Author Archives: Laura Cross

Set Up Your Wedding Registry for all the Things You Need – or Want!

With so many options to choose from, your registry experience might feel like being a kid in a candy store. From basics such as linens and cookware to heirloom pieces such as silver candlesticks and serving platters, your gift registry will cover an array of household needs for your home as a married couple. As you plan for your home together, this part of the wedding planning process can be the most fun and exciting.

Consider registering for a few of the absolute must-haves immediately after you announce your engagement. These selections provide close friends and family with ideas for engagement gifts and is especially helpful if you are planning a wedding shower. If you are not planning an engagement party, you can create your gift registry six to nine months prior to any showers or your wedding date. Some products may become unavailable, so periodically check on your registry to determine if you should select additional or replacement items.

It is best to select two or three stores when registering for your wedding. Since guests will need to accommodate their own budget when selecting your gift, it is thoughtful to include options across a wide array of price points. Also, be aware of whether items may be purchased in-store or online. While this may be convenient for out-of-town guests, it may be an added expense for those who live in the area and want to personally present their gift. Registering with a store that provides both options is usually the best of both worlds.

An important step in determining where you wish to register is to educate yourself on the store’s registry fine print. Large retail stores can record guests’ purchase history and any shipping addresses, thereby making thank-you notes a breeze. However, some stores may limit the number of returns or exchanges without a proper gift receipt, making it difficult to exchange duplicates. Ask the store about their return policy, if they keep a purchase history of your items and how guests will be able to access your registry selections.

Gift registries have become more and more popular over time due to the convenience of online ordering and shipping directly to the newlyweds’ home. There are a variety of sites offering services with a niche appeal, such as gifts for the environmentally conscious bride. On these websites, a couple can register for gifts from green merchants as well as cash gifts such as donations to charities. Many sites also include a “partial” gifting option to accommodate the couple that wishes to include more expensive gifts. Whether you choose to utilize a cash or product-driven online registry, the biggest benefit is that guests can save time and money by avoiding busy stores, expensive gift wrapping and possibly shipping costs. Should you decide to register with an online service, make certain the site is user-friendly.

Start by taking a thorough inventory of your combined belongings to determine your needs. Take note of any items you are missing or that need replacing. Envision your home in five to 10 years. You may not host dinner parties now, but will you in a few years? Do you see yourself hosting holiday events such as Thanksgiving or Christmas? Before skipping over certain areas like flatware, try to envision your future lifestyle.

Just like wedding planning, you should first cover your basics when developing your gift registry. Items like sheet sets and linens, towels, pots and pans, cutlery and stemware are everyday essentials that you will use for many years to come. When browsing through the options, we suggest sticking to neutral colors. Crisp white sheets and towels match any décor and are easy to treat and protect. Investing in a neutral palette will extend the life of your gifts.

After the basics are covered, move on to items you want for day-to-day tasks such as slow cookers, kitchen mixers, coffee makers, laundry baskets and decorative lamps. Selections should include low, medium and high price points. Tip: Compile your list categorized by room so you can easily remember these items when you hit the stores.

The last items to add to your registry can be any unique and special gifts like china, silver flatware or engraved picture frames. These items may appeal to close family members and friends who wish to give you a wedding gift that will become a true keepsake for special occasions. These items should be classic and timeless in design, thereby assuring you will use them repeatedly, regardless of your change in décor. If you can’t resist, select a few fun and charming items that strike your fancy.

Remember to check back with each store’s registry from time to time to add items that you missed the first time around or to make changes after receiving items from wedding showers. When receiving gifts prior to the wedding day, it is proper etiquette to send a thank-you note within a week or two to verify that the gift arrived and is deeply appreciated.

If there are gifts still left on your registry after your wedding, many stores offer a completion program via discounted pricing on items remaining on your list. Some stores send a completion coupon several weeks after your wedding date, so it may be wise to hold off splurging on big ticket items until then.

Sweet & Romantic Wedding in Omaha

Right after Lauren Petri and Kyle Stephens became Mr. and Mrs., they decided it was time for a sweet treat with their bridal party. They headed for Ted & Wally’s ice cream, where the bride, still in her wedding dress, bravely ordered a cone with bright red raspberry sorbet and her groom opted for a more fabric friendly scoop of butterscotch. “My husband was more worried about [stains] than I was,” Lauren laughs. The couple dated for seven years, starting in college, before Kyle proposed. To honor his bride’s wishes, Kyle found a rose gold engagement ring that was ethically sourced. When planning their wedding, the couple knew they wanted to be somewhere in downtown Omaha and searched more than 30 locations before choosing the Vintage Ballroom because of the venue’s flexibility. “They were super easy to work with,” says Lauren. With Lauren’s father, a pastor, officiating the ceremony, the bride-to-be wanted her dress to be a more traditional style, so she opted for an intricate lace gown. Along with their vendors, Lauren’s sister and father pitched in for the big day by growing succulent plants to use as centerpieces. While the planning was a whirlwind of fun, Lauren says the best part of her wedding day was “seeing all of these people who knew us before we started dating each other. By the time we got married, these people had watched us grow together.” The couple started their married life after departing amid a flurry of family, friends and bubbles.

Photographer: John Moler Photography
Gown: An Elegant Affair, Iowa
Hair: The Copper Pin Salon & Spa
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Birdy Grey
Groom & Groomsmen’s Attire: Men’s Warehouse
Rings: Brilliant Earth (hers), (his)
Cake: Mad Ox Bakery
Catering: All Inclusive Catering
Flowers: Bloom Works Floral, Iowa
Stationary: Shutterfly
Entertainment: Vintage Ballroom
Ceremony Venue: Timothy Lutheran Church, Council Bluffs, Iowa
Reception Venue: Vintage Ballroom, Omaha

Come Fly With Me: Jet-Setting Stylish Menswear

Formal wear takes flight with classic suiting made modern and fashion-forward accents.

Azzurro maroon jacket with shawl lapel, black tuxedo pant, white dress shirt, bow tie and Frederico Leone velvet paisley loafers from Gentleman’s Choice Formal Wear. Movado leather band watch, silver ring and cufflinks from Borsheims.

Ike Behar “Hamilton” slim gray plaid suit and white dress shirt from Mr. Tuxedo. Brown leather shoes from Tip Top Tux.

Renoir navy suit and vest, white dress shirt, crimson tie and pocket square, and Frederico Leone brown leather shoes from Gentleman’s Choice Formal Wear.

Ike Behar “Waverly” slim white tuxedo jacket with shawl lapel and satin trim, black tuxedo pant, white dress shirt and bow tie from Mr. Tuxedo. Frederico Leone black glitter loafers from Gentleman’s Choice Formal Wear. Gadget silver cufflinks and gold onyx-inlay ring from Borsheims.

Savvi Black Label cobalt plaid suit and cream dress shirt from Tip Top Tux. Shinola silver watch and platinum and gold wedding bands from Borsheims.

Kenneth Cole burgundy suit, cream dress shirt and paisley tie, and black leather shoes from Tip Top Tux. Brushed gold and silver wedding band from Borsheims.

STYLING: Sarah Baumann Rogers
Sam Areman + Amanda Leise
LOCATION: Silverhawk Aviation, Lincoln
TALENT: Eric Jesse, Develop Model Management

Reimagine Your Wedding Stationery Suite with these Timeless Touches

There’s no denying that we have a moderate obsession with wedding invitation suites. Invitations are the perfect way to foreshadow the wedding soon to come and make a lasting first impression. These timeless touches will wow your guests and prove romance is forever.

Dana Osborne Design
Silk ribbons are a luxurious addition to a traditional invitation from Dana Osborne Design, adding elegant texture. Untie the bow to reveal a personalized monogram and sophisticated white lettering dancing across the dusty blue cardstock, a memorable experience for eager guests.

RSVP’s “Everly V.2” by Jessica Downs for Bella Figura is built with perfected care, layer by layer. Gold matte foil stamping and letterpress pewter ink rest on white cotton cardstock, while leafy designs curve along the deckled edges and adorn the monogram. Patterned gray and gold envelope liners for invitation and save-the-date complete the lavish theme.

Dana Osborne Design
This Dana Osborne Design suite perfectly balances classic and chic. Traditional serif font pairs with whimsical cursive spins on soft white cardstock. For an elegant finishing touch, envelopes are sealed with customizable gold wax stamps, a poetic symbol that adds another romantic touch to this sophisticated wedding invite.

Sophistication at your fingertips: On RSVP’s “Estate V.2” suite by Lindsy Talarico for Bella Figura, matte gold foil stamping melts into ivory paper. Antique pressed envelope liners spring to life with peeks of petals and leafy vine illustrations. The pop of color complements the gilded type for an unforgettable suite.

Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal
Get lost in the intricate calligraphy twining throughout this “Shimmer” collection from Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal. This grand font guides the eye across the classic cream card. For a traditional or timeless wedding, this wedding suite indulges in minimalist beauty with unmistakable luxury.

Text by Charlotte Larson
Photos by Tate Carlson
Floral Styling by Ashley Fox Designs
Stationary Styling by Shasta Bell Calligraphy

The Top Tier: 3 Cakes That Blend Artistic Whimsy with Mouth-Watering Flavors

There’s no denying that desserts are a grand part of your wedding day, so we’re featuring three of our favorite wedding cakes that provide a modern and unique twist on the typical cake to add an extra wow factor to your big day. As delicious to look at as they are to eat, these cakes blend artistic whimsy and mouth-watering flavors. A bonus: fillings and frostings can be tailored to your taste. 

Sweet Cakes & Roses
Simple elegance packs a punch, as this pretty confection from Sweet Cakes & Roses proves. Buttercream frosting envelops four layers of amaretto cake with raspberry and buttercream filling, while darker frosting creates the brushstroke effect. Trimmed with edible frosting “pearls” on each layer, the cake is topped with pastel blooms. Amaretto is a customer favorite, along with chocolate fudge and strawberry.

Russ’s Market
Like an Impressionist painting, the masterful brushstrokes in a palette of pinks elevate this to a work of art. The choice of flavor, filling and icing are up to you, and Russ’s Market gives you a lot to choose from. Vanilla, chocolate and almond are perennials, but if you want it all, opt for marble cake, or carrot or lemon cake for deeper flavor. Feeling adventurous? Try red velvet or pink moscato. Fillings range from blueberry to mango, with chocolate mousse and cream cheese among the options. To top it off, choose vanilla or chocolate rolled fondant or various flavors of buttercream frosting. Add a few floral flourishes, and your masterpiece awaits.

Cake Expressions, Inc.
A bouquet that’s pretty as a picture and delightful to taste is a wonderful creation indeed. Cake Expressions, Inc. combines both, to enchanting effect. The petals and leaves are painted directly on the cake using tinted frosting, a soft brush and a steady hand. Our cake is traditional almond flavor with raspberry filling, always a great choice; a popular option for spring and summer is white cake with lemon or strawberry filling. Looking for subtler flavor and extra panache? A torte with layers of fresh-cut fruit is a big hit. Fillings include apple, blueberry, lime, Bavarian cream, chocolate cream, cream cheese or cheesecake.

Text: Sherri Hildebrandt
Photography: Emily Jessen Photography
Styling: Sam Areman & Amanda Leise
Cake: Cake Expressions, Inc., Russ’s Market, Sweet Cakes & Roses
Venue: Arbor Hall
Linens, Tableware & Platters: Elite Events Rental
Photo Shoot Coordination: Sam Areman and Amanda Leise