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.
Best Wedding Planner
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Spa Services
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.
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.
Best Winery/Vineyard Venue
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.
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.
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.
Best Rental and Décor
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.
Best Venue in Nebraska
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.
Best Wedding Cake and Desserts
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.
Best Mother-of-the-Bride Apparel
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.
Best Rehearsal Dinner Venue
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.
Best Hair and Makeup
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.
Best Museum Venue
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.
Best Barn Venue
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.
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.
Best Bridesmaid Dresses
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.
Best Dance Instruction
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.
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.
Best Dress Shop
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.
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.
Best Country Club/Golf Club Venue
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.”
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.
Best Historic Venue
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.
Best Gown Care and Preservation
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.
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.
Top The Tiara: All Around Best Wedding Vendor
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.
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.
Best Event Design
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Best Invitation Suite
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.