The Charitable Bride

Weddings are all about giving. You give your heart and life to your spouse. You are given gifts from family and friends that support you. And you (as the gracious bride and groom you are) give thanks, food, and entertainment to those same individuals for their love. But being a gracious bride and groom can expand past just the family and friends invited to the event.

Let’s look at party favors for instance. Most of the time, favors are left on the tables, or tossed out. But what if 100% of your favors to your guests will get used? What if, your favors are actually helping others in need? A great alternative to the traditional candy or trinket wedding favor, is to donate to your favorite charity in honor of your guests. I had one couple, who love animals and wanted their fur babies incorporated in the wedding somehow. Instead of trying to force them down the aisle with a pillow tied to their collar, they honored them and their guests by using the money they would have spent on favors, and donating it to the local animal shelter that their pets came from, and even included a picture of their precious pups. The caption at the bottom of their menu card at each place setting read:

“Thank you for sharing in our special day! In leui of favors, we are donating to The Capital Humane Society in your honor.”

Asside from everyone having a feel good feeling about giving, this favor idea also doesn’t break your bank. It makes sure your budget stays in check by donating only the exact amount you have budgeted for.

Did you also know you can fundraise through your vendors too? Simply ask your vendor if they would consider donating a portion to charity. Not all vendors will say ‘yes’. But some will, and some like Michael Herod Photography, already includes this in their everyday business practice. Not only is Michael an exceptional photographer, but he is also an extremely kind hearted and generous individual. For every job he gets, 5% of it is always donated to charity. In fact, he even lets the client pick out which charity they want their funds to go to!

So up until now, you’ve been a gracious and generous bride and groom. Making sure that good deeds and thoughtfulness are cast out into every aspect of your wedding. But once you’re perfect day has come to a close, what then? The food is packed up and flowers boxed. Chances are, you have not put a second thought into where those things will go after your wedding. And chances are, they end up getting thrown out or spoil before bringing any further enjoyment. However, there are many places in which you can spread your love and generosity EVEN FURTHER! Try donating the leftover food and flowers to charities that could really use it for people in need. Here is a list of some local places that will take such donations:

 Food Net strives to stop the waste of food and fufill human needs. They provide mostly perishable items to needy families. They are a volunteer non-profit organization that receives NO government funding. A single call, and they will personally pickup all the donated items within one hour. You can contact them at or 402-416-4979.

The People City Mission is a Christian based non-profit organization whose purpose is to assist with providing basic human needs through food, clothes, shelter, and ministry. Drop offs can be made anytime by contacting the location you are nearest to. More information can be found at or by calling 402-475-6888.

Fresh Start is transitional shelter that empowers homeless women to change their lives by recognizing and utilizing their strengths to overcome barriers to self-sufficiency. They also accept drop off donations and can be reached at or 402-475-7777.

Matt Talbot Kitchen and Outreach is a faith based hunger relief and outreach program that is devoted to serving homeless and near homeless men, women, and children by providing meals twice daily, every day of the year. They do take drop-offs, but only during the weekdays. They can be found at or by calling 402-477-4116.

What To Do With The Dress

I am one of the brides who chose to keep her dress. But not because I expect my daughter (if I ever have one) will want to wear it, but because I am overly sentimental. I am not emotionally attached to many material things in this world….but the thought of parting with my dress pains me. So, silly as it may seem, it shall remain preserved in a box in my attic. But ever since I heard of “Trash the Dress” photo shoots, my inner eccentric artist has been dying to do it. Trash the Dress is a style of wedding photography that contrasts elegant perfection, with ugly destruction. This contrast results in some stunning and powerful images. 

I told my husband of my desire to Trash the Dress and begged him to join me. We had been married for 6 years and our lives had become a hum drum routine. We were in a love rut and I knew this is just what we needed to get that spark back. I had found a similar dress to mine online that someone wanted to get rid of for $50. That was all I needed. With the help of two photographers and a videographer, we set out on what would be one of the most exciting and fun date nights my husband and I have ever shared.

We found a perfect spot and the cameras were set. I was a ball of nerves as each of us held our paint filled water balloons in hand, aimed at the other. “GO!” yelled the photographer and the moment paint exploded onto the dress I felt overwhelmed with childish glee. Paint, Champagne, and fireworks filled the air and an all-out battle ensued with my best friend. We laughed, and kissed, and hugged. We shared in a crazy moment, and it was beautiful. I would do it a hundred times over. I would give up 10 dinner and a movie dates, to relive this moment again (And cost wise, I suppose it would even be cheaper!).

I love looking back on the photos. Every time I examine them I feel that it captured what my husband and I’s relationship (and marriage) is really like.  Love and life is a beautiful mess. The attire symbolized our sacred ceremony and bonding to each other. The photos from the wedding day depict us in our most perfect state. But that’s not our true selves. Aside from one perfect day, love itself is not perfect at all. It becomes quite messy. You fight. You change. You get worn down.  But despite this, it can still be beautiful, Filled with love, laughs and fun.  Every time I look at those photos, I’m reminded of this and thankful for the beautiful mess we share. THAT is what Trash the Dress truly means to me.  

So if you are not a bride intending on keeping her dress. I urge you to trash it. Perhaps save it for a few years, and do it at a time that the two of you truly need it most. It will be a memory you treasure for a lifetime.

Check out the video here. Contact information for the photographers and videographer who were involved in making this shoot happen, can be found below:

A Sound Impression

Liliedahl Imaging

Elwood Photography

GO BIG RED! Weddings during Husker Season

Are you planning a wedding during Husker Football season? Here are some things to consider.  

I have plenty of brides who say “But I don’t care about football, My husband and I aren’t huge fans, neither are our guests”. You could be absolutely correct. However, it doesn’t matter if every single one of the guests hate the Huskers. Your guests will still be paying triple for rooms, Finding a venue and caterer will be near impossible, Guests will have no parking, and tailgaters will be everywhere. It does not lend itself well to a wedding environment. Not to mention, if you do have guests that are fans, you can bet they will be at the nearest bar with a tv, or checking their phones every two seconds for the score.


“But I don’t need to worry because I’m planning my wedding on an day where the Huskers are at an away game.” Ok. So, this would seem like a good idea. Prices may be lower and venues easier to find. However, guests will still be checking the score or wanting the venue to play the game. Despite this, there has even been occasions when games get switched and what was thought to be an away game is now going to be a home game. In the meantime, you’ve booked EVERYTHING and planned EVERYTHING and you are still stuck with the Husker atmosphere, parking problems, and score checking.


“No problems here. I’m going to have my wedding on a ‘bi-week’ where there is no games at all!” To that I reply: “You and every other fall bride”. Fall weddings are becoming more and more prominent for good reason, it’s beautiful and the weather is great! But now every bride in Nebraska is eyeballing those days that Huskers don’t play in the fall. These will be the dates that cost just as much as game days because now every bride is fighting for the same vendors, and hotels are booked with other bride’s wedding guests. It is important to plan your wedding plenty in advance if you are having a wedding in the fall. The second that fall football schedule comes out, it’s a bridal frenzy.


Perhaps you and all your guests are crazy Husker fans and the wedding party is sporting their colors and you plan on having the game played in the background during your reception. These weddings are always a blast! Cost and the crowds don’t matter much to you because for you, Husker season is a part of who you are and you feed off the energy instead of pushing against it. To these weddings I say “Party on fans, party on!”


My Advice: Be aware and plan early. OR avoid football season at all costs, unless you’re willing to embrace it and sub your veil for a corn cob hat. 


Happy Planning!

Shelly Richardson (owner)