Category Archives: pearls of wisdom

Wedding Myths Debunked by the Wedding Experts

Have you ever felt like knowledge can be both a blessing and a curse? That is how you might feel from about the immense amount of well-intentioned (but sometimes unsolicited) advice offered by friends and family as you plan your wedding. How can you possibly determine the good advice from the bad—the current trends from the passé? What is acceptable now could be vastly different from what was appropriate for your grandmother’s wedding over 50 years ago. Since the wedding industry is forever evolving, even advice from a bride as recently as five to 10 years ago may no longer apply. That’s why we are here to help you sort out the common misconceptions and to guide you through the most common wedding myths.

Wedding Myth #1
A wedding planner is an unnecessary expense.
More often than not, the cost of a wedding planner is money well spent in the long term. A wedding planner can offer invaluable up-to-date advice, assist in making decisions and ultimately save you from a multitude of headaches along the road to wedded bliss. Additionally, wedding planners may end up saving money on costs due to their connections within the industry, such as negotiating a group rate with a hotel for your out-of-town guests. They can use their business relationships to negotiate a satisfactory rate at hotels, venues and other vendors while saving you time and effort.

Wedding Myth #2
Only the bride should wear white.
Thanks to the high-profile weddings of Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, the tradition of white being worn only by the bride is no longer a steadfast rule. After all, weddings are trending toward the non-traditional, and not all brides wear white anymore when it comes to their big day. Ideally, close family members should check with the bride before selecting a white dress for the occasion; when in doubt, accessorize.

When it comes to dressing the wedding party, there are more choices now than ever for colors, fabrics and styles. It is entirely up to you whether your bridesmaids are decked out in the same dress style or different shades of your favorite color. You can even mix and match similar styles and hues, as long as the end result is tasteful and coordinated. Thinking of mixing in some shades of white or ivory? As long as you are comfortable, everyone else may as well join in!

Wedding Myth #3
A DIY wedding will save you money.
If the truth be told, handmade details can be time-consuming and expensive. If you take on too many DIY projects, you could well find your head spinning. But that’s okay, because you are saving money, right? Well, not always. Sometimes, the materials alone for your project can end up costing much more than intended, leading not only to financial cost, but labor as well. When factoring in both manpower and materials, suddenly a DIY wedding doesn’t seem so wonderful after all.

Cheer up! Handcrafted details do not have to be an overwhelming task, as long as your plans are realistic and achievable. While doing so, keep in mind that there are hundreds of fantastic local wedding vendors waiting to do the job for you. Their sole purpose is to help ease the burden of planning such a large event and give you everything your dreams have envisioned. Vendors also have years of experience to draw upon when creating the perfect product for your wedding day. Instead of taking on everything yourself, pick a few handcrafted details that truly speak to you and your relationship, and evaluate whether the task can be tackled before the big day. If not, delegate those details to the professionals.

Wedding Myth #4
Seating charts are a waste of time.
Assigned seating shows your guests how much consideration and time was put into assuring their comfort at the reception. Not only does it streamline the seating process, it allows new relationships to be formed through the intermingling of family and friends. Keep in mind that if you hire a wedding planner, they can do this work for you.

There are many new and fun options for displaying seating charts and escort cards. Utilize the skills of an artsy friend or relative if you have one. A quality paper vendor will always know how to incorporate escort cards into your wedding suite package, so don’t worry if you would rather avoid the fuss. There are no rules when it comes to invites, so have fun playing with a unique design, size, or shape! Couples can even play with the placement of the invitation card for a twist.

The only rule of thumb when it comes to building a seating chart is to be considerate of your guests. It is wise to have your parents or other designated family member review the chart to double check that you have not overlooked an old feud or uncomfortable relationship, unwittingly placing those guests at the same table.

Wedding Myth #5
Buffets are cheaper than plated dinners.
It is often assumed that buffets are a money-saving option for large receptions. While buffets can be fantastic for offering guests a variety of choices, some dishes can still be rather costly, especially when including one or more carving stations. While a self-service buffet minimizes wait staff, it does not allow for portion control. If it is not properly managed, a self-service buffet can also leave the last guests in line with food that is past its prime, dishes that are cold, or completely empty of food.

One option for portion-control is to have your caterer provide wait staff to “serve” from one side of the buffet to guests as they move through the line on the other. This not only provides portion control, but it also allows wait staff to monitor when an item needs to be replenished.
Another meal service concept growing in popularity is the “family-style” meal. This style is typically less expensive than a plated meal, and your guests will feel more comfortable with no need to wait or get up for their meal. The dishes remain on the table to be refilled by wait staff as needed, cutting down on waste as well as cost. When choosing a family-style dinner, it is important to secure the services of a chef, wedding planner or venue that has experience in this type of service. Also, keep in mind the logistics of each table’s décor as you plan room for serving dishes. You will want to keep tabletop décor to a minimum so that both guests and serving dishes will fit comfortably.

However, don’t count out the benefits of a plated meal, which still allows your guests to make personal choices while bringing an added level of elegance and traditional sophistication to your reception. There’s nothing quite like being served a beautifully plated meal to make guests feel pampered and satisfied. To prepare for this, however, it is essential to include the entrée choices on your response cards and track the selections accordingly for your caterer.

Gone are the days of steadfast rules when it comes to proper decorum at modern weddings. The best advice we can give is to remain tasteful in your choices and considerate of your wedding party, family and guests. At the end of the day, it is best to make these decisions based upon how best you can celebrate your own love story on this very special day, and share it with people that truly care about you and your new spouse.

VENDOR AVAILABILITY FALL & WINTER 2020

If you’re rescheduling (or even just beginning the planning process), this year is different and difficult, but we’re here to help.

To the strong couples and the steadfast vendors, we feel for you during these difficult times, and we are here for all of you! We want to help in any way we can.

If you’re in the midst of rescheduling your big day, first of all, don’t worry—your day will happen! Secondly, we want to make it a quick, easy, and positive experience. We recently interviewed some local vendors to share their advice with you (read it here), and now we’d like to take it a step further. We’ve been working behind the scenes with our directory of amazing vendors to get their availability for the fall and winter of this year, and now you have it all right here at your fingertips!

HOW TO USE IT

It is organized first by month, then by vendor category. Simply scroll to your preferred month, then scroll down to the type of vendor you are looking for. You’ll find each vendor’s contact information, as well as the weekend dates (Friday, Saturday and Sundays only) that they are available listed below their name. We will be updating this list bi-weekly.

So go grab your favorite beverage, sit back, take a deep breath, try to relax, and just scroll. It’s that easy!

Also, a big thank you to these awesome vendors for helping us make this happen! Despite this being a difficult time for small businesses, which many of them are, these vendors are a blessing to our local wedding industry as they continue to remain encouraging and supportive to their beloved brides and grooms.

Available Anytime

BRIDAL APPAREL

adorned Bridal | adornedbridalne.com | adornedbridalne@gmail.com | Lincoln area

 

Ellynne Bridal | ellynnebridal.cominfo@ellynnebridal.com | Located in Lincoln, NE Serving all of Nebraska

Hello Beautiful Bridal & Formal Wear| hellobeautifulbridal.com | hello@hellobeautifulbridal.com | Kearney, Central NE

DÉCOR & RENTALS

Elite Events Rental | www.eliteeventsrental.com | info@eliteeventsrental.com | Southeast Nebraska

PARTY LYK-A PRO | www.facebook.com/partylykapro | partylykapro@gmail.com | NEBRASKA/IOWA

Petals to Platinum Rentals | www.petalstoplatinum.com/ | lindsey@petalstoplatinum.com | Lincoln

  •  Inquire via email for floral availability

STATIONERY

Cornhusker Beverage & Bridal | cornhuskerbeverage.com | info@cornhuskerbeverage.com | all regions

Dana Osborne Design | danaosbornedesign.com | hello@danaosbornedesign.com | All Regions

RSVP | www.rsvpnotes.com | nanci@rsvpnotes.comEastern Nebraska (Omaha/Lincoln) Western Iowa (Council Bluffs)

Tara’s Designs | tarasdesigns.com | info@tarasdesigns.com | Nebraska, Western NE, Central NE, Eastern NE, Lincoln, Omaha, Western IA

Photography

Sam Areman Photo & Associates | samaremanphoto.com | contact@samaremanphoto.com | Lincoln & Omaha

July

Venues

Anthony’s Steakhouse Grand Ballroom | anthonyssteakhouse.com | emma@anthonyssteakhouse.com | All of Nebraska/Iowa

  • 4,17,18, 24, 25

the.diamond.room | diamondroomomaha.com | sales@diamondroomomaha.com | Omaha, Council Bluffs, Lincoln etc.

  • 10, 31

The Durham Museum | durhammuseum.org/  | rentals@durhammuseum.org | Nebraska, Eastern NE, Omaha, Western IA

  • 3, 5, 17, 19, 24, 26

The Fountains Ballroom | thefountainsweddings.com | thefountainsweddings@gmail.com | Eastern Nebraska & Western Iowa

  • 5, 12, 19, 24, 26

Lauritzen Gardens | lauritzengardens.org | rentals@omahabotanicalgardens.org | Eastern Nebraska, Omaha, Western Iowa, Nebraska (NOTE: not exclusive/garden open to the public until 8 p.m.)

  • 24, 25, 26

Lied Lodge at Arbor Day Farm | liedlodge.org | weddings@arbordayfarm.org | Southeast Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska, Omaha Metro Region

  • 3, 5, 10, 12, 18, 24, 25, 26, 31

Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District | www.downtownomahamarriott.com | sarahherting@marcushotels.com | Omaha Area

Capitol Ballroom 2020

  • 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 26

Gallery 2020

  • 3, 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 31

Slattery Vintage Estates | SVEvineyards.com | info@SVEvineyards.com | Southeast Nebraska,   Eastern Nebraska,  Western Iowa (NOTE: We only do one wedding per weekend.  Smaller weddings after October are best.)

  • 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 24, 25, 26, 31

Thompson Alumni Center | unomaha.edu/thompson-center | ssummers@unoalumni.org | the Greater Omaha region (NOTE:  Sundays are available only for Outdoor ceremonies between 4pm – 8pm)

  • 5,10,11,12,19, 24, 26

The Venue at Highlander | HighlanderOmaha.com/thevenue | events@seventyfivenorth.com | Omaha, NE

  • 5, 12

Wilderness Ridge | wildernessridgegolf.com/ | tnagle@wildernessridgegolf.com | Lincoln, Nebraska (Southeast Region)

  • 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 31

Photography

Kaylie Sirek Photography | kayliesirek.com | hello@kayliesirek.com | Everywhere

  • 10, 11, 17, 25, 31

Kirstina E. Photography | kirstinaephotography.com | kirstinaephotography@gmail.com | East,West, North, South – Central

  • 17, 18

Megan Kovar Photography | megankovarphotography.com | megankovarphoto@yahoo.com | Central and Eastern NE

  • 3, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31

Planners

Rachel J. Events | racheljevents.com | rachel@racheljevents.com | Omaha, NE

  • 10, 11, 12, 19, 24, 31

Beauty & Health

Model Perfect Airbrush | mpairbrush.com | modelperfectairbrush@gmail.com | All Regions Nebraska & Iowa

  • 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31

CATERING

Attitude on Food | attitudeonfood.com/ | kaylin@attitudeonfood.com | Omaha

  • 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26, 31

VIDEOGRAPHY

Alisha Cerny Films | alishacernyfilms.com | contact@alishacernyfilms.com | Southeast Nebraska, Central Nebraska, Northeast Nebraska

  • 24, 25, 31

CAKES & DESSERTS

Cake Expressions, Inc. | cakeexpressionsinc.com | Debbie@Cakeexpressionsinc.com | Omaha Metro Area, Bellevue, Plattsmouth, Council Bluffs

  • 10, 11, 12, 18,  24, 25, 26

August

Venues

Anthony’s Steakhouse Grand Ballroom | anthonyssteakhouse.com | emma@anthonyssteakhouse.com | All of Nebraska/Iowa

  • 1,15

the.diamond.room | diamondroomomaha.com | sales@diamondroomomaha.com | Omaha, Council Bluffs, Lincoln etc.

  • 7, 14, 21, 28

The Durham Museum | https://durhammuseum.org/  | rentals@durhammuseum.org | Nebraska, Eastern NE, Omaha, Western IA

  • 2, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30

The Fountains Ballroom | thefountainsweddings.com | thefountainsweddings@gmail.com | Eastern Nebraska & Western Iowa

  • 2, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23, 30

Lauritzen Gardens | lauritzengardens.org | rentals@omahabotanicalgardens.org | Eastern Nebraska, Omaha, Western Iowa, Nebraska

  • 7, 9, 14, 16, 21, 23

Lied Lodge at Arbor Day Farm | liedlodge.org | weddings@arbordayfarm.org | Southeast Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska, Omaha Metro Region

  • 7, 14, 15, 16, 21, 23, 30

Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District | www.downtownomahamarriott.com | sarahherting@marcushotels.com | Omaha Area

Capitol Ballroom 2020

    • 2, 7, 9, 15, 28, 29, 30

Gallery 2020

  • 2, 7, 8, 9, 15, 21, 23, 28, 29, 30

Simply Ballroom | simply-ballroom.com | simply.ballroom@gmail.com | Omaha Nebraska

  • 23, 30

Slattery Vintage Estates | SVEvineyards.com | info@SVEvineyards.com | Southeast Nebraska,   Eastern Nebraska,  Western Iowa (NOTE: We only do one wedding per weekend.  Smaller weddings after October are best)

  • 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

Thompson Alumni Center | unomaha.edu/thompson-center | ssummers@unoalumni.org | the Greater Omaha region (NOTE:  Sundays are available only for Outdoor ceremonies between 4pm – 8pm)

  • 2, 7, 9, 16, 21, 23, 28, 30

The Venue at Highlander | HighlanderOmaha.com/thevenue | events@seventyfivenorth.com | Omaha, NE

  • 2, 7, 9, 16, 23, 30

Vintage Venue | vintagevenuebeatrice.com/ | vintagevenueevents@gmail.com | Southeast region 

  • 8

Wilderness Ridge | wildernessridgegolf.com/ | tnagle@wildernessridgegolf.com | Lincoln, Nebraska (Southeast Region)

  • 1, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

Photography

John Moler Photography | Johnmoler.comJohn@johnmoler.com | Nebraska (Omaha / Lincoln)

  • 1, 2, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 23

Kaylie Sirek Photography | kayliesirek.com | hello@kayliesirek.com | Everywhere

  • 7, 14, 21, 28

Kirstina E. Photography | kirstinaephotography.com | kirstinaephotography@gmail.comEast,West, North, South – Central

  • 15, 28, 29

Megan Kovar Photography | megankovarphotography.com | megankovarphoto@yahoo.com | Central and Eastern NE

  • 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

Planners

Rachel J. Events | racheljevents.com | rachel@racheljevents.com | Omaha, NE

  • 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16

Beauty & Health

Model Perfect Airbrush | mpairbrush.com | modelperfectairbrush@gmail.com | All Regions Nebraska & Iowa

  • 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

CATERING

Attitude on Food | attitudeonfood.com/ | kaylin@attitudeonfood.com | Omaha

  • 1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 21, 22, 23, 28, 29, 30

VIDEOGRAPHY

Alisha Cerny Films | alishacernyfilms.com | contact@alishacernyfilms.com | Southeast Nebraska, Central Nebraska, Northeast Nebraska

  • 1, 8, 28, 29

CAKES & DESSERTS

Cake Expressions, Inc. | cakeexpressionsinc.com | Debbie@Cakeexpressionsinc.com | Omaha Metro Area, Bellevue, Plattsmouth, Council Bluffs

  • 7, 8, 21, 22

September

Venues

Anthony’s Steakhouse Grand Ballroom | anthonyssteakhouse.com | emma@anthonyssteakhouse.com | All of Nebraska/Iowa

  • 4, 11, 18, 26

the.diamond.room | diamondroomomaha.com | sales@diamondroomomaha.com | Omaha, Council Bluffs, Lincoln etc.

  • 4, 11, 18, 25

The Durham Museum | durhammuseum.org/  | rentals@durhammuseum.org | Nebraska, Eastern NE, Omaha, Western IA

  • 4, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25

The Fountains Ballroom | thefountainsweddings.com | thefountainsweddings@gmail.com | Eastern Nebraska & Western Iowa

  • 4, 11, 20, 27

Lauritzen Gardens | lauritzengardens.org | rentals@omahabotanicalgardens.org | Eastern Nebraska, Omaha, Western Iowa, Nebraska

  • 4, 11, 13

Lied Lodge at Arbor Day Farm | liedlodge.org | weddings@arbordayfarm.org | Southeast Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska, Omaha Metro Region

  • 4, 13, 25, 27

Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District | www.downtownomahamarriott.com | sarahherting@marcushotels.com | Omaha Area

Capitol Ballroom 2020

    • 4, 6, 11, 12, 27

Gallery 2020

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 19, 20, 25, 26

Simply Ballroom | simply-ballroom.com | simply.ballroom@gmail.com | Omaha Nebraska

  • 13, 20, 27

Slattery Vintage Estates | SVEvineyards.com | info@SVEvineyards.com | Southeast Nebraska,   Eastern Nebraska,  Western Iowa (NOTE: We only do one wedding per weekend.  Smaller weddings after October are best)

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

Soirée Room | www.SoireeRoom.com | events@soireeroom.com | Omaha

  • 4, 6, 13,  27

Thompson Alumni Center | unomaha.edu/thompson-center | ssummers@unoalumni.org | the Greater Omaha region (NOTE:  Sundays are available only for Outdoor ceremonies between 4pm – 8pm)

  • 4, 5, 6, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27

Tiburon Golf Club and Banquet Facility | tiburongolf.com | events@tiburongolf.com | Omaha, Gretna, Papillion NE

  • 6, 13, 20, 27

The Venue at Highlander | HighlanderOmaha.com/thevenue | events@seventyfivenorth.com | Omaha, NE

  • 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 27

Vintage Venue | vintagevenuebeatrice.com/ | vintagevenueevents@gmail.com | Southeast region 

  • 18, 19 

Wilderness Ridge|wildernessridgegolf.com/ | tnagle@wildernessridgegolf.com | Lincoln, Nebraska (Southeast Region)

  • 4, 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27

Planners

Rachel J. Events | racheljevents.com | rachel@racheljevents.com | Omaha, NE

  • 11, 13, 18, 20

Photography

John Moler Photography | Johnmoler.comJohn@johnmoler.com | Nebraska (Omaha / Lincoln)

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 18, 20, 25, 27

Kaylie Sirek Photography | kayliesirek.com | hello@kayliesirek.com | Everywhere

  • 11, 18, 19, 25

Kirstina E. Photography | kirstinaephotography.com | kirstinaephotography@gmail.comEast,West, North, South – Central

  • 11, 12, 25, 26

M. Julie Photo | mariajulie.com | mjuliephoto@gmail.com | Omaha/Lincoln and surrounding areas

  • 4, 6, 11, 18, 20, 25, 27

Megan Kovar Photography | megankovarphotography.com | megankovarphoto@yahoo.com | Central and Eastern NE

  • 4, 6, 18, 19, 20

Beauty & Health

Model Perfect Airbrush | mpairbrush.com | modelperfectairbrush@gmail.com | All Regions Nebraska & Iowa

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

CATERING

Attitude on Food | attitudeonfood.com/ | kaylin@attitudeonfood.com | Omaha

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

VIDEOGRAPHY

Alisha Cerny Films | alishacernyfilms.com | contact@alishacernyfilms.com | Southeast Nebraska, Central Nebraska, Northeast Nebraska

  • 12, 19

CAKES & DESSERTS

Cake Expressions, Inc. | cakeexpressionsinc.com | Debbie@Cakeexpressionsinc.com | Omaha Metro Area, Bellevue, Plattsmouth, Council Bluffs

  • 4, 18, 29, 20, 25, 26, 27

October

Venues

Anthony’s Steakhouse Grand Ballroom | anthonyssteakhouse.com | emma@anthonyssteakhouse.com | All of Nebraska/Iowa

  • 2, 30, 31

the.diamond.room | diamondroomomaha.com | sales@diamondroomomaha.com | Omaha, Council Bluffs, Lincoln etc.

  • 2, 16, 30, 31

The Durham Museum | durhammuseum.org/  | rentals@durhammuseum.org | Nebraska, Eastern NE, Omaha, Western IA

  • 4, 11, 16, 18, 23, 25

The Fountains Ballroom | thefountainsweddings.com | thefountainsweddings@gmail.com | Eastern Nebraska & Western Iowa

  • 4, 9, 11, 18, 23, 25, 30

Lauritzen Gardens | lauritzengardens.org | rentals@omahabotanicalgardens.org | Eastern Nebraska, Omaha, Western Iowa, Nebraska

  • 9, 17, 18, 23, 30, 31

Lied Lodge at Arbor Day Farm | liedlodge.org | weddings@arbordayfarm.org | Southeast Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska, Omaha Metro Region

  • 4, 9, 11, 18, 23, 24, 30, 31

Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District | www.downtownomahamarriott.com | sarahherting@marcushotels.com | Omaha Area

Capitol Ballroom 2020

  • 4, 6, 11, 12, 27

Gallery 2020

  • 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 24, 25, 30, 31

Slattery Vintage Estates | SVEvineyards.com | info@SVEvineyards.com | Southeast Nebraska,   Eastern Nebraska,  Western Iowa (NOTE: We only do one wedding per weekend.  Smaller weddings after October are best)

  • 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

Soirée Room | www.SoireeRoom.com | events@soireeroom.com | Omaha

  • 4, 9, 10, 11, 18, 25

Thompson Alumni Center | unomaha.edu/thompson-center | ssummers@unoalumni.org | the Greater Omaha region

  • 2, 4, 11, 18, 23, 25, 30, 31

Tiburon Golf Club and Banquet Facility | tiburongolf.com | events@tiburongolf.com | Omaha, Gretna, Papillion NE

  • 23, 30, 31

The Venue at Highlander | HighlanderOmaha.com/thevenue | events@seventyfivenorth.com | Omaha, NE

  • 9, 11, 24, 25, 30, 31

Vintage Venue | vintagevenuebeatrice.com/ | vintagevenueevents@gmail.com | Southeast region 

  • 16, 17, 24, 30, 31

Wilderness Ridge | wildernessridgegolf.com/ | tnagle@wildernessridgegolf.com | Lincoln, Nebraska (Southeast Region)

  • 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

Photography

John Moler Photography | Johnmoler.comJohn@johnmoler.com | Nebraska (Omaha / Lincoln)

  • 2, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 18, 25

Kaylie Sirek Photography | kayliesirek.com | hello@kayliesirek.com | Everywhere

  • 2, 9, 10, 16, 17, 23

Kirstina E. Photography | kirstinaephotography.com | kirstinaephotography@gmail.comEast,West, North, South – Central

  • 24

M. Julie Photo | mariajulie.com | mjuliephoto@gmail.com | Omaha/Lincoln and surrounding areas

  • 9, 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 25, 30, 31

Megan Kovar Photography | megankovarphotography.com | megankovarphoto@yahoo.com | Central and Eastern NE

  • 2, 3, 23, 24, 25

Planners

Rachel J. Events | racheljevents.com | rachel@racheljevents.com | Omaha, NE

  • 2, 3, 4, 23, 25

Beauty & Health

Model Perfect Airbrush | mpairbrush.com | modelperfectairbrush@gmail.com | All Regions Nebraska & Iowa

  • 2, 3, 4, 9, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30

CATERING

Attitude on Food | attitudeonfood.com/ | kaylin@attitudeonfood.com | Omaha

  • 2, 3, 4, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25, 30, 31

VIDEOGRAPHY

Alisha Cerny Films | www.alishacernyfilms.com | contact@alishacernyfilms.com | Southeast Nebraska, Central Nebraska, Northeast Nebraska

  • 2, 3, 9, 16, 23, 24, 30, 31

CAKES & DESSERTS

Cake Expressions, Inc. | cakeexpressionsinc.com | Debbie@Cakeexpressionsinc.com | Omaha Metro Area, Bellevue, Plattsmouth, Council Bluffs

  • 3, 4, 23, 24, 25

November

Venues

Anthony’s Steakhouse Grand Ballroom | anthonyssteakhouse.com | emma@anthonyssteakhouse.com | All of Nebraska/Iowa

  • 20, 21, 27, 28

the.diamond.room | diamondroomomaha.com | sales@diamondroomomaha.com | Omaha, Council Bluffs, Lincoln etc.

  • 6, 7, 13, 14, 20

The Durham Museum | durhammuseum.org/  | rentals@durhammuseum.org | Nebraska, Eastern NE, Omaha, Western IA

  • 1, 6, 8, 14, 15, 28, 29

The Fountains Ballroom | thefountainsweddings.com | thefountainsweddings@gmail.com | Eastern Nebraska & Western Iowa

  • 1, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 29

Lauritzen Gardens | lauritzengardens.org | rentals@omahabotanicalgardens.org | Eastern Nebraska, Omaha, Western Iowa, Nebraska (NOTE: Dates with * are not exclusive/garden open to the public until 8 p.m.)

  • 6, 7, 8, 21*, 28* 

Lied Lodge at Arbor Day Farm | liedlodge.org | weddings@arbordayfarm.org | Southeast Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska, Omaha Metro Region

  • 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District | www.downtownomahamarriott.com | sarahherting@marcushotels.com | Omaha Area

Capitol Ballroom 2020

  • 7, 15, 20, 22, 27, 28, 29

Gallery 2020

  • 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Simply Ballroom | simply-ballroom.com | simply.ballroom@gmail.com | Omaha Nebraska

  • 1, 8, 21, 22, 25, 29

Slattery Vintage Estates | SVEvineyards.com | info@SVEvineyards.com | Southeast Nebraska,   Eastern Nebraska,  Western Iowa (NOTE: We only do one wedding per weekend.  Smaller weddings after October are best)

  • 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Soirée Room | www.SoireeRoom.com | events@soireeroom.com | Omaha

  • 1, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 29

Thompson Alumni Center | unomaha.edu/thompson-center | ssummers@unoalumni.org | the Greater Omaha region (NOTE:  Sundays are available only for Outdoor ceremonies between 4pm – 8pm)

  • 6, 7, 8, 15, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29

Tiburon Golf Club and Banquet Facility | tiburongolf.com | events@tiburongolf.com | Omaha, Gretna, Papillion NE

  • 14, 21, 28

The Venue at Highlander | HighlanderOmaha.com/thevenue | events@seventyfivenorth.com | Omaha, NE

  • 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Vintage Venue | vintagevenuebeatrice.com/ | vintagevenueevents@gmail.com | Southeast region 

  • 7, 20, 21

Wilderness Ridge | wildernessridgegolf.com/ | tnagle@wildernessridgegolf.com | Lincoln, Nebraska (Southeast Region)

  • 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Photography

John Moler Photography | Johnmoler.comJohn@johnmoler.com | Nebraska (Omaha / Lincoln)

  • 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22

Kaylie Sirek Photography | kayliesirek.com | hello@kayliesirek.com | Everywhere

  • 6, 7

Kirstina E. Photography | kirstinaephotography.com | kirstinaephotography@gmail.comEast,West, North, South – Central

  • 6, 7, 21

M. Julie Photo | mariajulie.com | mjuliephoto@gmail.com | Omaha/Lincoln and surrounding areas

  • 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Megan Kovar Photography | megankovarphotography.com | megankovarphoto@yahoo.com | Central and Eastern, NE

  • 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

Planners

Rachel J. Events | racheljevents.com | rachel@racheljevents.com | Omaha, NE

  • 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15

Beauty & Health

Model Perfect Airbrush | mpairbrush.com | modelperfectairbrush@gmail.com | All Regions Nebraska & Iowa

  • 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 28, 29

CATERING

Attitude on Food | attitudeonfood.com/ | kaylin@attitudeonfood.com | Omaha

  • 1, 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29

VIDEOGRAPHY

Alisha Cerny Films | alishacernyfilms.com | contact@alishacernyfilms.com | Southeast Nebraska, Central Nebraska, Northeast Nebraska

  • 6, 7, 28

CAKES & DESSERTS

Cake Expressions, Inc. | cakeexpressionsinc.com | Debbie@Cakeexpressionsinc.com | Omaha Metro Area, Bellevue, Plattsmouth, Council Bluffs

  • 5, 6, 20, 21

December

Venues

Anthony’s Steakhouse Grand Ballroom | anthonyssteakhouse.com | emma@anthonyssteakhouse.com | All of Nebraska/Iowa

  • 18, 19

the.diamond.room | diamondroomomaha.com | sales@diamondroomomaha.com | Omaha, Council Bluffs, Lincoln etc.

  • 4, 5, 11, 12, 19

The Durham Museum | durhammuseum.org/  | rentals@durhammuseum.org | Nebraska, Eastern NE, Omaha, Western IA

  • 6, 11, 18, 20, 26, 27

The Fountains Ballroom | thefountainsweddings.com | thefountainsweddings@gmail.com | Eastern Nebraska & Western Iowa

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 27

Lauritzen Gardens | lauritzengardens.org | rentals@omahabotanicalgardens.org | Eastern Nebraska, Omaha, Western Iowa, Nebraska (NOTE: Dates with * are not exclusive/garden open to the public until 8 p.m.)

  • 6*, 13*, 18*, 20*, 26*, 27*

Lied Lodge at Arbor Day Farm | liedlodge.org | weddings@arbordayfarm.org | Southeast Nebraska, Eastern Nebraska, Omaha Metro Region

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

Omaha Marriott Downtown at the Capitol District | www.downtownomahamarriott.com | sarahherting@marcushotels.com | Omaha Area

Capitol Ballroom 2020

  • 5, 6, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

Gallery 2020

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

Simply Ballroom | simply-ballroom.com | simply.ballroom@gmail.com | Omaha Nebraska

  • 4, 11, 18, 6, 13, 20, 27

Slattery Vintage Estates | SVEvineyards.com | info@SVEvineyards.com | Southeast Nebraska,   Eastern Nebraska,  Western Iowa (NOTE: We only do one wedding per weekend.  Smaller weddings after October are best)

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

Soirée Room | www.SoireeRoom.com | events@soireeroom.com | Omaha

  • 4, 6, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 26, 27, 31

Thompson Alumni Center | www.unomaha.edu/thompson-center | ssummers@unoalumni.org | the Greater Omaha region (NOTE:  Sundays are available only for Outdoor ceremonies between 4pm – 8pm)

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 13, 18, 19, 20

Tiburon Golf Club and Banquet Facility | tiburongolf.com | events@tiburongolf.com | Omaha, Gretna, Papillion NE

  • 18, 19

The Venue at Highlander | HighlanderOmaha.com/thevenue | events@seventyfivenorth.com | Omaha, NE

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 20, 26, 27

Vintage Venue | vintagevenuebeatrice.com/ | vintagevenueevents@gmail.com | Southeast region 

  • 4, 5, 18, 19

Wilderness Ridge | wildernessridgegolf.com/ | tnagle@wildernessridgegolf.com | Lincoln, Nebraska (Southeast Region)

  • 6, 13, 20, 26, 27

Photography

John Moler Photography | Johnmoler.comJohn@johnmoler.com | Nebraska (Omaha / Lincoln)

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12

Kirstina E. Photography | kirstinaephotography.com | kirstinaephotography@gmail.comEast,West, North, South – Central

  • 4, 5, 18, 19

M. Julie Photo | mariajulie.com | mjuliephoto@gmail.com | Omaha/Lincoln and surrounding areas

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19

Megan Kovar Photography | megankovarphotography.com | megankovarphoto@yahoo.com | Central and Eastern NE

  • 11, 12, 13

Planners

Rachel J. Events | racheljevents.com | rachel@racheljevents.com | Omaha, NE

  • 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19 

Beauty & Health

Model Perfect Airbrush | mpairbrush.com | modelperfectairbrush@gmail.com | All Regions Nebraska & Iowa

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 26

CATERING

Attitude on Food | attitudeonfood.com/ | kaylin@attitudeonfood.com | Omaha

  • 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27

VIDEOGRAPHY

Alisha Cerny Films | alishacernyfilms.com | contact@alishacernyfilms.com | Southeast Nebraska, Central Nebraska, Northeast Nebraska

  • 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19

CAKES & DESSERTS

Cake Expressions, Inc. | cakeexpressionsinc.com | Debbie@Cakeexpressionsinc.com | Omaha Metro Area, Bellevue, Plattsmouth, Council Bluffs

  • 12, 19

Love in the Time of Coronavirus: How COVID-19 Affects Your Wedding Day

By Sarah Baumann Rogers and Lara M. Burnap

As concerns about COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, spread across the globe, the Centers for Disease Control recommends people avoid crowded places and maintain distance from others. While it’s far from the biggest COVID-related concern, this pandemic affects couples with upcoming nuptials. Nebraska Wedding Day asked local wedding experts how they’re responding, whether you should postpone your wedding and how to stay safe.

How are you working with you couples to make this decision about whether or not to postpone their weddings?

“We are taking this one day at a time with each of our clients. As of today, we are working on a Plan B for the majority of our May couples and opening the conversation with our June weddings. All April events have been secured with new plans—most of which are having a small ceremony on their original date.” Rachel Wortmann, Rachel J. Events

“I have had some reach out with backup dates later in the summer, but for the most part my weddings aren’t until later this summer. (Phew!) But I of course would be more than willing to work with whatever they decide to do.” Emily Jessen, Emily Jessen Photography

“I reached out to all of my early spring and summer brides, just to be transparent and let them know I’ve been thinking about them, because disruptions are inevitable. Starting the conversation early is important. Mainly, I wanted to let them know that I would offer any assistance within my power, and be their sounding board if they needed one.” M. Julie Borer, M. Julie Photo

“I’m encouraging couples to do what’s best for their situation and go with their gut. It’s impossible to predict what the future will hold, but the more informed and prepared you can be, the better.” Samantha Areman, Sam Areman Photo

“We are working with each couple on a case by case basis to walk through this decision. We’ve presented several options at this point and taken the responsibility on our end to stay informed on where they can still make a decision, versus where they need to change their plans to fit current regulations. I think recognizing that each wedding has been impacted a little bit differently has been key in helping our couples feel seen and heard during this time.” Natalie Wallace, The Living Room

Should couples postpone for the time being? Or should they reschedule and pick a new date?

“Most of our couples have selected a new date. Some are braver than others and are rescheduling close to their original date in hopes things will clear, while others are taking the safe route and rescheduling further out. I recommend for any vendor that can only support one event in a day (venue, photographer, etc.) to get an alternate date on the calendar sooner rather than later.” Natalie Wallace, The Living Room

“I’m trying really hard to let couples come to that conclusion on their own. It’s a case-by-case situation, and a very personal decision that no vendor can make for them. It’s best to discuss with family and loved ones you trust and have your best interest at heart. A few of my couples are postponing until later into the year, others are splitting ceremonies and receptions. Those couples decided to keep their original date for a tiny ceremony, and celebrating later in the year with anyone that was not able to make it due to guest count restrictions. One couple in particular is just going to make the best of it, keeping their original date, having a small ceremony with only close family present, and no reception. It’s not at all what they had envisioned, but I admire that kind of flexibility in a time when everything is uncertain!” M. Julie Borer, M. Julie Photo

“I think if your wedding is in the next couple months (April, May and early June) it’s good to come up with a back-up date just in case. I wouldn’t make any concrete decisions until four weeks out, since everything is changing so quickly. If your date is really significant to you, keep it and have an intimate vow exchange! You can always have the party later.” Emily Jessen, Emily Jessen Photography

“We are encouraging all April and May clients to keep their original date and postpone their party. Our June/July clients are planning to hang out until more information is available—something we suggest all couples that fall in or after these months do.” Rachel Wortmann, Rachel J. Events

“We are definitely encouraging couple to postpone to a later date. We strongly feel like this will be past us in a few months and still want couples to be able to celebrate their big day.” Kaylin Wilken, Attitude on Food

“If your wedding is in the next month or so, you may not have an option and will have to postpone regardless. Unless you decide to elope with a very small crowd—but keep in mind you may lose out on the money if you cancel with vendors, instead of rescheduling. My recommendation is if your wedding is in the next couple months, start reaching out to your vendors and seeing 1) what’s their reschedule/cancellation policy, 2) what back-up dates everyone has open, and 3) can your vendors pencil you in for a back-up date to give you some time to decide?

“I’m allowing brides to pencil in back-up dates and wait until their wedding date gets a little closer to make a final decision. You should try to make a firm decision either way at least one month out. Keep in mind, many brides may be in the same situation as you, so time is of the essence. Also, if you need to reschedule and a certain vendor isn’t available on the new date—double check that there won’t be any penalties upon cancellation before you book someone else!” Samantha Areman, Sam Areman Photo

How are you supporting your clients if they choose to reschedule or postpone?

“I’m continuing to support and be their photographer (as long as their new date works with my other booked weddings) and offer any help I can. Whether that is reaching out to vendors or brainstorming ways they can keep their original vision with all of the crazy going on. I think just being there and being flexible is the best thing we can do right now.”  Emily Jessen, Emily Jessen Photography

“We are letting couples move to a new date free of charge, and just trying to provide a lot of support/positivity that their big day will still happen—just on a different date.” Kaylin Wilken, Attitude on Food

“Currently we are prioritizing date selection for those weddings that have to move due to social gathering limitations, while we are taking preferred dates for weddings in the next couple of months that may be in need of postponing. If they are shifting onto a date that may have previously been more expensive, we are sticking to their original pricing.” Natalie Wallace, The Living Room

“When I’ve been approached about a reschedule date, I’ve provided them with all of my available 2020 dates and will be transferring their deposit to the new date. If I am not available on their newly chosen date, I am working on finding an associate that can accommodate them and make sure they’re taken care of. It took them a high level of trust to hire me in the first place, so I want to make sure they don’t end up with just anyone. However, I am urging couples to work with their photographer and other vendors as much as possible. Most vendors have already put so much time and effort into a wedding day before it even rolls around, and that’s no small thing.”  M. Julie Borer, M. Julie Photo

“We launched a new elopement package to support clients and other couples going through this that have decided to go the elopement route: ‘Keep the Date, Celebrate Later!’ We created an all-inclusive private ceremony followed by a luxury dining experience for up to 8 people to help them celebrate their original wedding date without having to plan any of the details! For the general public, we have created a page on our website full of free resources and planning tools to alleviate some of the additional stress of a re-plan. This is a collection of: tips for postponing, email templates for vendors, template responses for guests asking about your wedding plans, a few organizational tools to coordinate vendor availability and a link to the growing Facebook group that was created just for couples going through this.” Rachel Wortmann, Rachel J. Events

If couples choose to cancel and instead elope or head to the courthouse, what kind of penalties do they face with contracts?

“It definitely depends on the vendor and what your respective contract with them entails. I’d recommend consulting a lawyer if you are in this situation. Typically, a ‘Force Majeure’ clause is only in effect when it becomes impossible for both parties to uphold their ends of the contract (removes each party of their contractual obligations due to a pandemic or “act of god”). If you decide to elope, then technically the Force Majeure clause would not apply; instead, you would be canceling their services and would most likely not receive a refund. Vendors may offer some grace in this situation, so I would recommend checking with everyone to see what their policies are.”  Samantha Areman, Sam Areman Photo

“None! If they are in the time period where the requirements or guidelines would impact their event, they will face no penalties.”  Natalie Wallace, The Living Room

“I would personally give them their money back after talking through other options with them (with the exception if engagement pictures were already taken, then down deposit would be kept). This is a really hard time for everyone, no reason to make it any worse due to a circumstance out of everyone’s control.” Emily Jessen, Emily Jessen Photography

“As with the majority of vendors, clients who decide to cancel will forfeit all monies paid. We are working closely with all clients to find a way to postpone without penalties and looking at cancelling as a last resort. At the moment, we haven’t had any clients completely cancel.” Rachel Wortmann, Rachel J. Events

“As a photographer, there’s no reason I can’t meet them where they are, be it at home, a courthouse, a park, etc. Now more than ever, it’s important to document their story so that they have a way of sharing it with loved ones who weren’t able to support them in person. However, in instances where they forego my services entirely, I will fall back on my contract, which was written to protect my small business exactly for situations like this.”  M. Julie Borer, M. Julie Photo

“Right now, [if cancelling] they would just lose their deposit. Nearly all of our couples are choosing to postpone though, so that’s been great. Especially since we are a small, local business trying hard to get through this.” Kaylin Wilken, Attitude on Food

What advice would you give couples faced with this decision?

“The same advice I would give them when planning in the first place: this day is about you and no one else. Wedding planning is a stressful process where you’re hearing everyone’s opinion and feel the need to please others. While this is a scary time, you should decide what is important to you and your fiancé. If that means having an awesome party with everyone, then postpone. But if you just want to be married and can live with the celebration later, then go ahead and scale it back to an intimate ceremony. At the end of the day this is your wedding and no one else’s.”  Emily Jessen, Emily Jessen Photography

“It’s all going to be ok and your big day will still happen! We are honored to work with such great couples and we’re here to help however we can.”  Kaylin Wilken, Attitude on Food

“It’s not easy, I understand, but try to be flexible and open-minded about what a wedding can look like. Not every wedding fits a mold, and especially in these times, it’s important to be mindful of this. But most importantly, remember the reason you’re doing this in the first place… it’s not for the party, it’s not for the dream venue, it’s really because you love each other, and that’s more than enough.”  M. Julie Borer, M. Julie Photo

“Take a breath. You are still getting married. Consider a small ceremony with just family to do the important part: becoming a married couple. And then when you can, celebrate with family in friends in a big way later.”  Natalie Wallace, The Living Room

“At the end of the day, you will still be marrying the love of your life, whether it be in a month, six months, or over a year out. Stay calm and try not to stress over all the logistics. It will all come together and be a perfectly imperfect day.” Samantha Areman, Sam Areman Photo

“Keep your focus dialed in on the most important part of your wedding day: you and your fiancé. At the end of the day, you will be married to the love of your life. This is the moment you have been waiting for. While your wedding day may take on a different shape than you envisioned, we promise that your day will be incredible, emotion-filled and a celebration of what matters most.”  Rachel Wortmann, Rachel J. Events

Ashley Nicole Photography's shot of an engaged couple in Nebraska

Expert Advice: What to Do for Your Rehearsal Dinner

The décor has been selected, the arrangements made and the plans set in motion. It’s officially time to savor each moment as the wedding weekend unfolds. The rehearsal dinner is often the first scheduled event of the weekend, so it’s important to set the tone with the right ambiance. Depending upon the guest list, budget and wishes of the hosts, the rehearsal dinner can consist of anything from a formal affair to a casual barbecue.

Who Should Host
Traditionally, the groom’s parents host the rehearsal dinner. However, given that many couples are paying for their own weddings these days, the rehearsal dinner can be hosted by both sets of parents, grandparents or close friends and family. It is recommended that the host confer with the couple regarding the theme, menu, decorations and location to ensure it is copasetic with the rest of the weekend. This ensures that the event goes off without a hitch and doesn’t conflict with any of the other wedding plans. The cost of a rehearsal dinner can vary widely, as there are several components to consider. Some factors include the size of the wedding party, the size of each family, the venue as well as the menu.

When to Schedule
Rehearsal dinners often follow the ceremony rehearsal, which is held the evening prior to the wedding. However, the rehearsal party can be celebrated with a brunch or lunch and is most often a casual event. If it is a dinner, tradition suggests that the festivities conclude relatively early in the evening to allow the couple, wedding party and family an opportunity to relax and unwind before the big day to come.

Whom to Invite
The hosts of the rehearsal dinner decide the number of guests to invite. The soon-to-be newlyweds, wedding party, parents of the couple, officiant and spouse, readers and their guests must be invited to the dinner, as they are part of the rehearsal ceremony itself. However, you may also wish to include out-of-town guests and a few close friends to make the event more of a welcoming party for them. Written invitations are not required; however, it is wise to send invitations when the guest list includes more than family. Unless all wedding guests are invited to the rehearsal dinner, no information regarding the rehearsal event should be placed on your wedding website.

Setting the Tone
Rehearsal dinners can be a terrific way to give guests the opportunity to gather in a warm and welcoming environment ahead of the weekend’s festivities. The meal can be a plated gourmet dinner, a tasty backyard barbecue or anything in between. It is often a great time for out-of-town guests to visit with family and spend time with the couple before the big day. Still stumped on what type of dinner to host? Here are some of our favorite ideas.

Backyard Barbecue
Hosted at a family member’s home or acreage, this option is relaxed, budget-friendly and ideal for couples with large families that include small children. To make things easy and enjoyable, consider including yard games, setting up a self-serve beverage stand or hosting a bonfire for roasting marshmallows.

Food Truck
If your ceremony is being held at an outdoor location such as a public park, try changing up the pace from the typical dinner fare and hire your favorite local food truck to treat everyone after the rehearsal with a yummy meal. Paired with some refreshments, bring along beverages and snacks on picnic blankets for guests to relax on the grounds. You can all enjoy a relaxing dinner picnic style.

Restaurant
For smaller rehearsal dinners, hosting the meal at a restaurant is a great choice for planners because it minimizes any stress or mess to clean up the evening prior to the wedding. This makes restaurants the ideal choice for busy parents of the bride or groom who are busy preparing for the wedding the following day. Choose from a pre-selected menu or ask guests to RSVP with their favorite dinner option. It is always recommended to include a note on the dinner invitation addressing dress code. Some restaurants even offer the option to rent the entire space for your event, in which case they’ll close it to the public so that you can enjoy a private rehearsal dinner at your favorite spot.

Proper Protocol
Toasts are often a large part of the evening’s festivities and can sometimes be spontaneous. In this intimate setting, guests feel more at ease sharing memories, stories and well wishes for the happy couple. If the groom’s parents are hosting, the groom’s father will often greet guests and offer a toast to the couple. The father of the bride can toast next, followed by any of the attendants or guests who wish to speak. The newlyweds also can greet guests and say a few words of thanks for their support.

The best advice is to always focus on guests’ comfort while showing appreciation for their time commitment. A wedding is about celebrating love with friends and family, but the rehearsal dinner should honor the loved ones present who may have invested lengthy travel to celebrate and support this marriage. Treat your guests to an evening of fun entertainment, tasty food and refreshing beverages to kick off a weekend that they will never forget.

Ashley Nicole Photography's shot of an engaged couple in Nebraska
Ashley Nicole Photography

Bride and groom in front of their barn venue, photographed by Kaylie Sirek

Choosing the Type of Venue That’s Right for Your Wedding

There are many uniquely beautiful reception venues available in your area, depending upon the size of your guest list and wedding budget. Your venue will set the tone for the ceremony and reception and is a crucial element in implementing your planned décor and overall design. From a romantic blooming garden to a well-manicured country club lawn, here are a few options to help you select the ideal venue.

Banquet Hall
Some banquet halls provide full-service packages, thereby making the planning process easier and more affordable. Others have a preferred list of wedding vendors, allowing for choices within certain parameters. Depending upon the space, banquet halls are easy to transform into your dream wedding experience. Also, the staff is knowledgeable and have established relationships with local wedding vendors, creating an easier flow of communication. The only challenge to choosing a banquet hall as your venue is the possible turnaround time for decorating, especially when an event is scheduled the evening prior.

Barn
Many couples love a rustic barn setting for their reception venue. It provides shelter while also allowing guests to dance under twinkling lights or a moonlit sky. A barn reception can also serve as a special homage to family history or cultural significance. The only tough challenge associated with this type of venue is arranging catering, restrooms and entertainment. Also, remember to consider the season, as a barn typically has neither heat nor air-conditioning.

Country Club
If you dream of a classic space, a country club may be your most fitting option. Set on perfectly-manicured lawns, country clubs offer a sophisticated style and space for weddings of virtually any size. One of the few difficulties posed by this venue is that your event may not be completely private due to club members accessing the pool or grounds.

Garden
Nestled around fragrant blooms and a beautiful landscape, a garden reception can be transformed into a dreamy affair. With this venue it is easy to let the garden setting speak for itself. With nature as your backdrop, your table settings and décor can remain simple and subtle. For this reception venue, be certain to outline a rain plan, just in case the weather doesn’t land in your favor on your special day.

Hotel
If you picture a large wedding in a grand ballroom, a hotel reception may be perfect for you. Hotels are easily able to accommodate a large group and usually can arrange an appropriate space that is more suitable for a smaller guest list. The staff is knowledgeable and experienced, meaning typical day-of snafus are easily dealt with by professionals. The only pitfall is that you may be sharing the venue with a neighboring wedding or other large event on the same day or evening.

Museum
Surrounded by beautiful works of art, a museum is a stunning and sophisticated venue for a reception. Many museums have staff members who execute weddings on a weekly basis and can offer great insight for creating the ideal event. You may find that some museums may have a list of preferred vendors, which may limit your options for catering or décor. However, the bonus with this venue option is that you can usually arrange for certain galleries to be open for a limited time during your event, which can allow your guests a chance to peruse the artwork during cocktail hour.

Park
Depending upon your ideal landscape, a reception comfortably nestled in a park may be just the venue you are looking for. Arranging family-style tables with your ceremony location nearby gives guests a wonderfully intimate feeling. Prior to making plans, be sure to check with the city offices for any necessary permits or special permissions needed to serve alcohol at the given location. Also, scope out the space to make certain there are adequate restroom facilities and enough resources to meet your electrical needs.

Private Home
There are many fabulous weddings held in private homes. This genre of location provides a special space that is uniquely your own. While most parents may shy away from the option due to the workload and amount of necessary preparations, hosting your reception at a family estate can be very intimate. The toughest challenge to overcome is arranging adequate kitchen space, restrooms and parking. If you are planning your event at a private home, inform the neighbors of your plans so they can anticipate the traffic and possible noise that evening. If they know what is going on, they are more likely to be understanding of the special occasion and not call in a noise complaint.

Restaurant
If you are planning an intimate wedding, a posh restaurant is always an excellent option. With possibilities for a unique menu and cozy ambience, this type of reception venue is relatively stress free due to the convenience of having everything on-site. You can even allow guests to order directly from the menu. Prior to booking your reception, consult with the restaurant owner or general manager regarding space limitations and noise level during the time frame you are considering. If the noise inherent in a restaurant environment concerns you, simply inquire about the availability of a separate area for your reception, such as a private event room. Some restaurants may even offer the option to rent the entire space for your event, in which case they’ll close it to the public.

Tent
A tented reception is a fantastic option that can comfortably accommodate a large guest list. While providing guests with shade and cover, everyone is still able to enjoy the sunset and dance into the evening under the stars. A tent vendor will have many options for you to choose from, including specific lighting for the occasion. Prior to finalizing arrangements, we encourage you to do a complete walk-through of the land, so you can provide any essential electrical information to your rental company.

For more venue details, visit our online vendor directory.