 Pine Lake Road Lincoln, NE 68526 www.hiddenvalleylincoln.com

300 Yes No Varies No Varies 125

402-489-7111 9401 East O Street Lincoln, NE 68520 www.hillcrestcountryclub.com neweddingday.com | 181


NWD | venue guide

Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Haymarket

Hilton Omaha

The Hilton Garden Inn, in the heart of the Historic Haymarket District, is equipped to host your wedding or event. We feature 2,500 square feet of flexible space – whether planning the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, reception or honeymoon stay. We offer on-site banquet halls, delicious food, and attentive service for your special day. Other features include in-house catering designed to deliver a seamless event and online planning tips and tools to create a personalized web page for your event. Maximum Capacity 150 Ceremony Site No Outside Caterers Welcome No Room Rental Fee Call for info Outdoor Site No Catering Price Per Person Call or email Ad Page Number 167

Elegance & Style – The perfect marriage at Hilton Omaha – the premier venue for weddings and receptions. We feature 39,000+ square feet of flexible event space including the dazzling 10,000 square-foot Grand Central Ballroom and the stunning 7,000 square-foot Blackstone Ballroom. We provide a professional coordinator to assist with planning your special day. Other features include catering by our renowned chefs and spa options in our health club. (Image by Andrea Bibeault: A Wedding Photojournalist) Maximum Capacity 700 Ceremony Site Yes Outside Caterers Welcome No Room Rental Fee Varies Outdoor Site No Catering Price Per Person Varies Ad Page Number IBC

402-676-9226 7040 North 102nd Circle Omaha, NE 68122 www.thehillsomaha.net

402-475-9000 Ext. 106 801 R Street Lincoln, NE 68508 www.haymarketdowntown.hgi.com

402-998-3400 1001 Cass Street Omaha, NE 68102 www.omaha.hilton.com

402-488-3900 8901 Augusta Drive Lincoln, NE 68526 www.himarkgolf.com

Holiday Inn Convention Center - Kearney

Holiday Inn Downtown Lincoln

il Palazzo

Kearney Country Club

Whether you are planning a casual or formal event, our experienced staff at the Holiday Inn will help you plan a reception that is uniquely yours. Wedding receptions include a personal wedding coordinator, bridal suite, tables, chairs, linens, china, set up, and clean up. From special discounted room rates to our indoor water park, the Holiday Inn is the ideal location for your guests.

The Holiday Inn is located in Lincoln’s downtown Historic Haymarket District. This unique area provides the perfect setting for your special day. Our property features three separate ballrooms ideal for wedding receptions. Our professional and experienced catering staff will help plan, design and coordinate all aspects of your reception. We also specialize in rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, gift openings, bachelor and bachelorette parties, as well as room blocks for your wedding guests.

il Palazzo is the newest venue in Omaha for weddings, prenuptials, receptions, corporate events, family reunions, vendor shows, concerts, lectures, seminars, conferences, or any special event. The beautiful Italian building has a warm inviting flair for every guest to enjoy! The large banquet room can accommodate 325-375 seated guests and the smaller banquet room can seat 75-150 guests for a total of 525-600 guests.

We are the perfect size to host your rehearsal dinner, smaller wedding, and bridal showers. We also have the potential to offer outdoor capabilities for your reception and ceremony.

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

The Hills Event Center Our newly renovated 9,000-square-foot venue will make your jaw drop! With romantic ceiling drapery, gorgeous chandeliers, and a lovely focal wall, The Hills is the perfect space for your event. Enjoy your whole day with us in our wedding suites - which includes the Groom’s Headquarters with a big-screen TV and pool table, three dressing rooms, a main reception area, and a private bridal room. Within walking distance to Holiday Inn Express.

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

400 Yes Yes Call for rates Yes N/A 159

500 No No N/A N/A Varies 7

308-234-2212 110 2nd Avenue Kearney, NE 68847 www.younes.com

182 | nebraska weddingday

500 Yes No Call for rates No Call for info 151

402-475-1038 141 North 9th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 www.holiday-inn.com/lincolnne

50-858 Yes No Email for info No Email for info 169

402-493-8888 5110 North 132nd Street Omaha, NE 68164 www.omahapalazzo.com

HiMark Golf Course HiMark Golf Course and Banquet Facility features two beautifully decorated banquet rooms. We can accommodate groups of all sizes for your rehearsal dinner or wedding reception. Our experienced staff will work with you to customize your event, making it everything you have imagined. Amenities include linens, table settings, centerpieces, dance floor, bar services, ample parking, and an amazing golf course view as the perfect backdrop for photos. Maximum Capacity Ceremony Site Outside Caterers Welcome Room Rental Fee Outdoor Site Catering Price Per Person Ad Page Number

100-400 No No Varies No Email for info 135

160 Yes No Varies No $15.00-$22.00 162

308-234-3151 Ext. 24 2800 19th Avenue Kearney, NE 68845 www.kearneycountryclub.com


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Lauritzen Gardens

Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm

Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall

Located on 98 acres in the rolling hills of southeast Nebraska, Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard offers a peaceful and unique setting for your special day. The picturesque views of our orchard also offer a beautiful backdrop for any wedding, reception or rehearsal dinner.

Simply elegant. Naturally beautiful. When a perfect event is ready to bloom, there is no better place than Lauritzen Gardens. Located in Omaha’s beautiful riverfront hills, timeless beauty is in constant evolution at this urban oasis. The garden offers a variety of stunning indoor facilities and ever-changing outdoor gardens. From small, intimate gatherings to large, festive celebrations, our experienced staff will work with you to customize your event details and bring your vision to life.

The Lied Lodge & Conference Center is the perfect backdrop for your special day. From large, lavish affairs to small and simple ceremonies, Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm have wedding spaces you’ll love. Choose from rustic barns, elegant ballrooms, a historic mansion, or a private place among the trees. The options are many and the memories will last a lifetime. Our on-site wedding coordinator leads a team of professionals in creating the wedding day of your dreams.

The Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall has a large entertainment space that can accommodate up to 300 people for your reception, and even your ceremony. We offer modern conveniences and affordable elegance to create the perfect atmosphere for your special day! Amenities include all-day access, table/chair set up, choice of your own caterer, use of our kitchen, projector and screen, bar service with staff included, centerpiece items, decorating/lighting options, and 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

Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard

150-200 Yes Yes $500-$750 Yes N/A 152

10-300 Yes No $500-$4,250 Yes Varies 128

280 Yes No Varies Yes $25.95 + 166

300 Yes Yes Call or email No N/A 143

402-873-5293 5995 G Road Nebraska City, NE 68410 www.kimmelorchard.org

402-346-4002 100 Bancroft Street Omaha, NE 68108 www.lauritzengardens.org

402-873-8733 2700 Sylvan Road Nebraska City, NE 68410 www.liedlodge.org

402-477-6001 241 Victory Lane Lincoln, NE 68528 www.firefighterhall.com

Livestock Exchange Building

The Living Room

Magnolia Hotel

Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory

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, makes 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.

Located in a former furniture factory, our industrial aesthetic is something you won’t find anywhere else. Natural light pours on our exposed timbers and uncovered brick through clerestory windows, making The Living Room the perfect place to hold your unique event. The space is equipped with a state-of-the-art audio/visual system along with many other amenities. We host weddings, corporate events, and anything in between. Call or visit the website to schedule a tour today.

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 begin here.

Host your event in an environment unlike any other in Omaha. From tropical gardens with soaring palms and vibrant flowers, to temperate gardens with moss-covered oak trees and blooming azaleas, to an ever-changing gallery space for magnificent floral displays and private events, the Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory offers a wealth of opportunities to host spectacular events under glass.

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

150-560 No No Call for rates No Varies 125

402-334-5446 4920 South 30th Street Omaha, NE 68107 www.brandeiscatering.com

150-450 Yes Yes $600-$2,800 Yes N/A Seasonal Insert

402-739-9154 1111 North 13th Street Omaha, NE 68102 livingroomomaha.com

250 Yes No Call for rates Yes Call for rates 198

402-231-6040 1615 Howard Street Omaha, NE 68102 www.magnoliahotels.com

150 Yes No $750-$2,000 Yes Varies 128

402-346-4002 100 Bancroft Street Omaha, NE 68108 www.lauritzengardens.org neweddingday.com | 183


NWD | venue guide

Meadows Community Center

Nebraska Champions Club

The Nebraska Club

The Meadows Community Center is an affordable venue for weddings, receptions, rehearsal dinners, and bridal showers. We provide a cozy unique venue with a personal atmosphere for your event. The Community Center is located in a quiet subdivision within the Millard area near I-80, Exit 440. Amenities include kitchen use, tables and chairs for up to 76, as well as rentals of audio/visual equipment, portable bar, table linens, and chair covers.

Your day. Your design. Our execution. Your vision comes to life at the Mid-America Center. Any budget, any size, our talented staff makes your inspired wedding a reality with decor and catering that’s uniquely you.

The Nebraska Champions Club is 50 feet from the west entrance of Memorial Stadium. Floor-toceiling windows on the east side of the club provide guests with a close-up view of the home of the Huskers. Free parking, multiple catering options, high-definition video wall, and an event manager on-site will make your day unique. Event space is open to the public with discounts for NCC members and Nebraska Alumni Association members.

Our 20th floor view of downtown Lincoln, along with our outstanding kitchen and professional approach to events, has made The Nebraska Club a traditional location for events, banquets, rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions. From expert culinary advice to the flawless coordination of event details, we will help make your special day one everyone will 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

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

135 Yes Yes Call for rates Yes N/A 198

Mid-America Center

50-1,000 Yes No Call for rates No Call for rates 173

350 Yes No Call for rates No $16.00 + 167

250-300 Yes No Call for info No Varies 162

402-895-2568 13937 Meadow Ridge Road Omaha, NE 68138 www.meadowscommunitycenter.com

712-326-2268 One Arena Way Council Bluffs, IA 51501 www.midamericacenter.com

402-472-6435 707 Stadium Drive Lincoln, NE 68508 www.huskeralum.org/venues

402-476-3228 233 South 13th Street, 20th Floor U.S. Bank Building, Lincoln, NE 68508 www.nebraskaclub.net

Omaha Marriott Hotel

Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium

Omar Arts & Events

The Pella at Blackstone

Located in beautiful Regency, the Omaha Marriott is a full-service hotel that is dedicated to assisting you with every detail of your special celebration! Whether you are planning a rehearsal dinner, ceremony, or wedding reception, we have the perfect formal Grand Ballroom and elegant outdoor courtyard to accommodate your every need. Your JOY will last a lifetime, and will begin with us at the Omaha Marriott Hotel. Call today to arrange your private tour!

Say “I do” at the Zoo and make your wedding a day to remember! Have your ceremony and reception at one of the unique locations that Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium has to offer. We offer upscale indoor and outdoor locations for your special day including the Scott Aquarium, Garden of the Senses, and our Education Conference Center to name a few. Celebrate with us and make your dream day come true!

Omar Arts & Events is Omaha’s newest and most interesting venue – a completely renovated, 1923 Art-Deco Bakery. The venue is complete with state-of-the-art A/V, a catering kitchen, a beautiful art-deco bar, tables and chairs, a bridal lounge, and free parking.

The Pella at Blackstone has over 5,000 square feet of usable space and over 50-foot ceilings. The unique aesthetic combines elements of rustic, modern, and industrial architecture. This venue is spacious with a versatile design. There is a private bridal suite for getting ready. Loft space provides additional seating or a unique place for guests to hangout. Nearby hotel space is available and there is plenty of parking for all of your guests.

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

50-350 Yes No Varies Yes Varies 146

402-516-3617 10220 Regency Circle Omaha, NE 68114 www.omahamarriott.com

184 | nebraska weddingday

325 Yes Yes $1,500-$3,500 Yes N/A 121

402-738-2088 3701 South 10th Street Omaha, NE 68107 www.omahazoo.com

550 Yes Yes Call for info No N/A 165

402-905-9511 4383 Nicholas Street, Suite 230 Omaha, NE 68131 www.omarevents.com

250-300 Yes No Email for info No Email for info 131

402-342-1403 303 South 41st Street Omaha, NE 68131 www.thepellaatblackstone.com


virtual tours @ neweddingday.com | NWD

The Players Club

Quality Inn and Conference Center Ogallala

Ralston Arena

Ramada Plaza Omaha Hotel & Convention Center

Choose The Players Club Golf and Country Club for your special day and let our professional staff ensure that it’s a memorable and stress-free occasion. All weddings include linens, tables, chairs, china, a wedding coordinator, and a dance floor. Non-members are welcome! Please call today for specials and to arrange your private tour!

With full service catering and beverage service, Quality Inn Ogallala is an elegant, no-hassle venue for your wedding reception. We offer a wide variety of menus to fit your theme and your budget. Our mission is to produce an event that is entirely about you. Contact us to schedule your event and obtain group rates on hotel rooms for your guests. Mention Nebraska WeddingDay and get a free night in the Bridal Suite.

Sleek. Modern. Perfect. Create years of memories in the heart of the Omaha Metro at the Wiebe-Ralston Banquet Hall. Our team of wedding and catering professionals will guide you every step of the way to create the perfect, one-of-a-kind setting that is truly all about you. Within walking distance of the Holiday Inn Express Ralston, we can accommodate guests both locally and from out of town.

Details should be your last worry! Make planning simple by taking advantage of all the services and amenities we have to offer in our newly-renovated hotel. 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 will take care of all 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

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 Yes No Call for rates Yes $19.99 + 157

300 Yes No $450 No Call for info 166

300 Yes No Call for info No Varies 171

1,400 Yes No Varies No Call for rates 3

402-963-9950 12101 Deer Creek Drive Omaha, NE 68142 www.playersclubomaha.com

308-284-3623 201 Chuckwagon Road Ogallala, NE 69153 www.qualityinn.com/hotel-ogallala-nebraska-NE100

402-934-9966 7300 Q Street Omaha, NE 68127 www.ralstonarena.com

402-393-3950 3321 South 72nd Street Omaha, NE 68124 www.ramadaplazaomaha.com

Regency Lodge Hotel

Rule G

Sandhills Convention Center

Scott Conference Center

Distinctive surroundings, extraordinary events ... Regency Lodge Hotel is the perfect Omaha wedding location. From the ceremony to the reception, enjoy exceptional accommodations in a unique atmosphere. Regency Lodge will assist you in creating memories that will last a lifetime. Located in west-central Omaha, we can accommodate up to 250 guests and provide you with all the amenities necessary to ensure a successful event.

We bring the ultimate event venue to the Railyard in Lincoln’s Haymarket, featuring three unique areas – Rooftop Patio, Spin Room, and Ultra Lounge. The Rooftop Patio is the perfect setting for a wedding reception or rehearsal dinner, with an incredible view and outdoor air conditioning/heating. We offer full-service event planning with attention to detail and superior service. Whether planning a wedding for 50 or 250, we can customize a package to include food and beverage services for your special day.

The Sandhills Convention Center is the perfect setting that offers impeccable service for your special day. Our guests have come to appreciate and expect the personalized attention, professional service, and quality of food for which we are known. Our experienced wedding coordinators will work closely with you to create a carefree, wonderful day, filled with memories to be treasured for a lifetime. Great events don’t just happen, the Sandhills Convention Center makes them happen!

The Scott Conference Center is the ideal backdrop for an unforgettable reception. Our beautiful, versatile space can accommodate up to 500 guests. An on-site coordinator is with you from the moment the first guest arrives until the lights are turned off. Our talented culinary team is excited to execute a perfected menu or create items unique to your tastes. At the Scott Conference Center, you’ll end your big day with a night 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

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

250 Yes No Call for rates Yes Call for rates 123

402-397-8971 909 South 107th Avenue Omaha, NE 68114 www.regencylodge.com/weddings-meetings-en.html

25-300 No No Call for rates Yes $15.00-$35.00 + 174

402-310-3222 350 Canopy Street, Suite 300 Lincoln, NE 68508 www.rulegnightclub.com

700 Yes No $450-$1,400 No $14.95 + 175

308-535-6162 2102 South Jeffers Street North Platte, NE 69101 www.sandhillcc.com

500 Yes No Email for info No $19.00 + 149

402-778-6317 6450 Pine Street Omaha, NE 68106 www.scottcenter.com neweddingday.com | 185


NWD | venue guide

The Scoular Ballroom

Sheraton Omaha Hotel

Simply Ballroom

Slattery Vintage Estates

The Scoular Ballroom shines as a hidden gem within the historic Scoular Building. Behold the sophisticated elegance – from magnificent Italian marble floors in the atrium to fairytale balconies overlooking the spacious ballroom. A banquet room sits adjacent to the ballroom. Couples hosting both their ceremony and reception will enjoy two luxurious bridal suites for the wedding party to prepare. Our professional team is dedicated to making your special occasion seamless and memorable.

Plan your perfect wedding celebration at Sheraton Omaha Hotel and enjoy 10,000 square feet of flexible meeting space, a personalized wedding specialist, custom wedding packages, and complimentary selfparking for all guests.

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!

Situated in the scenic Weeping Water Valley, between Lincoln and Omaha, SVE is a beautiful setting for a ceremony, reception, rehearsal dinner, or bridal shower. Inspired by the French countryside, your romantic day includes access to the entire 164 acres of beauty, and photography opportunities abound. The Banquet Hall provides an indoor/outdoor space with views on every side, French doors to a covered veranda, and fireplaces for cozy comfort. Full food and beverage service available.

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

370 Yes No Call for rates No Varies 127

220 Yes No Call for rates Yes Call for rates 177

150-300 Yes Yes $650-$1,200 No N/A 149

80-200 Yes Yes Varies Yes $15.00-$25.00 153

402-449-1424 2027 Dodge Street Omaha, NE 68102 www.scoularballroom.com

402-516-1246 655 North 108th Avenue Omaha, NE 68154 www.sheratonomaha.com

402-933-6678 2679 Farnam Street, Suite 204 Omaha, NE 68131 www.simply-ballroom.com

402-267-5267 8925 Adams Street Nehawka, NE 68413 www.svevineyards.com

The Thompson Center

Tiburon Golf Club

TipTop Ballroom

Tower Hall Banquet Facility

Celebrate your special day at The Thompson Center! Our elegant, affordable facility accommodates as many as 350 guests, is beautifully decorated, centrally located, and perfect for weddings, receptions, and prenuptial dinners. Your family and friends will enjoy our country club-like atmosphere, professional and friendly service, and outstanding catering. Outdoor weddings are our specialty – many couples have exchanged vows under our beautiful canopy of shade trees. See it today! (Image by Ben Semisch Photography) Maximum Capacity 350 Ceremony Site Yes Outside Caterers Welcome No Room Rental Fee Varies Outdoor Site Yes Catering Price Per Person $18.95 + Ad Page Number 163

Tiburon is a full-service banquet facility. The Great White Ballroom can accommodate up to 400 guests with breathtaking views. We have a new outdoor ceremony site that can seat up to 300 guests. Easy access off I-80 and Hwy 370 on 168th Street.

The TipTop Ballroom is located North of downtown on 15th & Cuming Streets in the new NoDo area of Omaha. The Grand Ballroom is a perfect location for your memorable wedding reception. Amenities included in our wedding package: professional staff on-site for the setup through the cleanup of your reception, experienced culinary team, and complimentary experienced bartenders.

Tower Hall offers you the opportunity to create the special event you’ve always wanted at an affordable price. With in-house and off-site catering, seating for 450 and hundreds of decorations for you to choose from, we invite you to view Tower Hall, conveniently located just ten minutes from downtown Lincoln.

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

402-554-3368 6705 Dodge Street Omaha, NE 68182 www.thethompsoncenter.org

402-896-1323 10302 South 168th Street Omaha, NE 68136 www.tiburongolf.com

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400 Yes No $900-$1,800 Yes $18.25-$24.95 1

700 No No Call for rates No Varies 125

402-334-5446 1502 Cuming Street Omaha, NE 68102 www.brandeiscatering.com

450 Yes No Call for rates Yes Call for rates 163

402-432-3807 108 North East Street Malcolm, NE 68402 www.towerhall.net


virtual tours @ neweddingday.com | NWD

UNMC Truhlsen Campus Events Center

Venue Restaurant & Lounge

VFW Post 2503

Warehouse No. 4

Housed in the Michael F. Sorrell Center on UNMC’s campus, the Events Center is an affordable and spacious venue that features modern architecture with neutral colors throughout, an atrium with large glass windows, the option to select from a preferred caterer list, and accommodates up to 350 guests.

Our three gorgeous rooms, along with our off-site catering, are perfect for your special day! In-house, Venue Restaurant & Lounge is able to accomodate up to 80 guests. Our off-site catering services are capable of accommodating 500 guests.

Budget friendly. Bring your own food. Dance floor. Our two spacious ballrooms and garden patio include a dance floor, entertainment stage, private bar and ample parking. Our rental-room coordinator is pleased to help with planning details and making sure your event runs smoothly. We offer Internet access, big-screen T.V. and sound system for wedding slide shows.

Located in the lower level of the old Spaghetti Works building at 12th and Q Streets in Lincoln, Warehouse No. 4 has true rustic, urban charm! The space features distressed brick walls, exposed industrial ceilings, and a 100-year-old antique bar. Just one block from the UNL campus, it is the perfect setting for your romantic celebration.

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

50-350 Yes Yes Email for info No N/A 198

402-559-5192 619 South 42nd Street Omaha, NE 68198 www.unmc.edu/eventscenter/

Wick Alumni Center

80 No No Call for info No Call for info 148

402-488-8368 4111 Pioneer Woods Drive Lincoln, NE 68506 www.yourvenue.net

10-500 Yes Yes $325-$550 Yes Varies 198

402-943-9067 8904 Military Road Omaha, NE 68134 www.vfwpost2503.org

250 Yes Yes Varies No N/A 169

402-476-4560 228 North 12th Street Lincoln, NE 68508 www.warehouseno4.com

Wilderness Ridge

Yankee Hill Country Club

Younes Conference Center

The campus home of alumni and friends, the Wick Alumni Center features contemporary design, soaring windows and three-story cathedral ceilings. The building is open to the public for reception rentals with discounts for Nebraska Alumni Association members.

Our grand Yellowstone Ballroom features a fireplace and wraparound 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.

Yankee Hill Country Club features spacious banquet rooms with magnificent golf course views at our private club available for public rentals. Whether you are looking for a venue to hold your reception, rehearsal dinner or bridal shower, we have the perfect space for you. Our experienced staff will work with you to make your event as perfect as you imagined. Amenities include linens, table settings, centerpieces, dance floor, bar service, and a patio with scenic golf course views.

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 on-site catering, discounted room rates for your guests in any of Younes Hospitality’s five adjacent hotels, and a complimentary guest suite for the bride and groom. 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

275 Yes No Call for rates Yes $16.00 + 175

402-472-6435 1520 R Street Lincoln, NE 68508 www.huskeralum.org/venues

250 Yes No Varies Yes Call for info 153

402-434-5121 1800 Wilderness Woods Place Lincoln, NE 68512 www.wildernessridgegolf.com

40-275 No No Varies No Email for info 135

402-488-3900 7600 San Mateo Lane Lincoln, NE 68516 www.yankeehillcc.com

1,000 No No Varies No Varies 7

308-234-7300 510 Talmadge Road Kearney, NE 68845 www.younes.com neweddingday.com | 187


WEDDING WRAP-UP Tying up loose ends after the celebration

A good time was had by all, yet a few tasks still remain. To wrap things up once the wedding festivities have concluded, just follow these simple steps for stressfree handling of the final details.

RENTAL RETURNS You may have a few rental items, such as linens and cake stands, to return to your rental company. If this is the case, designate a family member or friend to gather the rentals as directed and return them on the first business day following your wedding. If rented, your groom’s tux will also need to be returned. Often policies require all rentals to be returned the next day as most formal attire shops are open on the weekends. Make certain to check any pockets for keys, money, heirloom handkerchiefs or other items. Ask your father or father-in-law to return your groom’s tux along with his. If you plan to open gifts with family over brunch the day after your wedding, this is a perfect opportunity for the men to hand off their rentals to the designated person for an easy return.

CLEAN UP Items like picture frames, guest cards, table numbers and other décor will be left at your reception venue. Many venues allow you to store these leftover items with them until the following day, allowing your wedding night to be stress free. Remember to ask a family member or friend to pick up these items and/or discard them following your wedding day. Make a list of items you would like to keep as well as those that should be wrapped or packaged in a specific manner.

CHANGING YOUR NAME Often, the most tedious process after the wedding day is the steps required to change your name. If you plan to take your husband’s name, you will need to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration, your bank and your insurance agency in the weeks following your wedding. For an easy how-to, just check out our “Ms. to Mrs. Guide” in FROM OUR NOTEBOOK at the back of this issue. There you will find an overview for handling changes to insurance, financial planning and banking.

PRESERVATION You spent significant time and money selecting and purchasing your wedding gown. Before hanging it up in a closet and forgetting about it, consider taking your bridal gown to a professional cleaner who specializes in stain removal and preservation. These professionals know how Image by Elayne Woods Photography

188 | nebraska weddingday


Image by Gleason Photography

to thoroughly clean your gown, treat it for stains, and preserve it – allowing you to enjoy it well beyond your special day. Your floral bouquet can also be transformed into a precious keepsake with floral preservation techniques. Have your bouquet treated and preserved in a shadow box, along with any jewelry or wedding-day mementos. This is perfect for preserving a special heirloom you wish to cherish for years to come.

THANK-YOU NOTES The general rule for preparing thank-you notes after the wedding is to handwrite and mail them no later than eight weeks following the wedding. If you receive any gifts prior to your wedding day, you should immediately send a thank-you note acknowledging the gift’s arrival. Avoid writing generic thank-you notes. Your guests have taken time to select a special gift for you, so mention the gift and also how you plan to use it. If you wish, you can also include a special memory you shared on your wedding day. Guests will recognize and appreciate the care and kindness that went into personalizing their note. |NWD|

Image by Jessica Blex Photography & Design

visit us online @

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from our notebook we gathered the most helpful information, guides and tools from our notebook to ease your wedding-planning journey

The Wedding To|Do List Use this checklist as a step-by-step guide for planning your wedding day. Discover additional bridal tools, inspiration galleries and premier wedding vendors at neweddingday.com.

NINE TO TWELVE MONTHS PRIOR

SIX TO NINE MONTHS PRIOR

Announce engagement

Select and book ceremony musician and/or vocalist

Start gift registry, if having an engagement party

Select and book reception entertainment

Begin wedding workout routine

Select and order bridal gown

Research legalities, especially if choosing a destination wedding

Select and order bridesmaid dresses

Decide on the style, formality and size of your wedding

Compile names and addresses for guest list

Establish budget

Create gift registry

Determine expense responsibilities for each event

Schedule engagement photography session

Select options for a wedding date and check with your top venues

Select and order groom attire

Set a wedding date

Select and order groomsmen attire

Prepare tentative guest list

Discuss rehearsal dinner plans

Reserve ceremony and reception venues

Select and reserve rehearsal dinner location

Select and book wedding planner

Finalize wedding guest list

Set rehearsal date and time with officiant

Consult travel agent and book honeymoon

Determine any pre-marriage requirements, such as marriage classes

Select and book paper goods vendor

Select wedding party members and invite them to participate

Select and order save-the-date announcements

Select and book event designer Select and book photographer

FOUR TO SIX MONTHS PRIOR

Select and book videographer

Schedule hair consultation

Select color scheme

Schedule makeup consultation

Begin shopping for bridal gown

Schedule skin care assessment

Begin shopping for bridesmaid dresses

Begin skin care regimen and schedule spa services

Research and reserve caterer, if not determined by reception venue

Meet with floral designer to complete selections

Select and book floral designer

Reserve accommodations for out-of-town guests

Select and book cake artist

Reserve accommodations for wedding night

Select and book transportation for wedding day

Select and order wedding invitations

Determine rental needs and book rental company

Mail save-the-date announcements

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from our notebook

The Wedding To|Do List TWO TO THREE MONTHS PRIOR

THREE WEEKS PRIOR

Shop for wedding rings

Call guests who have not replied

Check status of wedding gift registry, update if needed

Create seating chart and escort cards

Confirm plans for bachelor and bachelorette parties

Purchase gifts for parents and spouse

Schedule hair appointment for wedding day

Purchase gifts for attendants

Schedule makeup appointment for wedding day Confirm bridal gown fittings

ONE TO TWO WEEKS PRIOR

Purchase wedding rings

Confirm all appointments

Confirm delivery date for bridesmaid dresses

Confirm all ceremony and reception details

Confirm accessory choices for bridesmaids

Confirm guest count with caterer Confirm head count and delivery time with cake artist

FOUR TO SIX WEEKS PRIOR

Finalize seating arrangements and escort cards

Address and mail wedding invitations

Finalize entertainment details

Confirm floral plans with floral designer

Finalize photography details

Finalize ceremony music selections

Finalize videography details

Finalize readings and ceremony details with officiant

Finalize transportation needs

Design and execute signage for wedding decor

Confirm guest accommodations

Prepare song list for deejay or band

Confirm honeymoon reservations

Develop wedding-day schedule and send to vendors Compile RSVP guest list

WEDDING WEEK

Pick up wedding bands

Pick up groom and groomsmen attire

Obtain marriage license

Assign post-wedding tasks to wedding party

Pick up bridal gown

Prepare envelopes with tips and payments for wedding day

AFTER THE WEDDING Return rentals Return groom and groomsmen attire Gather decor from reception venue Ensure wedding vendors are paid in full Write and mail thank-you notes Arrange for bridal gown to be cleaned and preserved

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from our notebook

Registry Guide Whether you are in need of the basics or already have a head start on your home, your registry allows guests to easily gift you all the essentials you’ll need. Create a complete registry that provides various options and price points. We have listed some of our registry essentials to assist you in the selection process.

KITCHEN

DINING

BED & BATH

stand mixer

dinnerware settings (8 to12)

pillows (4)

food processor

cups and saucers (8 to12)

pillow shams (2 to 4 sets)

toaster

drinking glasses (8 to12)

pillowcases (2 to 4 sets)

blender

red wineglasses (8 to12)

flat sheets (2 sets)

coffeemaker

white wineglasses (8 to12)

fitted sheets (2 sets)

coffee grinder

champagne flutes (8 to12)

bed skirt

electric kettle

mugs (8 to12)

winter duvet

can opener

sets of silverware (8 to12)

summer duvet

waffle maker

steak knives (8 to12)

duvet cover

slow cooker

serving utensils

cotton or wool blankets (2)

knife set

salad bowl and servers

alarm clock

skillets (2)

serving dishes

bedside lamps (2)

cutting board set

serving platters (2)

clothes hamper

2-quart saucepan

chip & dip set

bath towels (6)

6-quart saucepan

cake stand

hand towels (6)

multipurpose pots (2)

pitchers (2)

washcloths (6)

glass bakeware set

decanter

bath rugs (2)

nonstick bakeware set

teapot

bath mat

cookie sheets (2)

cloth napkins (8 to12)

shower curtains (1 to 2)

muffin pan

napkin rings (8 to12)

shower curtain hardware

baking pan

place mats (8 to12)

lotion dispenser

round cake pan (2)

tablecloths (2)

soap dish

cooling rack (2)

trivets (2)

tissue holder

set of measuring spoons

toothbrush holder

set of mixing bowls

wastebasket

set of wet measuring cups

storage baskets

set of dry measuring cups

storage baskets (4 to 6)

magnifying mirror

salt shaker/pepper grinder

candles and holders

scale

serving spoons (3)

wall clock

wooden spoons (2)

wall mirrors

whisk

framed art

ice cream scoop & bowls

photo frames

vacuum cleaner

ice cream maker

coasters

grill

spice rack

decorative bowls

grilling tools

oven mitts (2)

decorative vases

gardening tools

dish towels/cloths (4)

throw pillows

garden hose and hose reel

paper towel/napkin holder

throw blanket

handyman tools

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HOME DECOR

HOME CARE


from our notebook

Invitation Guide Whether formal or casual, contemporary or classic, refined or quaint - the first impression of your wedding is made by your paper goods, from save-the-dates to your wedding invitations. Below we have outlined a variety of scenarios to serve as a helpful guide.

HOSTED BY BRIDE’S PARENTS

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Williams request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Vivien Mae to Jackson Christopher Bennett Saturday, the twenty-sixth of June two thousand and fifteen at six o’clock Sacred Heart Catholic Church Omaha, Nebraska

WHEN DIVORCED PARENTS SEND A JOINT INVITATION Ms. Evelyn Williams [Mrs. Evelyn Stevens, if remarried] and Oliver Michael Williams request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Vivien Mae to Jackson Christopher Bennett +

MILITARY TITLES FOR THE BRIDE OR GROOM HOSTED BY BOTH SETS OF PARENTS Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Williams request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Vivien Mae to Jackson Christopher Bennett son of Mr. and Mrs. Jonathon Bennett Saturday, the twenty-sixth of June two thousand and fifteen at six o’clock Sacred Heart Catholic Church Omaha, Nebraska

HOSTED BY RELATIVES

The relationship between the host and the bride replaces “their daughter” on the invitation.

Mr. and Mrs. Oliver Williams request the honour of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Commander Vivien Mae Williams United States Army to Major Jackson Christopher Bennett United States Navy +

WHEN PARENTS, THE BRIDE OR GROOM HAVE PROFESSIONAL TITLES Doctor and Mrs. Oliver Williams request the honour of your presence, OR Doctor Evelyn Williams and Mr. Oliver Williams request the honour of your presence, +

HOSTED BY THE WEDDING COUPLE

The honour of your presence is requested at the marriage of Ms. Vivien Mae Williams to Mr. Jackson Christopher Bennett Saturday, the twenty-sixth of June two thousand and fifteen +

WHEN A PARENT IS DECEASED

The pleasure of your company is requested at the marriage of Vivien Mae daughter of Oliver Williams and the late Evelyn Williams to Jackson Christopher Bennett +

WHEN BOTH THE MOTHER AND FATHER ARE DOCTORS Doctor Oliver Williams and Doctor Evelyn Williams request the honour of your presence, +

MILITARY TITLES FOR PARENTS

Captain and Mrs. Oliver Williams request the honour of your presence, OR Mr. Oliver Williams and Major Evelyn Williams request the honour of your presence, +

+ Insert additional details such as day, date, time, place, city and state, as shown in the first two examples.

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from our notebook

Seating Guide Seating charts are not only practical, but they ensure that your guests feel welcome and at ease when finding their seats at your reception. Create your seating chart a week prior to your wedding, allowing for last-minute changes in attendance. Here are some simple tips and tricks for getting started.

CREATING & ORGANIZING THE LIST Create an Excel file with your wedding guests. We suggest using the template below.

GUEST NAME

TABLE NUMBER

MEAL CHOICE

RELATIONSHIP

Rachael Williams

7

beef

sister

Sarah Bennett

9

chicken

sister-in-law

Michael Johnson

8

beef

friend

Liz Johnson

7

vegetarian

friend

Lily Jensen

7

chicken

cousin

Macy Jensen

7

vegetarian

cousin

Mary Jensen

7

chicken

aunt

Each guest’s name is recorded in the first column with a table number designated in the second column. The next column should list the menu choice (when appropriate) as indicated on their RSVP card. The last column is ideal for noting the relationship to the couple. For example, “family,” “wedding party,” “friend of bride” and “friend of groom” can be useful, especially when working with a large guest list.

ASSIGNING SEATS When your spreadsheet is complete, you can begin assigning a seat to each guest. We suggest working in this order:

Wedding Party: Assign your bridesmaids, groomsmen and ushers first. Remember to include yourself as well. Immediate Family: Group immediate family members together. Ask your parents with whom they wish to share a table. Family: Place your cousins, aunts and uncles once you have assigned your immediate family. Friends: Group friends together by social circles. Seat your high school friends together, coworkers together, etc. Family Friends: Place other guests together by shared interests or hometowns. If you are unable to completely fill a table, leave a few open seats for last-minute replies. Highlight the open seats on your Excel spreadsheet so as your day approaches you will easily identify the tables that are incomplete. At that point, you can either remove the highlighted fields or fill in additional guests as you see fit. Include one or two empty tables for guests who may have forgotten to RSVP or who are able to attend at the last minute. Finally, sort your chart by “Table Number” so each table is grouped together. Do a final count to ensure each table has the correct amount of guests. Also, verify guest names are accurate if you are printing escort cards from the Excel file.

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from our notebook

Beverage Guide When providing your own alcohol and bartending service, estimate about one drink per person per hour. Always offer non-alcoholic options as well. To control costs when hosting the bar, we suggest offering beer, wine and a signature drink. Your beverage caterer can advise you on appropriate alcohol quantities.

NUMBER OF GUESTS

50

100

150

200

Wine

30 bottles

60 bottles

90 bottles

120 bottles

Champagne

12 bottles

24 bottles

36 bottles

48 bottles

Liquor

6 bottles per hour

12 bottles per hour

18 bottles per hour

24 bottles per hour

Mixers

17 liters per hour

34 liters per hour

50 liters per hour

67 liters per hour

Limes

13

Olives + Cherries

25

5 jars of each

10 jars of each

38

50

15 jars of each

20 jars of each

Cocktail Napkins

150

300

450

600

Ice

25 lbs

50 lbs

75 lbs

100 lbs

Cocktail Guide The search is over for that perfect signature drink! Check out these three delicious recipes below. They’re simple, inexpensive and definite crowd pleasers.

Cranberry Kiss

Bridal Blush

Peach Bellini

3/4 ounce spiced rum 2 ounces collins mix 2 ounces cranberry juice 1 lemon wedge, squeezed

1 1/2 ounces vodka 3/4 ounce triple sec 3 ounces pink lemonade splash of grenadine

1 ounce peach schnapps 1 ounce peach nectar 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice 3 ounces sparkling white wine

stir & serve over ice

stir & serve over ice

stir gently & serve

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from our notebook

Weather Guide Follow our guide for a brief summary of probable weather conditions to avoid any complications during your wedding day. Remember to consider a back-up plan for outdoor weddings in the event the weather does not cooperate.

JANUARY Average Temperature: 39 (high) / 10 (low) Average Precipitation: 0.63 inches Low Humidity Moderate chance of snow Moderate breeze

APRIL

FEBRUARY Average Temperature: 40 (high) / 18 (low) Average Precipitation: .079 inches Low Humidity Chance of snow Moderate breeze

MARCH Average Temperature: 52 (high) / 28 (low) Average Precipitation: 1.93 inches Minimal Humidity Possibility of severe weather Light to moderate breeze

MAY

Average Temperature: 68 (high) / 45 (low) Average Precipitation: 3.15 inches Minimal Humidity Possibility of severe weather Light to moderate breeze

JULY Average Temperature: 90 (high) / 66 (low) Average Precipitation: 3.5 inches Hot & Humid Chance of thunderstorms Breezy

OCTOBER

Average Temperature: 75 (high) / 50 (low) Average Precipitation: 5.0 inches Moderate Humidity Possibility of severe weather Light to moderate breeze

JUNE Average Temperature: 85 (high) / 60 (low) Average Precipitation: 3.5 inches Warm & Slightly Humid Srong possibility of severe weather Breezy

AUGUST Average Temperature: 87 (high) / 63 (low) Average Precipitation: 3.5 inches Hot & Humid Strong possibility of severe weather Low wind conditions

SEPTEMBER Average Temperature: 77 (high) / 53 (low) Average Precipitation: 2.92 inches Low Humidity Slight possibility of severe weather High wind conditions

DECEMBER

NOVEMBER

Average Temperature: 66 (high) / 40 (low) Average Precipitation: 2.1 inches Minimal Humidity Low possibility of severe weather Breezy

Average Temperature: 50 (high) / 27 (low) Average Precipitation: 1.3 inches Low Humidity Chance of snow Breezy

Average Temperature: 35 (high) / 15 (low) Average Precipitation: 0.9 inches Low Humidity Moderate chance of snow Strong wind conditions

Tipping Guide Your wedding vendors have assisted you every step of the way. Use our tipping guide to show your appreciation for their outstanding efforts.

Photographer / Videographer: A personal gift is appropriate given at the beginning of the day Hair / MakeUp: 15 - 20% given after final service Transportation: When not included, 15 - 20% of fee given after final transportation Officiant / Clergy: A donation is appropriate given before the ceremony Ceremony Musician(s): Optional, 15 - 20% of fee given after the ceremony Band: Optional, $20 - $50 per musician given after the reception Deejay: Optional, $25 - $150 given after the reception Reception / Catering Staff: When not included, 15 - 20% given after the reception Wedding Planner: 15% of fee at time of payment or personal gift at the beginning of the day

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from our notebook

Ms. to Mrs. Guide We have outlined for you the steps required to change your name. If you plan to take your husband’s name, you will need to visit the Department of Motor Vehicles, the Social Security Administration, your bank and your insurance agency in the weeks following your wedding. Below are some simple steps to help change your name with ease.

MARRIAGE LICENSE

FINANCIAL PLANNING

You will need a certified marriage license including the official seal and your new last name to change your name. You should receive this document after filing for a marriage license; but if you do not, call the county clerk’s office to follow up.

If you and your husband have recently combined bank accounts, it is a great opportunity to discuss all financial goals as well. Chances are you just returned from a honeymoon and now may wish to begin saving some money for a large purchase or new home. The key to any successful marriage is clear and open communication. Discussing your finances is crucial to a successful marriage.

SOCIAL SECURITY CARD Fill out the social security application (ssa.gov/ssnumber/) for a new social security card. Your number will remain the same, but your new name will appear on your new card. You can visit an office near you or mail your application. This process takes about ten days.

DRIVER’S LICENSE Visit your local Department of Motor Vehicles office to obtain an updated driver’s license with your new last name. You must bring your current driver’s license and official marriage certificate with you.

BANK ACCOUNT The most efficient method for changing your bank account information is to visit a local branch of your bank. Bring your new driver’s license and official marriage certificate with you. You will need to arrange for new checks, new debit cards and new credit cards.

INSURANCE After changing your last name, you will want to review your insurance needs. Meet with an insurance agent as soon as possible to combine any of your current insurance plans or to set up new coverage. You should also discuss life insurance policies and update beneficiary designations. You may not feel the need to cover this information so early in your marriage, but it is the best time to plan for your future together as husband and wife.

DEPARTMENT OF MOTOR VEHICLES OFFICE LOCATIONS OMAHA 2910 N. 108th St. Omaha, NE

GRAND ISLAND 121 S. Pine St. Grand Island, NE

PAPILLION 1210 Golden Gate Dr. Papillion, NE

KEARNEY 1512 Central Ave. Kearney, NE

LINCOLN 500 W. O St. Lincoln, NE

NORTH PLATTE 301 N. Jeffers St. North Platte, NE

SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION OFFICE LOCATIONS OMAHA 604 N. 109th Ct. Omaha, NE

GRAND ISLAND 115 N. Webb Rd. Grand Island, NE

LINCOLN 100 Centennial Mall N Lincoln, NE

NORTH PLATTE 300 E. 3rd St. North Platte, NE

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the marketplace

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Index of Wedding Professionals ALTERATIONS & CLEANERS Omaha Lace Cleaners ............................................................................................................25 Perfect Dress (the) .................................................................................................................198 Williams Cleaners ......................................................................................................................28

ART & DANCE Simply Ballroom ......................................................................................................................149

BRIDAL BOUTIQUES Avenue Bridal ..............................................................................................................................28 Blush Bridal Boutique ..............................................................................................................22 Bridal Collection (The) .............................................................................................................25 Bridal Traditions .........................................................................................................................26 Elegant Occasions Gowns ....................................................................................................26 Ellynne Bridal ..............................................................................................................................21 Hello Beautiful Bridal & Formal Wear ...............................................................................27

CAKES Alotta Brownies Bakery ...........................................................................................................64 Cake Specialist (The) ...............................................................................................................67 Cold Stone Creamery | Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory .............................129 Cuppycakes Sweet Boutique ..............................................................................................80 Le Cupcake .................................................................................................................................82 Le Petit Paris French Bakery ................................................................................................77 Mockingbird Cupcakes ..........................................................................................................67 Pettit’s Pastry ...............................................................................................................................64 Russ’s Market .............................................................................................................................77 Sweet Art Wedding Cakes ....................................................................................................62 Sweet Cakes & Roses, Inc. ................................................................................................129 Tasteful Indulgence, Cake Art of Seward .......................................................................65

Petals to Platinum .....................................................................................................................64 Sweet Cakes & Roses, Inc. ................................................................................................129 Wedding Planner Omaha, LLC (The) ............................................................................104

GUEST ACCOMMODATIONS Chase Suite Hotel .....................................................................................................................98 Divots Conference Center ..................................................................................................174 Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Haymarket ....................................................................167

HAIR Esquire Hair .................................................................................................................................12 Salon DeJa Vu ............................................................................................................................12 Salon MohVi & Spa ..................................................................................................................15 Urbane Salon & Day Spa .......................................................................................................13

HEALTH & BEAUTY Body Nouveaux Spa ................................................................................................................13 Dundee Dental Associates ....................................................................................................13 Juniper Massage & Spa with Bea You Beauty ..........................................................198 Salon MohVi & Spa ..................................................................................................................15 Westfield Plastic Surgery Center ........................................................................................11

HONEYMOON Azul Paradise ............................................................................................................................133 Cool J DJ & Karaoke ............................................................................................................124 Cornerstone Travel Group ..................................................................................................189 Dels Travel Cart .......................................................................................................................189

INSURANCE & FINANCE West Gate Bank® .....................................................................................................................94

CATERING

JEWELRY

Abraham Catering Service, Inc. ........................................................................................131 Brandeis Catering ..................................................................................................................125 Catering Creations .................................................................................................................124 Chez Hay ...................................................................................................................................152 Cold Stone Creamery | Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory .............................129 Patricia Catering ......................................................................................................................134 Venue Restaurant & Lounge .............................................................................................148

Borsheims ......................................................................................................Seasonal Section Elisa Ilana Jewelry .......................................................................................Seasonal Section Michael Tish Jewelers .............................................................................................................49 Riddle’s Jewelry ................................................Foldout after 8, 191, Seasonal Section Sartor Hamann Jewelers ........................................................................................................47

CELEBRANTS & OFFICIANTS Inclusive Life Wellness Officiants Chapel Room .........................................................37

EVENT DESIGN & PLANNING Country Elegance Special Occasions & Event Design ..........................................103 Creative Creations Omaha .................................................................................................104 Dream Big Events LLC ........................................................................................................107 Elegant Events by Kelley .....................................................................................................198 Events Etcetera .......................................................................................................................107 Floral Expressions–Kearney ..............................................................................................106 Lovestru.ck Weddings + Events ......................................................................................198 Memrical .....................................................................................................................................133 PBJ Event Planning ...............................................................................................................107 Ritz & Glitz Events ..................................................................................................................104 Special Occasion By Design .............................................................................................107 To a T Decorating ..................................................................................................................106 Wedding Planner Omaha, LLC (The) ............................................................................104

LIGHTING TMS - The Lighting Specialists ............................................................................................58

MAKEUP Ashley’s Makeup Artistry ........................................................................................................15 Esquire Hair .................................................................................................................................12 Mary Kay .......................................................................................................................................12 Salon MohVi & Spa ..................................................................................................................15 Urbane Salon & Day Spa .......................................................................................................13

MENSWEAR Hello Beautiful Bridal & Formal Wear ...............................................................................27 Mr. Tuxedo ...................................................................................................................................22 Tip Top Tux .....................................................................................40, Foldout after 40, BC

MUSIC

Cold Stone Creamery | Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory .............................129

A Sound Impression ..............................................................................................................100 A-Z Music Productions .........................................................................................................198 Complete Weddings + Events | Lincoln-Norfolk ......................................................143 Cool J DJ & Karaoke ............................................................................................................124 Harris Academy of the Arts ................................................................................................148 Marble Music ...........................................................................................................................143

FLORAL DESIGN

PAPER GOODS

FAVORS

Added Touch Flowers & Gifts (The) ..................................................................................62 blooms & bouquets ..................................................................................................................57 Divas Floral Shop and Boutique .........................................................................................77 Events Etcetera .......................................................................................................................107 Floral Expressions–Kearney ..............................................................................................106 Flowers for Special Occasions ............................................................................................58 Mulhall’s Floral ..............................................................................................Seasonal Section Petal Creations ...........................................................................................................................58

89 Invites ......................................................................................................................................94 Ally B Designs .............................................................................................................................80 Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal ............................................................................................86 Letter Bee Paperie ....................................................................................................................86 Porridge Papers .........................................................................................................................82

PARTIES & SHOWERS Junto Wine ................................................................................................................................198

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NWD | index of wedding professionals PHOTOGRAPHY Adrienne Kay Photography ...................................................................................................37 Attanasio Photography ............................................................................................................27 Bellus Photo + Film ..................................................................................................................50 Chelsie Moreland Photography ..........................................................................................63 Elayne Woods Photography .................................................................................................97 Erin Dunaway Photography ..................................................................................................50 Gleason Photography .............................................................................................................23 J.Swim Photography ................................................................................................................83 Jessica Blex Photography & Design ....................................................................................9 Kelsey Buss Photography .....................................................................................................79 Mae.Small Photography .........................................................................................................85 MaKenzi’s Photography .........................................................................................................98 Marla Austin Photography .....................................................................................................99 Megan Kovar Photography ...................................................................................................48 Moment It Clicks (The) ............................................................................................................81 Multi-Images Photography ..................................................................................................103 Nikki Moore Photography ......................................................................................................61 prairie star photography .........................................................................................................87 Sam Swartz Photography LLC .........................................................................................101 T. Free Photography ...................................................................................................................5 Taura Horn Photography ....................................................................................................145 Veramae Photography ............................................................................................................15

PRESERVATION Memories Bi-Design .................................................................................................................83 Omaha Lace Cleaners ............................................................................................................25 Williams Cleaners ......................................................................................................................28

REGISTRY Borsheims ......................................................................................................Seasonal Section Bride Star ......................................................................................................................................95 Nebraska Furniture Mart ........................................................................................................93 Ten Thousand Villages ...........................................................................................................94

REHEARSAL DINNERS Anthony’s Steakhouse .........................................................................................................131 Meadows Community Center ...........................................................................................198 Venue Restaurant & Lounge .............................................................................................148

RENTALS AAA Rents & Event Services ................................................................................................80 Chair Cover Elegance .............................................................................................................59 Creative Creations Omaha .................................................................................................104 Elite Events Rental ....................................................................................................................86 Honeyman Rent-All ...................................................................................................................65 Nostalgia Rentals .......................................................................................................................67 United Rent-All ............................................................................................................................82

TRANSPORTATION Tailored Dreams Limousines .............................................................................................100

VENUES A View in Fontenelle Hills ................................................................................................38-39 A View on State Street ......................................................................................................38-39 A View West ..........................................................................................................................38-39 Anthony’s Steakhouse .........................................................................................................131 Arbor Hall ...................................................................................................................................129 Ball Room at Round The Bend (The) ............................................................................134 Bel Air Banquet Room (The) ..............................................................................................198 Bellevue Volunteer Firefighter’s Hall ...............................................................................198 Castle Unicorn .........................................................................................................................177 Cedar Prairie Barn (The) ......................................................................................................131 Chez Hay ...................................................................................................................................152 City of Omaha Parks .............................................................................................................135 Club at Indian Creek (The) .................................................................................................155 Cornhusker Marriott Hotel (The) ......................................................................................161 Creighton University – Harper Center ...........................................................................121 Creighton University – Skutt Center ...............................................................................121

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DC Centre ..................................................................................................................................167 Divots Conference Center ..................................................................................................174 DoubleTree by Hilton Omaha Downtown ....................................................................119 Durham Museum (The) ........................................................................................................147 Embassy Suites – La Vista ..................................................................................................IFC Embassy Suites – Lincoln ....................................................................................................IFC Embassy Suites Omaha – Downtown/Old Market ...................................................IFC Founders One | Nine ...........................................................................................................124 Fountains Ballroom & Vineyard (The) ............................................................................133 Fountains Ballroom West (The) ........................................................................................133 Georgetowne Club (The) ....................................................................................................125 German-American Club .......................................................................................................171 Grand Manse Events & Lodging .....................................................................................169 Havelock Social Hall .............................................................................................................153 Hidden Valley Golf Club ......................................................................................................148 Hillcrest Country Club ..........................................................................................................125 Hills Event Center (The) .......................................................................................................159 Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Haymarket ....................................................................167 Hilton Omaha ............................................................................................................................IBC HiMark Golf Course ...............................................................................................................135 Holiday Inn Convention Center – Kearney .......................................................................7 Holiday Inn Downtown Lincoln .........................................................................................151 il Palazzo Omaha ....................................................................................................................169 Kearney Country Club ..........................................................................................................162 Kimmel Orchard & Vineyard ..............................................................................................152 Lauritzen Gardens ..................................................................................................................128 Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm ............................................166 Lincoln Firefighter’s Reception Hall ................................................................................143 Livestock Exchange Building ............................................................................................125 Living Room (The) ......................................................................................Seasonal Section Magnolia Hotel ........................................................................................................................198 Marjorie K. Daugherty Conservatory ..............................................................................128 Meadows Community Center ...........................................................................................198 Mid-America Center ..............................................................................................................173 Nebraska Champions Club ...............................................................................................167 Nebraska Club (The) .............................................................................................................162 Omaha Marriott Hotel ...........................................................................................................146 Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium .................................................................121 Omar Arts & Events ...............................................................................................................165 Pella at Blackstone (The) ....................................................................................................131 Players Club (The) ..................................................................................................................157 Quality Inn and Conference Center Ogallala ..............................................................166 Ralston Arena ...........................................................................................................................171 Ramada Plaza Omaha Hotel & Convention Center ......................................................3 Regency Lodge .......................................................................................................................123 Rule G .........................................................................................................................................174 Sandhills Convention Center .............................................................................................175 Scott Conference Center ....................................................................................................149 Scoular Ballroom (The) ........................................................................................................127 Sheraton Omaha Hotel ........................................................................................................177 Simply Ballroom ......................................................................................................................149 Slattery Vintage Estates .......................................................................................................153 Thompson Center (The) ......................................................................................................163 Tiburon Golf Club ........................................................................................................................1 TipTop Ballroom .....................................................................................................................125 Tower Hall Banquet Facility ...............................................................................................163 UNMC Truhlsen Campus Events Center .....................................................................198 Venue Restaurant & Lounge .............................................................................................148 VFW Post 2503 .......................................................................................................................198 Warehouse No. 4 ...................................................................................................................169 Wick Alumni Center ..............................................................................................................175 Wilderness Ridge ...................................................................................................................153 Yankee Hill Country Club ....................................................................................................135 Younes Conference Center .....................................................................................................7

VIDEOGRAPHY A Sound Impression ..............................................................................................................128


Nebraska Wedding Day Winter 2015  
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