Author Archives: Anthony Bettin

Sweeten the Dessert Table at Your Wedding With These Inventive Treats

Classic treats combine inventive angles and delicate floral accents for a dessert table with color and dimension.

Above: Cake pops add polished whimsy to any dessert spread. Made by Catering Creations, these fun-filled desserts sparkle with edible glitter, rock candy and sprinkles, to delight partygoers of all ages. 

Below:  A delicately marbled cake combines bold details with classic floral elements. Adorned with white roses and seeded eucalyptus, this confection from Cake Expressions, Inc. is pleasing to both the eye and the palate.

Above: Russ’s Market‘s minimalist “naked” cake uses two frosting techniques to accentuate each tier. With fresh roses and pomegranate seeds by Audra Pace at Dream Big Events, this cake looks (almost) too pretty to eat.

Below: (Left to right) Seeded eucalyptus and vibrant florals are the only accessories you need for this geometrically accented cake from Cake Creations Omaha; Your “something blue” is gorgeous—and edible too, with these delicate macarons from Catering Creations; Cake Creations Omaha combines a sophisticated cake with a modern twist, glammed up with hand-painted gold edges against greens and blues for added sparkle.

Above: Catering Creations put together this chocolate chip cookie cake layered with vanilla buttercream frosting. With delicate florals in vibrant purple, this is rustic at its most charming.

Below: Lovers of this traditional breakfast treat will appreciate the delicious simplicity of glazed doughnuts with vanilla frosting, courtesy of Russ’s Market.

CREDITS

Text: Emily Kerr
Photos: Amanda Leise Studio
Art Direction: Courtney Nielsen
Coordinator: Audra Pace, Dream Big Events
Location: Livestock Exchange Building

Wedding Myths Debunked by the Wedding Experts

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 bride's pink shoes add a flirty pop of color

8 Ways for Unconventional Brides to Wear a Pop of Color

While weddings tend to revolve around white, adding a pop of color can infuse personality into your wedding day look. Whether its accessorizing with a happy hue or turning heads with a shimmering statement, don’t be afraid to infuse your aisle style. Here are our favorite ways to incorporate your color palette into your wedding look.

Martina Liana “Carter” ivory silk corset bodice and “Sachi” tea-length skirt from Ellynne Bridal. Gurhan gold and pink tourmaline necklace and Kirk Kara rose-gold and pink sapphire rings from Borsheims. Gold necklace from Michael Tish Jewelers. Bouquet by Memrical Design Studio.

Allure Bridals style No. A2002 ivory beaded top and style No. A2011 crepe fit-and-flare skirt from Hello Beautiful Bridal & Formal Wear. Doves St. Barths Blue collection quartz and turquoise earrings from Borsheims. Lovebird Jewelry Collective rhinestone tennis bracelet from Blush Bridal Boutique. White-gold diamond rings from Michael Tish Jewelers.

House of Wu style No. 22889 chiffon gown with plunge neckline and circle skirt from adorned Bridal. White-gold diamond earrings from Michael Tish Jewelers.

Claire La Faye “Harlan” crepe bell-sleeve top and “Blake” wide-leg trousers from Noa Brides. Oval amethyst, pink tourmaline and diamond ring from Borsheims.

Enchanting by Mon Cheri Bridals style No. 119111 embroidered Schiffli lace and tulle sequined gown from The Bridal Collection. Kendra Scott “Annaliese” maroon jade pendant and “Charmian” gold drop earrings from Borsheims. Rose-gold starburst diamond ring from Michael Tish Jewelers.

Justin Alexander style No. 9904 strapless sweetheart ballgown from Dream Dress Express. Earthen Joy gold tassel earrings from Noa Brides. Yellow- and white-gold diamond band from Michael Tish Jewelers.

Justin Alexander style No. 88023 jewel-neck ballgown with layered tulle skirt from Blush Bridal Boutique. Diamond ring from Michael Tish Jewelers. Custom-dyed pink veil (held) from adorned Bridal. Floral backdrop by Memrical Design Studio.

CREDITS
Photos: Jessica Blex Photography + Design
Styling; Michelle Meyer
Art Direction: Ashley Nicole Photography + Design
Venue: The Venue at Highlander
Hair and Makeup: Creative Hair Design
Talent: Peyton Saar, Sasha Models
Floral Design: Memrical Design Studio

A table paying tribute to family members at a Nebraska wedding

Handcrafted Details To Wow Your Guests

Couples are discovering and truly embracing the magic of custom, 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. Below, we have outlined some helpful hints to keep you sane while creating an event that incorporates your unique taste. Focusing on a few distinctive design elements can be the key to making every detail count on your wedding day.

Signage
By adding eye-catching signage to your ceremony and reception space, you are not only adding function, but also style and personality. When determining display options for your signage, 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 need to take note of? If so, these are great opportunities to create 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 into 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 hook. Remember to use the same font and/or motif throughout your designed pieces to provide a common focal point that draws guests in easily. If you do not have the highest confidence in your own calligraphy skills, you can hire a calligrapher to work on select pieces for a reasonable price.

Place Cards
Are plain white place cards too vanilla for your style? Good news! There are literally hundreds of unique and cost-efficient ways to direct your guests to their designated tables. Some of our favorite double-duty place cards include wrapping a petite baguette in parchment paper or placing your favorite pastry item in a personalized muslin bag. Just add a simple tag with the guest’s name tied with baker’s twine to create both a place card and a component of your guest’s meal. Another option would be to consider a fun and unique way to display traditional place cards. Incorporating a large-scale installation that displays your seating cards can be both functional and a showpiece for your guests to admire.

Table Numbers
Grab your guests’ attention with unique table numbers when they go to find their seats. 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 from 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 bags with gourmet popcorn or chocolates. Tie the bags closed with ribbon or fold down and seal with a monogrammed 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.

6 Ways to Use Local Nebraska Flowers In Your Wedding Decor

Go wild with your florals. Picked-from-the-garden styles overflow with lush blooms and cascading greenery for a fresh take on wedding décor.

(Above) Floral by Petals to Platinum
Whether afternoon sun or glowing candles light your table, the vibrant flowers in this centerpiece will brighten the charm of a farm table and flowing linen.

(Below) Floral by Russ’s Market
You’ve said your vows. Now it’s time for the reception, and that means cake. Make it special with this elegant confection from Cake Expressions, Inc., then wrap the whole thing in a wow-worthy bounty of blossoms, vines, branches and grasses. Present the lovely result on a table draped with a rich violet velvet and wait for the gasps of delight.

(Above) Floral by Sweet Cakes & Roses
Make your seating fit for a king or queen—or a bride or groom. This elegant swag of ranunculus and eucalyptus adds a romantic vibe to the sweet simplicity of a wooden chair. Even sweeter? This handcrafted garland of wood and silk will never fade.

(Below) Floral by Petals to Platinum
White lisianthus and accompanying greenery set off cockscomb in bold and pastel hues. Coupled with pale pink roses and dollops of deep purple, these florals make for a table as festive as the day itself.

(Above) Floral by Grow with the Flow
A beribboned bouquet brims with happy abandon in this loose mix of roses, lisianthus, chrysanthemums and protea. Florist-grown hanging amaranth adds a bright pink pop amid the tumbling splendor of it all.

(Below) Floral by Grow with the Flow
Serve up piquant and perfect boutonnieres on an elegant silver tray. Lisianthus contrast with sprigs of dried greenery and jute cording for the perfect touch of rustic elegance.

CREDITS

Text: Sherri Hildebrandt
Photography: J.L. Scott Photography
Styling & Coordination: Sam Areman & Amanda Leise
Venue: Vintage Venue
Rentals: Honeyman Rent-All, Petals to Platinum
Videography: Alisha Cerny Films