Getting married is a pillar life moment, which is what makes the wedding celebration so exciting and memorable. Whether you are the person who has been wishfully planning all of the details since a young age or you are the person who is newly engaged and about to embark on the wedding planning journey with little to nothing in mind aside from the “I Do’s”, there are experienced professionals in all areas of the wedding industry right here in the Omaha Metro who that are able to provide or connect you with the necessary resources, help you to evaluate the wide variety of options that are available to find what best represents you as a couple, and guide you through all of the decisions (and deadlines) involved in making that special day absolute perfection.
For any future bride looking for inspiration, Pinterest is a great social media outlet that is well-known as an online hub for sharing all sorts of wedding ideas. According to a recent poll citing the activity of Pinterest users, the key components of the wedding festivities are food, venue, attire and most importantly, the experience for both the wedding party and the guests. These factors are pivotal to the ceremony, as well as shaping it with the events leading up to and after the actual wedding itself.
Setting The Stage
No two weddings are the same, mainly due to all of the various amenities and add-ons available for this type of event today. Nice additions and thoughtful components are a big part of creating that idyllic moment in time. Whether it’s adding a tent because there is predicted rain, or choosing a venue that offers other related services such as catering or decoration, any effort that is made towards making your wedding easier and more beautiful is always beneficial and makes the day even more special.
Booking a venue is what will determine the majority of the other details, so it must be one of the first things done. Moreover, the sooner the better in most cases simply due to the high demand, not only during wedding season but all year long now. While there are many excellent venues within the city to choose from, there are a couple of gems that are just close enough to be convenient but just far enough out to give you a countryside feel that’s just right for weddings.
With multiple sites located across the stunning 260-acre Arbor Day Farm property that are ideal for hosting any of your wedding festivities along with a full line-up of amenities, Lied Lodge & Conference Center makes it easy to take care of the rehearsal dinner, wedding ceremony, reception, brunch and gift opening the next day–all in one central location. It is a hassle-free way to keep your focus where it should be with no worry about logistics, parking, and travel time. This is convenient not only for the wedding party, but for the guests also. The beauty of nature provides the perfect setting for any ceremony or reception, and you’ll definitely find that here. Each available area on the property is unique, ranging from the rustic barn to the historic mansion.
“My advice to any couple seeking a wedding venue is to visit it in person for a guided tour,” advises Patricia Pierce of Lied Lodge & Conference Center at Arbor Day Farm. “The best place to start is looking online, but seeing a venue in person is a must. A personal tour of the venue allows the couple to meet the staff they will be working with on all of the details for their big day. We’ll be with you every step of the way, offering experienced support and service.”
Rustic-chic influences are still quite popular, and that look can easily be nailed at Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Ranch, allowing you to make your most creative of wedding dreams come true. There are four different event facilities to choose from on the property; which one you choose is largely dependent on how many guests you’ll be accommodating. With any of the four spaces, there is both indoor and outdoor entertaining space available for the exclusive use of the party who has booked it—you can relax around a fire outside or party all night inside, or both! All guests have full access to the property, which allows everyone to venture out and explore too. This is especially nice for those with kids, as there are several play areas within close proximity to the barns.
The barns not only offer flexibility with respect to use of space, but also provide a blank slate as far as decoration. Each barn can go from informal to very formal; the transformation ultimately depends on the couple’s preferences. With the freedom to decorate yourself or request the help of their house designer, replicating the image that you love is guaranteed to be a huge success. Along with Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Ranch’s in-house catering and bartending services, there are plenty of opportunities to add your own special touches. Tyson Schaefer of Bellevue Berry Farm & Pumpkin Ranch explains, “We have a wonderful house barbeque recipe that’s always the most popular choice for weddings year after year, but we are also able to offer really good authentic Mexican courses as well as some Italian dishes. We love requests in the kitchen too, and if you give us a recommendation or recipe, we will do our best to accommodate!”
For those who aren’t fond of the idea of intense planning and coordinating the efforts of many for the better part of a year in most cases, a venue that is able to help you make it all happen is a much more attractive option. While many venues are able to accommodate most if not all requests, and can also point you in the direction of vendors if it’s something that’s not handled in-house, some simply have more resources in place to cover all of the bases better than others.
Once you know what’s available from your venue, you may have to fill in some gaps. A great business to consider when looking for items to spruce up your event is Honeyman Rent-All. With a division dedicated to serving wedding clients in the Omaha area since 1968, Honeyman Rent-All is a trusted resource for party and event rentals. No wedding or event is too big or too small and with plenty of experience, they are very helpful when deciding what you will need or want to incorporate. They also prove to be very helpful if certain supplies or pieces are not already supplied at a venue. This makes them a must have addition to your wedding to make all of your dreams come true!
With the variety of items available to rent at Honeyman Rent-All, a whole wedding can be created at a fraction of the overall cost of buying certain items outright. Honeyman Rent-All is here to help you literally transform your backyard into the wedding setting of your dreams. Build your ideal wedding by incorporating one of their arches, beaded chandeliers, tents, canopies, or other decorative options.
Honeyman Rent-All does not stop at decor. Particularly since backyard weddings and receptions have been trending, sometimes there is work to be done in order to get the property ready for the event. Honeyman Rent-All offers equipment rentals that are perfect for venue preparation, whether you wish to use some of their tools to plant flowers at the location or simply want to do some landscaping.
So, while you could choose to host your guests at any number of places in the Omaha Metro, sometimes the best ones allow you to capitalize on all of the beauty that nature has to offer!
Entertaining Your Guests
The venue, fare and bar offerings are the major aspects of entertaining that ensure a pleasant and memorable time is had by all guests in attendance. Since we’ve discussed the venue, let’s move on to the other two!
The Omaha Metro is full of culinary talent, so anticipating which caterer the happy couple will choose is always exciting. The suspense of the cake design and flavor and any other desserts definitely add to the excitement of the big day, along with any number of special touches with the presentation.
While some venues provide catering and bar services for those who book the space, others may not, so it is important to secure your venue first in order to find out what is offered and/or allowed. Each caterer and venue is unique from the next, so as previously advised, you will want to arrange a meeting to check everything out on-site before making the final decision if at all possible.
Catering is an area where there is a lot of diversity and as such, there are plenty of options to fit any taste and budget. That being said, the more you have to choose from at each price point the greater chance you’ll have of arriving at a meal that matches both. Just Good Meat is a perfect example, with the ability to customize a meal that incorporates any type of meat imaginable, along with offering a large selection of homemade sides, and even options as to how it is ultimately served. For the backyard or outdoor reception, Just Good Meat can bring its food truck on-site, or as with any wedding, their staff can set up a spread or perform a full meal service. If you are working with a limited budget, you can choose to have someone stop by the store and pick up your order, which will be ready to set up and serve when you arrive at your destination.
When it comes time to establish a budget, catering is typically one of the first areas to work the numbers depending on whether it’s provided by your venue or not. “While on average plates can run from $15 to $20, our plates typically cost between $8 to $10, and sometimes even less!” says Sean Fuller, owner of Just Good Meat. “Yet, this price point is not at the expense of excellent quality fare, leaving your guests with full stomachs and smiles. We strive to make the entire experience very convenient and positive. Planning a wedding and wedding reception can be so much fun as it’s full of possibilities, but that can also makes things stressful at times. Choosing a business with plenty of experience and solid offerings can help relieve so much of that stress so that families can relax and enjoy themselves, because that’s the whole point.”
Another great catering provider in Omaha as well as Lincoln and surrounding areas is Attitude on Food. The established catering professionals at Attitude on Food take great pride in delivering an event experience that is both creative and professional. Caitlin Knopik of Attitude on Food Catering shares, “Our whole team is committed to executing a flawless and stress-free event for our clients and their guests. Attitude on Food has many years of experience coordinating a variety of events and service styles. People love our champagne chicken and short ribs! Our interactive macaroni and cheese station is another crowd pleaser, and on the lighter side, our hors d’oeuvres combine flavors both familiar and unique. We are a full-service catering company, and with the recent addition of a food truck, we have access to a mobile kitchen if needed. While catering is our passion, we are also event planners by nature. We are here to help you coordinate everything from rentals to service style and menu planning, and are dedicated to ensuring your event runs smoothly. As with any professional in the wedding industry, it’s important to work with an event planner you can trust. With years of experience, this is a person who will know what works, what doesn’t work, and what has the potential to be disastrous. By letting them guide you through all of the details and remaining open to suggestions, you’ll not only have the best possible results but will likely come across things that you hadn’t even considered.”
As for the drinks, you’ll want to carefully consider quantity and assortment. It really can be tricky to estimate the total amount of certain beverages that will be needed, and with staying on budget in mind as well, having a professional help you get everything set up is very helpful here too. Aside from ensuring you have enough to accommodate your guest list, having a nice selection is another way to ensure your guests are well taken care of and able to thoroughly enjoy themselves.
For planning purposes when it comes to your bar service, Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal makes it a point to target four main age groups at a wedding event. They account for how many people are going to be less than 21 years old, 21-35 years old, 35-55 years old, and 55 and older. As a general rule, the group consuming the most alcohol at a typical wedding is the 21-35 year olds.
One of the easiest ways to ensure that the beverages you chose to provide are on par with your guests’ preferences, Jim Sobczyk of Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal explains, is knowing your audience. “It is important that there are options for each age group at the party. By breaking your guests into the four groups as previously noted, you are able to draw conclusions about how much of certain beverages should be bought. Obviously for the individuals less than 21, you’ll want to factor in punch, juice or soda as no alcohol is going to be consumed. Yet, for those 21 to 35 years old it is the exact opposite. They are consuming the most at the party and the 35 to 55 year olds are right there behind them. But, the 21 to 35 year olds are typically drinking more name brand beer and liquor than the other age groups. Predictably, the 55 year olds and older are the first ones to leave and do not drink as much in general. They lean towards liquor opposed to beer.”
Another factor to consider when selecting beer is whether or not the bride and groom want cans/bottles or kegs. Kegs are good for some parties, but not cost-effective for all. If there is an uncertainty of the number of guests and worry about leftovers, then cans or bottles are probably a better route. This idea carries over to engagement parties as well. In fact, in certain cultures the engagement party is even bigger, with more beverages being poured, than the wedding reception itself. This is because the engagement party is a good way to have fun and introduce people to one another before the wedding day arrives.
For those on a budget, a trend in the beverage business that Sobczyk specified mentioned is having a signature drink if you are not interested in stocking a full bar for your guests. “This is perfect for the individuals who only want beer and wine at their wedding, but do not want to leave those who like liquor in the dust. People always have their own idea of what they like to drink, so it is important to cater to that.”
After the Big Day
While the main focus of planning will be on the wedding and the reception, there are a few key things that will happen right after the fact that should also be at the forefront, particularly wedding garment preservation and of course, the honeymoon!
A honeymoon, for many, is just as important as the wedding itself, so planning and packing in advance is pivotal and something you will not regret adding to your list of wedding to-do’s.
Many people have bucket lists and things that they want to get the chance to do that they have never done before. A wonderful and adventurous honeymoon is a great chance to experience that with your significant other. The world of travel has become so much easier; you pick the destination, anywhere is within reach. For many Americans, global travel is at the top of the list. You’ll want to set a travel budget in conjunction with your wedding budget, and then once you have that number, a travel agent can advise you in regards to your options based on everything that you outline regarding to what you want out of the trip. A travel agent can also put you on the list to alert you when deals come up for trips that fit your prerequisites, as many specials regularly come across their radar that aren’t necessarily made accessible to the public.
Travel agents want you to tell them any and all of your wishes and dreams for this trip so that they are able to apply their expertise to help make those a reality, according to Kris Reddy of The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company. “A big part of what we do is seeing and experiencing the world, and then sharing that with others who want to do the same. Our team has over 100 years of combined experience to offer, which is helpful in all types of scenarios. We can advise as to the ideal time of year to travel to a particular destination, such as avoiding hurricane season for instance. In addition to our past experiences, we are constantly researching what is going on in the most popular destinations. As such, we are able to tell you if a resort is under construction or if an area has undergone some sort of damage or is dangerous for whatever reason. It is all about comparison in the travel world, so there is usually more than one option that is exciting.”
While a person is able to do a lot of research online today, it does not really take your specific input and utilize all of those important connections that travel agents have in the industry to get the best output, such as a certain flight, arrival, or location. Case in point, your flight could be scheduled specifically for you to arrive at customs at a less trafficked time in the evening as opposed to putting you right in the thick of it during the business day.
The professionals at The Vacation Store & The Cruise Company also can assist with the planning of destination weddings, which is another big trend that seems to be more popular every year. With the ability to book group lodging, transportation and activities, which ultimately affects pricing, it is a great way to share both your wedding celebration and a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience with your loved ones that’s generally not any more expensive than a wedding ceremony close to home. The Vacation Store & Cruise Company regularly interacts with numerous resorts and cruise lines that they have a working relationship with, so they have the ability to do more than just booking your travel, including making specific arrangements or even on-site assistance to ensure your group will share many memorable moments together.
With everything happening so quickly and a lot to take in, it is to be expected that there are a few things that can fall to the wayside if you are not careful. The bride’s gown is one of the most memorable garments that she will wear in her lifetime, so it is of the utmost important to ensure it remains as beautiful as it was on the wedding day. Stillettos Dryclean Delivery offers professional cleaning and preservation services, making it easy to check this off the list. As purchasing a nice suit as an investment to wear in the future has become just as popular as a suit or tuxedo rental for the gentlemen, StilAttiettos dependable dry cleaning services with the added convenience of delivery is also perfect for a much-needed post-wedding cleaning and pressing.
John Perlebach of Stilettos Dryclean Delivery advises that upcoming winter weddings may also present a challenge as far as attire is concerned. “Winter weddings in the Midwest require the consideration of weather in the planning process. Heels are difficult in snow and ice. Think about giving UGGs or similar boots as a gift for your bridesmaids! They are warm, comfortable, and unlike the dress that they’ll wear one time, UGGs will actually be worn again after the wedding. After all of the excitement, bring your UGGs into Stilettos and have us clean them; they will feel and look like new!”
Before the big day, if any of your garments need pressing or cleaning, make sure to give yourself time to have your garment processed and returned. In the final days of planning, you should not be worrying about when to pick up the dresses and suits if at all possible. It is important that after having garments cleaned, they are removed from the garment bags to avoid wrinkles but stored in a safe place where there isn’t a lot of action.
Much like beauty, the perfect wedding is in the eye of the beholder. While there are set guidelines to follow throughout the planning process to ensure everything is booked and in line as it should be, many of the decisions are made based on the vision of the two people getting married, and that is generally going to be different for each couple. It is common to stress about the details, but too much worrying will make the planning process and execution far less enjoyable. Utilizing our local professionals for guidance as well as their services will not only ensure that your wedding is the happiest day of your life, but also that your engagement period and months spent wedding planning feel more like a dream as opposed to a nightmare. No matter where the help is needed– assistance in preparing is happily given to those who ask the professionals who specialize in the key components of weddings.
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