A couple weeks ago I had the honor of photographing another memorable wedding. Mikaela & Zach had their ceremony at St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church on the University of Nebraska Lincoln campus. St. Thomas Aquinas is very meaningful to them due to their involvement with the Neman center while in college. It misted off and on through the day, but that didn’t stop us from going out and doing some fun and creative images at the Capital and UNL campus. The feel of the wedding was simple, elegant and classy. One of my favorite moments was when they saw each other for the first time and after a hug Zach pulled out one of Mikaela’s flowers from her bouquet. Some people might lose it, but not Mikaela. She just smiled. Many thanks to Melissa at Blooms & Bouquets, who met us on location and fixed the bouquet. I had such a great time photographing the wedding party everyone had was energetic and photogenic. Another moment that stuck out to me and the couple was when they got to the Country Club for the reception. We had about 5 minutes of sunset. It was gorgeous, I remember asking for one more shot. Mikaela and Zach were so gracious in giving me that opportunity. Here are some images enjoy!
Ciara & Seth married on August 27 of this year. I started off early creating some cool images of the groom and his groomsmen on the street he and a few of them grew up on. The ceremony was at Eastridge Presbyterian. This day was full of surprises! The bride and groom had their dog walk down the aisle with the rings. I know you’re thinking this happens a lot. And, yes, it does but this dog did it perfectly. After being pronounced married, the couple had a band pop up in the audience to play “All you need is love” like in the movie Love Actually. One of the best surprises Ciara could give her husband was to walk on the field at Memorial Stadium. Once we got the emotions in check, the reception was just around the corner at the Johnny Carson Theatre. The wedding in itself had a Hollywood theme. Much thanks to Conrad at the Stem Gallery for the beautiful displays.
What can I say about this couple’s wedding but “what a great day!”? Becky and Chris were married at St. Teresa Catholic Church in Lincoln NE. I’m always drawn to old churches as they have such great character. We had plenty of time after the wedding to do some creative photographs at Sunken Gardens and Pioneers Park. It started raining when we arrived to Pioneers Park but we just embraced it to capture some memorable images. Becky & Chris chose The Gala for their reception. If you’re planning a wedding on a Husker football game day talk to Becky! She planned this perfectly. Their grand entrance was immediately followed by their first dance and then dinner. Take a look at a few of their fun images.
In mid June, we had the pleasure of capturing Trey and Tiffany’s big day! Along with the images, we wanted to show off how amazing this couple is, and share their story. Although they didn’t date in high school, the two met in English class for the first time in Seward, Nebraska. It wasn’t until 2013 when they had their first date in downtown Lincoln.
Tiffany gave us a little information about their journey towards marriage. She told us of the struggle they experienced living apart. “Once we were dating, we were never able to live in the same town,” she told us, “but in the long run, it was more than worth it, and we wouldn’t change anything about it.”
I started the day off at the Hilton Garden downtown, where I started photographing the details, the first look with her father and some creative images with her bridesmaids. Tiffany’s dress was amazing from Blush Bridal.
Trey and Tiffany were married at Southwood Lutheran Church. This was an amazing church to photograph there are so many creative backdrops. The lighting was perfect both inside and out.
Her bouquet was a perfect embodiment of early summer with the light pastel color palette. The dominant colors of the bouquets echo this year’s Pantone’s color of Serenity (light blue) with paired with a summery peach. The bridesmaids’ bouquets are smaller version of the bridal bouquet and include peach stock and garden roses as well as blue delphinium and cream roses. The green plumosa compliments the floral to give a fresh garden feel.
Trey and Tiffany decided to host their wedding reception at the Chez Hay in downtown Lincoln. “We really enjoyed the location of the venue,” she explained, “we were able to see a lot of downtown from the windows and were able to accommodate all of our guests.” Their beautiful decorations matched perfectly with the brick interior, and made for a special scene once the sun went down. “We didn’t have a specific theme except for an upbeat, fun wedding,” Trey told us. “We just wanted to have fun and keep the dance floor full of people.” Tiffany and Trey also credited the food, bartenders, and staff of the Chez Hay for making their day extra special.
We couldn’t have asked for a better day to be a part of. We had a ton of fun getting to know Tiffany and Trey, and we wish them nothing but the best in the future. Congrats, Mr. and Mrs. Farmer!
On a beautiful and sunny May afternoon, we had the pleasure of photographing the wedding of Kendra and Sean. The day was perfect from start to finish, for not only the couple, but us as well!
Sean and Kendra met while attending Norris High School. Kendra’s father is the Trap shooting coach at Norris, and had known Sean for a long time before the two dated. Their engagement story is really fun, and Kendra and Sean told us a little more about it! “Sean will admit that he took me ring shopping (and I found the perfect ring!) a week before the actually event happened but I was still very much surprised,” Kendra told us. Sean asked Kendra’s father for permission to propose the day of the Nebraska vs. Michigan State football game where his response was, “about damn time”. Once the game was over, Sean told Kendra he had a surprise for her. “I said, ‘well it wasn’t the ring,’” Kendra explained, “(it would take too long to be here) so what is the surprise?’” Little did she know that her ring came early, setting up for the perfect engagement.
Kendra and Sean decided to have their wedding at the Champions Club, located adjacent to Memorial Stadium in downtown Lincoln. “We are both huge husker fans with many friends that had never been to Nebraska. For them to see memorial stadium in all its glory was awesome,” the couple stated. They fell in love with the big windows the Champions Club had to offer, and it was perfect for their elegant wedding theme they achieved.
The whole day turned out great and we had a ton of fun photographing these guys. We are excited to share some of these images with you all, as we wish Kendra and Sean a very long and happy marriage! Congrats!
May 7th brought us together with Kent and Amanda as they celebrated their joining in marriage here in Lincoln. The couple was a ton of fun to work with, and with that being said, we wanted to know a little bit more about their history! Amanda was kind enough to give us the details about their amazing relationship. The two met playing volleyball at Spikes where Kent won Amanda over with his charming and witty personality. Their engagement took place in front of both of their families at a Thanksgiving celebration; an annual tradition for the couple. “He always puts up a million Christmas lights for fun because he loves Christmas and this particular year he completely outdid himself!” Amanda told us. “Little did I know he was using this to propose! I loved everything about it. Best proposal EVER! It was epic.”
The couple held their wedding ceremony at Wilderness Ridge where they were drawn into the beauty of a potential outdoor ceremony the venue could provide. “Once we saw the place, we had to have our ceremony there!” Amanda explained. The venue was perfectly complimented by the couples Rustic Romantic theme.
Since their guest list was very high, they decided to hold their reception at the Pla Mor Ballroom. They not only chose this venue to accommodate the number of guests attending, but it also held sentimental value to the couple. “We chose the Pla Mor Ballroom for a couple reasons:” Amanda told us. “1) Ken and his brothers basically grew up dancing at the Pla Mor, his mom would take them for lessons and dance the night away! 2) It is a great venue for live bands and we had an awesome 80s rock band called AM/FM play at our reception!” The space was perfect, and everyone had an amazing time dancing the night away.
Amanda left us with one final take away from their big day. “We tried to take in as much of the day as we could because it flew by, and we wanted to just enjoy the day with friends and family! It was the best day of our lives!” Congratulations, Kent and Amanda! We wish you many years of happiness!
It’s the event every guest looks forward to when attending a wedding reception – the meal. Lisa Petersen, Freelance Wedding Coordinator, and Event Director at The Jasmine Room by Venue Catering and Events, is an expert when it comes to dining at a wedding reception. We reached out to her to get a little more insighton what kinds of styles of dining there are, and to help brides-to-be figure out exactly what they are looking for on their big day!
The wedding meal is as timeless as weddings themselves. Food has always been a strong focus of the entire celebration. Whether it is a light breakfast while bridesmaids and family are getting ready for the day, light snacks for the wedding party between photos and ceremony or the main event itself, it’s human nature to make food a part of the day.
Let’s define the wedding dining experience by starting with the expense of things. People can get intimidated over the cost of providing a meal for guests but if you are thoughtful, educated and informed in your approach, you’ll sail right through the process. When reception site, food and beverages account for typically 42% of the entire wedding budget, it’s important to be educated about things. On to things that will help you decide what type of meal you will have at your wedding.
- Cocktail reception – Heavy hors d’ oeuvres and cocktails. This approach is always exciting for guests because there are usually a nice variety of options. This type of meal is best for the wedding ceremony that is going to start after the normal dinner hour. If you go this route it is important that the invitation states hors d’ oeuvres reception so guests know they will not be served a full meal. Also good to know that an hors d’ oeuvres reception does not equal saving money.
- Breakfast or brunch – One of my favorites because it accompanies a morning wedding! For me, there’s nothing better than a beautiful 11am wedding ceremony followed by a lovely breakfast/brunch meal. Usually the food at breakfast will be less expensive than a dinner meal and you most likely will have a lower bar bill since it is early in the day. Think omelet station, waffle station, Bloody Mary’s, Bellini’s and mimosas. Yum!
- Afternoon tea or cake and mints reception – Does anyone remember the cake and punch reception in the church basement? There is a lot of merit in this concept. One of my most favorite weddings I’ve coordinated utilized a variation of this style and it was fabulous! Have the cake before dinner. If your church has a reception area, invite your guests to go directly from the ceremony in the sanctuary to cake and a lemonade bar right in the church. Then invite fewer guests to a beautiful dinner and dancing at a reception later. This is very intimate, warm and saves money!
- Dessert reception – A lovely option to follow a ceremony that say, started at seven o’clock. Usually set up with stations that portray a combination of sweet and savory offerings. Follow the same guidelines as the cocktail reception above, only this should be a money saver for you (depending of course on what sweets you choose!). Also, it produces a shorter evening, therefore potentially less bar expense. Maybe you will decide to have a lively after party with your wedding party!
- Dinner reception – Dinner is the most popular option in this country. There are several terms to know regarding dinners that will help you decide the style you want to have.
- Plated service is all about just that…service. This is one of the most expensive options because it is very labor intensive for the caterer. Typically requiring three waiters for every six tables. It is a good way to control portions as the meal is plated in the kitchen and then served to each guest at their table.
- Russian Service – This is a very elegant service used if the meal will be presented in courses, i.e. the salad, then the vegetable, then the entre’, etc. Waiters bring the items out to each table on platters.
- Table side service – This is very French and dramatic. Best used for a smaller wedding. Waiters use portable cook tops at each table to prepare portions of the meal and then serve immediately to each guest.
- Family-style service – Think a beautiful Italian meal! The food is brought out to each table on platters and each guest helps themselves. Bravo!
- Buffet service – Most popular in our area. People think a buffet is always less expensive than a plated meal, you do save a lot of labor expense, but it is wise to have one staff person at each chaffing dish for portion control, to move the line along and to keep the chaffing dishes full. No guest wants to scrape the bottom of the dish. To avoid having guests stand in line for a long time, consider having the
DJ dismiss tables just a few at a time.
- Stations – Another one of my favorites because it promotes movement through the room. This is a great option if you are not a fan of a formal time to sit down to eat. Many couples want their guests to begin eating when they arrive and not wait for the wedding party and couple to get there. If you like this idea for accommodating your guests, stations are wonderful. Think of it as splitting up the traditional buffet into individual tables or “stations” and setting them all around the space. For example, the carving station, the loaded baked potato bar, the salad station, etc.
This should get you started. Bon Appetit!
We teamed up with Lisa Petersen from the Grand Manse to give you this week’s Tips & Tricks. Enjoy!
Finding the perfect venue for your big day is not as daunting as you would think. The best thing you can do is go to your site visits prepared. Take notes, ask if you can take pictures (photos will help jog your memory if you are looking at a number of different venues). Photos are also fun to look back on after the wedding.
After determining that your date is available, you will want to make sure the venue hold the appropriate number of people for your reception. You may want to clarify the number. Is it for standing, a cocktail party setup, or seated, a dinner setup. I would even try to ask for pictures of the different setups so you can really get a feel for how your reception will look.
Next, ask what all is included in the price. Sometimes the price may be a little more expensive, but include more. For instance, one venue may offer the room for a longer time, let you setup days before, have a certain caterer or DJ that you would use, or provide a variety of table setups and tablecloths. Having some of these things included in the price could save you time and money and save you the hassle of worrying about more items on your to-do list.
The most important part of the reception is being able to celebrate with family and friends and to make it the most enjoyable for everyone. In order to accomplish this, verify that parking is easily available near your venue. Another helpful tip is to have the reception near the hotel that many of your guests are staying.
At the end of your meeting, ask if there are any rules and regulations that have not been covered. It is hard to think of every possible scenario. Mindy Weiss, professional wedding planner, says that some venues require you to work with a professional wedding planner, other venues have a specific florist/event designer that you must use, while others still will have a list of approved professionals you must work with.