Idea Show // 6 more days!

WE_IdeaShow13_Countdown5 Ohh WE just love this headpiece from Ready or Knot {Wedding Chic} that was featured in the Fall/Winter 2013 issue of Wedding Essentials. We can’t wait to see what they have on display at the Idea Show! Buy your tickets here.

Get the full list of exhibitors here!

Idea Show // 7 more days!

WE_IdeaShow13_Countdown4 Purchase your tickets to the Wedding Essentials Idea Show online in advance and save $2! The more money you save, the more you can spend on your big day (and Nothing Bundt Cakes — who may or may not appear with a tray full of samples).

See the full list of exhibitors here!

Idea Show // 8 more days!

WE_IdeaShow13_Countdown3 Photos are the one thing you’ll always have to remember your big day. Lindsey George will be at this year’s Idea Show to strut her stuff! This is the perfect chance to have all your wedding photography questions answered so don’t forget to buy your tickets!

See the full list of exhibitors here!

Meet Miss Sparkler // He finally did it!

Mr. Sparkler and I have been together for about four and a half years, so I would not exactly say the engagement was a surprise. I knew it was coming — or at least I hoped it was coming! We had both talked a lot about it, looked at rings several times and at this point I was just waiting for him to “pull the trigger.” Of course my impatient demeanor eventually became comical to Mr. Sparkler, as little did I know he had the engagement planned for about three months prior to asking me.

HOW IT HAPPENED: Mr. Sparkler is a planner in everything he does. He thinks things through and through and makes sure to properly execute them. So it is not to my surprise that he had this event planned out with my parents, grandparents and his parents. I am just surprised everyone could keep it a secret from me!


The plan was we were going up to my family’s house in Okoboji for the weekend. Typically we have one “family week” where all my cousins, aunts and uncles are up there at once. Needless to say, this was the weekend we had a full house and were at capacity with 35 people. I always look forward to this week because it is like a giant family reunion where we all get together and catch up. Prior to leaving I joked with my friends that I hoped Mr. Sparkler would be able to survive my uncles, as they always tease him about putting a ring on it. Clearly I did not know what was in store for me.

We drove up on a Thursday night so we would be able to have the whole day by the lake on Friday. Friday morning we woke up and everything was just like a normal lake day, the sun was shining and everyone was able to be on the lake. My mom requested me to be cleaned up by 4:00 p.m. to help her with dinner, her needing an extra hand in the kitchen with that many people was not abnormal. I got cleaned up and walked out on the patio, which overlooks the lake, I thought it was strange that most everyone was already cleaned up because at the lake, no one is ready for dinner until about 7:00 p.m. or later. But I did not read into it much. Mr. Sparkler was on the patio with my grandparents and my brother’s girlfriend. When I came outside no one looked at me except Mr. Sparkler, which was odd but I went with it. He wanted to down to the patio that was positioned just over the lake, so we did. My mom was on that patio and immediately as we sat down she had to “go check on dinner.”

At this point, it was just Mr. Sparkler and I on the patio. I looked at him and asked what was going on, in my head I was in denial that this could be the moment I had wanted to come so bad. He stood me up and took my hands and mentioned that he wanted to spend the rest of his life with me… I kept saying, “I know, but what is going on?” He got down on one knee, opened the ring box, I squealed and was in shock as to how beautiful it was and that he was asking me to marry him!


I don’t remember all his words in between “will you marry me?” but I do know he had to ask three times before I said, “Yes!” because I was in total shock. I looked up from the patio to see my entire family looking over clapping, including my soon-to-be in-laws. He had arranged for his parents to come to Okoboji and be there for that special moment.

Mr. Sparkler wanted to propose with our family surrounding us because he knows how much family means to me. I think it’s so neat that both my mom and his mom got to see him get down on one knee. I always imagined he would ask me with my family near, but I couldn’t quite figure out how he was going to do it. I am so glad that he did it the way he did, it was definitely worth the wait, just as he always told me it would be. Okoboji will forever be a special place for me!


D.I.Y. // Bottle Cap Magnets

BottleCapMagnets_DIYHere’s what you need:
- 1 roll of magnetic tape
- scissors
- photo paper (one 4×6 sheet prints about 9 1-inch photos)
- bottle caps (as many as you want magnets)
- hot glue/hot glue gun

Here’s what you do:
1. Print your 1-inch photo(s) on photo paper
2. Cut the photos out into a circle (HINT: use the bottle cap to measure size)
3. Hot glue the photo into the bowl of the bottle cap (HINT: press down with your thumb)
4. Cut off a half-inch square of magnetic tape. (TIP: Glue the magnet to the top side of the bottle cap to make sure it will stay secure)

Repeat for as many photos as you would like.

Photo: Heidi Hoffman


Real Wedding // Danny + Rob

We first heard about Rob and Danny through an afternoon chat with Tin Box Weddings. Their story was so intriguing that we just had to learn more about this couple. Even after seeing all of their engagement photos (by Tin Box Weddings), it was a definite YES to sharing about their wedding, too! Love, love, love!Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-03

SCHEDULE CONFLICT The bride is such a huge football fan that she had to promise the groom that she will only watch her favorite sport on “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, Sunday — and sometimes Wednesday.” Only a Friday wedding would do. HER PERSONALITY CAME THROUGH The couple met at a National Federation of the Blind conference in Washington, D.C., in 2007 (both the bride and groom are blind). An announcement came over the loud speaker for the driver of a white van to move the vehicle. The groom was smitten by the bride’s funny response: “Like they would let one of us move it.” RED HEELS AND ALL The bride always wears red heels, and her wedding day was no exception. Her 4 1/2-in red heels were even featured on the favors: a chocolate bar with a wrapper that said, “Head over heels in love.” PERSEVERANCE PAID OFF Debra, the bride, visited 23 jewelry stores before she found one that would spell her name in raised gold Braille letters on the groom’s ring. “No one could figure out how to do it. I had given up and ordered another ring.” Then she found Kay Jewelers in Papillion. “It’s amazing,” she says. “It’s everything I wanted it to be.” SHE JUST HAD TO LAUGH The bride’s own sister misspelled Debra’s nickname, “Danny,” incorrectly on the program. Debra didn’t see it until she was ready to walk down the aisle.

Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-04 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-05 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-06 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-07 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-08 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-09 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-10 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-11 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-11_2 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-12 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-13 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-14 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-15 Danny_Rob_ENG-2013-15_2

Bride & Groom: Debra “Danny” Jensen & Robert Hobson
Photos: Tin Box Weddings
Ceremony: Holy Cross Catholic Church
Reception: A View West
Rings: Gittelson Jewelers, Minneapolis, and Kay Jewelers, Papillion
Gown: Jasmine Bridal, St. Paul, MN
Bridesmaids: Bettie Page vintage
Groom: Men’s Wearhouse
Groomsmen: Men’s Wearhouse
Florist: Hy-Vee
Cake: Hy-Vee
Caterer: Hy-Vee

Sweet Friday // Monica’s Cakes

cakes1 Oh, my! WE are obsessed with this cake! Ombre, ruffles, flowers, tasty goodness — what more could you ask for?! Welcome to Wedding Essentials, Monica’s Cakes!

P.S. You’ll find this sweet lady at the Idea Show on October 20th!


Engaged // Alex & Andy

Andy proposed to me right after sunset on June 21, 2013.

The night before, we were at the CWS and he asked if I wanted to go view the sunset with him the next night. Andy’s a pretty romantic guy, so I said yes, and didn’t think anything of it.

Alex_Engaged03Friday evening came and we both had separate plans. The sunset was timed to set at 8:30 p.m. or so (according to Google). At 8:05 p.m. Andy called me and asked if I wanted to go on a sort of spontaneous date with him after watching the sunset. I like to go on dates and dress up, but after a long day at work, I was already in my sweats and t-shirt and told him, “No, let’s rent a movie or something and stay in.” But he was persistent. He’s a pretty spontaneous guy, so again, I thought nothing of it and went quickly to change and get ready since I had about 10 minutes before he would pick me up for our date. Looking back, he didn’t seem nervous or antsy, so it felt like any other night to me.

We drove out to the Ft. Calhoun area and he parked off the road saying “this looks good.” I protested and said we should go further, but he was persistent. We stayed. We got out, sat on the tailgate of his truck and chatted, leaning into one another while we watched the sun fade away. He grabbed my hand and asked me to go for a little walk in the country. After we made it several feet, he turned to face me and grabbed my shoulders. He looked at me for a really long time (which I thought was strange) and then he pulled me into a hug. I noticed how fast his heart was beating at this point. He then said, “Alex you are beautiful. You’re my best friend, and I love you so much. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” Right when he said that I knew.

He then pulled me back, saying “Alexandria Brooke Preston,” he got down on one knee and continued, reaching down on the ground to the right of him (he had left the ring next to a pile of rocks while he came to pick me up), “will you marry me?” I had no words! I remember saying, “This isn’t real!” And then I remember saying yes, happy tears immediately flooding my eyes. I did not see our engagement coming. I knew we would marry each other one day, but I had no idea when he would propose.

Back at the time of our engagement, from what I knew, no one had taken pictures. It wasn’t until the end of August that he drove me back to the spot where we got engaged and he whipped out a computer and showed me pictures and a video from his proposal. He had a few friends there to make sure the ring didn’t get stolen and to capture the moment! It was a perfect surprise, and I was thankful someone was there to photograph the moment. Andy is a rare and unique man who has always been great at melting my heart.

He said he thought of the proposal idea all on his own. He knew I loved the country and sunsets, and he wanted it to be perfect — and it was! He also picked out the ring himself, a few months before he proposed!

Alex_Engaged02PHOTOS: Chase Barrington

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