The theme that ran strongly through this wedding was "quality time with family and friends". And boy, did we execute that to the highest of degrees! Day one was spent at the groom's family's lake house with food and fun in the sun. Guests enjoyed beach wedding games, a BBQ, and time out on the lake. The groom's mother gave out as gifts, bottles of honey she harvested herself!
Day two started with a volleyball game complete with good old fashioned beer and pub grub. The day was sunny and the weather was perfect! This was followed by the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner. The dinner was held at the university alumni house, a beautiful turn of the century tutor-style home with ornate wood details. The menu included fancy small bites, enough to feed an army! The signature cocktail of the evening was red wine sangria served in mason jars with paper straws. Guests were able to again be outside and enjoy games of bean bag toss and croquet. The scene was set and seemed straight out of a Norman Rockwell calendar.
The following day was the big event, wedding day! The girls spent the morning getting ready and enjoying mimosas at The Magnolia Hotel in Omaha, the men at the Hilton across town. Our awesome photographer, Carlos Weaver of Weaver Photo & Design was amazing as usual, being shipped to and from each location.
Alex and Kristen had their first look on the church grounds of St. Cecilia's Cathedral in Omaha. This church was one of the most beautiful churches I have ever set foot in. Following the wedding Mass, the wedding party loaded the trolley and headed out for their photo shoot while guests proceeded down to The Durham Museum in downtown Omaha for the cocktail hour and dinner reception. The setting of this venue was perfect for this couple. Old meets new at this once "grand central station" now converted to a museum! The floral and decor was simple and elegant, all staying within and not impeding with the tone of the venue. Colors of creme and blush touched each place you looked. Travel and experiencing the world was a love that this couple shared throughout their relationship. Each guest was greeted at the opening of the museum and took their seat assignment off of the "Share In Our Experiences" board, guiding the guest their table named after one of the couples favorite trips. Drinks were flowing, dinner was flavorful, and the whoopie pies at the end were the perfect sweet ending. The groom is a doctor, coming from a long line of physicians in his family. So, it was only fitting to serve jello shots served in extra large syringes once the party was under way! What a party it was! Dancing, bumping music, and more dancing.
The following day was the gift opening brunch, hosted by the family. After the bride and groom had left to pack for their honeymoon, I was invited back to the family's residence to help celebrate the grandparent's 60th wedding anniversary. I was in Omaha and off the clock, so I thought, "why not?". This brings me to my "revelation". After dinner and few toasts from the family, Grandma and Grandpa took a turn with the floor. They expressed their great thanks for this celebration and shared a few stories. I won't be able to do their final words any justice, but I can try to summarize, "What a blessing it was to be able to sit back last night at the wedding of Kristen and Alex, and look out on the dance floor to see our family, our hard work, our loves all celebrating together. Celebrating life and happiness. We are so blessed and fortunate."
I quietly sat in the back of the room amidst the 40 to 50 members of their family and became a little emotional at what they had just said. I would have liked to blame my exhaustion, but I couldn't! It hit me, and I realized at that moment why I continue to do what I do. Our job as event planners and coordinators is not just the pretty stuff that everyone sees. It's not only itineraries, contract negotiations, and meetings. No, it's working hard to create an environment for people to make their own memories. It's to help create a moment to where people can be open to joy. Finally, and as it was for these grandparents, it's to create the space to allow people to have a special experience like they did, no matter how small or simple it may be. I am forever grateful for the blessing of my work and for being invited to share moments like these with my clients who become my family.