Planning your Wedding in Omaha Nebraska

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Ask any woman (and many men) and they’ll tell you that their wedding is one of the most important days of their lives.  To make the day perfect and go off without a hitch isn’t easy, though.  There is a lot of planning involved, some of which you may or may not have time to do by yourself.  Depending on your situation, you may be planning a wedding for one of your children (or helping them do so), planning your own wedding or planning a second wedding or renewal of vows.  All occasions are equally important and it’s essential that you not only plan ahead of time, but also that you use the right professionals to help you plan the event of a lifetime.

Planning Ahead

According to Gary Bosanek with The Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center, “There’s more to a wedding than the wedding.  For a full, blow-out wedding, most people start the official planning at least a year in advance.  Spaces are reserved for receptions, dinners and ceremonies several years in advance, especially for the prime summer months.”  If you plan on getting married locally and if you have specific places in mind for a reception hall, caterer, photographer, etc., the sooner you can plan and book the better!  This is a huge day in the bride’s life and she will not want to settle for second, third or even fourth choices because her top picks have already been booked.

Choosing the Dress

Lynne Rustad of Ellynne Bridal states, “Choosing the right gown sets the tone for a bride’s wedding—casual, contemporary or traditional.  Her gown also will help decide which bridesmaid gown to choose to complement her special gown.

When a bride chooses her wedding gown she should choose a gown that best reflects her style, body shape and her personality.  The gown should be the crowning jewel of her vision.  My favorite bride is one who loves fashion and wants to be a bit unusual.  I love themed weddings and brides who will step out of the box to try something new.”

She goes on to say, “Most often the mistake that a bride makes is allowing someone else to influence her decision about her wedding.  Everyone involved must remember it is her day, it her dream and whatever she chooses is perfect.  They should feel privileged to participate, not feel like they can be making decisions for the bride.”

Brides should begin looking for their gown at least six to eight months before their wedding.  This means that crash dieting in the last month or two before you wedding is probably not a good idea as the gown you pick out might not fit you anymore and require drastic alterations.  If you have your heart set on losing weight before the wedding, try to do so in plenty of time before the ceremony and THEN begin shopping for your wedding dress once you have reached the size you want to be.

Choosing a Venue

One of the most important decisions of your wedding is where to hold it.  To find the perfect locale, it’s important that a number of decisions are already made.  How large the wedding is going to be, what caterer you want to use, certain decorations you have your heart set on and proximity to the ceremony location or guest hotels are just a few of the decisions that will impact your choice of venue.  Following are a few of the wonderful choices in the Omaha area.

Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center

For a destination event that allows you to have additional guests at the wedding or reception, consider a cozy setting (for about 150 people) where the facility is yours alone for the entire span of your occasion.  The Archdiocesan Retreat and Conference Center (ARCC) is an inter-faith venue that provides a caterer (Pleasure Your Palate Catering), DJ, florist and building staff to make your time truly special.  Retreat bedrooms that can accommodate up to 58 people offer a chance to rest between events as well as provide the sleeping quarters at night.  Their facility is perfect for your bridal shower and prenuptial dinner.  Multiple floors allow you to move from the wedding ceremony to the reception to the
dance without needing to move from venue to venue.

The ARCC is centrally located near historic Benson, and is in close proximity to downtown Omaha and the interstate.  The ARCC is committed to excellent service.  Whether your event requires a full table service or a buffet style setting, their friendly staff will provide you with a delicious dining experience at an exceptional value.

Scottish Rite Masonic Center

The Scottish Rite Masonic Center is the perfect venue for elegant or casual weddings, receptions, family gatherings, or corporate events.  This 100 year old treasure in the heart of Omaha offers classic but modern features, including a ballroom comfortably seating 300, an adjoining reception room for more intimate gatherings, a tasteful bar room for relaxed get-togethers, and modern kitchen facilities. For corporate events, the Scottish Rite Masonic Center boardroom offers convenient Wi-Fi service. The Scottish Rite also features one of the true gems of Omaha, a proscenium arch theater seating 217 on the main floor and 185 on the balcony. The recently renovated theater with hand-painted stage backdrops adds a memorable touch for receptions or special events. Sophisticated and refined, the Scottish Rite is the place for your special events.

The Millard Plaza Ballroom

The Millard Plaza Ballroom is a full-service banquet facility with accommodations for up to 350 guests.  Their areas of expertise include Event Design and Management, Event décor, Catering, Complete Beverage Service, and more.  Wedding Receptions are their specialty.  In addition to use of the beautiful ballroom, complimentary items include tables, chairs, linens and flatware, house centerpieces, toasting flutes and champagne buckets for the wedding party table and reserved family tables, coffee service including condiment and gourmet syrups, ceiling and pillars draped in white lights and tulle and candelabras on the corners of the bar as well as hanging candles around the perimeter and behind the bar.

Brandeis

Brandeis offers four venues in Omaha for your special event.  The Tip Top Building at 1502 Cuming Street offers an Executive Ballroom for up to 30 people, a Junior Ballroom for up to 120 people and a Grand Ballroom for up to 700 people.

The Tip Top building is located north of downtown in the new “NoDo” area of Omaha that is currently being re-built and eventually the new home for the CWS Baseball Stadium.
The Georgetowne Club, located at 2440 S. 141st Circle, offers a ballroom that accommodates up to 600 guests and is a beautiful and versatile facility to accommodate the most elegant reception.  Elegant décor, fireplaces and plenty of parking make the Georgetowne Club the upscale facility you can be proud to invite your guests to.

The Thompson Center at UNO, on the SW Corner of 67th and Dodge on the UNO Campus, has space for up to 300+ guests with a beautiful outside green space with patio.  The Thompson Center is also an ideal setting for an outdoor wedding with patio space for the cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and inside space for dinner and dancing.

The Livestock Exchange Building, on 4920 S. 30th Street, has 10th floor ballrooms which can accommodate 150-250 people or 250-350 people.  The two magnificent ballrooms have 22-foot ceilings and an elegant Romanesque and Northern Italian Renaissance Revival style.

Renaissance Mansion

At 401 S. 39th, the Renaissance Mansion is a full service facility that can accommodate indoor seating for 150 guests and comfortably entertains 225+ guests when indoors and outdoor areas are utilized.

In the recent years the Renaissance Mansion has been restored to the original splendor of yesteryear. Displaying a silver chandelier, wall sconces marked “Paul Revere-Philadelphia”. Tiffany at glass and mural canvas grace the first floor formal Dining Room, complimented by five curved windows of lead glass made in England. Beamed ceilings, mahogany wood, french doors, numerous fireplaces and curios displaying precious item of years gone by.

The Mansion can do all your menu planning and has a staff of professional chefs that plan the meal and prepare it on the day of your wedding, then type it all up an give you a keepsake itinerary.  The Mansion also provides a perfect venue to have both your ceremony and reception.

Arbor Day Farm and Lied Lodge & Conference Center

Turn your wedding dreams into reality! Let the peaceful, wooded surroundings of Arbor Day Farm and Lied Lodge & Conference Center provide the ideal backdrop for your wedding day. Imagine saying “I do” on the sprawling manicured lawn of Lied Lodge as the sun sets, lighting up an extravagant view of the adjacent Arbor Lodge Mansion. Or, if you prefer something more rustic, the Historic Morton Barns or Steinhart Lodge set the stage for a truly unique wedding. Your rehearsal dinner and reception will be equally as memorable with our flexible indoor and outdoor venues. Your guests will enjoy the comfortable accommodations and vast amenities including a spa, Olympic-sized pool, nature trails, activities and attractions at Arbor Day Farm.

Your special day will hold fond memories, and the staff at Lied Lodge is here to make every step of the way smooth, seamless, and brimming with your personal touch. There’s no better place to turn your wedding dreams into a reality.

Renting Equipment

Once you have a venue in mind for your wedding, your next step will be to plan how to arrange the space. It’s best to plan for rental equipment as soon as you choose a venue so that you guarantee your choice of materials. Chris St. Pierre, General Manager of Party Time Rentals, explained, “Ordering and planning as soon as possible is best so they can get the equipment they want and not just the equipment we have available. We can always adjust numbers as we get closer to the date, but having an idea of the numbers makes things go more smoothly.”

When you visit Party Time Rentals for the first time, know whether or not you want an indoor or an outdoor venue, how many people will need to be accommodated and for what you need the equipment, either the ceremony, the reception or both. Chris explained that then, “We can figure out the size of the hall or the tent they need or how much space we have to work with.” Knowing the venue information can also determine the types of tables and chairs that should be ordered.

When you choose a vendor for your equipment, keep in mind the selection the company offers and its reputation for timeliness. Chris said, “Time is critical, so we are good at planning to ensure that everything is set up and ready in time for the event. We’re also good about planning for picking everything up if there are restrictions.” Chris also recommends actually visiting the business and seeing the equipment. Most brides are brainstorming about what they want when they come in and see their rental options. Thus, Chris explained, “Our sales staff is very good at coming up with suggestions.” The staff at Party Time Rental is experienced at working within a variety of spaces, and they can help to make the right logistical decisions for your wedding.

Special Touches

Limo Service

Having a limo on your wedding day is that special touch that turns the day into an ‘event’.  Why should you, your future spouse and the wedding party have to worry about driving around to the ceremony, reception and other destinations?  Wouldn’t you all rather be together, enjoying the day?  A limo can provide your wedding party transportation from the wedding to the reception or you can book it for longer and have it deliver you to the church and even take guests home after the event is over.  It all depends on what you’d like for your special day!

Special Desserts

We all know that the centerpiece of the dessert table is the wedding cake!  But why not have some other special desserts that will wow your guests?  Consider visiting the Cordial Cherry for custom made cordial cherries in a number of different shapes.  Imagine a cut little bride and groom cherry at each guests’ table setting.  It’s one of those little touches that will elevate your wedding to truly memorable status.

Visiting a Salon

Visiting a salon is a special part of a bride’s wedding and can even be a fun idea to share with your bridal party.  According to Nate at Urbane Salon & Day Spa, “We welcome and can accommodate any size bridal party.  We have plenty of space so brides can bring all of their fun food and beverages needed for your special morning.  We also do the bride’s hair for free if she books a wedding party of five or more.”

Of course, you don’t need to limit your salon time to the day of your wedding.  Nate suggests a few different options leading up to the big day.  “Two weeks before, you can get a Brazilian Keratin Treatment that will leave your hair completely free of frizz and adds body and shine, cutting drying and styling time in half!  This is also when we suggest a bride gets any color or cut she wants for the big day.  One week before the ceremony we have the ‘I Do’ package, perfect for the future bride and groom to take some time prior to the big day to relax and enjoy each other.  It includes a 30 minute couples massage, a 30 minute couples facial, side-by-side couples spa manicure and side-by-side couples spa pedicure.  It also includes a complimentary lunch from select Old Market restaurants.  On the week of the big day, we suggest a groom’s haircut, bride’s waxing service and a bride’s nail ‘shellac’ treatment.  Finally, on the day of her wedding, we recommend a light breakfast or brunch at the salon, bride’s formal style and make up application and a bridal party formal style and make up application.”

Your wedding day should be one of the most memorable and wonderful days of your life.  Make sure to work with the right professionals, choose some unique ‘extra touches’ and remember that the most important thing is to focus on your future spouse as you exchange vows and start your lifelong journey together!