Author Archives: Katie Ringhand

Nebraska Wedding Day’s Best Of 2020: The Winners

Your wedding day is one of the most important days of your life, and it can take a team of dedicated and knowledgable specialists to pull it off. The dress, the décor, the venue, the countless vendors – there are so many options and only so much time to research and arrange it all. So where do you begin? Well, you can start right here. Brides and grooms of Nebraska have voted for the people, places and businesses that helped make their dreams come true, so you can count on this list to help you get hitched, too.

Photo by Pepper Nix

Best Wedding Planner

Rachel J. Events

Claim to fame: Put your planning in the hands of Rachel J. Events and you can be confident of the soirée of a lifetime. Based in Omaha, owner Rachel Wortmann’s innovative ideas and awe-inspiring aesthetics come to life with the help of her talented and attentive team. Pick from a menu of services, from planning to design to installation, or let the Rachel J. Events crew take care of every detail.

Finalists: Event Design, We Do! Wedding and Events 

Photo by Ashley Crawford Photography

Best Florist

Petals to Platinum

Claim to fame: Founded by Lindsey Raridon in 2012, Petals to Platinum turns a wedding day into a whimsi- cal wonderland. Serving Lincoln and Omaha, Lindsay brings 20 years of experience to you via an à la carte floral menu or a full service package. Sourcing the freshest seasonal blooms is a must, but it’s Petals to Platinum’s designs — refreshingly modern and unexpectedly unique — that set it apart.

Finalists: Grow with the Flow, Russ’s Market

Photo courtesy of Tip Top Tux

Best Menswear

Tip Top Tux

Claim to fame: With locations across the Midwest, including five in Nebraska, Tip Top Tux is the go-to place for grooms and groomsmen. You can count on their qualified consultants to make sure everyone is fitted properly and looking suave and stylish. Featuring a plethora of designer brands and styles rang- ing from modern, colorful suits to timeless tuxedos, they can accommodate every man’s taste.

Finalists: Gentleman’s Choice Formal Wear, Mr. Tuxedo

Photo by Haley Dolson Photography

Best Invitations

Dana Osborne Design

Claim to fame: Owner and designer Dana Osborne is a down-to-earth Midwest gal based in Omaha, but her designs are out of this world. Whether ethereal and feminine or modern and minimalist, her invitation suites set the mood for your big day. Got your own ideas? She’ll work with you to create something that is as unique as you are. Are timing and budget your big concerns? Choose from a spectacular selection of pre-designed suites in packages to fit your guest list.

Finalists: Cornhusker Beverage and Bridal, RSVP

Photo by The Leekers Photography

Best Spa Services

Lied Lodge & Conference Center

Claim to fame: As exciting as planning a wedding is, it can be stressful, too. The Spa at Lied Lodge in Nebraska City can help. Their menu of services features everything from traditional Swedish massages to their exclusive Apple Blossom massage, where you can indulge in rejuvenating apple-scent- ed aromatherapy. Other treatments include a refreshing lime blossom body scrub and a relax- ing mud therapy body mask, so you’ll glow inside and out as you walk down the aisle.

Finalists: Body Nouveaux Spa, De Novo Spa

Best Officiant

Hello Beautiful Bridal & Formalwear/Beyond Beautiful Officiating 

Claim to fame: Hello Beautiful Bridal and Formal Wear goes above and beyond to meet your style needs. Located on Central Avenue in Kearney, this local, woman-owned bridal shop offers more than wedding day attire — owner Megan Goeke provides an officiant service as unique as your relationship to help you say “I do.” From traditional to modern, Beyond Beautiful Officiating aims to make your wedding ceremony dreams a reality.

Finalists: I Choose You Ceremonies, We Do! Weddings and Events

Best Winery/Vineyard Venue

Bella Terre Reception Hall and Vineyard

Claim to fame: A Tuscan wedding without the travel? Yes, please! Situated 15 minutes from Omaha, in Glenwood, Iowa, Bella Terre Reception Hall and Vineyard will make your fairy-tale wedding dreams come true. Enjoy the Italian wine and cuisine close to home amid breathtaking vineyard views. From custom-made barrel pubs to outdoor party lights, Bella Terre is guaranteed to make your big day special.

Finalists: The Fountains Ballroom & Vineyard, Slattery Vintage Estates

Photo Courtesy of Borsheims

Best Jeweler


Claim to fame: Started in the late 1800s by a Norwegian immigrant in Omaha, Borsheims is celebrating its 150th anniversary this year and has grown into a powerhouse in the jewelry industry, locally and worldwide. Whether you want to design your own ring or pick from multitudes of designer brands, Borsheims’ reliability and savvy has made them an international authority on diamonds and wedding jewelry.

Finalists: Nebraska Diamond, Riddle’s Jewelry

Photo by Deana Coufal Photography

Best Caterer

Attitude on Food

Claim to fame: In 2002, owner Nathan Newhouse combined his years of culinary experience with his creative, entrepreneurial spirit to bring Attitude on Food to life in Omaha. With a devotion to customer service, his team works with you to create an innovative menu crafted from the finest ingredients. Whether you prefer a classy Champagne chicken or a down-to-earth BBQ bourbon chicken, the results are sure to leave your guests satisfied.

Finalists: Catering Creations, Chez Hay Catering

Photo by Taylor Cameron, Blackbird Photographie

Best Rental and Décor

Hillcrest Wedding Décor Rentals

Claim to fame: From rustic to romantic, Hillcrest Wedding Décor Rentals in Seward has it on hand to complete your wedding theme. Save yourself the DIY headache and let them create your dream vibes with their expansive catalog. Whether it’s elegant furniture, modern ceremony arches, vintage-inspired glassware or eye-catching signs, they’ll supply everything you need — you just supply the life of the party.

Finalists: AAA Rents & Events Services, Elite Events Rental

Best Venue in Nebraska

Wilderness Ridge

Claim to fame: With acres and acres of natural beauty, this timeless venue in Lincoln is the quintes- sential place to say your vows. The Wedding Island makes for a dreamy environment, while dancing in Yellowstone Ballroom under the antler chandelier is the perfect way to celebrate your unique marriage.

Finalists: Lauritzen Gardens, Lied Lodge & Conference Center

Photo by Amanda Leise

Best Wedding Cake and Desserts

Cake Expressions, Inc.

Claim to fame: With cake flavors ranging from piña colada to pink Champagne, this family-owned bakery in Bellevue takes delicious to a whole new level. Co-owners Debbie and Glenn Kohlscheen create confections that look amazing and taste even better. Whether it be a floral arrangement or lace detail for your desired dessert, Cake Expressions, Inc. will match any wedding style to impress everyone on your big day.

Finalists: Russ’s Market, Sweet Cakes & Roses

Photo Courtesy of Ellynne Bridal

Best Mother-of-the-Bride Apparel

Ellynne Bridal

Claim to fame: Just as every bride-to-be and bridesmaid is treated like a princess, every mother of the bride (or groom) is treated like a queen at Ellynne Bridal. As one of the most important guests, Mom deserves an elegant array of wedding-day options, and she’ll find it among hundreds of gowns in a variety of styles from designers including Adrianna Pappell, Jade, Watters and Sorella Vita.

Finalists: adorned Bridal, The Bridal Collection

Best Rehearsal Dinner Venue

Wilderness Ridge

Claim to fame: For a rustic, resort-style rehearsal dinner, look no further. Wilderness Ridge in Lincoln offers private banquet spaces accommodating a variety of group sizes. The pre- mium dining menu features meat and seafood entrées, with idyllic views and a perfectly manicured 18-hole golf course making it the perfect place to wine and dine. For more spirited libations, check out the full menu dedicated to bourbon and scotch.

Finalists: Lauritzen Gardens, Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo & Aquarium

Photo Courtesy of Bungalow/8 Hairdressing

Best Hair and Makeup

Bungalow/8 Hairdressing

Claim to fame: When it comes to hair and make- up, Bungalow/8 Hairdressing has been making waves in Omaha. Founded in 2009 by Eric Burden, he’s backed by a crew of experi- enced, knowledgeable stylists who make keeping up with trends look effortless. They’ll do on-location services, or you can choose their bright, airy salon, the perfect place for those “getting ready with the girls” photos.

Finalists: Bobbys & Blush, Candace White Makeup Artist

Photo by Complete Weddings + Events

Best Museum Venue

The Durham Museum

Claim to fame: This historic train-station-turned-museum in Omaha has grand architecture and unique details for an unforgettable set- ting. Marry among priceless art in the Swanson and Davidson Galleries or make it a Gatsby-style wedding in the Great Hall, with its marble floor and grand chandeliers hanging from the 65-foot-high ceiling.

Finalists: Joslyn Art Museum, Sheldon Museum of Art

Photo by The Leekers Photography

Best Barn Venue

Lied Lodge & Conference Center

Claim to Fame: Lied Lodge in Nebraska City offers picture-perfect moments for memories that will last a lifetime. The rustic venue is set among 260 acres of natural beauty at Arbor Day Farm, and you can even take in the views from 50 feet off the ground in one of their many treehouses. With a mission of sustain- ability, you can enjoy your big day while making a difference.

Finalists: The Barn at Ackerhurst Dairy Farm, Creekside Event Barn at Roca Berry Farm

Best Accommodations

The Lincoln Marriott Cornhusker Hotel 

Claim to fame: The Marriott Cornhusker Hotel, in the heart of Lincoln, pampers guests with elegant luxury. Guests can kick off the day at the Cafe with caffeine and eggs, work out at the 24/7 fitness center or relax by the pool between activities, with a little refreshment ready anytime at Miller Time Pub and Grill. Whatever your guests desire, the Cornhusker is ready to suit.

Finalists: Graduate Lincoln, Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District

Photo by The Mullers

Best Bridesmaid Dresses 

Ellynne Bridal

Claim to fame: As their motto says, Ellynne Bridal is “where you’re always treated like a princess” — so even your bride tribe can indulge in a little royal treatment. Lynne Rusted started Ellynne Bridal in Lincoln over 15 years ago, and it’s become one of the premier boutiques in the Midwest. With more than 250 styles, you’re assured that your whole party will be a stunning complement to you.

Finalists: The Bridal Collection, Dream Dress Express

Best Dance Instruction

Simply Ballroom

Caim to fame: Simply Ballroom opened in Omaha in 2003 and is now one of the largest dance studios around. Offering a range of lesson packages and a wide variety of dance styles, you and your significant other will wow your guests with your new moves. For an unexpected extra at your reception, you can hire an instructor to entertain and teach your guests some new steps.

Finalists: Omaha Ballroom, Vintage Ballroom

Best Transportation

VIP Sedan & Limousine 

Claim to fame: Arriving in style might be the first thing you want on your big day; VIP’s reliability and red carpet service are other elements to make your day go smoothly. Located in Omaha, they’ve been in business for almost two decades, so you can sit back, relax with some bubbly and enjoy a safe, chic experience.

Finalists: Leisure Limousine & Sedan, Ollie the Trolley

Photo by Kaylie Sirek Photography

Best Dress Shop

Blush Bridal Boutique 

Claim to fame: Started by Emmy Gorman in 2012, Blush Bridal Boutique in Lincoln offers the ultimate experience in gown shopping. Their welcoming and knowledgeable staff is happy to guide you through your bridal gown journey, with four levels of appointments to fit your needs. To com- plete your look, book an appointment with their Lovebird jewelry stylist, who’ll help you choose the perfect bling for your big day.

Finalists: Ellynne Bridal, Noa Brides

Photo by Nikki McLeay Photography

Best Photography

Nikki McLeay Photography 

Claim to fame: Omaha photographer Nikki McLeay learned the importance of capturing moments from her own family and documenting her growing children. That experi- ence shows in her photos, which capture not only images, but the emotions of the moment. Paired with an exquisite use of natural lighting, these are photos you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Finalists: Emily Jessen Photography, Sam Areman Photo

Photo Courtesy of Wilderness Ridge

Best Country Club/Golf Club Venue 

Wilderness Ridge

Claim to fame: Across from Lincoln’s Wilderness Park, Wilderness Ridge is filled with rolling hills of pristine green. Home to 18- and nine-hole golf courses and a FootGolf course, there’s a scenic view every time you turn around, including the elm on the Wedding Island, that can shade you as you say “I do.”

Finalists: The Club at Indian Creek, Tiburon Golf Club and Banquet Facility

Photo by M. Julie Photo

Best Calligraphy 

Miranda Writes 

Claim to fame: Omaha calligrapher Miranda Griffiths’ work exudes carefree sophistication. Smooth, sweeping letters dance throughout her port- folio of invites, place cards, signage and care- fully addressed envelopes. Simply put, she’ll turn typography into a work of light, airy art fit for your special day.

Finalists: Emily Jessen Photography, Letter Lane Design

Photo Courtesy of Lied Lodge Conference Center

Best Historic Venue

Lied Lodge & Conference Center

Claim to fame: Thanks to original landowner J. Sterling Morton, Nebraska City calls this 260-acre beauty a National Historic Landmark. Now owned and operated by the Arbor Day Foundation, Lied Lodge maintains Morton’s vision of conservation, and you don’t have to be a history buff to appreciate the one-of-a-kind charm the lodge has to offer.

Finalists: The Durham Museum, Orpheum Theater

Best Gown Care and Preservation 

Omaha Lace Cleaners 

Claim to fame: Your gown is an heirloom you’ll cherish for years to come, so you want to pre- serve it with the utmost care. Whether it’s a vintage piece passed down from your mother or a brand-new treasure that you hope to someday pass on to your daughter, Omaha Lace Cleaners is the tried, true and trusted expert on how to keep it looking its best.

Finalists: Max I. Walker, Tip Top Tux

Photo by Alisha Cerny Films

Best Videography 

Alisha Cerny Films

Claim to fame: A soft caress from groom to bride. A father as he chokes back tears of joy. A flower girl’s giggle as she skips down the aisle. It’s details like these that can go unnoticed — or they can be thoughtfully documented for all time. Based in Lincoln, Alisha Cerny’s specialty is in creatively chronicling these intimate moments so that you can relive them for years to come.

Finalists: A Final Take Films & DJ, Lacework Films

Photos Courtesy of Wilderness Ridge

Top The Tiara: All Around Best Wedding Vendor

Wilderness Ridge

Winning in multiple categories, it’s no surprise Wilderness Ridge takes the cake this year as the Top of the Tiara. Start celebrating with a rehearsal dinner in the cozy, upscale dining space. Whether you crave something from under the sea or off the butcher’s block, the menu has it all. The bar features wine, beer and cocktails, plus bourbon and scotch menus (just try to pick your favorite — we dare you), then head out to the 9,000-square-foot wraparound deck for breathtaking views. For your big day, Wilderness Ridge offers everything from event planning assistance to in-room bar service, and even discounts at nearby hotels with shuttle services so you and your guests can party stress-free. For the ceremony, walk down the stone path to the Wedding Island. This lovely location features a picture-perfect backdrop with flower beds, a serene pond and a monumental elm tree. Continue the celebration by danc- ing the night away in the Yellowstone Ballroom, where rustic lodge meets elegance with one-of-a-kind décor. Whatever your wedding whim, Wilderness Ridge offers the “wow” factor and quality service to match.

Finalists: Lied Lodge & Conference Center, Roca Berry Farm

Editor’s Picks

Photo by Jessica Blex Photography

Best Cake

The Confectionist

Dreamed up by The Confectionist, this divine delicacy was made for a heavenly inspired wedding. Vanilla bean Italian meringue buttercream icing topped the sour cream pound cake filled with lemon mascarpone buttercream. Pale pink florals added a classic touch, while white chocolate discs dusted with silver created a subtle, modern contrast.

Photo Courtesy of Elle Seals Events

Best Event Design

Elle Seals

Your wedding day is your big day, so why not go big and bold with florals? This wedding, designed by Elle Seals, featured a luxe floating floral installation above the main table, while luscious centerpieces adorned the tables. The bride and groom rattan seats added a trendy touch, with greenery and florals thoughtfully intertwined along the top. A subdued palette of blush and neutrals tied it all together for a look of effortless romance.

Photo by John Moler Photography

Best Bouquet 

Ethereal Floral Studio

Dusty-blue florals are trending, while pheasant feathers in this bride’s bouquet evoked earthy whimsy. Paired with a mix of eucalyptus, white anemone, blue thistle, white ranunculus, white garden roses, dusty miller, burgundy scabiosa, and chocolate Queen Anne’s lace, the feathers added unexpected depth and texture to the already magical mix. Designer Jess Franks from Ethereal Floral Studio says the feathers were the bride’s inspira- tion, perfect for the wedding’s natural winter vibe.

Photo by The Mullers

Best Photo 

The Mullers

Words can’t do justice to this photo by The Mullers. The Nebraska sky inspires awe and wonder, as the newlyweds steal away for a moment of intimate serenity. They boldly walk into their new future together as the moon rises high above them. We can only imagine the places they’ll go.

Photo by Amanda Leise

Best Dressed

Cara Morgenson 

This bold, boho bride’s ensemble was a stunner, topped with a celestial crown. Cara, a Lincoln public school teacher, knew that not everyone loved the head- piece as much as she did, but that didn’t stop her from making her wedding uniquely her own. It’s the perfect finish- ing touch to her vintage-inspired beaded gown, whimsical bouquet and airy baby’s breath woven through her hair. The moody Nebraska skies perfectly comple- mented her style, serving as a dramatic backdrop for her big day.

Photo by Aaron Zavitz with Silverscreen

Best Catering

Catering Creations 

Catering Creations served up this playful seafood ceviche martini. Prepared for a colorful, whimsi- cal wedding, Catering Creations worked with the couple to curate a menu that was fun and full of brio. This tasty concoction was a delightful hors d’oeuvre, with shrimp, salmon, whitefish, mango, citrus, onion, and spices served with housemade tortilla chips. A bright start to the rest of meal, it pleases both the eye and the palate.

Photo by Amanda Leise

Best Invitation Suite 

Revolution Paper Co.

This invitation suite by Revolution Paper Co. is everything a modern bride dreams of. Bold shades of deep mustard contrast with moody slate blues to grab your attention, while the clean sans-serif type keeps it minimal and simple. Eye- catching colors balance with white space, and quirky little illustrations for the menu and song request options keep everything lighthearted and fun. “When I design sta- tionery suites, I’m not just looking at the cards individually. I look at the whole pic- ture and design them to fit together sort of like a puzzle,” says Molly Hicks, the creative force behind Revolution Paper Co. The suite’s unusual shape and a deep blue velvet ribbon tie it all together.

Nebraska Wedding Day’s Best Of 2020: Live Virtual Experience on October 15th!

Get ready for our first ever, LIVE virtual event to celebrate the Best of 2020 Winners!

We are excited to announce Nebraska Wedding Day’s BEST OF 2020 AWARDS EVENT! Due to COVID-19 and social distancing guidelines, this year’s celebration will be an interactive, live virtual event scheduled for Thursday, October 15th at 4pm.

Nebraska Wedding Day’s Best Of 2020 delivers well-deserved recognition for the trailblazers in the Nebraska wedding industry. The finalists have been chosen through an online open voting process, and on October 15th, the winners of this year’s Best Of will be revealed and celebrated.

To embrace what is possible with virtual technology, Nebraska Wedding Day, along with our sponsors, Alisha Cerny Films, Rachel J. Event Rentals, and Petals to Platinum Florals, will push the boundaries to inspire and connect our community in honor of our wedding leaders. To elevate your Best Of virtual experience, pre-order your Best Of Box for two, carefully crafted by Patricia Catering & Cocktails and loaded with delicious treats and goodies, to enjoy in the comfort of your home, your team office, or your own personal Best Of Virtual Party. It will begin as a Zoom cocktail hour at 4 p.m., and will then transition into a curated Zoom awards ceremony at 4:30 p.m. You must be a part of the Zoom meeting to view the LIVE results.

Get ready to celebrate our industry’s hard work and achievements for Best Of 2020. Put on your party attire, break out the bubbly, order your Best Of Party Box, and get ready to join Nebraska Wedding Day on our virtual experience to celebrate the Best Of 2020!


Nebraska Wedding Day‘s Best of 2020


Thursday, October 15th at 4 p.m.


4:00 p.m. – Cocktail Hour:  Join the Nebraska Wedding Day Community with live music

4:30 p.m. – Awards Ceremony: A Curated Virtual Experience


Please note: You will receive virtual event details closer to the event date. 

See the Nebraska Wedding Day Best Of 2020 finalists here!

We encourage you to share your virtual fun on October 20th on social media, and would love to see all the VIRTUAL FUN you are having with us! Please don’t forget to tag us in your posts and stories, and use our signature hashtag: #NWDBestOf

Questions | Comments: Contact Associate Publisher, Nichole Plugge at

Say YES to the Dress with These Tips!

Reality television is created with one purpose in mind— to produce exciting programs by maximizing drama. While you may be familiar with Say Yes to the Dress, it’s not always an accurate depiction of the ideal bridal gown shopping experience. In fact, it can often be a perfect example of what not to do. More drama equals more stress, so most brides are seeking the exact opposite when it comes to dress shopping. We welcome you to take a look at a more accurate portrayal of shopping for your wedding gown.

It is completely within your control to make your dress shopping a positive experience that dreams are made of. In the reality show, brides flock to a popular bridal salon with close friends, family members and assorted others to select their wedding gown. However, as the bride slips into different dresses, her large entourage may have differing opinions rather than gushing over each gown. Usually the bride enters the salon with a budget in mind but may end up breaking the bank when the gown of her dreams is significantly more expensive than her budget allows.

While seeing the drama of dress shopping on television can be highly entertaining, it is not the best model to follow when shopping for your own gown. We’re setting the record straight on a few key misconceptions.

Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen

When you are dealing with a smaller bridal boutique, bringing a large entourage to shop for wedding gowns just won’t work. It may sound like a great idea to have all of your family and friends there, but inevitably the situation will cause more confusion and stress, making the entire experience less enjoyable for you.

Once you start trying on gowns, you will find that everyone may suddenly have their own strong opinion. While it is nice to receive feedback from one or two loved ones, bringing along multiple people could create unnecessary anxiety. Set yourself up for success by taking along a select few trusted individuals that will provide the quality feedback you seek.

Know Your Limits

Before you set out to gown shop, be certain to set a budget that reflects the exact amount you can afford and communicate it with your shopping companions. If setting a higher budget for your gown is a top priority, look for other areas of your wedding budget to trim, thereby allocating a little more for your gown. Just be cautious about eliminating any of the necessary elements of your wedding simply to increase your gown budget. Ultimately, you will not be happy if you have not allocated properly to pay for the cake or to provide enough tips for the wedding vendors who have worked so hard to make your day perfect.

If your dress is a priority, acknowledge it as one of your top budget items. This can work if you realize you may need to make other choices with vendors, like rethinking those delicious mini- cakes you wanted to provide as favors or the expensive orchids you were having flown in for the centerpieces. If you have a strict budget, you need to honor it. Trying to negotiate more money for a gown with your fiancé or parents can cause stress in other aspects of your wedding planning, as well as add tension to the relationships.

Be Honest About Your Maximum Budget

Nothing causes more frustration for both the bride and the bridal boutique as when you are uncertain about what you can truly afford. If you tell your bridal consultant that your budget is around $4,000, she will bring out breathtaking couture gowns within the $4,000 budget. But, if your maximum budget is really $3,000, you risk falling in love with a gown that is beyond your means. At some point, you will have to be honest with the consultant—and yourself—about your true budget. Then, the process can begin with gowns that fit your budget. Sadly, if you do try on the expensive gown “for fun,” you may find yourself frustrated and longing for that $4,000 couture gown you simply could not afford.

Don’t set yourself up for disappointment and frustrate your bridal consultant by wasting time on gowns you can’t consider purchasing. You will benefit greatly from building an open and honest relationship with your consultant. When it comes to shipping, measurements and all the details, you will want to make sure you are getting the best service possible. A good relationship goes a long way to that end. Taking up unnecessary time not only costs the boutique money, but it is also disrespectful to other brides waiting to shop for their gowns. Many salons work on an appointment-only basis, so those brides with appointments following yours might be delayed or rescheduled to another day if you aren’t communicating with your stylist.

The best approach is to always be honest from the very beginning, with both the consultant and yourself. The bridal boutique will work within your budget—no matter how high or low it may be. Above all else, they want you to leave a happy bride. Being straightforward ensures your gown-buying experience will be a positive one.

Nebraska has so many wonderful bridal boutiques with knowledgeable consultants looking forward to helping you find the perfect gown at the perfect price. Simply come prepared with a list of your wants and needs. Above all else, cherish the experience.

Image Credit: Sam Areman Photo

Go Glam With These Top Hair & Makeup Tips

Coming to a final decision about the feel of your wedding day can be a daunting task. Between follow-up phone calls, dress fittings and finishing up handcrafted details, you may be distracted from your hair and makeup for the big day. So, rather than considering your beauty consultations as simply items to check off your list, use them as a time to relax and be pampered. When deciding on hair and makeup styling, remember that your fiancé fell in love with you and wants to see you walking down the aisle, not someone unrecognizable. Follow these easy suggestions to be well prepared for your hair and makeup sessions, and also truly enjoy them.


When considering your wedding makeup, keep in mind that less is more. Your wedding day is not the time to debut a new smoky eyeshadow or bright red lip color if you’ve never worn them before. It is important to show your true self on your wedding day, so follow these steps to guarantee and flawless look when you walk down the aisle.

Wear your everyday makeup. On the day of your consultation, wear your everyday makeup to your appointment rather than showing up fresh-faced or overdone. Your makeup artist will use this to gauge how much makeup you wear on a day-to-day basis and come up with a perfect balance between done and overdone. If your daily routine includes only wearing concealer and mascara, discuss some neutral eyeshadow colors and light lip gloss options. If you love to wear eyeliner and darker shades, your makeup artist will see that you do not shy away from a bold look and can consider this when discussing options for the day of your wedding.

Bring photos. Bring a few inspiring images with you, such as photos of celebrities or Pinterest finds. Do not hesitate to pick and choose certain elements from different images. Explain what you like and do not like about each. You may love the rosy cheeks on one and a full lash line on another. Most women have a difficult time describing their makeup wishes, so bringing along an image or two can illustrate a better picture of your makeup artist to follow on your big day!

Plan a night out. The best way to test the longevity of your makeup and to fully enjoy your consultation is to plan an evening out with friends or go on a date with your fiancé the same evening. This will not only serve as a test to see if you love sporting those false lashes for a few hours, but you will experience an extended wear time, giving you a feel for how your makeup will look after a turn or two on the dance floor and a few bites of cake. Snapping a few images of yourself is also a great way to see how comfortable you feel with the results. You want your makeup to look flawless, all the while highlighting your gorgeous features. Be certain to take note of any changes you would like to make after this test and communicate them clearly with your makeup artist.


Much like your makeup, your wedding-day hairstyle should be comfortable and reflect your personality and fashion sense. The person walking down the aisle should be the one your fiancé fell for, not someone with a radical new haircut or extra-long extensions. Be true to yourself and wear your hair in a style that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful.

Hair Care. Many hair stylists will agree that your “day-after” hair is typically the best to style. By not arriving with freshly-washed, squeaky-clean hair, your stylist will have some texture and body to work with. As always, when scheduling your consultation, ask your stylist for their preference.

Come one, not all. Since most salons are smaller spaces, it can quickly become distracting and intimidating for a stylist to practice your wedding-day style with a crowd of bridesmaids or family members surrounding the chair. By bringing one or two select guests, you will relieve pressure and boost the enjoyment of your first session. Remember that this is a practice run-through, not the actual day, so a formal hairstyle might feel slightly out of place in jeans and a T-shirt. While you should be very satisfied with your bridal hairstyle before leaving the salon, it is not the time to obsess over every bobby pin in your updo. Focus on how comfortable you feel with the style, how long the look will last throughout the day and if you have any desired changes to the volume or curl.

Bring Your Accessories. If you plan to wear a veil or other hair accessory, don’t forget to bring it along with you to your consultation. Allowing your stylist to practice with the piece in advance will ensure that the appointment on your wedding day goes seamlessly. Also, you will have the chance to try different positions for your veil or accessory and then snap a few photos of these looks to decide which you prefer for the main event.

Wear Makeup. If you are able to schedule your hair and makeup consultation back-to-back, be sure to at least wear your everyday makeup to your hair consultation. Wearing makeup will allow you to feel more comfortable visualizing your bridal look, and your hairstylist can consider your personal beauty routine while styling your hair.

Image Credit: Sam Areman Photography

A Classic Fall Wedding with a Modern Twist

Jodi and Austin Carper met in junior high and are high school sweethearts since he asked her to their junior prom. After six years of dating, Jodi started bugging Austin for an engagement ring. On a Monday evening in May 2017, Austin snuck out for a bit and bought a ring for Jodi at Greenberg’s, where a close friend was working. His original proposal plan was to place the ring in a board game, where she’d find it as they played, but Austin couldn’t wait that long. When Austin got home and Jodi opened the front door, he was down on one knee. She was so taken off guard that she almost shut the door on him, but she held back and said yes!

The couple chose to have a classic wedding that featured modern touches to create a sophisticated fall celebration. Jodi was stunning in her elegant gown from Sample & Soiree which she paired with a lush bouquet of white roses. The wedding included a black and white color palette and was complimented by invitations and place cards showcasing a minimalist design. The reception featured long feasting tables adorned with black linens and topped with white chargers and a simple floral arrangement, bringing cohesion to the classic meets modern aesthetic. Creating an upscale look, billowing ivory fabric, string lights and cascading chandeliers were added overhead along with elegant silver chandeliers which softened the space and allowed for more personalized touch.


Photographer: Megan Kovar Photography

Venue: Noah’s Event Venue

Bridal Gown: Sample and Soiree

Bridal Accessories: Ready or Knot , Gunderson’s

Bridesmaid Attire: Azazie

Alterations: Livis Designs Bridal Tailoring

Hair: Reflections A-Salon

Makeup: Blush Makeup Artistry

Groom’s & Groomsmen’s Attire: Gentlemen’s Choice

Catering: Pizza West

Cake/Desserts: Cake Gallery

Flowers: Fancy Plants Flowers and Design

Rentals: United Rent-All

Invitations/Programs/Signage: Designs by Sydney Chapp, Dana Osborne Designs

Musicians/DJ: Image Entertainment

Videographer: Friend of Bride

Wedding Planner: Rachel J Events

Engagement Photos: The Mullers

Rings: Greenberg’s Jewelers

Favors: Chessex