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August 17, 2015

Wedding Week: Wedding Details & Vendors | {Kali}

August 17, 2015

In honor of Zac and I's one year wedding anniversary coming up this weekend (!), I thought it'd be fun to share all the details of my wedding with you guys! I'm dedicating this entire week to my wedding—so I'll have a new post every day this week all about our big day last August! First up, I wanted to share some photos of pretty details from our wedding as well as a list of our vendors and my thoughts on each. For the most part, we had amazing vendors. So if you're having a wedding in Lincoln, definitely check them out! All photos were taken by Nikki Moore Photography!

Photographer: We went with Nikki Moore Photography to photograph our engagement photos and wedding. We went with the all-day option and a second photographer. I could not recommend Nikki enough and I think the pictures speak to how amazing she is! The photos turned out beautiful and she truly captured all the emotions and happiness of the whole day.

I was extremely happy with the photos, but even more than that—Nikki was so great to work with. After our engagement session, she took Zac and I to dinner and got to know us better, which I thought was so awesome that she cared enough about her clients to do that. I would highly recommend her if you are looking for a photographer in Lincoln/Omaha!

Venue: I knew we'd probably want to have our wedding in Lincoln before we even got engaged so I had Wilderness Ridge in mind before he even popped the question! Although, now I'm a little jealous of Megan having her wedding at our parents acreage! But, Wilderness Ridge is really beautiful, so I'm super happy we went with them. The deciding factor on choosing Wilderness Ridge was the ceremony location. I have always wanted an outdoor ceremony and the spot they had for ceremonies was so pretty. It was on the golf course, with a huge elm tree (which was beautiful but also pratical—it was 90+ degrees that day so shade was needed!), all right up against a small lake.

Of course, I loved how rustic the reception room was as well. That chandelier!

It was also really great working with the wedding coordinator up until the day of the wedding. I had to plan this wedding from Des Moines, so I was constantly emailing her with tons of questions and she was always super helpful and got back to me right away. I was a little worried the day of about making sure everything went smoothly from ceremony to reception, but everything turned out perfect!

Ceremony and Reception Decor: All the decor we used was from my mom (Barnyard Boutique)! I had a pretty good vision for what I wanted for the ceremony decor, reception centerpieces, etc. and she helped me bring my vision to life! Of course, I wanted to go with a rustic-romantic theme, especially considering the venue.

I thought the ceremony turned out so beautiful—I ended up getting not one arch, but two! We painted two old doors white, and then my mom and dad put them together for the arch at the entrance, which we decorated with flowers and curtains.

Along the aisles, we did flowers in mason jars on Shepherd's hooks. My parents also made a wood arch for the front of the ceremony, which we also decorated with pretty lace curtains and lots of flowers!

For the reception centerpieces, I knew I wanted everything to sit on a wood plank, and I wanted to incorporate multiple vases/jars along with old books. My mom had a book of vintage cards that were originally used for keeping score in basketball games, so we used those as the table numbers. We also used vintage doilies on the tables. I loved the centerpieces and thought they turned out so pretty—I also loved how each table was slightly different.

The Dress: I'll be completely honest—the only major issue I had when it came to my entire wedding experience was the dress. I think the dress itself is beautiful, but I didn't have the best experience with the boutique I bought it from.

I ended up getting the dress at Pure Bridal in Ames, IA. The day I went dress shopping, I left Pure Bridal extremely excited and happy—I felt I had found the perfect dress. The day my actual dress came to the store, Shelbie and I went together so I could try it on. When I got the dress on, I was so confused—it just did not look like the dress I ordered. It WAS the same dress, but the fit was so off—it was too tight and WAY too short. I was hesitant to say anything to the staff and I just kept hoping it could be fixed by alterations. After leaving the store feeling super disappointed, I thought about it and decided I should call Pure Bridal and just see what my options were because I felt they did not measure me correctly. I called and explained that I felt like the dress was too tight and it wouldn't work. The college-aged girl I talked to told me there was nothing they could do—that I must have gained weight. Even if that had been true (I hadn't gained or lost any weight since I had tried the dress on originally), you do not say that to a customer—especially a future bride! Her suggestion: I should try losing some weight and then it wouldn't be so short (huh?). They said they could not order a larger size for me. I realized I was stuck with what I got regardless if they measured incorrectly—I'd have to make it work.

^ This was the day we went dress-shopping and this is the dress. It was clamped in the back, but I was envisioning it fitting exactly like this—which was perfect and super flattering. At that point, it was a no-brainer—this was my favorite dress I'd tried on that day and it was the only dress where I came out of the dressing room smiling!

Long story short, unfortunately, I would not recommend getting your dress at Pure Bridal. Luckily, my dress was still a pretty dress and on the day of the wedding, it did not feel too tight, but I was still somewhat unhappy with the fit and how short it ended up being (I wore the shortest heels I could find). I just tried to focus on all the positive things of the day and not dwell on it too much!

Flowers: Back to the positives!—I dreamed of having tons and tons of flowers everywhere for my wedding! But, let's get real—flowers are freaking expensive! So, we actually ended up getting flowers from two different places. We got all the bouquets, boutonnieres and a few arrangements for the ceremony from Blooms and Bouquets—and she was really great to work with. I was very happy with the bouquets (although in the pictures, some of the flowers look super orange, they were actually more coral!). I would have loved to use peonies, but they weren't in season so we went with using garden roses which are pretty similar. I didn't know much about types of flowers before my wedding, but I've never been a huge fan of roses. However, garden roses are so pretty! I didn't want to stick to a super specific color theme, but I mostly wanted whites, corals, yellows, and pinks.

I would have loved to get all of the reception flowers through her as well, but there was just no budget for that. In the end, Sam's Club saved us! As surprising as it is, I would highly recommend using Sam's Club for your wedding flowers. They ended up being so much more beautiful than I had even anticipated. My grandma arranged them for the reception tables and I just couldn't have been happier with how they turned out. If you have any questions about using Sam's Club, email me! I'd be happy to tell you more about my experience with them.

Videographer: We used A Sound Impression, also out of Lincoln. I was so happy with our wedding video—and I'll share it in an upcoming post this week!

Makeup & Hair: One of my best friends and bridesmaid, Maggie, did my hair for the wedding! As much as I would have loved to wear my hair down, it just wasn't going to happen. I have extremely thin hair that does not hold curls that well—and in 90-degree heat, I knew it wasn't going to work. I had found a bunch of loose and low updos on Pinterest. My favorite hair inspiration was actually Kelly Clarkson. Before I had seen her wedding photos, I was 100% going to do a flower crown. Looking back now, I sometimes wish I had gone with a flower crown instead of a headband (maybe I'm just bitter because I also got it from Pure Bridal ;)), but I still love how the whole look turned out. Maggie did such a great job and I loved my wedding hair! Casey Donner at Kiss and Makeup in Lincoln did my makeup, which was beautiful as well!

Cake: We had our small cake as well as lots of cupcakes (White, Lemon, Carrot, and Strawberry) made by Joni Vennink-Stork from Harlan, IA. They were SO delicious—all of the cupcakes went so fast, I didn't even get to have one! A lot of people told me how awesome they were. The cake turned out exactly how I wanted—so pretty. Megan is also using her for her wedding in September. If you are around the Harlan area, definitely check her out!

Invitations & Paper Goods: I asked my super-awesome graphic designer friend (and previous co-worker at Meredith), Emily, to help with all the paper goods (save the dates, invitations, rehearsal dinner invites, programs, and thank yous)! She designed everything and even ordered them all for me! I loved the designs and how they turned out and it was so nice to not have to worry about ordering them at all—Emily took care of everything for me, which ended up being a huge help!

Any questions on any of my vendors? Shoot me an email and I'd be glad to help!

Stay tuned—tomorrow I'll be sharing everything about our ceremony!

Photos by Nikki Moore Photography

Check out all Kali's Wedding Week posts!
Day 1: Wedding Details & Vendors
Day 2: The Ceremony
Day 3: The Reception
Day 4: My Favorite Wedding Photos
Day 5: Wedding Video

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