A couple embraces at their engagement shoot with Ashley Nicole Photography

Ask the Wedding Experts: Seating Charts, Dinner Style, Wearing White and More

Have you ever felt like knowledge can be both a blessing and a curse? That is how you might feel from about the immense amount of well-intentioned (but sometimes unsolicited) advice offered by friends and family as you plan your wedding. How can you possibly determine the good advice from the bad—the current trends from the passé? What is acceptable now could be vastly different from what was appropriate for your grandmother’s wedding over 50 years ago. Since the wedding industry is forever evolving, even advice from a bride as recently as five to 10 years ago may no longer apply. That’s why we are here to help you sort out the common misconceptions and to guide you through the most common wedding myths.

Wedding Myth #1
A wedding planner is an unnecessary expense.
More often than not, the cost of a wedding planner is money well spent in the long term. A wedding planner can offer invaluable up-to-date advice, assist in making decisions and ultimately save you from a multitude of headaches along the road to wedded bliss. Additionally, wedding planners may end up saving money on costs due to their connections within the industry, such as negotiating a group rate with a hotel for your out-of-town guests. They can use their business relationships to negotiate a satisfactory rate at hotels, venues and other vendors while saving you time and effort.

Wedding Myth #2
Only the bride should wear white.
Thanks to the high-profile weddings of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, the tradition of white being worn only by the bride is no longer a steadfast rule. After all, weddings are trending toward the non-traditional, and not all brides wear white anymore when it comes to their big day. Ideally, close family members should check with the bride before selecting a white dress for the occasion; when in doubt, accessorize.

When it comes to dressing the wedding party, there are more choices now than ever for colors, fabrics and styles. It is entirely up to you whether your bridesmaids are decked out in the same dress style or different shades of your favorite color. You can even mix and match similar styles and hues, as long as the end result is tasteful and coordinated. Thinking of mixing in some shades of white or ivory? As long as you are comfortable, everyone else may as well join in!

Wedding Myth #3
A DIY wedding will save you money.
If the truth be told, handmade details can be time-consuming and expensive. If you take on too many DIY projects, you could well find your head spinning. But that’s okay, because you are saving money, right? Well, not always. Sometimes, the materials alone for your project can end up costing much more than intended, leading not only to financial cost, but labor as well. When factoring in both manpower and materials, suddenly a DIY wedding doesn’t seem so wonderful after all.

Cheer up! Handcrafted details do not have to be an overwhelming task, as long as your plans are realistic and achievable. While doing so, keep in mind that there are hundreds of fantastic local wedding vendors waiting to do the job for you. Their sole purpose is to help ease the burden of planning such a large event and give you everything your dreams have envisioned. Vendors also have years of experience to draw upon when creating the perfect product for your wedding day. Instead of taking on everything yourself, pick a few handcrafted details that truly speak to you and your relationship, and evaluate whether the task can be tackled before the big day. If not, delegate those details to the professionals.

Wedding Myth #4
Seating charts are a waste of time.
Assigned seating shows your guests how much consideration and time was put into assuring their comfort at the reception. Not only does it streamline the seating process, it allows new relationships to be formed through the intermingling of family and friends. Keep in mind that if you hire a wedding planner, they can do this work for you.

There are many new and fun options for displaying seating charts and escort cards. Utilize the skills of an artsy friend or relative if you have one. A quality paper vendor will always know how to incorporate escort cards into your wedding suite package, so don’t worry if you would rather avoid the fuss. There are no rules when it comes to invites, so have fun playing with a unique design, size, or shape! Couples can even play with the placement of the invitation card for a twist.

The only rule of thumb when it comes to building a seating chart is to be considerate of your guests. It is wise to have your parents or other designated family member review the chart to double check that you have not overlooked an old feud or uncomfortable relationship, unwittingly placing those guests at the same table.

Wedding Myth #5
Buffets are cheaper than plated dinners.
It is often assumed that buffets are a money-saving option for large receptions. While buffets can be fantastic for offering guests a variety of choices, some dishes can still be rather costly, especially when including one or more carving stations. While a self-service buffet minimizes wait staff, it does not allow for portion control. If it is not properly managed, a self-service buffet can also leave the last guests in line with food that is past its prime, dishes that are cold, or completely empty of food.

One option for portion-control is to have your caterer provide wait staff to “serve” from one side of the buffet to guests as they move through the line on the other. This not only provides portion control, but it also allows wait staff to monitor when an item needs to be replenished.
Another meal service concept growing in popularity is the “family-style” meal. This style is typically less expensive than a plated meal, and your guests will feel more comfortable with no need to wait or get up for their meal. The dishes remain on the table to be refilled by wait staff as needed, cutting down on waste as well as cost. When choosing a family-style dinner, it is important to secure the services of a chef, wedding planner or venue that has experience in this type of service. Also, keep in mind the logistics of each table’s décor as you plan room for serving dishes. You will want to keep tabletop décor to a minimum so that both guests and serving dishes will fit comfortably.

However, don’t count out the benefits of a plated meal, which still allows your guests to make personal choices while bringing an added level of elegance and traditional sophistication to your reception. There’s nothing quite like being served a beautifully plated meal to make guests feel pampered and satisfied. To prepare for this, however, it is essential to include the entrée choices on your response cards and track the selections accordingly for your caterer.

Gone are the days of steadfast rules when it comes to proper decorum at modern weddings. The best advice we can give is to remain tasteful in your choices and considerate of your wedding party, family and guests. At the end of the day, it is best to make these decisions based upon how best you can celebrate your own love story on this very special day, and share it with people that truly care about you and your new spouse.

The couple posing with the bouquet from Blossom Khardt

Greenery-Filled Wedding at Vintage Venue in Beatrice

From the photographer; 

Courtney got ready in her childhood family farm, amidst her closest friends and family. The day called for rain, but thankfully it held out and resulted in the most beautiful wedding day they could have hoped for! The scenery was overcast, but the colors became a bright emerald, and their happiness provided the extra sunshine that was missing from the day. Their style was classic and elegant, and the setting felt just like home.


Bridal gown: Ready or Knot
Bridesmaids’ gowns: Lulus
Caterer and venue: Vintage Venue
Cake and desserts: Nothing Bundt Cakes
Florist: Blossom Khardt
Hair and makeup: Elle Reve
Photographer: M Julie Photo
Videographer: Complete Weddings + Events

A cushion-set diamond

Fall/Winter 2019 Engagement Ring Trends

You have probably heard about the classic four C’s when it comes to picking out a diamond. Cut, color, clarity and carat weight are all essential pieces to consider when it comes to selecting a diamond engagement or wedding ring. A diamond’s cost is based on each of these elements’ quality as these characteristics are graded and categorized by the diamond industry as a whole. The higher the quality, the rarer the diamond and therefore more expensive. However, equally important to these factors is the feeling that takes over when you are wearing it. We understand that shopping for your engagement and wedding rings can sometimes seem overwhelming when considering the four C’s, price, as well as your emotions. Let us guide you through the basics so that when it’s 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 have real staying power. If you are not sure where to start, consider whether any of the current styles reflect your own personal tastes.

Vintage Rings
One extremely popular and truly timeless trend is vintage-inspired 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 the nostalgic sentiment it provides whenever someone is wearing it.

Classic Rings
Classic rings are still all the rage, and for good reason—they can withstand the test of time. While white gold is increasing in popularity, yellow gold still remains a highly-popular characteristic of a classic ring. A simple round or square-cut solitaire diamond with a simple metal band conveys a very classic feel.

Emerald-cut Stones
Emerald-cut diamonds are a striking, more unusual cut. Selecting an emerald-cut diamond will set you apart from the crowd, as it is not as widely chosen for engagement and wedding rings. Since these stones are also more affordable, you can usually 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. Considering a colored stone certainly broadens your options. While many brides opt for a colored diamond, it is completely acceptable to choose another gem for your ring. Brides are choosing anything from rubies to sapphires to opals as either their primary stone or as accents. Anything is possible, and a unique gem will draw attention to your distinctive sense of style.

Multiple Diamonds
While solitaire settings are still enormously popular, many brides are choosing a large diamond framed by tiny ones. This style 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. There is also a broader range of design options available when using multiple diamonds.

Modern Styles
Modern trends lean toward a look that is clean and simple, usually in platinum or white-gold settings. They also have a sleek appearance that borders on plain but works well for everyday wear. If you desire something cutting-edge, a modern design might be the right style for you.

Lab-Grown Diamonds
An emerging trend in the jewelry industry that has appeal for younger generations is man-made, lab-grown diamonds. Rather than being formed by nature, these lab-grown diamonds alleviate concerns for those worried about the ethical and environmental consequences of the global market. As a bonus, these stones cost roughly 30 percent less than the traditionally mined diamonds. Not only will these stones provide peace of mind as to their origins, but they’ll give your pocketbook a break too.

Wedding Bands
Once you have settled on your dream engagement ring, you and your fiancé should shop 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 to keep in mind when making your selections.

A bride fastens her earring while her solitaire ring flashes from her hand.

Mix it up. Do you and your fiancé have different tastes and styles? No problem. A matching set is not necessary. However, you may be able to save some money if your jeweler offers a package discount on matching sets. These rings are a lifetime investment that you will wear every single day, so each of you needs to select a band that you absolutely love.

Another trend that is appearing in the jewelry industry is the use of mixed metals. Gold, silver, platinum, rose-gold: the options are endless. This technique allows brides and grooms the opportunity to incorporate unique materials into their accessories. Have fun mixing it up. Other materials that can be utilized include wood, certain minerals, and even meteorite.

Be sure to incorporate your personality with whichever design you may come up with. Perhaps a special engraving is the key to the ideal wedding band. Today, designers can do just about anything you can think of to make your ring more personal.

Think about what you will be doing day-to-day as you wear your ring over the years. Remember that certain stones or softer metals combined with an active lifestyle can diminish the beauty of your ring over time, or even cause damage.

Plan your budget before you even walk into a jewelry store. Decide on the maximum amount you can spend, and don’t sway from that amount. It is easy to be tempted when you see the vast selection of top-dollar rings, 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.

Take your time. Visit several jewelers and never feel pressured to buy anything until you are certain it is the right investment.

Plan accordingly. To allow for sizing, engraving or any other modifications that will need to be made, it is essential to purchase your rings two to three months prior to your wedding date.
The best advice when shopping for your rings is to always keep in mind that they are an important symbol of the commitment between you and your partner. Long after your flowers have wilted, and the music has faded, your rings will still be on your fingers as reminders of the vows you made. Remembering their significance during the selection process will help you make the best possible decision.

Photos: Ashley Nicole Photography, Amanda Leise Photography

Traditional Jewish Wedding at Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha

Adam and Kellini wanted an intimate wedding, so they stuck with a small wedding party dressed in black. The bride’s simple gown recalled the glamour of old Hollywood. Simple black-and-white decor was set off by the elaborate setting at the Joslyn Art Museum.

Photos: Jessica Blex Photography + Design
Planner and florist: Lindsay Elizabeth Events
Videographer: Dundee Digital

12 Photos you have to get as Bride & Groom

When you are meeting with your photographer make sure you are getting the shots you want. Make a list of certain photos you cannot live without. You want to remember your day more than anyone, have it done right!

The Detail Shot

These kind of shots are made to show those little details of your dress or his tux. These items are all so special, you only wear them once!

The Full Body Shot

Show off your glam from head to toe!

The Veil Shot

Something about the veil photo that shows the true intimacy of the bride & groom.

The Intimacy Shot

Show off your spicy side! As bride & groom, you have the full go ahead!

Down the Aisle Shot

Let’s be real, every bride wants their SO to tear up at the end of that aisle!

The “We just got hitched” Shot

The feeling of true joy emanates from these types of photos!

The Nature Shot

Nothing is as magical as getting married in the forest.

The First Look

This moment, feels as though it can last forever.

The Dog Shot


The Glam Shot

Being honest, you’ll look hot on your wedding day, capture it right.

The Pure Joy Shot

These photos are my favorite as the bride & groom are living their best life and they know it and want to show it!

The Ceremony Shot

Lastly, don’t forget about the ceremony shot. The moment where you two become entertwined for life!


Nebraska Wedding Day