Make Your Special Day Perfect!

The day of your wedding should be one of the most special of your life.  It sometimes involves months and months of planning and can have the burden of living up to the expectations that the bride (and sometimes the groom) has had since childhood.  If you have recently gotten engaged or are helping someone else plan their wedding, read on for some helpful tips on getting ready for and planning the big day!

Getting in Shape

Many couples find that the prospect if getting into formal clothes, being seen by all their family and friends and having pictures taken that will last a lifetime is a huge motivator for getting into shape.  Fortunately, most people plan their weddings months in advance so you should have plenty of time to implement an exercise program that will get you in top shape both mentally and physically by the time you walk down the aisle.  KOSAMA has the following five tips for those who want to get in shape for their wedding:

1. To help with day to day pressures of wedding planning, take 15 minutes a day to do some body and mind exercises such as yoga, meditation, deep breathing or aromatherapy.

2. You are about to invest in the most expensive dress you will ever wear, so why spend all that money and leave your body to chance? No more procrastinating!  Whether your wedding is two months away or two years, working out is the key ingredient to staying in control of your figure and sanity. A high intensity workout will give you the body you want for the big day, but it will also relieve the pressure and stress of planning a wedding.

3. Photographers will be photographing you from every angle, so you need to be in shape to guarantee that every shot captures how truly fabulous you look. The wedding may only be one day, but the pictures will last a lifetime.  Transforming your body from head to toe is every bride’s goal.  Losing body fat, inches and showing off curves is a dream come true. Your whole goal is to look your very best, and functional training will help you burn the maximum amount of calories and build muscle by causing your body to tighten up and look toned.

4. Having the whole wedding party get involved with a wellness program is crucial – from the bridesmaids to the mother-in-law. This is an opportunity for all of you to do something together that is beneficial and will have life-long results. Having this sense of “team” will bring everyone closer together.

5. Last but not least, accountability!!! It’s easy to skip the gym because you have NO ONE to hold you accountable. Group fitness classes provide personal trainers as well as class members ready to help you reach your goals and hold you accountable.

Consider Working with a Life Coach

Your wedding is not just a fun day of celebration, it’s also the beginning of your life with another person.  This relationship will hopefully be the most stable, supportive and loving relationship of your life, but it will take some work to make sure this happens.  Working with a life coach both before and after the wedding can be an excellent way to accomplish this.

“Getting married is such an exciting and fun time in the relationship of a couple,” explains Doug Fitzgerald with Finish Life Well.  “My wife Tammie and I have been married for over 20 years and we absolutely love doing life together.  Marriage is making a commitment to someone else and telling them that they the most important person in your life.  You are declaring that out of all the other people in the entire world, you have chosen them to spend the rest of our life with.  That is a deep commitment.  And along with that comes the realization that you will have high points and low points in your relationship.  I tell my friends, colleagues, and audiences all the time that if you can make it through the low times, it makes the high times more incredible than you could have ever imagined.”

“The one piece of advice that I received early on in our marriage that has made the biggest impact in our relationship is this:  My spouse is NOT my enemy,” continues Doug.  “When you look at your fiancé as you are making your vows, the last thing you are thinking is that they are your enemy.  But from the very first disagreement in your married life, your human nature tries to convince you that your spouse is your enemy.

So my challenge to you is to know that in any relationship you are going to disagree about something and have struggles at some point.  Keep the perspective that your spouse is the most important person in your life and that you will do what it takes to work through the disagreement while holding them in the highest regard.”

See What’s Available

It’s difficult to start making plans when you don’t really know what’s available.  What are the options for places to hold the reception?  What are the new cake styles?  What new choices are there for formalwear?  One of the easiest and most efficient ways to get up-to-date on trends and local options is to attend a wedding fair.  The Omaha Bridal Showcase will be held March 10th, 2012 at the CenturyLink Center in downtown Omaha.

The Omaha Bridal Showcase has been bringing brides and bridal businesses together for 22 years.  This event caters exclusively to brides, grooms and their families and is a one stop shop bringing Omaha’s top wedding vendors together in one location.  Make plans to attend the showcase now and make sure you bring along a friend or family member to help you keep track of all the wonderful vendors you’ll be meeting!

Accept Help

One of the mistakes many brides make is trying to do everything on their own.  Whether they don’t want to ask for help because they want to be in control of the plans or they don’t feel like they can ask others to pitch in, this is a mistake that will leave them exhausted and stressed out and unable to enjoy the process and the result.  Here are a few people that can help alleviate some of the stress:

Wedding Planner  If you really want to turn everything over and just enjoy being a soon-to-be bride, consider working with a wedding planner.  They can take over all the details from the venue to the cake to the décor and you won’t have to worry about any of the details.  Most wedding planners let you be as much or as little involved as you would like, so their services can be customized to how much control you want over the end result.  Interview a few different planners to see which one best fits with your personality and whose vision for the event most closely coordinates with your own.

Mother  Many brides rely heavily on their moms for help in planning their big day and many mothers revel in the opportunity to help.  Whether you think your mom wants to help out or not, you should approach her about it as she might just be waiting for you to ask.  If your mom really doesn’t want to help or doesn’t have the time, you can always turn to stepmoms, aunts, sisters or other family members who would love to pitch in.

Maid of Honor  When you choose your maid of honor, it usually comes with the expectation that they will be helping you out.  From planning the bachelorette party and shower to going wedding dress shopping with you to being a sounding board over reception ideas, you should be able to count on your maid of honor to be your ‘right hand woman’ during the planning process.

Groom  It might seem silly to include him in this list, but many brides feel that their soon-to-be-husband doesn’t really want to help plan the wedding and would rather just show up in a tux on the wedding day and call it good.  However, many grooms would love to be involved—they just don’t know how.  Sit down with your intended when you start planning and ask them what they’d like to be in charge of.  Maybe they’d like to have a say in the catering or the music at the reception or, you never know, perhaps they’ve even been keeping a list of great venues for the ceremony in their heads since the day they proposed.  The important thing is to let the wedding planning process help bring you closer together rather than driving a wedge between you because you’re stressed and crazy with planning and he feels helpless to assist.  Remember, you are planning the rest of your lives together—you should be doing it as a team!

Choosing a Venue

One of the most important decisions of your wedding is where to hold it.  To find the perfect locale, it’s important that a number of decisions are already made.  How large the wedding is going to be, what caterer you want to use, certain decorations you have your heart set on and proximity to the ceremony location or guest hotels are just a few of the decisions that will impact your choice of venue.  Following are a few of the wonderful choices in the Omaha area.

Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center

For a destination event that allows you to have additional guests at the wedding or reception, consider a cozy setting (for about 150 people) where the facility is yours alone for the entire span of your occasion.  The Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center (ARCC) is an inter-faith venue that provides a caterer (Pleasure Your Palate Catering), DJ, florist and building staff to make your time truly special.  Retreat bedrooms that can accommodate up to 58 people offer a chance to rest between events as well as provide the sleeping quarters at night.  Their facility is perfect for your bridal shower and prenuptial dinner.  Multiple floors allow you to move from the wedding ceremony to the reception to the dance without needing to move from venue to venue.

The ARCC is centrally located near historic Benson, and is in close proximity to downtown Omaha and the interstate.  The ARCC is committed to excellent service.  Whether your event requires a full table service or a buffet style setting, their friendly staff will provide you with a delicious dining experience at an exceptional value.

Millard Plaza Ballroom

The Millard Plaza Ballroom is a full-service banquet facility with accommodations for up to 350 guests.  Their areas of expertise include Event Design and Management, Event décor, Catering, Complete Beverage Service, and more.  Wedding Receptions are their specialty.  In addition to use of the beautiful ballroom, complimentary items include tables, chairs, linens and flatware, house centerpieces, toasting flutes and champagne buckets for the wedding party table and reserved family tables, coffee service including condiment and gourmet syrups, ceiling and pillars draped in white lights and tulle and candelabras on the corners of the bar as well as hanging candles around the perimeter and behind the bar.


Brandeis offers four venues in Omaha for your special event.  The Tip Top Building at 1502 Cuming Street offers an Executive Ballroom for up to 30 people, a Junior Ballroom for up to 120 people and a Grand Ballroom for up to 700 people.

The Tip Top Building is located north of downtown in the new “NoDo” area of Omaha that was rebuilt to be the new home of the CWS Baseball Stadium.

The Georgetowne Club, located at 2440 S. 141st Circle, offers a ballroom that accommodates up to 600 guests and is a beautiful and versatile facility to accommodate the most elegant reception.  Elegant décor, fireplaces and plenty of parking make the Georgetowne Club the upscale facility you can be proud to invite your guests to.

The Thompson Center at UNO, on the SW Corner of 67th and Dodge on the UNO Campus, has space for up to 300+ guests with a beautiful outside green space with patio.  The Thompson Center is also an ideal setting for an outdoor wedding with patio space for the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and inside space for dinner and dancing.

The Livestock Exchange Building, on 4920 S. 30th Street, has 10th floor ballrooms which can accommodate 150-250 people or 250-350 people.  The two magnificent ballrooms have 22-foot ceilings and an elegant Romanesque and Northern Italian Renaissance Revival style.

Hilton Garden Inn Omaha West

Conveniently located adjacent to Village Pointe Shopping Center, Hilton Garden Inn Omaha West offers easy access from Dodge Street.  This along with their complimentary parking and shuttle service within a five mile radius makes it a convenient option as it’s easy for your guests to locate and get to.  Hilton also offers a feature called Personalized Group Webpage where couples can create a Hilton website where they can post pictures and check to see who has made reservations.

Hilton can accommodate up to 120 people for a reception and are flexible and accommodating for all budgets.

Lied Lodge

At Lied Lodge, you have the flexibility to customize and personalize all the details of your wedding from rehearsal dinners, farewell brunches, and gift openings to golf outings or group hikes for the wedding party.

Whether you prefer the rustic charm of Steinhart Lodge, the spacious elegance of their ballrooms, or the outdoor Historic Barns, Lied Lodge offers outstanding venues for the wedding reception of your dreams.

Lied Lodge’s on-site wedding specialist helps you design the perfect wedding, with such special touches as historic trolley rides, unique menus tailored to suit your theme, tastes and budget, signature drinks, in-room gift baskets for your guests, specialty linens, personalized tree seedling wedding favors and comfortable guest room accommodations.

Equipment Rental

Depending on where you decide to have your wedding reception, you may find that you need to rent materials such as chairs, linens, silverware or centerpieces.  When choosing a vendor for your rental materials, consider the price and quality of the equipment they have to offer.  Christ St. Pierre with Party Time Rental suggests that couples (or wedding planners) meet with him to discuss the rental materials.  They can ask questions and have the opportunity to see the products available.  You can also coordinate if you need materials delivered or if you or someone else involved in the wedding can pick them up.  Remember that if you are getting married during the popular wedding months (spring and summer), you should reserve your materials as early as possible to ensure you are getting your first choices.

Choosing Formalwear

Lynne Rustad of Ellynne Bridal states, “Choosing the right gown sets the tone for a bride’s wedding—casual, contemporary or traditional.  Her gown also will help decide which bridesmaid gown to choose to complement her special gown.

When a bride chooses her wedding gown she should choose a gown that best reflects her style, body shape and her personality.  The gown should be the crowning jewel of her vision.  My favorite bride is one who loves fashion and wants to be a bit unusual.  I love themed weddings and brides who will step out of the box to try something new.”

She goes on to say, “Most often the mistake that a bride makes is allowing someone else to influence her decision about her wedding.  Everyone involved must remember it is her day, it her dream and whatever she chooses is perfect.  They should feel privileged to participate, not feel like they can be making decisions for the bride.”

Brides should begin looking for their gown at least six to eight months before their wedding.  This means that crash dieting in the last month or two before you wedding is probably not a good idea as the gown you pick out might not fit you anymore and require drastic alterations.  If you have your heart set on losing weight before the wedding, try to do so in plenty of time before the ceremony and THEN begin shopping for your wedding dress once you have reached the size you want to be.

Grooms also need to be thinking about formalwear for them and their groomsmen.  Make a time a few months before the wedding to go in and get fitted and make sure all your groomsmen know where to go and their deadline for getting fitted as well.  When you are making the decision on styles and colors of tuxes, discuss with your bride so that colors can coordinate and to see what her ideas might be for different styles of tuxedoes.  Make a time for the two of you to go in and speak with a formalwear specialist so they can go over all the options, show you what’s new and trendy, and make reservations for your party’s formalwear needs.

“New trends in formal attire are color, color and more color,” says Tina Nocita with Gentlemen’s Choice Tuxedos/Savvi Formalwear.  “There is lots of color and color mixing, like hot pinks mixed with bright orange and lime green.  We have two locations in Omaha and two fully stocked warehouses also in Omaha.  This affords the groom the opportunity to try on his tuxedos and to make sure he has the style he is looking for.  We are very lucky to be able to own our inventory and have it in our stores so we don’t have to order it, which offers the customer the peace of mind they deserve.”

Getting Ready for Your Wedding Day

When the day of your wedding arrives, you’ll probably be nervous, excited and scrambling to get ready so that you look your very best!  Why not schedule a relaxing massage or facial in the morning so that you’ll be relaxed and prepared to enjoy the day?  You can make the day even more special by scheduling spa services with your wedding party or with your mom so you can spend some quality, relaxing time with them before all of the festivities begin.

Of course, you also want your hair and make-up to look its best, so many brides schedule salon services for themselves and their wedding party on the big day as well.  If this is in your plans, make sure you make the reservation as soon as possible so that you’re guaranteed to get the salon and the stylist(s) that you want to prepare you to glow!

Preserving Your Memories

After the wedding is over, you’ll be left with memories (and hopefully some wonderful pictures and video).  But if you’re like many brides, you’ll also want to preserve some of your other memories as keepsakes.  “Memories Bi-Design helps preserve the couple’s memories in a permanent keepsake,” says Diane Bowley.  “We preserve the bride’s bouquet and the groom’s boutonniere and other wedding flowers along with memorabilia from their day to make them a custom piece of art they can use in their new home.  Our advice is to put preservation of their flowers into the budget along with the purchase of their keepsake.  They can often get gift certificates from different vendors to help pay for the wedding, so we always tell our couples not to be afraid to put them on their registry as one of their gift ideas.”

Your wedding should be one of the best days of your life.  Unfortunately, many couples let themselves stress over details and don’t ever let themselves truly enjoy the moments that make up this special event.  By working with professionals throughout the process, planning early and keeping everything in perspective, you can make sure your day will be nothing less than joyful.