Author Archives: Katie Ringhand

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