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After you book...


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After you book...


It’s official! You’ve taken your first step (a big one) in planning your wedding, so what’s next?

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As always we are here and happy to help!

  • Book your vendors! Our vendor guide (scroll down) can help you find the perfect fit for all of the food, fun, and frivolity.

  • Find THE dress!  A personal favorite of ours is Blush Bridal Boutique. Emmy and her gals have the most unique selection of gowns and make sure you feel like the bride you are destined to be!  

  • After you book your photographer, get those engagements shots done! These pictures are a perfect fit for your “Save the Dates” PLUS, they are always a fun start to the planning process!

  • The Guest List; this is by far one of the big ones. The guest list determines budget for catering, venue size, bar, and desserts! Once you have that invite list solidified, it’s time to send out your “Save the Dates”! If you’re wondering whether or not to send out these little reminders, keep in mind that the beauty of them is that they can be a great way to save some hassle when waiting to receive your RSVPs later on. Since it gives your guests a chance to start planning ahead, they are able to get your date on their calendars sooner and in return will be able to get those RSVPs back in your hands in record time! These can be sent out as early as a year or as late as 6 months before the big day!

  • Next come the invites. Typically invites should be signed, sealed, and delivered about 3 months prior to the big day in order for you to get those RSVPs back and accounted for in time for your 30-Day Meeting! Remember, we need your final number by that meeting so our rule of thumb is to have those RSVPs due back 45 days before THE day. This gives you some wiggle room to be sure all guests are accounted for.

  • Next it’s time to meet with your favorite vendor! We’ll sit down and go through everything; the good, the bad, and the ugly (just kidding, there is no bad or ugly). From the timeline to the seating arrangement and everything in between, we will be sure our checklist is perfected for your day.

    1. A few reminders of what you’ll need for the meeting;

      1. Final guest count

      2. Final payment

      3. A list of all of your vendors and their day-of arrival times (P.S… all of your vendors have 11 AM access to the venue for set-up and drop-offs if needed)

      4. Last bust not least; if you have a wedding video or slideshow be sure to bring a copy so we can do a test run to be sure all words are heard and pictures are seen!

  • Get your marriage license (if you haven’t already)! Remember, we are in MILLS COUNTY, IA and that’s where you should apply for the license. Click the link ( https://www.millscoia.us/index.php/vital-records ) for their site and more info!

  • THE BIG DAY! Go and have fun! Let us worry about all of the details of the day so you and your family/friends don’t have to (P.S. be sure to remember your decor the day of and the night of for set up and tear down. We’ll worry about the rest).

  • The Aftermath: Relax and know that you did it!



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The Timeline


The Timeline


To help with day-of planning, we have carefully crafted two different timelines that ensure the most fluid and relaxing day possible. One timeline is for Ceremony + Reception and the other is for our Reception Only couples! We highly recommend that one of our timelines are chosen to be sure your day goes as practically perfect in every way as possible.

CEREMONY + RECEPTION

7:30 AM | 8:00 AM - Hair + Makeup

Whether that be at the salon, a hotel or even a cute little Air BNB, be sure your space has lots of light for the perfect makeup and pictures (your photographer will love you for it)!

11:30 AM - Leave for Bella Terre

12:00 PM - Arrive at Bella Terre

12:15 PM - Rehearsal (est. time of 15 minutes)

Ladies, if you don’t want to see your groom before the ceremony, no worries! You can sit this one out!

12:30 PM - Decorate + Eat + Get Dressed

. . . and of course; pop some bubbly because you’re getting married today!

2:00 PM - Pictures

May include getting into your dress, first looks, bridal party, portraits, family, etc.

4:00 PM - Bridal Party + Parents to Bridal Suites

We’re locking you away so your guests don’t get distracted by the stunning beauty of your group but also so your ushers can get guests to their seats for the main event.

4:30 PM - Ceremony

The time has come!

5:15 PM - Cocktail Hour + Reception

This is where the worrying can end and the fun begins. Let your guests grab a cocktail while you finish taking those beautiful photos on the grounds!

6:00 PM - Entrances

You and your party get to boogie into the reception for the official kick-off of the best night ever!

6:15 PM - Cake Cutting

We highly suggest that you cut the cake right after you finish your intros. This lets the caterers prep the cake for serving so it’s ready to go after dinner. Remember boys, no cake smashing unless your beautiful bride says so!

6:30 PM - Dinner

Sit back, relax, and chow down. You’ve earned this time!

7:30 PM - Toasts

Let your guests enjoy dinner and a show as your MOH and BM share the loving (or embarrassing) stories they have prepared.

8:00 PM - First Dance(s)

8:30 PM - Open Dance Floor

It is time to boogie.

10:30 PM - Last Call

Sadly the bar must come to an end to be sure everyone gets home safe and sound.

11:00 PM | 12:00 AM - Decor Tear-Down + Clean-Up

The planning, the organizing, and the coordinating is over. 11 PM is the start of your married life and all we can say is CONGRATULATIONS!



OPTIONALS

  • Bouquet + Garter Toss

  • Sparkler Send-Off

  • Sparkler First Dance

  • Wedding Video/Slideshow

RECEPTION ONLY

12:00 PM | 1:30 PM - Decor Set-Up

Your specially appointed decorators arrive at Bella Terre and decorate to their heart’s content.

4:00 PM | 5:00 PM - Doors open for reception

4:30 PM - Cocktail Hour + Reception

This is where the worrying can end and the fun begins. Let your guests grab a cocktail while they wait for you to arrive!

6:00 PM - Entrances

You and your party get to boogie into the reception for the official kick-off of the best night ever!

6:15 PM - Cake Cutting

We highly suggest that you cut the cake right after you finish your intros. This lets the caterers prep the cake for serving so it’s ready to go after dinner. Remember boys, no cake smashing unless your beautiful bride says so!

6:30 PM - Dinner

Sit back, relax, and chow down. You’ve earned this time!

7:30 PM - Toasts

Let your guests enjoy dinner and a show as your MOH and BM share the loving (or embarrassing) stories they have prepared.

8:00 PM - First Dance(s)

8:30 PM - Open Dance Floor

It’s time to boogie.

10:30 PM - Last Call

Sadly the bar must come to an end to be sure everyone gets home safe and sound.

11:00 PM | 12:00 AM - Decor Tear-Down + Clean-Up

The planning, the organizing, and the coordinating is over. 11 PM is the start of your married life and all we can say is CONGRATULATIONS!

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Tips & Tricks


Tips & Tricks


Other tips and tricks of the trade from yours truly;

Sparklers

Because we want your pictures to be all sparkle and no smoke; be sure to purchase wedding specific sparklers! These are longer, they don’t smoke, and they allow your photographers to capture the perfect moment with plenty of time to spare.

Decor

Be sure to assign a team of decorators in your party to decorate to their hearts content prior to the ceremony. Also something to keep in mind is to have a few friends + family bring a larger vehicle to be sure all decor can be packed up safe and sound at the end of the night!

Food

If leftovers aren’t your thing, we are happy to take donations. We distribute any leftovers we can to the local fire/police departments.

Champagne Toast

Every head table deserves to toast with some bubbly which is why we offer a complimentary head table toasting bottle of Prosecco!

Remember These . . .

Cake Cutting Set | B&G Champagne Flutes | Guest Book | Speaker for Music (for while you’re getting ready) | Snacks + Lunch | Paper Plates + Silverware + Napkins | Marriage License

Midnight

You are more than welcome to dance the night away to 12 AM.  Just remember that there will be an additional fee and the bar will switch to a cash bar at 11 PM.

Arrival

You have access to the venue at 12 PM. We do have some last minute items to cross off of our to-do list in the morning before you arrive so to be sure that your day starts off perfectly, we’ll need those few hours to finish things up! Talk to us at your 30-Day Meeting if you are hoping to have early entry!

Cars

Your guests are welcome to  leave their cars at the venue overnight. We’re all about safety first when it comes to drinking and driving and want to be sure no one gets behind the wheel in bad shape. Just be sure to snag your car before 11 AM the next morning!

Payments

You can make payments! We completely understand that weddings are expensive and saving can be rough. If that is the case, don’t worry; we are happy to take payments throughout the year(s). As you will hear us say throughout the planning; checks are always the best form of payment. Credit cards will have a merchant fee associated with it which can make it more expensive in the long run.

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Vendor Guide


Vendor Guide


Catering

Hy-Vee | 712-322-9260

Our Hy-Vee on Madison Ave. is unlike any other store! Josh, Joiah and their team offer unparalleled service in both the planning and execution of the event. With a exclusive catering menu created specifically for our brides, their food, service, and price will never disappoint.

Attitude on Food | 402-341-3663

Attitude on Food is the perfect mix between fun and funky.  They are incredibly unique in their foods and service and are the definition of professionalism. One of their best qualities  is their ability to design and create unprecedented foods for your event that never fail to go above and beyond.

Classic Cafe | 712-621-7303

While new to our list, Alicia and her crew are quickly climbing the charts! With a hometown flair; Classic’s new chef brings something completely different and delicious to each dish. Sourcing much of their food locally, you get fresh, unique, and amazing food at every event. We are so excited about this new addition to our family!

Music | Photography | Videography | Photo Booth | Uplighting

Complete Weddings + Events | 402-339-3535    

Complete. Is. Everything. Meaning, they literally do everything. Photo, video, photo booth, uplighting, and of course the DJ! With so many different DJs, photographers, and videographers, it’s impossible not to find one that you and your fiance fit with perfectly. They go from fun and quirky to hopping and bopping to getting down and dirty. Every person brings their own expertise and personal touches to the wedding they perform at making each event run as smooth as can be. Their passion for their couples shows at every turn!

DJ Chaos Productions | 712-254-0200    

Jesse at Chaos is the man. They bring a unique set-up and style to the venue and every reception they perform at! With so many different fun add-ons to personalize your wedding we highly recommend Jesse and his crew. They go above and beyond for our couples and it shows in each event. Check out his personal touches to each event on his Facebook page!

FadeUp Design Group | 402-957-1508

This company offers a unique decor option for your wedding! While Bella Terre has Edison lighting, FadeUp offers concert style lighting that transforms Bella into something we’ve never seen! They are an excellent group to work with to give your wedding a personal touch so that literally every wall reflects YOU!

Floral

Hy-Vee | 712-322-9260

Hy-Vee floral is magic! They are fresh, beautiful, and reliable. Their quality always goes above and beyond and never fails to light up the venue with color!

Bloom Works | 712-256-3156

Whether it be bouquets, centerpieces, or wine barrel arrangements, Bloom Works brings it. They have a unique flair that can be tailored to each couple and they are sure to make your vision come to life in each event.

Cake | Bakery

Hy-Vee | 712-322-9260

Hy-Vee continues to bring the goodness with their bakery department. The frosting combined with the rich and dense center is a delectable and deadly combination. Not to mention, their sheet cakes are around $50 and can feed up to 96 people. Score!

Attitude on Food | 402-341-3663

Much like their food, AOF’s dessert is out of this world and so unique. If you’re looking for a little spin off of the traditional wedding cake, AOF is the way to go. Try their wedding cake cannolis and you will never go back!

Lodging

Holiday Inn & Suites Ameristar | 712-329-1993

Our preferred hotel is located right next to the Ameristar Casino in Council Bluffs (perfect place for an after party!). Booking a room block for your out of towners is extremely important.  With holidays, the ever busy summer months, and annual Omaha metro events it’s always a good idea to check this one off the list in a timely manner. Bonus: they also have a shuttle! Although the shuttle does have a charge, it is a weight off your shoulders during this planning process to know you and your guests have a safe way to and from Bella Terre! Also, they have newly renovated rooms that are gorgeous!