Miss Cloud Nine // The Dress

I’ve joked about how some of my friends had half their wedding booked within 24 hours of getting engaged…I became that girl. Maybe not quite 24 hours, but within two weeks we booked the venue, caterer, band, hair, makeup, photographer, the ceremony music, the pastor, the dress and the wedding planner. Part of it was the high I was riding after being engaged, but most was out of necessity. I realized I was late to the game. Some of these places we checked out had been booked since last summer.

So off we went to look at venues. We knew we wanted a place in the old market for our out-of-town guests, plus we love the vibe of downtown.  We saw a few places; too small, too expensive, not available. Then we walked into 1316 Jones and I knew I loved it. The feel was cozy but cool, big enough yet not huge and the selling point was the big deck off the side. We love sitting on the deck, in the summer drinking beers with our friends so why not have that option when we get married too. Chad Morford was so nice to us and our wedding planner, Candace, said if there were a homecoming court for the Omaha wedding industry, then Chad would win homecoming king. Luckily, there was one date left in August. Sold.

1316 jones 1316 deckNext up, the dress. Oh the dress. Any engaged girl knows the anticipation of trying on wedding dresses. Heck, any girl with a Pinterest “someday” board knows the anticipation of the wedding dress. So much pressure to find “the dress.”

I am not a person who enjoys lots of people staring at me (our ceremony with 250 pairs of eyes on us should be super fun) so I decided to keep it simple.  I brought my mom and my best friend, Amy. These two know me better than anyone and I trust them to tell me the brutal truth.  I highly suggest bringing only a few people with you and only those people you feel extremely comfortable with because it made the whole experience less stressful and a whole lot of fun.  Plus, we’ve all seen those reality show episodes where the bride brings 15 people. It ends in tears.

I went to Ready or Knot {Wedding Chic} in Rockbrook Village for my first round of dress shopping. I was so excited and nervous. I wasn’t expecting to be so nervous but it’s one of those moments I’ve waited a long time.  Lace, tulle, sweetheart, a line, mermaid, trumpet, veils, oh my. I started by telling Jocelyn, the owner, what I was thinking and she began pulling dresses she thought would look good. (p.s. She also gave me great recommendations for a variety of vendors from makeup to flowers to bands)

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I put on the first dress; it was very pretty but just not it. Jocelyn said she could do better. Back to the dressing room to step into the next gown, this one was a sweetheart neckline, lace bodice and a tulle skirt.

I never thought I would like tulle, that was not one of the adjectives I used to describe my wedding dress image. However, when I stepped out, I knew it was good just by seeing my mom and Amy’s faces. I walked out to the main room, stood on the pedestal and looked in the mirror. Holy crap, I’m a bride! I wonder if every bride has this surreal moment.

I couldn’t stop looking, I fell in love. It was flattering, fun and romantic. It was not what I envisioned at all, but I absolutely loved it. It was perfect for me.  That is the other bit of advice I would give, try not to be too strict with the exact dress you want. Go with an idea and an open mind. You never know what might look amazing on you.

I couldn’t be picking the second wedding dress I’ve ever tried on, could I? It has to be harder than that, right? Nope, that was it. I tried a few more to make sure I didn’t have bridal blinders.  But when I put that dress back on, I didn’t want to take it off. I guess that’s a good sign. Then she added a veil and a blingy belt and it was all over. I think I would go back weekly and try it on if I could.

Unfortunately I can’t put a picture of “the dress” up since Mr. Cloud Nine may read these posts to see if I’m talking about him. Next best thing is a picture of Jocelyn and I at her boutique and some pictures of the non winning dresses.

The fun continues as I dive head first into wedding planning. I have to say so far I have been extremely lucky with how planning has gone. Dates have worked out, vendors I like have been available, my dress was the second one I tried on and I get to write about it along the way. I am pretty sure I am due for a meltdown soon. I have a feeling it will involve the guest list. If anyone has suggestions on how to turn 350 people into 250 without feeling guilty, I’m all ears.

Signature Drink // Gin ♥ ‘Cranbeery’

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1.5 oz Gin (suitable subsitutes: vodka or rum)
4 oz ginger beer (Goslings — because it tastes delicious and reminds us of Ryan Gosling, obviously)
Splash of cranberry juice
Cranberries (to garnish)

Mix gin, ginger beer, and cranberry juice. Add in ice and garnish with cranberries.

Recipe Courtesy of WE Account Executive Kristine
Photo: Heidi’s iPhone

Crash Course // Building an effective theme

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1. RELECT YOUR STORY For theme inspiration, make a list of people, places, objects, songs, sayings, hobbies, collections – anything that speaks to you as a couple. In our example, a bride’s love of antique lace and glassware became the foundation for a vintage-style wedding.

2. BE CONCISE Hold your theme to one word or a short phrase. And make sure that every selection relates to that theme. Here, the bride built her theme around a palette of ivory, pink and teal.
3. RESEARCH RECIPIES You can find food and drink recipes for every era and style.

4. THINK ABOUT SCALE Mix large-scale items with small-scale pieces for visual impact. Create interesting layers by clustering and stacking objects. Stacking also ensures that small items aren’t overlooked. 5. Guest interaction Pay special attention to place settings, glassware and other objects that guests will handle throughout your event.

6. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX – OR JAR Look for clever ways to use ordinary items. Metal numerals on Mason jar lids can designate table numbers, for example.

7. PERSONALIZE It’s not just a pretty wedding, it’s your wedding. Use your décor to showcase what is important to you.

Photo: Molly & Ella Wedding Photography

Signature Drink // Love & Lavender

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Ingredients:
2 oz gin
3/4 oz lavender honey syrup (1/4 cup honey, 1/8 cup hot water, 1 tsp dried lavender)
1 oz lemon juice

Here’s a few extra tips:
To make the lavender honey syrup, combine hot water with honey and stir until evenly mixed. Add lavender, stirring to combine. Let cool, approximately 30 minutes, then pour through a fine mesh strainer to remove lavender.

For the cocktail, combine all ingredients in a shaker full of ice. Shake vigorously for 10 full seconds. Double strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with a lavender sprig (English lavender and Provence lavender are most often used for culinary purposes; if you use fresh, garden flowers, make sure they have not been sprayed with pesticides).

Photo: Molly Lo Photography
Source: HonestlyYum

Omaha Lace Cleaners // Keeping it in the family

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I’m originally from Nebraska City, but currently living in Kansas City. After I got engaged, I wanted to do all the bride activities (planning, going to bridal shows, everything) and I wanted to include my loved ones in it too. So I drove up to Omaha with my mom to go to a bridal show. That’s where we saw the Omaha Lace Cleaners‘ booth. We weren’t planning on using any of the services at the bridal show since the wedding was not going to take place in Nebraska, but still wanted to get some wedding inspiration. I was considering using my mom’s wedding dress and was impressed with the conservation and restoration services Omaha Lace Cleaners offered. They had a beautiful vintage gown on display, too.

Wanting to enjoy all the perks of being a bride, I did go to a bridal store and tried on new dresses. I found one that I really like, but wanted to give Omaha Lace Cleaners a chance to see what they could do to my mom’s wedding dress.

My mom’s wedding dress was a Grace Kelly style with the long, lace sleeves, sweetheart neckline covered in lace up to the neck, and an empire waist. It also had a beautiful train with lace all around the bottom. The bottom of the dress was very similar to the new dress I had picked out. That was another reason I wanted to see if I could use the dress we already had but make some changes to it to give it a modern feel.

I made an appointment with Kimberly, from Omaha Lace Cleaners, and my mom, a close friend and I all traveled up to Omaha to meet her. She showed me to her studio and had me try on the dress. I wasn’t set on using my mom’s dress and had a hard time envisioning what it could look like. When Kimberly had me take the sleeves off and held the lace up, I knew it was my wedding dress.

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Kimberly had me look in bridal magazines and mail her the pictures of dresses I like to get an idea of what style I wanted. I drove from Kansas City about once every month to work on the dress piece by piece. There were some details I wanted that I wasn’t sure could be done, but Kimberly was able to do it all. She removed the sleeves and lowered the neckline. The lace from the sleeves were used to bring in the waistline. French buttons were added to close a key hole in the back of the dress. Kimberly also helped to sew in a monogram of my parents and my wedding date to the hem of my dress.

My mom only went to the first dress fitting and then waited to see the dress on the wedding day. My mom was so happy. She said she could still see her dress, but it had been made into my own. Kimberly did such a great job of keeping the integrity of the dress and listened to all my ideas to help me design a beautiful gown.

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My husband and I were married on July 4th at Old Orchard beach, ME. I felt so beautiful in my dress and got so many compliments. Being able to wear my mom’s dress was so special to me and my mother. It was perfect.

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Bride: Alexa Casali
Photos: Amanda Joy Photography

 

Miss Cloud Nine // Mom Magic

I love the story of how Mr. Cloud Nine and I met, but he doesn’t readily share it because it involves his mom. I worked at Children’s Hospital and his mom is one of the dietitians.  Since Omaha is such a small world, we quickly realized that his mom and my mom go to the same hairstylist. So through their mom magic, they set us up. It was a complete blind date (I may or may not have Googled him). I was horribly sick, but already cancelled on him one time so I thought I should suck it up and go. Besides, what were the odds that I would like the dietitian’s son? Apparently pretty good, because we were on that first date for hours. First date turned into second date and we were quickly spending lots of time together. You can’t fight the mom magic.

We dated for about a year before we were engaged on December 6th. The engagement story I love — most of it at least. He took me to dinner at Crave in midtown and after dinner he suggested we go downtown to look at the Christmas lights.  I became suspicious at this point because it was about -10 degrees out that night. I went with it though because I thought a proposal might be in the works. We got some hot chocolate and went to the Pedestrian Bridge. Now this is the part of the story I could do away with….we walked on the bridge and he acted like he was getting on a knee. Suddenly it wasn’t so cold.   Just wait though.  He acted like he stumbled and tossed something over the bridge. Huh? What? I was really confused. He got up and said, “I’m a horrible actor, just kidding I don’t even have the ring yet.” I’m sorry, what?

I was not happy. Really not happy. His idea was to act as if he stumbled and dropped the ring over the bridge to play a joke on me. Just a little tidbit about Mr. Cloud Nine: he is a HUGE prankster.

The ride home was silent. I was mad. We pulled up to my house and I stormed inside.  I opened the door and my anger immediately turned into amazement. There were candles all over my house. Over 250 candles everywhere. It was like a scene out of a movie. I turned around and he was on one knee and asked me to marry him.

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He worked with my mom so she could light all the candles while we were on the ride home. He didn’t think I would get so upset, but it definitely threw me off. He drives me crazy sometimes, but he did a pretty good job with this one. One memorable story.

Shape Your Day

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We just LOVE weddings! And we can’t wait to help you turn your day dreams into a dream come true! So feel free to ask us questions, get advice, follow our Pinterest boards, blog, Facebook and Twitter updates to get the most out of your wedding planning experience. You can click here, or on the photo above, to watch how much fun we had with this real bride and her bridesmaids!

Shondy Studios // Preparing for your glamour shot

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Ready for some exciting news? Shondy Studios (known for boudoir, pin-up and glamour photos) has recently joined our list of preferred vendors!

Boudoir photography is hot, hot, hot right now and Omaha has some great photographers that specialize in this type of art. But for many brides, if they are not confident in how they look or they are a little unsure of themselves, making the decision to have boudoir photos taken may add to their wedding stress. However, Shonda Bevill-Nunes, owner of Shondy Studios, has written a great blog post on the do’s, don’ts and what to expect to make that decision a little easier — and making you feel more comfortable and totally sexy.

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“I like to think of myself as having a good enough balance between lipstick and testosterone to really know what my customers (or their spouses) want, which makes Boudoir photography the perfect photography niche for me.” Shonda

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Photos: Shondy Studios

Signature Drinks // Peach Bellini

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2 oz peach nectar
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1 oz peach schnapps
3 oz chilled, dry champagne
1/2 cup crushed ice

Mix the peach nectar, lemon juice and schnapps in a chilled glass. Add half a cup (or more) of crushed ice, stir, and add the champagne. (Serves 2).
May be prepared in a blender to produce a frozen drink.

Source: drinksmixer.com

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