After seeing how many recent engagements occurred around the holidays this year, one thing’s for sure…2014 is going to be jam packed with tons of weddings!  It is never too early to start planning for your big day, especially in light of the fact that there are so many pieces to put together to make the puzzle whole.

Choosing Your Venue

angela roeber strategic air and space museum ashland nebraskaLocated only 25 minutes from either Omaha or Lincoln, the Strategic Air & Space Museum offers a number of options for weddings and/or wedding receptions. Angela Roeber of Strategic Air & Space Museum explains, “With over 300,000 square feet of space, planning an event at our venue is easy and allows for a range of possibilities. We can accommodate groups ranging from 20 to 2,000 people, and we offer free parking for all guests, open catering, and all parties have access to our entire collection of interactive exhibits and attractions.  One of the best features of the Strategic Air & Space Museum is the glass atrium at the entrance of the Museum. This offers a unique and intimate setting for your guests underneath the SR-71 Blackbird. For larger groups you have the opportunity to rent one of the Museum’s display hangars. Both hangars allow you the opportunity to dine under the wings of our aircraft. No matter what location you choose it’s sure to be stunning and inspiring event.  Furthermore, your special touches don’t all have to revolve around your wedding day. In fact, it’s not a bad idea to add some lovin’ to your entire wedding weekend! This is because, looking back on your wedding, most of your guests will remember not only your big day, but the rehearsal dinner, sendoff brunch, and all of the hours in between as well. The Strategic Air & Space Museum, located off I-80 Exit 426, is just one of the many attractions Exit 426 has to offer.  You can literally create a wedding weekend right here with the golf, wineries, shopping and eateries available in such close proximity.  Lodging is available next door at Mahoney State Park or Carol Joy Holling.  Exit 426, along with the Strategic Air & Space Museum, is truly your wedding destination.”  Regarding some of her best advice for planning a wedding, Roeber states, “Before you start planning, ask yourself a few important questions. What kind of wedding do you want?  Think about the kind of feeling or vibe you want for your day.  Also consider if you want a church wedding or a non-religious civil ceremony. Where will you be married and have your reception?  Before you begin the venue hunt, try to narrow down the general location.  Do you want to get married where you live now, where you grew up, or maybe where you went to college?  Or how about a destination wedding?  What is important to you?  Decide together what aspects of your wedding will have the most importance.  By knowing your priorities it will help you decide where you want to spend your time and money when planning your wedding.”  She adds, “The Strategic Air & Space Museum allows for a relaxed atmosphere in an extraordinary setting.  Let us manage the details so you can spend your time enjoying your special day.”

adessa elson lied lodge omaha nebraskaArbor Day Farm/Lied Lodge is a truly magnificent and picturesque location that offers many different facets that are perfect for weddings.  Adessa Elson of Lied Lodge says, “The beautiful backdrop of Lied Lodge and Arbor Day Farm sets the scene for your special day, and our team of experienced staff members focuses on the smallest details that make your wedding an event you’ll cherish forever.  Lied Lodge’s on-site wedding specialist helps you design the perfect wedding, with such special touches as historic trolley rides, unique menu concepts, signature drinks, tree tube seedlings (gifts for your guests that they can take home and plant and remember your special day forever) and in-room gift baskets for your guests. Years of expertise and helpful guidance ensures your wedding day flows seamlessly. At Lied Lodge, you have the flexibility to customize and personalize all the details of your wedding from rehearsal dinners, to golf outings or group hikes for the wedding party, to menus tailored to suit your theme, tastes and budget. Whether you prefer the rustic charm of Steinhart Lodge, the spacious elegance of our ballrooms, or the outdoor Historic Barns, Lied Lodge offers outstanding venues for the wedding reception of your dreams.  The Historic Morton Barns located on Arbor Day Farm are by far the most popular location for a ceremony and reception.  It’s a casual, rustic location that appeals to all types of brides.”  She adds, “Planning a wedding should be the most wonderful, flawless experience.  As a Wedding Specialist, my job is to help some of the hardest decisions you have to make come easy to you!  With 15 years of experience at Lied Lodge as our Wedding Specialist, I’m very aware of what works and what doesn’t.  We always advise our clients not to stress the small stuff.  Weather is the leading cause of stress, so keep in mind that it’s nothing you can change–just accept “Plan B” and get on with the best day of your life! Moreover, it is SO important to plan your wedding as early as possible.  Weddings have lots of moving parts and pieces; as long as all your vendors are in sync, your wedding day should be stress free.  It takes precise planning to get 5 to 10 vendors to work well and efficiently together but as long as these individuals are aware of the same timeline and events, it should all go according to your plan!  Remember, the vendors you have hired typically do weddings every weekend, so it is a great idea to take advice from them and really listen to what they have to say. 9 times out of 10, they will be right on the mark!”

If you are looking for a lovely, chic setting for your rehearsal dinner, bridal shower, for gathering your wedding party or family members on other occasions leading up to the wedding, or for smaller reception events, Salt 88 is an excellent choice.  They offer a private party room that seats up to 40 people, and also offer three large flat screen TVs that are synced so that someone in the bridal party can put together a slide show of the bride, groom and their family and friends throughout the years to feature during a rehearsal dinner, bridesmaid luncheon, bachelorette party, or special wedding-related gathering. Jennifer Horvatinovich of Salt 88 says, “We always encourage our guests to book their date and time as soon as possible, and the same goes for deciding what venue you will host all of your wedding events at as well.  This way you have it done and you can move on with other planning.  We have a very flexible location as far as food options, special dietary needs, accommodations, table settings and party set-up.  In fact, the bride and wedding planner may speak directly with me or one of the owners of Salt 88 when making arrangements for their event.  We are also now offering a reverse happy hour, “Salt After Dark,” ever Thursday from 10 pm to 1 am which can be incorporated into your event if you choose to have it later in the evening.”

lori miller lincoln tent inc. lincoln nebraskaWho says you have to have a wedding in an actual building?  Based upon your unique and creative ideas for what your big day will look like, Lincoln Tent Inc. can plan and craft any tent set-up that you can dream up for your wedding.  These tents create the perfect ambiance and are truly a stunning way to frame your event.  Arguably, the best part of utilizing a tent for your wedding is that the possibilities are endless.  Lori Miller of Lincoln Tent Inc. says, “We offer multiple styles of tents in a wide variety of sizes to fit any guest list.  We also offer dance floors, lighting, staging and even heaters!  We have set up tents at private residences, country clubs, golf courses and parks.  We travel all over Nebraska and farther, so location is not a problem.  As we design, fabricate, and construct all of our own products, we really can make anything happen!”  She adds, “The best tip I have for couples who are planning their wedding is to know what is most important to them on that day and plan to spend the most money in those areas.  I tell couples to each sit down and make a list of the things they will need for their wedding including the cake, dress, pictures, venue, food, and so forth.  Then I instruct the bride and groom, on their own, to number each item on the list according to importance.  Afterwards, compare lists and compromise based on what each of you want.  Then there won’t be any surprises while planning on what each of you wanted.  Also, extra things always seem to some up when planning for a wedding and I think it is a good idea to have a ‘slush fund’.  There are plenty of things people just don’t think about, like a new bathing suit for the honeymoon or spending money for souvenirs while you’re there for example.  Those things can add up and it’s good to have a little extra put away for them.”

Looking Your Best on Your Big Day


An important step to ensuring that a bride feels her best on her wedding day is to find a gown that makes her feel comfortable, confident and of course, beautiful! Furthermore, complementing her gown with the right accessories will not only make her wedding day look complete, it makes it feel more real. So now she emotionally and literally feels like a bride ready to walk down the aisle! Lynne Rustad, owner of Ellynne Bridal, says, “We assist each bride in achieving her perfect look by listening to her tell us what is in her heart–the gown she has always dreamed of.  We offer design services for wedding gowns, bridesmaid dresses, and flowergirl dresses to make sure everything is perfect and cohesive.  A newer, popular addition to the gown is the beaded belt. Belts give the gown more personality and a look that the bride can make her own. Also, interesting backs have become very popular including open backs, keyhole backs and backs with a deep ‘V’. The back of a gown can play a big part in the bride’s decision on her dream gown!”

She adds, “The best piece of advice I can offer is to be natural and stay true to your natural look…be who you are! Also, it is so important to plan your wedding as early as possible! It is less stressful for everyone involved, but most importantly it is less stressful for the bride and most likely the groom as well. This allows them to enjoy the planning process. There is so much that goes into a wedding and if you plan early, you can check things off your list as you go along which allows you to budget better also. Finally, try not to get caught up in the craziness of it all and at the end of the day, remember why you are getting married–it is truly about the love that the two of you share for each other!”


dick lerner bel air fashions omaha nebraskaThe wedding day ensemble decisions for men differ greatly from women as they are likely renting their garments.  Since these garments are not custom made, the availability of specific sizes in your preferred style can be limited.  Also, selecting wedding tuxedos on price alone is a set-up for disappointment and you must pay very close attention to key details.  Dick Lerner, owner of Bel Air Fashions, provides some guidelines for the selection process, stating, “I always advise men to allow months before the wedding to investigate tuxedo rental stores in their area.  When you visit these stores, pay attention to the clothing lines they represent and ask to see samples, and make sure to check out their displays for the quality of the garments and accessories as well as their presentation.  Especially note whether the displayed garments and accessories look fresh and new or old and withered.  Tux stores and their vendors do one of two things; they either replenish their inventory with new merchandise or buy it used and in some cases the used garments should have been retired a long time ago.  Buying used is an added profit for the vendor, and a way to soak the garment for as much profit as possible.  This is great for the company, but very bad for the person who is wearing the clothing as the condition affects the precision of the fit and generally how polished you and the gentlemen in your wedding party will look on your big day.  Tuxedos should be soft, smooth and pliable and should never feel coarse, lumpy, or like a stiff board.  A cheaply made tux will hang and not drape or conform, and the results for your wedding can be disastrous.  Price isn’t everything; what matters is what you get for your money and in the end, quality does matter.  Make sure you do your homework and see what is new for 2014 including the latest colors, fabrics, and new styles in tuxedos, shirts, vests, ties and shoes.  This will help in making the best selection for how you want everyone to look and what fits your budget.”  He adds, “Don’t put things off—the earlier, the better.  Measurements cannot be done at the last minute, nor can they be done by just anyone.  Professionals specialize in exactly how to measure and fit their clients, and this will determine whether your look is sharp or rather, it just looks like you are wearing someone else’s clothing.  Also, make sure a full set of measurements are taken for each individual.  Not only do I believe that the more measurements taken the better the fit, most tuxedo vendors also permit changing the sleeve and pant length if necessary.  Make sure the store does a final fitting and everything fits before letting the garments out the door and make sure that the professionals show each person how to wear the items in the correct way as this will prevent last minute wardrobe malfunctions.  Most importantly, make sure socks are provided for everyone. This way they are the right color and they are all consistent with the look you want to achieve.  You’d be surprised how many crazy things happen with respect to socks! They are often forgotten, the wrong color, or even worse someone may try to go without them!

If you wait too long you also run the risk of not getting what you want, as the best tuxedos always book early.  It is also important to get the measurements in 30 days ahead of the wedding.  During busy season, and if the measurements are not in early, you run the risk of getting subbed.  It does happen, and often, so don’t let it happen to you!  Moreover, when you are renting your tuxedos ask about Bridal Party gifts.  Most stores can help you with excellent quality gifts that won’t break the bank.  These are gifts you will be proud to give, and will save you the time and shoe leather trying to find them.  Additionally, many gifts come with free engraving and no minimum orders.  These gifts are not only great for the bridal party, but for the parents as well.”

For sparkling-clean teeth and a camera-ready smile, you’ll want to begin planning your “Wedding Smile” several months before the wedding date. That way if you decide to do more than just brighten your smile with teeth whitening, you’ll be able to achieve  the beautiful smile you’ve always wanted. Long after the wedding bells have stopped ringing, you’ll have a radiant smile that will last for years!

dr. daniel beninato premier dental omaha nebraskaPlanning ahead to make sure you find a dentist who is qualified to give you the look you deserve is crucial. You’ll want to choose a dentist who has specialized ongoing training in the procedure you are looking at having done. You’ll also want to ask your dentist if there are any alternatives to what they are recommending and if they have any before and after pictures of patients they have performed the procedure on. Premier Dental offers many services that will help improve your smile, appearance and overall self-confidence. Whether you are self-conscious about crooked or uneven teeth or your teeth have become stained or yellow, they will help you achieve the results you would like. Some of these services include whitening, veneers, porcelain crowns, Invisalign (invisible braces), implants, and smile makeovers. Additionally, Premier Dental is excited to have a new service to offer patients–the SNAP instant digital imaging system. Dr. Daniel Beninato of Premier Dental explains, “The SNAP system allows us to take a digital photo of you and in less than 5 minutes have simulations of how a new smile would look. Whether you would like to whiten your teeth, replace old crowns and fillings, fill in a gap, replace a missing tooth or have veneers, this imaging system lets you view your new smile in advance.”  Whether you’re tying the knot or are the mother or father-of-the-bride, in the wedding or even an invited guest; everyone wants to look their best. Premier Dental combines science and art to help you achieve the picture-perfect smile you want and deserve in time for the big day.  Contact them to set up a treatment plan that suits your needs, your schedule and your budget.

Special Touches

jeff white colby ridge popcorn omaha nebraskaEach wedding is as unique as the bride and groom who are getting married.  There are so many cute little things you can do to add special, personalized touches to your wedding.  Even traditional choices like the colors for your wedding can be incorporated in unique ways.  Colby Ridge offers a wide variety of products that are perfect for weddings.  Jeff White of Colby Ridge explains, “We can make custom colors and arrangements of our candy and popcorn especially for your event.  For the popcorn, we can put them in personalized bags or you can buy the popcorn in bulk and use it for a popcorn bar.  Not only do they look great and display your special message to your guests; they are also easy to handle and fun for all ages.  Regarding our candy, we operate a candy store with over 200 bins of colorful candy which is perfect for a candy bar at your reception.  If you would like more information regarding personalized popcorn bags, or about our popcorn and candy bars for your reception, please give us a call at (402) 328-2836 Ext. 1.”

Honeymen Rentals offers an extensive selection of rental items for weddings including tables, bars, chairs, linens, china, chafers, arches, lighting, slush and soft serve machines, and much more.  If you are renting tables for an outdoor event, Honeymen Rentals will even supply clips at no charge to secure covers or tablecloths to the tables so the wind cannot blow them off.  Many weddings and receptions are held in outdoor areas, and Honeymen Rentals offers delivery and on-site set up of all necessary equipment, and will take everything down after the event.  Bill Reynolds of Honeymen Rentals explains, “We have likely been to most all of the venues that brides like to use, so we are familiar with the set up options available and can suggest what works best for that particular venue from experience.  We can also help in planning the event with respect to the layout.  We utilize a special program that can calculate how many tables and chairs will fit in a particular area.  All we need are the dimensions of the area and the type of tables, and the program does the rest!”  Honeymen Rentals offers an adjusted rental/payment schedule for the convenience of their customers and to lower stress levels before and after the wedding.  They will deliver or let their customers pick up their rentals the day before the event and return them the business day after while only charging them for one day of rent (Ex: Pick up Friday, use Saturday, and return Monday).

jen pace cherry on top events by jen omaha nebraskaWhen planning for weddings, there are many little things in addition to the major checkpoints that should be taken into consideration.  That is why it is so important to find an experienced professional to help guide you through the process each step of the way.  At Cherry On Top Events by Jen, they take your wedding preparations off of your shoulders but never out of your hands.  That starts with a personal consultation where she personally gets to know the bride and groom, their styles, and their stories.  She then combines meticulous planning with impeccable attention to detail to plan the wedding of their dreams, which leaves the couple free to relax and enjoy the most important day of their lives!  Owner Jen Pace states, “We offer full service, partial service, and day-of service packages for planning weddings.  You can find out specifically what is included in each of these packages by visiting our website at  We can also create a custom package that is tailored specifically to the couples’ wants and needs.  Our most popular package is the full service package because it has the best value and is limitless.  This is especially for the couple who has no idea where to start, is finding all of the details are too overwhelming, or they just don’t have the time to create what it takes to execute their vision.  We also have a lot of rental items such as vases, mason jars, candy buffet jars, photo booth backdrops, a chocolate fountain, etc. that are available exclusively for our clients if they should want to use any of these items as additional special touches.”  She advises, “When planning a wedding, the main thing that I can’t stress enough is communication with your vendors.  Whether you’re using my services or another vendor’s services, it’s important to communicate with them if you have any questions, how you’re feeling about the way things are going, or if you’re stressed out.  Communication is the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page and as a result, will truly impact the way everyone is able to make your vision come to life.  I also stress not to try and plan everything at once.  I know my clients are excited and can’t wait to start planning one of the most important days of their lives, but when planning all at once you run the risk of burning yourself out very quickly and then Bridezilla will make an appearance…and no one wants to see Bridezilla!  Instead, make a detailed list of what needs to be handled right away and then another list of items that can be handled later down the road.  Planning your wedding is supposed to be fun, so following this tip will certainly help reduce the stress and allow you to fully enjoy the process.”

Creating Your Timeline

kimmylea konsel limelight expressions omaha nebraskaPlanning for your wedding is a major undertaking, and for this reason many women opt for not doing it alone and seek out the services and expertise of an event planner.  LimeLight Expressions is a full-service event planning, photography and design company that definitely knows the ropes of wedding planning.  In fact, they are the only event planner in Omaha to be recognized as a 2014 Best of the Knot winner in addition to being a five-time award winning event planning and photography company.  LimeLight Expressions owner Kimmylea Konsel states, “We offer a wide variety of event planning packages to fit your needs, or we can even custom design a one-of-a-kind package just for you!  Our company is family-owned and operated, so you will be working directly with several generations of event planners who have years of experience and are completely invested in making sure your event is exactly what you had hoped for.”  Konsel offers several of the first steps for planning your wedding:

1. Set a Budget.  Everyone has a budget and this will help you determine all other aspects of your wedding.

2. Assemble Your Guest List.  Before choosing a venue, you need to know approximately how many people you wish to invite to your wedding.  Make sure to include both the bride and groom’s wishes as well as the requests from both families.

3. Choose a Wedding Date.  The wedding date can depend a lot on the wedding venue, dates available, and whether it’s a destination wedding or a wedding in town.

4. Choose the Ceremony and Reception Venue.  Most venues get booked months (if not YEARS) in advance.  Make sure your venue can accommodate your guest list.  If your reception is at a different location from the location of the ceremony, you need to coordinate the time so that the venue is available after the ceremony.

Konsel also emphasizes that planning your wedding as early possible will allow you to get the items, and especially the venues, that you want.  It can also allow you to receive great discounts!

Planning a wedding is truly an exciting time in your lives and should be enjoyed as much as possible, even when a little bit (or sometimes a lot) of stress is added into the equation. However, you will likely look back and treasure the time you invested in the process as long as you didn’t put too much on your own plate.  We wish all of you brides and grooms out there the best of luck with planning your wedding in the months to come!