Wedding Planning in Omaha, NE 2018


Wedding Planning in Omaha, NE 2018

A new year is upon us, and for many who will be getting engaged or married in 2018 or who will be a part of a couple’s special day, it will be one to remember. Right about now, future brides and grooms are at various points in their wedding journey, from newly engaged and getting started with planning to gearing up for a spring wedding that’s right around the corner.

With everything that goes into wedding planning, at any given time there will be something (or a multitude of things) that needs your attention. As such, putting together a team of experienced professionals to help guide you through the process will ensure that getting hitched goes off without a hitch.

*Symbolic Gestures*

Getting down on one knee, presenting the ring, the rings themselves, meaningful tokens of appreciation to those who are with you on your special day and your journey up until the wedding and in life as man and wife – these are all time-honored traditions of matrimony, among many others.

Finding the perfect engagement ring precedes the vast majority of proposals – best not to risk it with the empty box routine unless you’re sure you can pull off one of the most memorable moments of your life with the promise of going shopping together to pick it out. Past that, wedding rings and even bridal gifts can fall within specialty areas of a fine jeweler.

*Time & Place*

Booking your venue(s) is one of the very first things that should be done to ensure your date is available and secure it. This primarily goes for the ceremony and reception site(s), but also could apply to where you’ll host other wedding-related events if you’re selective and not just any place will do or you’re hoping to coordinate an optimal location based on other factors involved.

With the majority of event spaces, when booking the venue you’ll also be receiving the services of an event coordinator. With plenty of experience specific to that particular venue to offer, you’ll want to tap into all of their knowledge, talents, capabilities, and wisdom based on lessons learned over time. While you’ve either never planned a wedding before or have a limited amount of experience, this is what they do for a living, day in and day out.

No two venues are alike, and the number of guests, as well as the space, amenities, and services offered, will factor into whether it will work for your event. Also not to be underestimated is the “WOW” factor; creating a setting that is as memorable as everything that’s taking place on your special day is the ultimate goal.

Megan Gilligan-Omaha Marriott

Megan Gilligan
Omaha Marriott
Downtown at The
Capitol District

“At their core, weddings come down to the ‘I dos’ and exchanging of vows,” says Megan Gilligan with Omaha Marriott Downtown at The Capitol District. “However, these moments often do not come to mind at first. When you think about weddings, you think about the dinner, the toasts, the dancing, the cutting of the cake, the photos and more. Therefore, having a memorable location for the reception is often just as important as the wedding itself.

At the Omaha Marriott Downtown at The Capitol District, couples will find a unique, stunning location to host their memorable event. The building’s modern and sophisticated design features floor-to-ceiling windows that bring in outdoor light for exceptional photos. In fact, every function room in the hotel offers an option for natural light.

In addition, the Omaha Marriott Downtown offers the ability to host weddings, receptions and brunches both inside the hotel and outside. During warmer months, couples can hold their ceremony poolside on the hotel’s rooftop deck and then move to the rooftop entertainment area for the reception. Or, couples can host a larger reception in one of the hotel’s elegant ballrooms.

The hotel’s team also provides superior service. With a dedicated events manager in-house, a skilled culinary team with years of experience in the food & beverage industry and an exceptional staff overall, the Omaha Marriott Downtown can help create the best once in a lifetime experience for couples.

For more information about weddings at the Omaha Marriott Downtown, visit”

There is high demand for venues with lodging or at a location where it’s nearby so arranging transportation isn’t incredibly costly, and also with easy access to plenty of dining and entertainment options. Hotels or venues within close proximity to them are desirable for many other reasons, most notably lodging for out-of-town guests and partygoers who plan to fully indulge in the festivities. Hotels also particularly useful as a staging point. Instances might include the bridal party getting ready on the big day before the ceremony ensues or having a place to get ready before a bachelor/bachelorette party and crash after a wild night on the town.

In fact, there are local venues that would be ideal for more than one, or even all, of the events surrounding a wedding – the engagement party, bachelor and bachelorette party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and gift opening brunch.

Back to the diversity of venues, there are many different options in the city, and also many outside of it that offer scenic views of the countryside. For the latter, an idyllic venue that already has natural charm makes for a gorgeous setting for a wedding.

For those who are expanding the search to locations outside of the Omaha Metro, Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing is an excellent option to consider.

Sharon Shaw-Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing

Sharon Shaw
Soaring Wings
Vineyard & Brewing

“We are minutes from Omaha and have 10 acres of grapes surrounding the winery, which is a beautiful backdrop for a wedding ceremony and/or reception,” says Sharon Shaw with Soaring Wings Vineyard & Brewing. “Since we sit high on a hill overlooking a valley, it allows for some spectacular views, especially at sunset. We have the facilities on site for indoor and outdoor events, such as private use of our deck in the evening with the rental of the venue. We’re also currently building a new stage that will be done in the spring. If live music is on the agenda for your wedding, this is an exactly the setup you’d want to have at your reception venue. Many find Soaring Wings to be the ideal spot for both the ceremony and reception based on our line-up of amenities and our pricing being no different for both than either one independently.

When planning, it’s important to keep in mind that since it’s an actual winery and brewing, it’s a bit unique as far as restrictions go. Due to our license, we are only able to serve wine and beer produced onsite. We cannot allow any outside alcohol. However, you’ll find the quality of wine and craft beer we make and serve to be more than satisfactory, especially compared to what is commonly served reception venues that don’t have the same luxury.”

Also a popular destination to incorporate into a bachelorette or bachelor party, Shaw advises, “Groups can rent out our party room or are welcome to come out anytime during hours of operation. With both wine and craft beer, there are options for tastings or you can just order and enjoy as you like. Groups can also book a tour; these, however, are by appointment only and are a great addition to your party.”

Broadening the options yet again, going beyond the city and well past anything here in Nebraska, you might have something completely different in mind for the backdrop for your wedding affair. Travel has become much more popular among couples, with destination weddings offering benefits that many enjoy. To set the stage for just about any wedding-related milestone – engagement, ceremony, honeymoon – there are places all over the world that could be the site of your dreams. When planning a destination wedding or honeymoon, the earlier you start, the more availability and options you will have to choose from. It’s also wise to enlist the services of a professional; one who is experienced in wedding-related travel will have plenty of inside information that will help to guide your decisions, put together an itinerary and coordinate any special details, find the best pricing and package deals, and help you avoid any surprises upon arrival or during your stay. This isn’t something you want to book without personal assistance as there are many variables to consider and of course, the fact that it’s one of the most important moments in your life.

Dana Smithberg-The Vacation Store & Cruise Company

Dana Smithberg
The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company

“At The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company, you’ll work with experts who have been helping clients plan their dream weddings and honeymoons for over 30 years now,” says Dana Smithberg with The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company. “Not to mention we help plan the perfect trip a couple will remember for a lifetime as the one when they got engaged. We are here to assist and walk you through every step of planning your engagement, honeymoon or destination wedding!”

Everything goes so fast once the question is popped. Oftentimes it goes something like this: ‘You’re engaged! Congratulations! So what’s next?’ Well, now you’ll be planning a wedding and a honeymoon, heck maybe even kicking things off with a destination engagement party. How will you fit it all into an already overscheduled day? We have a specialist ready to work with you to plan and schedule all of your upcoming ‘firsts’ so that you have the time to enjoy them.”

With destination weddings in particular, she notes, “Destination weddings continue to a hot trend!

Couples today are looking to tie the knot in unique locations while doing so in style and in a way that fits their budget. From the small and simple private wedding to the large and extravagant celebration, there’s something for everyone! And they’re doing everything from an arrival day welcome cocktail party by the pool to a day after the wedding bonfire on the beach, complete with s’mores and drinks.

Another current trend is incorporating excursions. Adventure has definitely been on the minds of many destination couples. Whether it’s snorkeling in Belize, hiking in the mountains of Italy, or boating on the coast of Australia, wedding couples are customizing these experiences to their interests as well as what their guests will enjoy.

Truly, the destination weddings of today are taking the idea of getting married abroad to a whole new level!”

In conclusion, offers the following advice: “Trust the experts! Our consultants have the inside scoop and the tools to assist you with all of your needs. Our wedding/honeymoon professionals are ready to share their knowledge so that every stage of your planning goes smoothly.

It is essential to maximize your time and investment. Wedding costs and all the trimmings add up. You want a personalized experience. We offer a one-of-a-kind service that will provide you with recommendations to help you control costs and manage the overwhelming details when selecting your venue, entertainment, transportation and travel partners.

All of our travel specialists undergo in-depth training and are prepared to find you the vacation or cruise that best matches your needs, budget and preferences.”

*“Cake Table” Confections*

The fare and beverages are generally a big part of any wedding-related event you’ll be hosting, but for many of them, particularly the reception, the dessert shares a starring role.

As is customary with weddings, what’s a wedding reception without a cake? Or, more specifically, the cutting of it (and smashing it lovingly into each other’s faces) at least. In modern times, however, this has evolved quite a bit towards incorporating the sweet treat(s) of the bride and groom’s choosing, which might not be cake at all. Or, if it is indeed cake that you’re after, which still remains commonplace, there are also different variations of cakes to consider if you’re looking to get creative. Just as every wedding is unique, so is the bride and groom’s choices in this area. For example, you might have an incredible dessert bar and a smaller cake to cut ceremoniously. At The Omaha Bakery, they can truly do it all. Special requests are always welcome!

Ultimately, there are unlimited variations, with no right or wrong. Do whatever you like! Whether you have a classic tiered cake in mind or one that’s decorated uniquely, want to serve your favorite treat or have a themed spread, or would like a dessert table with an assortment of indulgent options because it’s always nice to have choices, The Omaha Bakery can bring your dessert dreams to life. And again, for all of the other affairs leading up to the big day, you certainly can’t go wrong with serving a decadent dessert either!

*Bridal Beautification*

Who doesn’t want to look their very best on their wedding day?

Chances are, you’ve got a goal to reach that’s related to getting in shape, whether it’s losing weight or targeting an area that would make you look and feel better in a strapless dress or slim-fit suit style. None are magically going to happen overnight, so the sooner you get to work, the better.

As many of us are all-too-familiar, stubborn fat in awkward places leads to being self-conscious. That is definitely not what you want to be focused on throughout your wedding day, or every time you look at your photos for the rest of your life. If you are not comfortable with how you look, taking action now is so much better than regretting it later.

Aside from the ultimate wedding bod, you’ll be selecting attire and accessories, booking your trip to the salon and spa or appointments for any of your other beauty/grooming needs, etc. These are all things that will need to be planned well in advance. There are lead times for ordering to ensure your dresses and suits arrive in time as well as being on the safe side when accounting for alterations that may be needed. Then there’s the fact that professionals such as hair stylists, makeup artists, nail technicians, estheticians, etc. book up well in advance, and you don’t want to take your chances there either.

Brooke Ahlman

Brooke Ahlman
Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement

.“Brides, grooms, bridal party, mothers and fathers of the bride and groom – we’re here to help achieve the style you are looking for,” says Brooke Ahlman with Brookelyn’s Hair & Replacement. “Everyone involved in a wedding wants to look their very best, in person on the big day and in the photos and videos that will last a lifetime. As such, when it comes to scheduling your appointments, I suggest doing it as early as you possibly can in the planning stages.

For wedding parties, we can book a block of appointments in the salon or we will come to you to help make the day go as smoothly as possible. Scheduling ahead is also helpful as we may need to plan to have multiple stylists available depending on the size of your wedding party.

When it comes to bridal trends in the hair industry, things are always changing and people come up with new ideas or styles desired. Since we offer hair extensions, which add length and/or volume, it makes any number of creative hairstyles one might want possible. Oftentimes clients will provide pictures for inspiration and we’ll recreate those looks. It’s important to note that some styles take much longer than others, which is yet another reason to plan ahead. Trial runs are popular for good reason; it’s not ideal to wing it and come up with something the day of your wedding or engagement pictures. For updos, having healthy hair is really important as it can make the process go easier, so try to avoid doing anything that might damage it leading up to the date. Also, with this in mind, we carry many different hair products that can help with the health of your hair leading up to when you’ll be getting it done so that it will look amazing come wedding time. Feel free to call me at (402) 649-0212 to schedule a time to meet and go over the specifics!”

With so many exciting possibilities, planning a wedding is what you make it. A surefire way to put together the wedding of your dreams is to enlist a team of professionals who know their stuff, who you can count on as reliable resources, and who are passionate about what they do. Likewise, keep in mind you’ll be working together over a period of several months to over a year in some cases. Give yourself the opportunity and leeway to be selective. Use your initial communication over the phone or in person to judge how well you’ve been able to build rapport in a short time as well as how satisfied you are with the answers to your questions. With such amazing wedding vendors locally, there’s little need to worry because the perfect ones are out there, it’s more a matter of getting organized and planning ahead. Now that you’re engaged, get to dreaming AND doing!