Some of the greatest moments in many people’s lives are their marriage proposal and the ensuing wedding ceremony.  What happens in between, the planning of that wedding, is both exciting and stressful enough to cause even the most organized and confident brides- and grooms-to-be a high level of anxiety.  The time commitment and variety of components required to cover all of the necessities at your event seems to be one of the major sources of pressure and worry, but can easily be avoided with the right people and businesses guiding you through the entire planning process.

KimmyLea - LimelightIf “one of a kind” or “unforgettable” describes how you would like your wedding or next event to be, then LimeLight Expressions is the company for you. A full service event coordination company, LimeLight Expressions offers everything from photography to design to full-on event planning.  They are a one-stop shop that specializes in managing your event, as well as design and photography, covering the entire U.S. with an emphasis on the Midwest. There is no detail too small.  LimeLight was founded on the principle of family with a mission to help others, covering everything in the event planning spectrum. They continue to be a family-owned and operated business that gives back to the community and local charitable organizations.  Being family oriented is a very important aspect of the business. LimeLight Expressions’ owner/designer, Kimmylea Konsel runs the event planning side while her brother, Brent is the creative director running the photography and design side. Clients often become more than just a customer; they become part of the family. Kimmylea and Brent can not only make your event dreams come true; with their full service design team they can assist with any of your marketing and advertising needs as well. They market for some of the largest companies in the Omaha area and can assist with anything from print materials to websites to full-on advertising.  Kimmylea says “We are a design company practicing the art of design through event planning, photography and design. Our passion, energy and enthusiasm to assist ties together with our work—we are a one-stop shop for all your needs, and an affordable investment.”  She offers the following tips:

7 Things to Remember when Planning an Event

1. Set your budget

2. Give yourself time

3. Keep your eyes focused on the end result

4. Make a list and check it often

5. Take care of the big stuff first

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for help

7. Enjoy every moment

Kimmylea encourages anyone interested in their services to check out their website at  You can view options for wedding packages easily in order to find one that best fits your needs.  Custom packages are also available upon request.

DeeHankins HeadshotThe Millard Plaza Ballroom offers complete event design services at no extra cost to the client.  Each client works closely with Dee Hankins, owner of Millard Plaza Ballroom, from contract signing through the end of the event.  That way nothing falls between the cracks as all communication is between the two parties.  Millard Plaza Ballroom can also eliminate a design budget for the client if they elect to use the in-house décor which includes mirror, candles, chandelier vases, manzanita trees, petals, rock, and much more.   In order to review what they have to offer, a design meeting is held so the client can see what items are available that suit their tastes.  That way if they would like to purchase additional items to customize the look even further, they will already know what not to spend money on. Hankins says the best advice she can give from her experience with weddings is to trust your instincts when it comes to choosing a venue and putting your receptions in the hands of people you have just met.”  Millard Plaza Ballroom also offers free wedding day transportation on Saturdays for couples meeting their minimum contract requirements.  That is a savings of several hundred dollars!

Lisa SchaferLisa Shafer of Salon Capelli agrees that no detail is too small.  She advises that trial runs are just as important as the real deal on your big day, and invites all future brides to let the staff at Salon Capelli show you in advance how beautiful your hair can be on your special day.  Salon Capelli is a full service salon in the northwest Omaha area.  Their highly experienced staff of beauty professionals can assist you with all of your bridal party’s needs, including pre-wedding facials, waxing, hair coloring, haircutting, pedicuring, and shellac manicuring services.  Additionally, they have an Airbrush Makeup Specialist that offers traditional makeup options as well as state-of-the-art application which will leave you virtually flawless and waterproof for an all-day, fresh glow.  Salon Capelli is an inviting and relaxing atmosphere, and they even include appetizers and beverages for wedding parties with a minimum of six people.  They are honored to be a part of one of the most special moments in your life, and will make sure you look your best!

Your smile is one of the most important aspects of your appearance. When you are proud to flash your smile when you walk into a room, it helps you exude confidence that others will be drawn to.  If you have been considering a change in your smile, an upcoming wedding may be just the reason why now is the time. Considering whitening? You have probably noticed that the dental care aisle at your local grocery or drug store has become crowded with teeth whitening options. But you may wonder if these really work. They may provide limited results for some people, but Dr. Daniel Beninato of Premier Dental advises that the best way to get the most effective teeth whitening is to work with a cosmetic dentist who can assess the staining of your teeth and make recommendations to get you the best possible whitening results.  One of the options they offer at Premier Dental is Zoom! whitening. This teeth whitening treatment can brighten the appearance of your teeth by eight shades or more in a single sitting. They are also currently offering a two-for-one whitening special.

If you are not just unhappy with the color of your teeth–if they are not just stained, but also worn, cracked, chipped, or have gaps–you may want to consider porcelain veneers. Porcelain veneers, sometimes called dental veneers, are thin facades of ceramic material that are placed on the front surface of your teeth. These can not only conceal the stained teeth, but can also reshape your teeth to give you the smile you have long desired, without gaps, chips, cracks, or misshapen teeth.  If you would like more information, visit Premier Dental’s website at or give them a call today and schedule a consultation.

Angie-Lewis-the-corky-canvasWhile you are sure to be making tons of plans and arrangements for your wedding, you will also be planning for other customary events surrounding the wedding such as bachelor and bachelorette parties and the bridal shower.  The Corky Canvas is a great place to host a bachelorette party or bridal shower.  Angie Lewis, owner of The Corky Canvas, says “If you are planning a fun and unique bachelorette party, bridal shower, or a girls’ night out prior to the big day, The Corky Canvas is the place for you!  No artistic ability needed! Really! We’ll have the music pumping and the wine flowing for your fun night out.  Plus, your friends will have a painting they can take home to remember this fun night!  You’re welcome to book a private party or, even better, join up with one of our regularly scheduled classes.”  Private parties can be held any day or night based upon availability, and you can always check out the event calendar at to see what is open or what classes are scheduled that you may be interested in joining.  Or if you would like to host the event at your house or another location, that can be arranged as well!

Dick-Lerner-bel-air-fashions Bel-Air Fashions rents and sells tuxedos and suits for weddings, as well as apparel for destination weddings.  They are a family-owned clothing store, operated by third generation owners Shelly and Dick Lerner.  Not only do you work directly with the owners, they work directly for you and not the manufacturers.  Bel-Air Fashions brings their clients the best in the wedding and clothing business, and their clients get the full benefit of their vast resources.  Dick Lerner says, “If something is cheaply made, we will not sell or rent it.  Nothing looks worse for a wedding or pictures.  The industry is hung up on names and designers, but unfortunately that does not denote quality.  Quality begins with the fabric, the garment either has it or it doesn’t.  It is either made with quality construction or the cheapest way possible.  You can see the difference, there is nothing free.”  He adds, “We do a lot of destination weddings, which can be a unique suit or simply wonderful tops and bottoms, for men and women, ideal for tropical locations.  Our apparel comes from the best manufactures in the business, all very affordable and not uniform apparel.  These garments can also be worn in the future for travel or going out.  Destination apparel combines the best in technology, fit, fabrics and colors.  We have grown this business to the point today it is lifestyle clothing for many of our clients.” It is also important to note that Bel-Air that besides apparel, they also offer other great gifts that are perfect for the Bridal Party and ceremony.  Lerner offers several possibilities that are popular among his clients.  “Picture frames for parents, unique gifts for bridesmaids, groomsmen, the Best Man and ushers.  Unity Candles are also quite popular.  We include up to 2 lines of free engraving or etching for all candles, glassware and bridal party gifts.  There are no minimum orders and orders are generally delivered in 5 to 7 business days after order is placed.”  In the many years Lerner and his family have been in business, he definitely speaks from experience when he stresses to plan early and far enough ahead.  “The best wedding vendors book early, and by waiting you may not get what you want when you want it.  Waiting can be costly and will set you up for disappointment.  Go to wedding shows early in the year, such as the beginning of January, as most vendors show early in the year.  Furthermore, most set their calendar for the rest of the year off of the people who attend the early shows, especially ceremony/reception venues, florists, caterers, and bakers.  Be sure to take your time to talk to the vendors, make sure you are comfortable working with them, ask for references from previous weddings, and call the brides and grooms and ask about their experience with the vendors.  Go to the Better Business Bureau website ( and check out their review of each business.”

Everyone wants a good deal, to a point.  A good deal is when there are no hitches to what was promised, and this is the grey area of the tuxedo rental business.  Make sure when renting tuxedos or suits, it should not turn into a nightmare. Below are some guidelines to go by:

• Make sure when booking with a store you get a signed form that details exactly what you are getting.  If renting a tuxedo or suit, does it come with the shirt, tie, jewelry and shoes all for the price quoted?  Does it include damage waiver, sales tax and extra size charge for sizes over 52?

• When do all measurements have to be in by, and is there anything mentioned about later measurements that come in within two weeks of the wedding?  What are the extra charges and does that include the transportation?

• What happens to your deposit?  What is your obligation if you cancel the wedding?

• When will delivery take place?  Is there ample time to make minor adjustments if needed?  It is absolutely necessary to have your rentals in well ahead of time, not two hours before the wedding.

• Will the store deliver your tuxedo order exactly as ordered or do they have the option to substitute?  If so you may not get what you want.
Don’t be pressured into booking with anyone until you have done your research, go on Facebook, Pinterest and ask people what their experience was with vendors.  Also be wary of overselling and under delivery, as this unfortunately happens a lot with tuxedo rentals.  If the deal is too good to be true, it probably isn’t something you want to pursue.  Nothing is worse than picking up tuxedos on Thursday or Friday and getting the surprise of your life–extra charges that were never explained.  That can be another $40, $50 or $60 and it happens all the time.

dana-osborne-dSy The first impression your guests will receive regarding your wedding is before the actual event, when they receive your invitation.  The invitation sets the tone for your wedding, telling guests if it’s a formal affair or more of a low key party.  dSy Invitations offers custom designed wedding invitations plus other customized pieces for your wedding ceremony and reception.  Dana Osborne, owner of dSy Invitations, says, “With custom designed invitations, we make it easy for couples who are looking for wedding invitation by understanding their wedding style and personal style and then creating the invitation uniquely for their wedding.  Many brides spend hours searching online for that one invitation that meets their style and needs. With custom invitations, you can create any piece for your wedding day that coordinates with your overall style or theme.  If you can dream it, we can design it!  We have created everything from personalized wine and beer labels, water bottle labels, name place cards, monogramed cake toppers, guest bag labels to simple pieces such as ceremony programs and thank you cards.  dSy Invitations will also help couples when it comes to wording the invitation.  This may seem simple, but can be a tricky process if you have more than one sets of parents, divorced or deceased parents, or if there is something you need to communicate to your guests, such as if children aren’t invited to your wedding.”  She adds, “There can be multiple pieces to a wedding invitation and dSy Invitations can help you decide what you need to help your guests RSVP to your big day or let them know how to get to your reception.  Guest Information cards are a perfect way to let your guests know when your reception begins, where it’s being held or giving them the address of the wedding website you’ve been working so hard on.  Wedding invitations are usually sent out approximately two months before your event.  It’s best to start the design process for your wedding invitations six months prior to your wedding.  dSy Invitations has created custom wedding invitations in less than two weeks, so anything is possible, but we do appreciate adequate time to create the best invitation possible!”  dSy Invitations is now booking brides for Winter 2013 and Spring 2014 weddings, and you can email dana@dsydesigns for a free quote and consultation.

Jeff-WhiteWhen providing treats for your wedding guests, Colby Ridge offers a wide variety of products and options to fit any theme or color palette. Popcorn is one of their traditional specialties, and they can make custom colors for your wedding and assemble personalized, individual bags to hand out to your guests. You can also buy the popcorn in bulk and use it for a popcorn bar.  Jeff White of Colby Ridge says that the personalized popcorn bags are really popular and particularly simple yet delicious gift for weddings of any size. They will not only look nice and get your special message across to your guests, but they are also easy to handle and fun for all ages. If popcorn isn’t your thing, Colby Ridge owns and operates a candy store with over 200 bins of colorful candy–which is perfect for a candy bar at your reception! White adds that when you place an order with Colby Ridge, you will always receive a quality product at an affordable price.


Suzi-bennett-chocolaterie-stamChocolaterie Stam specializes in unique, delicious treats such as pure Belgian chocolates, European licorice, and real Italian gelato made with ingredients from Italy at a local dairy.  Suzi Bonnett, owner of Chocolaterie Stam, offers several options for people planning wedding receptions.  She says, “Several brides have opted for chocolate to be incorporated as place setting favors.  We have boxes that hold as few as two pieces and as many as 6 bonbons.  Brides can also buy just the chocolate from us and then pack their own boxes to save a little money.  Our chocolates can also be printed on to personalize them with anything from names and the date to an actual picture. These small boxes also make great thank you gifts for wedding party members, as well as favors for your hotel guests.  Chocolate to be used on the reception table comes in the form of bonbons, chocolate covered sea salt caramels, chocolate covered toffee, or Jordan almonds, just to name a few.  Beautiful swans made totally out of chocolate come in either white or dark chocolate and can be filled with more bonbons inside for an impressive table centerpiece or dessert.  We also make several gelato (Italian style ice cream) flavors that can either be catered by us or purchased from us and served by the bride’s caterer.”  Bonnett also welcomes wedding planners, and encourages anyone planning a wedding to stop into the store to sample their chocolates and gelato flavors.  Chocolaterie Stam provides a list of allergens for all of their chocolates and gelatos, with options available for dairy free and gluten free requests.  Bonnett adds, “My best advice is to ‘order early’ if you are interested in personalizing anything from the chocolates to the gelato.  We do stock many of the bonbons in quantity but it’s always best to place to order at least one month in advance to ensure flavors and quantity.  We can always store the chocolates here until the day they are needed to make sure they stay fresh and beautiful.”

Angela-Roeber-SAC-MusuemLocated only 25 minutes from either Omaha or Lincoln, the Strategic Air & Space Museum offers a number of options for your wedding and/or wedding reception. With over 300,000 square feet of space, planning an event is easy and allows for a range of possibilities. This venue can accommodate a group of anywhere from 20 to 2,000. 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 their aircraft. No matter what location you choose it’s sure to be a stunning and inspiring event.   When hosting your wedding event at the Strategic Air & Space Museum, you also enjoy free parking for all of your guests, open catering, and access to all of their interactive exhibits and attractions.  Angela Roeber of Strategic Air & Space Museum suggests, “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.  Finding the right setting for the ceremony and reception is crucial.  Before you begin the venue hunt, try to narrow down the general location.  Do you want to get married where you live now or where you grew up, or are you considering a destination wedding?  Always try to evaluate what is important to you, personally, as individuals and as a couple.  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 on when planning your wedding.  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!”

lori-miller-lincoln tentIf you are hosting an outdoor wedding or reception, Lincoln Tent can provide any size or type of tent you require.  They offer tent rentals, flooring, lighting, and basically anything you may need to doll up your tent (aside from tables and chairs).  Lincoln Tent fabricates and constructs their tents by hand at their shop in Lincoln, so they can custom make just about any type of tent you have in mind, deliver it to your location of choice, and fully assemble the structure on-site.  Lori Miller of Lincoln Tent emphasizes the importance of having your event carried out exactly the way you have always imagined it.  She says “Don’t get hung up on being original or what everyone else wants–this is your day and you should treat as such. Make decisions for you and your fiancé, not for everyone else. Take the advice of others for sure, but at the end of the day, do what makes you happy. There are no do-overs, so don’t live with regret.”  From her years of experience with providing services for weddings, Miller suggests that when planning your event there are several steps that will ensure everything falls into place accordingly.  “Get your budget together first. Sit down and list out all the items involved in your wedding, such as the venue, photographer, food, and so on. Then rank them based on importance. Based on your rankings, that’s where the money should be spent and you should always spend more for what you want. If it’s not that important, then why spend more money on it? It helps justify some of the costs, because generally you get what you pay for.”  The sky is the limit with Lincoln Tent, who can turn your vision into reality with customized options that provide shelter and set the stage for your celebration!

For all of your other needs besides shelter, Honeyman Rentals offers an extensive selection of rental items 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, Honeyman 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 Honeyman Rentals offers delivery and on-site set up of all necessary equipment, and will take everything down after the event.  Bill Reynolds of Honeyman Rentals explains, “Most of the outdoor weddings we do involve setting up the arch, chairs and an occasional P/A system.  We always give the highest priority to these events, and make sure we arrive prepared and on time or even well in advance.  We have also 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.”  He adds, “We can also help in planning the event with respect to the layout.  We have a program that can tell the couple how many tables and chairs will fit in a particular area.  All we need for this is the dimensions of the area and the type of tables, and the program does the rest!”  Additionally, Honeyman 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).

elizabeth-edwards-omaha-ballroomOne virtual certainty about wedding receptions is that there will be dancing involved. Omaha Ballroom teaches a variety of traditional wedding dances, such as the ‘first dance’, the father-daughter and mother-son dance, and even special dances for the wedding party. Elizabeth Edwards, owner of Omaha Ballroom, says that they also teach a lot of people who are going to an important wedding as a guest and want to show off some new moves at the reception. Omaha Ballroom not only offers instruction on a variety of different styles and techniques, they also offer DJ services as well as spray tan parties for everyone in the wedding. Edwards says, “Don’t forget that learning how to dance is very important. It makes the wedding so much more enjoyable to see the couples dance a few basic moves. No one pays any attention or remembers the ‘junior high’ style of dancing for the couple’s first dance. Dance lesson are super easy and very fun. I suggest contacting us at least three months before your wedding to get started on your lessons–the sooner the better!”

Kyle Highberg-2Another important aspect of planning a wedding is where your guests that have travelled to your event will stay.  The Residence Inn by Marriott, Omaha Downtown is an all-suite hotel located on 15th and Dodge in the Historic Omaha Federal Building.  Aimed at providing accommodations for many different types of travelers to the area, the Residence Inn Omaha Downtown is an all-suite property that can provide the modern comforts of home while people are away from theirs.  Kyle Highberg, General Manager of The Residence Inn by Marriott, Omaha Downtown, recommends the hotel as a one-stop shop for all guests that will be travelling to your wedding.  He says “We can take care of accommodations by helping contract a block of rooms, helping the couple create a personalized wedding reservations page, delivering welcome gifts for the friends and families, among other personal requests.  We also can arrange for rehearsal dinners and gift-opening brunches.  Our sales team will assist in providing information on our community for visitors, as well as working with the vendors that will provide services for your wedding.” Highberg adds, “We specialize in hotel accommodations, so our advice would be to select a hotel that is close to your reception venue.  This way, people from out of town don’t get lost, don’t drive when they shouldn’t, and are comfortable with the area.  In all honesty, check the date you want to get married and ensure it is not the same weekends as large city events or other important dates that sell out the majority of Omaha’s hotel rooms.  This way, your rate will be competitive and negotiable.  Always attempt to consolidate into only one hotel.  Your guests want to stay together, and some will feel left out if they are away from their friends or family.  Lastly, select a location that is going to fit into your budget, and the realistic budget of your guests, as well as your style. When you know your date, and you’ve selected your venue, secure your rooms!”

Debra Cook If you are looking for a more private destination, White Deer Retreat is truly a romantic getaway with beautiful rooms that offer stunning views.  It is a sanctuary in a wooded setting that provides peace and solitude.  Located 15 minutes from downtown Omaha, the retreat sits on nine acres of land with a panoramic view of the Missouri River Valley and Loess Hills.  White Deer Retreat would be a wonderful location for several aspects of a wedding.  It is fantastic for a women’s overnight or weekend for the bride and her attendants, or for a bridal shower.  It is also perfect for the couple’s wedding night.   Both can be designed to create the best experience possible utilizing any of the services White Deer Retreat has to offer.  These services include a large meeting space, two bedroom suites, meals, six wellness practitioners including massage, spa services, and a personal chef.  In planning for a wedding celebration, Debra Cook of White Deer Retreat says, “Just enjoy the whole process as much as possible.  It is much like life– it’s not always the destination but the journey that counts.”

Bellevue Berry Farm is another great location out of the city to host your wedding ceremony and/or festivities.  They offer several different venues on site to choose from based upon your style, needs and preferences, and the amount of guests you will be accommodating.  All of the lodges are tastefully decorated with old west flair, and their masterful woodwork and unique antiques are sure to give you a one-of-a-kind experience.  Moreover, you are welcome to personalize your event with your own decorations.  Each lodge offers plenty of room for dancing and socializing should you decide to hire a band or their professional DJ.  In addition to their excellent range of facilities, they also provide catering options with a wide range of options to fit your taste and budget.

Weddings are joyous occasions you get to spend with all the people that matter to you, and a celebration that starts your life as a married couple.  It is incredibly important to make sure this day is planned correctly, so you have fond memories instead of horror stories about stressful mishaps.  This is YOUR special day, and as such, should be composed of everything you imagined it would be and especially everything that you have spent your time and resources on planning for.  If you choose the right people to help you with your wedding, you are effectively ensuring that you can focus what is important–your happiness and making great memories.