“It was pouring rain the morning of Jon and Riesa’s wedding. Some say that is a sign of good fortune, but I was just disappointed that their outdoor wedding might be moved indoors. Not that their backup location was by any means a compromise, I was just really looking forward to their outdoor ceremony. We were shooting some portraits of the couple at Hotel Deco about an hour before the ceremony…still raining. We made the call at that point to just go for it and headed to the park. About twenty minutes before the scheduled ceremony start time, it stopped raining. The chairs were wiped off and the musicians began playing. The air was cool and the light was ethereal. Everything about this day was inspiring- from the simplistic details to the amazing spirit of the couple. The reception venue (1316 Jones St.) was the perfect compliment to the ceremony. It just fit their personalities. Their smiles and love were definitely contagious that day and it is a wedding I will always remember.”
-Brad Iwen | Iwen Exposures
Currently living out-of-state, what made you decide to have your wedding in Omaha?
Jon and I have made Chicago our home for the time being, but “home” has always been Omaha. We considered other locations during the planning process, but know that having most of our family and friends there (most of whom live in the general vicinity) to support us was a necessity.
We love your unique style and the thought that went into every detail. Could you talk a little bit about your wedding details? Where did you find inspiration for your wedding?
Honestly, our desire to make it as stress-free and comfortable as possible, while focusing on the reason for the celebration, drove a lot of our choices. We are pretty simple in our taste, style, communication and wanted our wedding to reflect that. We knew that the more “fuss” put into it would result in something that was overworked and less authentically “us”. That resulted in very few details, but the ones that were included (my bouquet charm (given to me by my best friend that I’ve known since Kindergarten), pictures that we displayed of our parents and grandparents on their wedding days, our dear friends providing the ceremony music, having only family members as our wedding party with my brother officiating) were sentimental and meaningful.
A lot of people say it’s too risky to plan an outdoor wedding in Nebraska. Any thoughts on that?
We knew the risk, acknowledged it, and had a backup plan. We were okay with either scenario, because we knew there was a great chance the weather wouldn’t cooperate, and because the end result would be the same. That being said, planning an outdoor wedding isn’t for everyone. Jon and I were okay with the uncertainty and changing the location at the drop of a hat if needed.
How and why did you decide on your venues?
To select your venues we tried to focus on places that fit our budget, that were flexible for what we wanted, and most importantly that fit our personalities. We selected 1316 Jones because it allowed a backup plan for an indoor wedding if necessary, its urban setting, and loft feel.
What was your favorite part or moment of the day?
One thing I am most grateful for is that I was able to quiet my mind, relax, and appreciate each moment for what it was. So many people told me beforehand that the day is a blur, and I was determined not to let that happen. Obviously, seeing Jon for the first time is at the top of the list and a frame I will always look back on. Likewise, I will always remember getting to the altar, taking Jon’s hand, facing my brother (our officiant), then peering over my shoulder to catch a glimpse of all of our loved ones. It was such a peaceful and special moment.
Any advice for brides and grooms planning their wedding?
Take your time, do what you want, relax. Find reputable vendors that you trust and release control to them… it’s a lot less stressful that way! Don’t let wedding planning dominate your free time, but take advantage of the opportunity it brings to build relationships and spend extra time with loved ones.
Photography and Cinema: Iwen Exposures | Venue: Memorial Park | Flowers: Avant Garden Florals, Holly Strudthoff | DJ: Midwest Music, Kevin Kracher | Reception: 1316 Jones | Wedding Planner: Chad Morford | Catering: Abraham Catering | Cake: Great Cake Caper, Diane Wolff | Ceremony Musicians: Eric Wieseler (Guitar), Ann Wieseler (Violin)