Good Libations

Angie & Ryan-31The key elements of a wedding bar include wine, beer, bubbly and cocktails – plus soda “mocktails” and other nonalcoholic drinks. As you consider your options, just remember: A cash bar is the ultimate no-no.

For a formal affair, you may want to offer premium beverages all night long. If you have limited funds, stick with wine and beer and a signature cocktail. You can also limit a full open bar to just the cocktail hour. Some venues let you bring in your own bottles and pay a house corkage fee, which can be economical if you can buy wholesale or get a great deal at a liquor store.

Consider your crowd. If you and the majority of your guests love wine, serve your favorite red and white. Inviting a lot of college friends? Perhaps beer is fine. Or maybe spirits are a must if your crowd drinks gin martinis.

Plan for one drink per person per hour of the reception. IF you are serving a special sparkling wine for the toast, opt for a budget-friendly Spanish cava or Italian prosecco (one glass per adult). Kegs run about $1 per 12-ounce glass of craft beer, or 63 cents per glass of domestic beer. As for liquor, a 750 ml bottle contains about 17 drinks (a good value, but you need ice, mixers and more bartenders).

Photo: Lindsey George Photography

Want more planning tips on etiquette? Click here, page 58.


Effective Wedding Website Use

Wedding websites and social media keep guests informed – and involved – in wedding details. What’s the best protocol for putting it to good use?

Sydnie and Chase Luther of Omaha designed their wedding website so guests could have a sneak peek at the details leading up to their big day on June 28, 2013.

In addition to a photo gallery and a blog about how the couple met, the site also included a map, hotel and parking information and pictures of the ceremony and reception venues. A bonus for out-of-towners: list of Omaha attractions.

“The website was kind of a guide to our city, and included a list of places to visit in their downtime,” Sydnie says.

Haylie and Justin Rousek of Omaha also had their guests in mind when they designed their wedding website. Although the couple mailed the RSVPs for their October 18, 2013, wedding, guests could respond on the website as well.

The most helpful aspect of their site, however, was the registry. “I believe that it’s tacky to put registry information on the invite, so having a link that went straight to our registry was great – especially for my family,” Haylie says. They are from a small town, and this enable them to buy gifts more conveniently.

Tact was on both brides’ minds when dealing with other aspects of their wedding as well. Haylie and Justin made sure that all of their close family members knew about Justin’s proposal before announcing it on social media sites. And they only made the link to their website available by invitation.

“I didn’t post the link to any social media sites because I didn’t want to send information out about the wedding to people we wished we could invite, but didn’t have the space or budget for,” Haylie says.

The brides, who are sisters, also used Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to share their wedding details. Sydnie says it was fun to look back at Instagram and see the pictures that she and Chase had tagged throughout their engagement and wedding, while Haylie enjoyed seeing the photos and reading the tweets and friends and relatives posted.

These days, Haylie and Justin are using a different hashtag to document another big even in their lives. They are building a house, and the hashtag links people to photos of its progress. We can only guess what they will be documenting next!

One dress, infinite ways to wear it

If you don’t think you can do strapless, Jenny Yoo’s “Hathaway” gown (available at Ready or Knot {Wedding Chic} in Rockbrook Village) may be the perfect solution. It can be worn at least 20 different ways. The styling secret? The skirt has two convertible panels in the front and four panels in the back that can be drapped, wrapped or tied to create alternate necklines and skirt details. d19

If you’re looking for some bling, textures, patterns or colors on your dress. Consider the multitude of sashes and belts that bridal stores like Rhylan Lang carry or statement veils and accessories from Sublime Bridal.

Don’t forget that the way you wear your hair and how you style your makeup can also make a difference on how you see yourself in your gown.

d20 d24 d26 d27Photos: Amy Lynn Photography


Real Wedding // Daniela + Ryan

IMG_3760 IMG_3698 IMG_3667 IMG_0670 IMG_3492IMG_3820 IMG_3810 IMG_3823 IMG_4182 IMG_3826IMG_0511IMG_4206Read Daniela and Ryan’s real wedding story here, page 22.

Bride & Groom – Daniela Alic and Ryan Filbrandt
Photographer – Dink Design + Photography
Rings – Borsheims
Bridal Gown – Ellynne Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses – Etsy
Groom’s Attire – Men’s Wearhouse
Florist – The bride, with help from family and friends. Bulk flowers came from Sam’s Club and Fifty Flowers
Cake – Cindy’s Cakes
Caterer – Country Pines
Music – Harris Academy of the Arts (Ceremony), QuickPro DJ’s (Reception)
Rentals – AAA Rents & Event Services

Real Wedding // Tommy + Peter

Boatright Gallo_01 Boatright Gallo_03 Boatright Gallo_04 Boatright Gallo_05 Boatright Gallo_08 Boatright Gallo_09 Boatright Gallo_10 Boatright Gallo_12 Boatright Gallo_13 Boatright Gallo_14 Boatright Gallo_16 Boatright Gallo_21 Boatright Gallo_25 Boatright Gallo_26
Read Tommy and Peter’s real wedding story here, page 24.

Couple: Tommy Boatright and Peter Gallo
Photographer – Ed Carlson Photography
Rings – Goldworks, Lincoln
Attire – J. Crew, Saks Fifth Avenue and Nordstrom
Florist – Loess Hills Floral Studio
Cakes – Boatright
Caterer – Boatright; he also made dark chocolate pistachio sea salt vegan cookies as wedding favors
Music – Personal playlists
Rentals – Gibbs Party Rental


Saying “thanks” with sincerity

Texts and emails won’t do. When it comes to thanking your guests for their gifts, a proper acknowledgement starts with pen and paper. If you have bad handwriting, a typed message on a personalized card is the next best thing.

We’ve put together a few guidelines to writing Thank-You notes to help get you on the right track.

1. NAMES — If you’re using first names, list the woman’s name first in the note and on the envelope.
2. LENGTH — Three or four sentences will do.
3. BODY — Always reference the gift and how you plan to use it. When acknowledging gifts of cash, checks or gift cards, the amount of the gift should not be mentioned. Add something personal about the gift-giver. End your note by thanking them again and sign both names.
4. TIMELINE — Try to mail your thank-you notes within two weeks after your wedding.

No Gifts, Please: When two established households are coming together, gifts can seem ridiculous. The best way you can tactfully make the announcement is through family and friends. For guests who still want to give you something, suggest a donation in your name to a favorite non-profit.

Get Organized: Recruit a friend or family member to be the gift organizer. He or she can help you keep a record of what you receive from whom and when. Keeping organized from the beginning will help when you sit down to write your thank-yous.

Ralston Arena // For the love of the Lancers

Forkasdi Wedding.Stribley Photography-4

Meet Michelle and Chris Forkasdi, Omaha Lancers season ticket holders. Being the fans that they are, the Forkasdi’s wedding plan included communicating with the Lancers staff to do the puck drop at the beginning of the game on their wedding day. Unfortunately they weren’t able to do that, BUT the Lancers still wanted to recognize Michelle and Chris at some point during the game. Chris and Michelle had just finished up their first dances when they were whisked away to make an appearance on the ice for the game announcer to congratulate them — definitely a reception highlight!

DSCN1011 DSCN1013 Forkasdi Wedding.Stribley Photography-1 Forkasdi Wedding.Stribley Photography-2

After seeing this wedding, W.E. wondered how fun it would be to put on some skates for your reception and sure enough, the Ralston Arena provides that option! How fun! This would be perfect for if you’re planning a winter wedding — or want a slice of winter for whatever time of year your big day lands on.

The ice is rented out by the hour (provide that it’s available). Skates and staffing are also provided for your guests.

And we’ll let you in a little secret — the Ralston Arena is giving $500 DOLLARS OFF its wedding package from now until June 1st. Your wedding/reception must be reserved by June 1st and take place before December 31, 2014. More details here.

Photos: Stribley Photography

Event // All About Weddings Happy Hour

So now that you’re engaged and we want to do our best to help you plan your wedding, you’re officially invited to join us at the All About Weddings Happy Hour — happening this Thursday, February 27th at the Millard Plaza Ballroom at 5:00 p.m. This casual, stress-free affair is to help you get to know the All About Weddings Partners and maybe win a prize or something awesome like that. Enjoy some free food, free drinks and engaged conversation.

Prize drawing will be at 7:00 p.m.
Event ends at 7:30 p.m.

And if you’re wondering who’s going to be there besides us, you can check out this page or the list below. But don’t forget to RSVP! See you there, friends!

Access 66 Catering
All Season Floral
Cherry on Top Events by Jen
Concierge Travel of Omaha
dSy Invitations
Gentleman’s Choice
Hampton Inn & Suites — LaVista
Inclusive Life Wedding Officiants
Jaime Eschliman, musician
Lane Weddings
Millard Plaza Ballroom
Omaha Lace Cleaners
Sublime Couture
The Omaha Photo Booth Company
Wedding Essentials


Spring Dreaming

While we’re soaking in this nice weather, we’ve caught ourselves dreaming of all the spring and summer weddings to come this year. So here’s an idea: an ice cream bar.

Sounds totally fun, right?! Molly Lorincz hooked us up with these gorgeous shots of a beautifully executed ice cream bar that was created by a real bride. WE invite you to take a gander (and maybe let your imagination get the best of you). Want more? Well, we’ve got some for you right here.

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