Planning Your Wedding – 2017

Another year, another wonderful wedding season! In fact, with the trend towards having the ceremony whenever and wherever a couple darn well pleases, it’s more to be expected for your year outlook to include ceremonies and related festivities in any or all of the twelve months in 2017.

With so many engagements over the holidays, so many couples already counting down the days until the big day while busy planning it to perfection, and those gorgeous spring weddings quickly approaching, there’s no such thing as an uneventful moment for those in the wedding industry either.

No matter where you’re at in the process, it’s wise to enlist the help of the experts whenever possible. As with all of the most important of life events, it takes a village to plan and executive a wedding, even for those who wish to have the events surrounding their nuptials simple and intimate. With so many moving parts, here’s what those who report having the best, most amazing, stress-free, and memorable (in a good way) experiences all around share in common—they utilized the expertise of local professionals every step of the way, leaving nothing to chance except the weather!

Selecting Your Venue & Caterer

There are many wonderful venues in Lincoln that could be in the running for the special place you’ll be making memories celebrating your engagement or nuptials. The selection is particularly nice because of the uniqueness of each from the others, making it, much like everything else with a wedding, a matter of mainly preference and desired amenities. With a lot of variation in size as well, it’s generally not a problem to find one you love for all of those reasons but that also accommodates the number of guests you expect to be in attendance.

If you’re familiar with Venue Restaurant & Lounge, you know that they deliver an upscale dining experience that’s a tough number to beat. This remains true of their offerings for any type of wedding-related events as well, and with plenty of experience in planning and executing these events for clients, you’re sure to be in great hands indeed.

Kelli Pilkington Venue Restaurant & Lounge - headshot

Kelli Pilkington
Venue Restaurant & Lounge

“Now with a large space with an elegant, vintage ambiance such as The Jasmine Room by Venue Catering & Events that’s considered among Lincoln’s historic gems in the line-up of wedding venues available, we’ve taken our offerings to another level in the past year,” says Kelli Pilkington of Venue Restaurant & Lounge. “It can accommodate up to 400 people and comes along with the exquisite food presentation and hospitality that Venue is known for providing our guests.

In total, with Venue, there’s a choice of five private dining rooms that are all ideal wedding-related events. Which one you choose will generally be determined by the number of guests, but there may also be other aspects taken into consideration. With combined packages, couples can work with one company to host any and all of the following: engagement party, bridal shower, bachelor or bachelorette party, rehearsal dinner, and reception. We also added a luxury limo bus last year, and it’s been so nice to have available for our clients to book in conjunction with the events they are hosting at our venues. This platinum transportation includes state-of-the-art sound system, leather seating, track lighting, HD TV, room for 14 guests, and iPad music selection. Travel with your wedding party in luxury, and enjoy the convenience of working with one company to make the arrangements.”

She adds, “Marriage is a special thing and that fairytale day, along with all of the events leading up to it, needs to be perfect, not stressful. We love being able to assure our brides/grooms that everything is always taken care of, which is a huge relief and weight off of their shoulders. With dedicated event planners on our team who have 30+ years of experience and a highly trained and friendly staff, along with our venues and offerings, it’s truly everything in one perfect package. When it comes to planning, be true to yourself and trust your vision, and make sure to work with vendors who are on that same page. It’s your day and it should be all about you. Also, don’t forget to make a memory of everything! The day is going to go by quickly so soak up everything little thing you can, and you may need to plan accordingly in order to be able to do that.”

Nearby in York, there’s also a great venue that often goes under the radar, but is one that you should definitely consider: Holthus Convention Center.

Terri Carlson Holthus Convention Center - Headshot

Terri Carlson
Holthus Convention Center

“We can do it all–weddings, receptions, bridal showers, rehearsal dinner, you name it,” says Terri Carlson of Holthus Convention Center. “We are able to accommodate groups as small as 50 or as large as 900. One of the coolest features in our ballroom is that the wedding party is actually able to drive their bus, limo, etc. straight in for a grand entrance. We also offer both indoor and outdoor space, so for someone wanting to host an outdoor wedding and then bring the reception indoors, we are able to accommodate their needs quite easily. Even our lobby has been the perfect setting for bridal showers and ceremonies!”

She also offers a few ideas and tips for those who are getting into the planning of their weddings. “I love that couples are becoming very creative! The traditional guestbook has somewhat become a thing of the past as couples are finding new ways to incorporate wedding wishes that are more personal, and can be displayed and enjoyed in their everyday lives. Examples of this I’ve seen include leaves on a tree, wine corks, signed rocks for a garden, etc. In actuality, it isn’t just the guestbook either; all aspects of weddings are becoming more personalized and couples are steering away from the traditional way of doing things. As another example of something that’s become quite common, cakes tables are now being reimagined based on the couple’s favorite sweets or a fond memory shared together. Often displayed and served buffet-style, this could be milk & cookies, favorite candy, themed dessert assortment, pies—anything goes!

As far as getting everything nailed down, check with all your main vendors–church, reception hall, caterer, photographer, florist, DJ, etc.–before you book anything. We run into a lot of issues where a couple books the church before they check our dates and then we run into an issue finding space for them.

Event planners are a truly wonderful resource to utilize because there is so much involved that must all be coordinated. You might even have access to one through the venue you book, which is a really nice perk. In addition, have a ‘go-to’ person who acts as your personal coordinator to help with putting together the plans that take into account before, during, and post-wedding. Don’t try and plan it all yourself! It’s so easy to get overwhelmed, even for those who are detail-oriented and skilled at managing multiple tasks let alone for someone who doesn’t possess those attributes.

Couples getting married in 2017 and into 2018 should definitely consider attending the 2017 Nebraska Bridal Show on Sunday, February 12 from 1-5 p.m. at the Holthus Convention Center in York! It’s the perfect place to find inspiration and a great opportunity to chat with vendors face-to-face too.”

Back to Lincoln, another one of the most popular venues is Embassy Suites, which offers guests a convenient place to stay after the evening’s festivities have concluded.

BreAnna Jensby Embassy Suites - Headshot

BreAnna Jensby
Embassy Suites

“Because we’re a one-stop shop, our venue is ideal for weddings and other major events,” says BreAnna Jensby of Embassy Suites Lincoln. “With the convention space attached to our hotel, your guests just have to take an elevator ride home at the conclusion of your event. From our full-service catering staff to our expert wedding planners and banquet team, every detail and aspect of your event are wonderfully handled and executed by professionals.

As far as planning the fare to be served, while our wedding menu is laid out to offer many different choices such as appetizers, action stations, plated meals and buffets, our chef is always working with couples to create custom meals to represent them and their relationship. We expect the trend of a ‘neverending feast of food’ is going to be even more popular in 2017. People are starting the night with appetizers, moving into a main meal of sorts, and ending the night with a late night snack. Also on the meal bandwagon are more dynamic desserts. People are getting away from the traditional cakes and even cupcakes, gravitating towards miniatures desserts such as macaroons or donut towers. Pinterest is giving couples a more creative and dynamic approach to their food and the way it’s presented and served at the reception.”

Jensby also offers advice as to the booking aspect of planning. “In Lincoln, the best thing to be mindful of as you are still trying to find a date in 2017 is the Husker football schedule. We all know that here in Lincoln, Nebraska, Saturdays in the fall are consumed by it. If you are just getting engaged and still want a fall wedding, I’d recommend you call your top five venues and inquire about available dates they have left now! I know of people who have called and reserved a date even though they weren’t engaged yet because they want to make sure they can have a ‘bye’ week or ‘away’ week wedding—it’s quite the big deal indeed. To all engaged or soon-to-be engaged couples, we still have some Fall Saturdays open for 2017, so call today to check our availability. I fully encourage the motto ‘Don’t Delay, Call Today!’”

Speaking of the fare you’ll be treating guests to during any number of wedding-related events, it’s important to figure out the specifics. This includes how many you’ll be feeding, what date and time it will be served, the selection you plan to offer, whether you want to take advantage of in-house catering or make other arrangements (and if that’s even allowed), addressing any special dietary concerns. Hospitality is a major part of entertaining guests, and you want to ensure that everyone is taken care of so that they are able to enjoy themselves to the fullest. Also, the fare is one of the things that guests will comment on during the festivities and remember long after your wedding has passed, so there’s that too (no pressure!).

A meal is actually what all of your wedding-related events will have in common. Whether it’s the reception, the rehearsal dinner, the engagement dinner, getting your bachelor or bachelorette party started, and even feeding your bridal party pre-ceremony (this one, in particular, can be easily forgotten but will set the tone for the rest of the day’s events because you’ll need plenty of energy to get through it all), there’s much in the way of plans to be made in this area. The best way to go about it is to find what’s best suited for each. For example, for feeding your bridal party while they’re being attended to by a full glam squad, a fast, easy meal that’s not likely to cause an unfortunate mess and requires minimal clean-up is ideal. A fresh gourmet sandwich tray from Capriotti’s Sandwich Shop would be a great fit for this scenario.

Or how about if you’re sharing a meal in someone’s home and don’t want to slave over preparing it yourself, but still want that home-cooked appeal? For this scenario, Cowboy Chicken is a wonderful option. In actuality, with their catering offerings, they’d really be a nice addition for anything wedding related, and here’s why:

Joe Armstrong Cowboy Chicken

Joe Armstrong
Cowboy Chicken

“At Cowboy Chicken, we cook all-natural chicken over a wood-burning fire, along with signature sour-cream-tomatillo enchiladas and an abundance of home-style sides,” says Joe Armstrong, owner of Cowboy Chicken. “With catering options designed to fit any need, we can create a menu that is perfect for your event. Whether it’s our classic chicken, potatoes, and green beans, or you’d like us to design a more elaborate menu including enchiladas, ranchero beans, and Spanish rice, we’ll be happy to accommodate.

As it’s important to stay within a budget for weddings, our clients also enjoy the value we are able to provide. We’ll deliver a quality meal served buffet style, for a fraction of the price, and also provide plates and utensils for your party at no additional cost. This is a huge savings! Our offerings also include a beverage service of tea and lemonade that can include cups, ice, sweeteners, and fresh lemons. For a minimal additional cost, we can even provide staff who will assist with service and clean-up.”

He adds, “The most important thing about planning food for your wedding is to ensure that when all is said and done, you’ll be serving what makes you and your spouse-to-be happy! Find someone to work with who is interested in putting your meals together with that in mind. Also, your catering company of choice should be able to help you get the important details in place so that there aren’t any balls dropped. This includes the amount of food appropriate for your event, what’s all necessary to complete the meal, and timing–who is responsible for delivery, set-up, table settings, service, and clean-up.

At Cowboy Chicken, we are a family-owned business and aim for the warmth and comfort of our culture to be at the heart of everything we do. This respect and passion are experienced in the bold flavors of all-natural wood fire rotisserie chicken, the selection of wholesome ingredients, and the handcrafted preparation of our meals. We call it honest food. We have worked very hard to create a quality catering program, and with our dedication to great food and family values, we can help the bride and groom to navigate their way through one of the hardest wedding details, menu selection, and planning. We offer an array of catering services and provide fresh, home-style offerings that will please the entire guest list. We are available for small gatherings like showers and parties, but can also accommodate larger functions like the rehearsal dinner or the big day!”

As yet another potential scenario, you might be looking into feeding your guests in a place that’s ideal for entertaining, hoping to knock out two birds with one stone when making arrangements. Brand new for brides and grooms to take advantage of this year and beyond, Culinary Underground has opened up a gorgeous private event space in the Haymarket, so make sure that’s on your list of possibilities as well. Since they just began accepting reservations, you’re likely to be able to get the date and time you need locked down on the books without any problems. So if you’re still looking for the right place, this is one that will fit the bill quite nicely. With a catering menu full of amazing chef-inspired items to choose from, and the ability to further customize your meal, it’s the perfect combination of ambiance and offerings that you’d look for in a venue to host your guests. You can also book Culinary Underground as your caterer for events hosted elsewhere, so make sure to double-check with your venue to ensure they allow outside catering services if this is what you have in mind.

When you hit the town for your bachelorette or bachelor party, you’ll want to select venues that match the time you’re looking to have. Will it be a rager? Is low-key more your style? Are you organizing it around a specific event you’ll be attending, like a concert, or going on a trip together? For many, plans involve hitting the downtown Lincoln/Haymarket/Railyard area for the occasion. In that case, Yowie’s Lodge, for example, is a great place for the guys (and ladies too, of course) to gather in a rustic lodge-style atmosphere, with great food and drinks, watching sports or just hanging out, and it’s in proximity to many other places you might venture to later in the night.

Deciding on the Cake Table

As is customary with weddings, the cake plays a starring role in the wedding reception. In modern times, this has evolved quite a bit towards incorporating the sweet treat of the bride and groom’s choosing, which might not be cake at all. If it is indeed cake that you’re after, which still remains commonplace, there are also different variations of cakes to consider if you’re looking to get creative, such as those of the bundt variety.

For those who haven’t tried the delicacies from Nothing Bundt Cakes, you have no idea what you’re missing out on. These little heavenly morsels are perfect for the big day, not only because they are delicious but also because of the arrangement that’s possible. There’s the cake for cutting displayed in the center, which is just small enough to be shared by the bride and groom, and it’s surrounded by a mixture of individual bundt cakes for the guests to enjoy. What an easy way to serve everyone, and it looks so nice too.

You might also give the gift of a sweet treat, such as when you ask the ladies to be bridesmaids, or serve them up at your bridal shower. Special requests are always welcome!

Booking a Wedding Photographer

The professional images of your wedding will last a lifetime and beyond, displayed proudly and passed on to future generations. As such, proceed with the understanding that not all photographers are created equal. Do your research, and hire for experience, as well as finding someone you’ll enjoy working with to capture all of the wedding memories.

Gina Zabloudil Zabloudil Photography - Headshot

Gina Zabloudil
Zabloudil Photography

“The wedding photographer you hire has the honor, and great responsibility, of capturing the important moments throughout the day,” says Gina Zabloudil of Zabloudil Photography. “It’s an incredible life experience, and one that goes by so quickly. As such, we’ve found that what works best for us is to build relationships with our clients beforehand. We get to know who you are as individuals, and as a couple, before the wedding day. We even go so far as to commit to memory the names of family and those in the bridal party, along with planning the formal group photos. We’ve found that this familiarity translates into a great working relationship on the wedding day. The pre-wedding rehearsal brings everyone together before the big day, so we make it a point to attend and meet everyone to put faces with names. If it’s an out-of-town affair, we stay the night to ensure no emergencies prevent us from being on time and ready to work.

Once we are officially booked as the wedding photographers, we meet to put together a thorough plan and timeline, to ensure all parties are ‘on the same page.’ Our goal is to communicate expectations in delivering personal service, along with a finished product that meets, and hopefully exceeds, what the bride and groom envision. We also extend the opportunity to sign up for our interest-free payment plans; many couples choose to have a monthly payment. Since we’re frequently booked at least six months prior, and oftentimes a year, it’s easier to manage within the wedding budget.

Chad and I are a husband and wife team, and we’re both professional photographers. By having two photographers on-site, more images are created, and there’s greater flexibility because we can be in two places at once. Both of us are a ‘package deal’ together, so couples aren’t paying any extra for a second photographer, which many have found to be a nice perk.

With the two different styles, our clients end up with a well-rounded selection of wedding images. We’ve been photographing weddings for almost 15 years together, and with that experience have come lessons we’ve learned along the way to benefit our clients. Our approach is one that favors personal service and familiarity. We advocate for our clients’ best possible experience, and we prepare for each wedding so that we’re able to get the best images possible. For example, running a last-minute errand for the bride or providing snacks for a much-needed energy boost aren’t out of the question. This ‘above and beyond’ attitude on personal service is part of who we are, and what we offer our wedding couples.”

Specifically on selecting a wedding photographer, she also offers the following advice: “Be sure you know what physical product you’ll receive for your photography investment. For example, will you be satisfied with only a thumb drive of images, or a website from which you’ll download images on your own, instead of actual prints provided by your photographer? Each of our collections includes a finished wedding album that’s delivered in a timely fashion. Quality images will always look even better when printed professionally, retouched and color-corrected to look their best.

I advise couples to meet in person the photographers they are interested in and to view their image examples, along with getting the specifics on what will be provided. Make sure this is more than just someone with a nice camera, but real wedding photography experience. You want a professional who is skilled, but also that’s a match as far as personalities. It’s important is to know what it will be like to work with them day-of, along with what the outcome of their work will be.”

Arranging for Transportation

As previously mentioned, you may require transportation for your wedding-related events. This might be a party bus for your bachelor/bachelorette party escapades, or extending a ride to your out-of-town guests as a part of being a great host. Not to mention another one of the most common needs when it comes to weddings, transportation of the bridal party from the church to the reception (and oftentimes, a few bars in between). This is also a time that stops can be arranged for photo ops. Consider this another thing to get on the books sooner rather than later, because it’s in high demand and there’s generally a limited number of vehicles in a company’s fleet that can accommodate larger groups such as bridal parties.


Lori Hiebner
Leisure Limousine and Sedan

“Over the years, wedding parties have grown considerably in size which makes our 34-passenger limo bus perfect for large wedding parties,” says Lori Hiebner of Leisure Limousine & Sedan. “Our limo bus is beautiful inside and out. It has leather U-shaped seating, a state-of-the-art stereo system, two 42” TVs and it is impeccably clean!

As Lincoln’s premier transportation service, we offer everything from airport transfer for your guests to limo service for the bachelor and bachelorette parties to limo bus service for the entire wedding party. We pride ourselves on our service and our amazing drivers, which is what you can expect when you work with us. Our wedding parties all receive complimentary champagne and our drivers show up to your special day dressed in a tuxedo.”

She also notes, “As a word of caution, if you are interested in booking a limo for your special day, please, please, PLEASE don’t wait until the last minute! Book it as soon as you schedule your wedding date.”

Achieving the Perfect Look

In terms of planning, it goes like this, but not necessarily in any particular order: Wedding dress, check. Accessories, check. Bridal party attire, check. Hair and make-up, check. Pre-spa session, check. Formalwear for the groom and bridal party, check. Aftercare of items mentioned, check. While this isn’t an exhaustive list by any means, it does cover the main points.

First thing’s first, though, and I think most know exactly where it goes from here. You’ve seen them sprinkled across your social media feed, the photos of brides-to-be who are holding a sign that says “I Said Yes To The Dress!” Although weddings have evolved quite a bit in recent times, finding THE dress still remains one of the most special moments of the entire process. It’s not only one of the memories cherished long after the wedding has passed, but it’s when you see the first vision of yourself as a bride. As the “star of the show,” the dress is a big part of the big day, so the quest is to find the perfect one that fits your personality, takes everyone’s breath away, and of course, photographs exquisitely too.

While it’s entirely possible to find “the one” right away as though it was just there waiting for you all along, for others it’s just like finding “the one” they are going to marry, build a life with, and grow old together—it’s a process. Either way, keep in mind that you’ll have the best results working with an experienced professional and also, that you get what you pay for. While having a nice selection to choose from is important, and there are plenty of places you can go to merely shop the racks, it’s often the expertise that’s most valuable in the long run. You’ll need to adhere to your timeline as far as customizing, ordering, tailoring, fittings, finding the right accessories, and more—everything will need to come together smoothly for the final overall look to be achieved.

Emmy Gorman Blush Bridal Boutique - Headshot

Emmy Gorman
Blush Bridal Boutique

“Blush Bridal takes great pride in taking care of our brides from the minute they walk into our store until the minute they walk down the aisle,” says Emmy Gorman of Blush Bridal Boutique. “Brides enjoy our small and cozy atmosphere and working with a small group of trusted professionals. After all, your first appointment at Blush will begin a relationship that will last for the better part of a year and beyond!

Over the past 4 years, we have really catered to the bride who truly wants to make her bridal gown shopping a personal experience by incorporating custom design elements into her dress. Whether it be adding sleeves to a strapless dress or changing the entire silhouette, if you can envision it, we can likely do it. Brides lovingly call us ‘fairy godmothers’ as we make dreams come true! Right now we are also really excited about the separates trend and have a variety of bodices and skirts available. Our brides love mixing and matching those styles; another way to personalize your wedding day look!

As far as planning goes, she also offers some helpful words of wisdom. “After you get engaged and before you start the planning process, sit down and have a conversation with all people involved in the wedding budget. Whether you have a $5,000 or $50,000 wedding, a budget will make all of your decisions go much more smoothly, and it’s more enjoyable if you know what to expect. Secondly, research your potential vendors. Instead of visiting ten bridal stores looking for your gown, take a look at reviews or talk to friends to see what vendors will be the best fit for what you’re looking for and narrow it down from there.”

For the gentlemen, many are going towards the trend of the wedding

Andrew Shannon Shannon Formalwear - Headshot

Andrew Shannon
Shannon Formalwear

suit. “More and more of our customers, both grooms and members of the bridal party, are purchasing suits for their wedding attire,” advises Andrew Shannon of Shannon Formalwear. “We offer an extensive selection of suits in styles that would be great options to don on the big day. For close to the cost of rental, suits can be purchased and then enjoyed for years to come as opposed to just one weekend. Suits have also gained popularity because orders can be placed 30-60 days beforehand, eliminating the need to wait until the last minute to ensure the suit or tuxedo fits, let alone to perform any alternations as a result. Suits can be custom-tailored, as opposed to a rental garment that’s made to fit a broad range of people. There are many different ways an outfit can be styled too—bowties and suspenders for a timeless look are just one example. Our value generally speaks for itself, so I encourage grooms-to-be to look into the option of putting together an ensemble.

Shannon Formalwear operates with great importance placed on providing superior-quality merchandise at the best value to meet the needs of our customers, and we uphold the principle that no sale is final until the customer is completely satisfied. Staying flexible and demonstrating a sense of urgency to respond to changing customer needs has allowed us to advance our quality and performance while maintaining the respect and loyalty of our customers. In addition, we employ professional, friendly, motivated, and highly-trained salespeople to understand and best assist with all aspects of weddings and events. Stop by and see for yourself all of the options and styles, which are presented in a way that makes the shopping experience quick and effective.”

When it comes to looking your best, everything should come together to accentuate the qualities you find most attractive about yourself. This includes your attire and accessories, but also your personal features.

Take your hair for example. There are endless possibilities with color, styling, accessories, etc. Achieving the look you want will require the talents of a professional stylist no matter what that may be, and you’ll want to get on the books as soon as possible.

While men tend to require a more simple approach, it’s important to be well-groomed. Also, for women and men alike, there may be the desire for techniques that make hair appear fuller or that cover problem spots, such as replacement methods, treatments, or extensions.

Brooke Ahlman Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement - Headshot

Brooke Ahlman
Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement

“Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement offers many different services that can help brides and grooms alike to look and feel their very best,” says Brooke Ahlman of Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement. “We offer updos, extensions, and haircuts that can add length, volume or both. Onsite styling is available upon request, which is a convenience that can make planning the day’s itinerary much easier. The party can get ready together while enjoying the moment, and the photographer is able to capture every treasured moment during the process.

My best advice is to find someone you trust, who is open to your ideas and skilled at their craft, and book ahead of time. We all know how valuable time is, and you want to make sure you have your spot reserved. It is very easy to forget about lining up the stylist with all of the other planning at hand, but this is an individual who will play a crucial role in your wedding preparation. You can’t just assume that your normal stylist will be available, or will be able to arrange for any additional help in the event that they’ll need assistance to accommodate a larger wedding party, which is a common occurrence.

Also, bridal trends are constantly changing, which includes hairstyles. Depending on your relationship with your stylist, even if they know you well, and especially if they don’t, keep in mind we’re not mind readers. It’s wise to have photos that you can show to communicate your ideas so that you can be on the same page, and make sure to include a trial run as a part of your agenda leading up to the big day.

At Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement, we stay informed on what’s new in the industry and pride ourselves on being able to take an idea and bring it to life, creating anything that your heart desires. For those who would like to create something unique, I’m happy to brainstorm or take a concept and perfect it. Alternatively, it’s common for brides to pick something out of a magazine that they love, or to find great ideas online, especially with Pinterest being so popular for wedding inspiration. No matter the request, rest assured we’ll do our very best to make it happen!”

Jethro Hopkins Physician's WEIGHT LOSS Centers - Headshot

Jethro Hopkins
Physician’s WEIGHT LOSS Centers

Slimming down is often a part of the preparation for a wedding, but with so much going on, sticking to an aggressive diet can prove to be a difficult proposition. Simply focusing on eating as healthy as possible and staying dedicated to getting in exercise when you can will go a long way leading up to the wedding. Combined with LipoGenics, a procedure offered by Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers in Lincoln, you’ll see incredible results without devoting your every waking hour to worrying about whether you’ll get to your goal weight in time. Even if that’s the only thing you do to prepare your “wedding body,” as long as you do it as directed, there will be a visible difference in just a few short weeks. “LipoGenics really is ideal for those who are going to be in a wedding and want to get rid of a problem area quickly, or at the very least minimize it significantly,” says Jethro Hopkins of Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers. “With laser body sculpting treatments, the results happen right away. You spend 30 minutes a session relaxing, which can be a really nice reprieve from everything else that’s going on with your wedding planning, and you’ll lose inches after the very first treatment. You’ll also keep losing weight for 12 hours afterward, so many choose to capitalize on this by getting in an extra workout. With the recommended 8 treatments over just three weeks leading up to the wedding for maximum results, it’s not only a fast fix but a lasting one as long as you continue to eat healthily. Nobody wants to show off their back fat or love handles, which can be accentuated with the styles that are popular in bridal attire, and doesn’t hide belly fat well either. Especially at an event that’s as important as your wedding, or someone’s else’s where you’ll be photographed extensively and that’s documented heavily on social media, it’s important to be comfortable in your own skin so that it doesn’t detract from your enjoyment of being in the moment. We have bridal packages available, and this time of year we offer great specials, so you can come in yourself or get your whole bridal party in on the action.”

On to the final point on the list, while it might not necessarily strike you as something to add to your planning agenda at first, making arrangements for the care of the dress after the big day is important too. It’s generally a major investment and should be treated as such, not to mention that it’s a family heirloom that could potentially be passed on to be worn by a next-generation bride (this tradition does still happen, although it’s not incredibly common). After the wedding, you’ll want to get your wedding dress delivered to your professional cleaner of choice as soon as possible in order for it to be in optimal condition to undergo the cleaning and preservation process.


Quintin Yallaly
Starcrest Cleaners

“Even with wearing the gown only once, stains from food or beverages along with oils from the skin will cause damage or weakness to the fabric over time,” explains Quintin Yallaly of Starcrest Cleaners. “We always advise our clients to bring their gown in as soon as it is possible, whether they bring it in themselves or have a family member or friend transport it to us. In the event that someone else brings it in, we can meet ahead of time to make sure that all of the bride’s wishes are taken into account and expectations are met. At Starcrest we understand the importance of all of the details and our staff of professionals operate with specific cleaning protocol in line with the preservation of your gown for generations to come.

If you opt to have your wedding gown preserved, which is a popular option, also keep in mind that certain items can be included in the preservation box in addition to the gown and veil. This might include the program, an invitation, photos, shoes, jewelry, letters or anything else of sentimental value.

In addition to offering wedding gown cleaning and preservation service, we also provide professional cleaning and finishing of any garments worn to a wedding. Starcrest can generally accommodate short notice and rush requests when needed. Wrinkles and stains are not a good look, and odors aren’t going to make a great impression either.

With your wedding gown or any garment that is especially important to you, expect to receive special attention at the professional cleaners, whether in Lincoln or elsewhere. Emphasize that the garment is important to you and ask to speak to the owner, manager or individual that will be working on the garment.

Once you have made contact with a knowledgeable person, they should be able to explain: how the garment will be cleaned, anticipated outcome of soiled areas (such as the hemline) and possible risks associated with cleaning. If you are not confident after speaking with the individual about your special garment, continue your search until you are comfortable. Above all, leave your special garment with someone you trust. Wedding gowns are prized possessions and quite often family heirloom so they should be treated accordingly.”

Last but certainly not least, when it comes to jewelry, it’s two-fold for weddings. First comes the engagement rings, and then comes any accessories to complete your wedding day look. For either one of those possibilities, you’ll find the best selection of the most stunning pieces in town at Sartor Hamann Jewelers. The personal service you’ll receive is top-notch too.

Putting Together the Gift Registry

For the invitations, all of the key details are needed before design takes place, which includes where the couple is registered for gifts. So before the point in your timeline when invitations need to be sent out, you’ll want to choose the places to establish a registry and put it together—which aside from receiving the gifts, is the fun part!

Jana Clark Habitat - headshot

Jana Clark

“Habitat is filled with wonderful gift items for the home,” says Jana Clark of Habitat. “We carry a nice selection of quality brands. For cookware, this includes Swiss Diamond, Le Creuset, Emile Henry, and Finex, and for bakeware, USA Pans, Doughmaker’s, and Fat Daddio’s. We have wonderful home interior pieces too, such as Darren Gygi canvas prints, table linens, Annieglass and Beatriz Ball.

In fact, one of our personal favorites for an unforgettable wedding gift is Annieglass. This is a handcrafted glass tableware line that is produced in California. Each piece of Annieglass carries an engraved signature that guarantees authenticity. It is available in a broad range of complimentary patterns that offer an elegant mix of delectable color and transparent glass, with lush 24-karat gold, platinum, or metallic glazes. A favorite of celebrities, brides, and restaurateurs, Annieglass is durable, chip-resistant, and dishwasher safe.

At Habitat we also have plenty of unique barware, recipe boxes and books, food products, and funky kitchen gadgets. A trend that we have noticed with wedding gifts is that grandmothers and mothers are putting together recipe boxes and books to fill with all of their favorite family recipes for the brides.”

Habitat is also a place where many wedding event hosts go to find accessories to fit the décor and help serve guests. “It has become more common to offer miniature, bite-sized appetizers and desserts at bridal showers, and presentation is becoming more creative too,” Clark notes. “We have very functional pieces, like durable acrylic serving pieces, as well as the beautiful, show-stopping pieces from Annieglass.”

If you’re planning a wedding, or part of someone’s nuptials in the near future, we wish you the best of luck! While there can be a great amount of pressure involved with putting together a picture-perfect affair, and one to remember, you won’t need to rely on luck if you’re working with experienced professionals. In Lincoln, we are privileged to have some of the best, but keep in mind that they are also in high demand. Make sure to stick to your timeline and get everything booked as soon as possible so that it’s as magical a day as you’ve always imagined it would be. As with any of the most special moments in life, it’s one to be enjoyed, and that goes for all of the days leading up to the big day too. Enjoy the process, and enlist the experts!