Wedding Planning in Lincoln, NE – 2019


Wedding Planning in Lincoln, NE – 2019

Did you get engaged over the holidays? It wouldn’t be surprising, considering that Christmas is the most popular day to get engaged. With family all together and celebration in the air, it makes sense. Not to mention Valentine’s Day is the second most popular time to get engaged, which is coming up! This is definitely a fitting time to talk about wedding planning. There is a lot that goes into making your special day just perfect…or at least, as close to perfect as possible.

While most engagements happen this time of the year, most weddings actually take place between June and October, so this is the time to plan! If you’re newly engaged, we bet your mind is jumping ahead to the gorgeous gown you’ll wear down the aisle. There is nothing wrong with that, but before you spring for the dress of your dreams, you need to be realistic with your budget. You may consider hiring a wedding planner, who not only has experience in this area but one who can share your vision for your big day and help you achieve that vision without going into debt. If you are confident with your planning abilities, go for it! Just make sure you are taking every aspect into consideration.

Tom Benes
Graduate Lincoln

Selecting the venue is usually a good place to start. This will help you determine the date of your wedding. If you have a specific venue in mind, approach the venue coordinator(s) with a couple of different dates. This is to see if their availability allows you to have your wedding during the time of year and/or month that you were hoping for. Tom Benes with Graduate Lincoln can attest to this. “I would say for our hotel, when booking one of the ballrooms, having a few different dates in mind will improve your chances of one being available. If you want a summer wedding, June specifically, I would start looking at venues as soon as possible. June tends to fill up quick, so the sooner you make a decision, the better your odds are of getting your preferred venue.”

Graduate Lincoln can accommodate the wedding ceremony, wedding reception, bridal shower, and rehearsal dinner. From grand mid-century inspired ballrooms to smaller spaces for intimate receptions, Graduate has a spot that is just right for you. The Ardis Ballroom is ideal for large events; with 5,800 square feet, it can hold up to 450 people. For medium-sized groups, we recommend the Scarlet Ballroom and Legends Ballroom. Both of these spaces have inspired personalities all their own that will enhance the atmosphere of any event.

A trend we are noticing is smaller, more intimate wedding ceremonies. Most of the time, this means the bride and groom will choose to do a separate reception or celebration for the full list of friends and extended family to attend. Typically something couples do if they choose to have a destination wedding and most of their guest list can’t afford to travel in order to attend, this route is becoming common even for a couple who choose to hold their ceremony right here in Lincoln. An intimate ceremony results in a lot less stress for the bride and groom; they can just focus on their close family members and friends during their short and sweet nuptials.

A popular venue for an intimate event such as this is the Talon Room. A vintage wedding venue located in the heart of downtown, Talon Room features a unique and rustic style that is sure to charm your guests. This banquet hall can easily be decorated to fit any wedding style or theme and is the perfect place for ceremonies, receptions, and rehearsal dinners, as well as bridal showers and engagement parties. The staff at Talon Room is committed to excellence and will help create the event of your dreams, from planning the whole event to the fine details that make your big day a success.

Matthew Rogge
Talon Room

“From start to finish, we take your vision of the perfect wedding and bring it from conception to reality,” says Matthew Rogge with Talon Room. “We’ve had great results with bundling the entire wedding into the perfect weekend for couples and their families and friends. Moreover, we can work with any budget. The biggest trend that I have noticed lately is brides and grooms footing the bill without the help of family. With a little bit of flexibility, we can plan the perfect budget-friendly wedding that won’t break the bank.”

Talon Room is an indoor venue that can accommodate between 50 and 250 guests, including your furry companions. They have one room ready for you to put your distinctive touch on it, with a bar already set up. There is parking available, and the Talon Room is wheelchair accessible. Talon Room is available for single and multiple days for weddings and special events, and they offer event planning services to ensure your day unfolds exactly as planned. This venue offers all-inclusive packages and also allows outside vendors. Set up and teardown are included in their wedding packages, and their catered wedding package includes cake cutting. They have a selection of tables and chairs to choose from and can provide linens and barware as well. The venue also has wireless internet for your convenience.

If you are looking for a one-stop wedding shopping experience, the Talon Room is perfect for you. Book your free tour today at or via email at

No two venues are the same. It’s nice to have so many options in Lincoln! The next event space we want to highlight is the Lincoln Firefighters’ Reception Hall. The Firefighters’ Hall is proud to have a dynamic entertainment space that can accommodate any style of event up to 300 people (seated). They offer modern conveniences and affordable elegance to create the perfect atmosphere for your special event!

Located within minutes of downtown Lincoln, the Firefighters’ Hall provides quick and easy access to lodging, restaurants, and shopping, without the inconvenience of parking downtown and having to pay. Featuring a full 90-stall parking lot that is paved, lit, and handicap accessible, guests will have no problem finding a place to park at the Firefighters’ Hall. Their amenities include all-day access, table/chair set up, the ability to bring in your own catering or use our large commercial kitchen, a projector and screen, wireless mics, internet access, bar service with staff available, centerpiece items, decorating/lighting options, and much more!

You can even go on the Lincoln Firefighter’ Reception Hall website ( and check out their online calendar for available dates!

Flowers are an important aspect of every wedding. They have the power to transform a room and they really define the color palette for the entire event. Make Burton & Tyrrell’s Flowers your first choice for premium fresh flowers and upscale design artistry for your dream wedding and all your special occasions!

Gary Tharnish
Burton & Tyrrell’s Flowers

“We take special care to ensure the bouquets and on-site floral décor reflect your individual style and budget…whether you prefer timeless tradition or a sleek contemporary look,” says Gary Tharnish with Burton & Tyrrell’s. “Each wedding, party, or special event we do is custom-designed with you in mind! Our floral design consultants can offer lots of beautiful style suggestions in an effort to create the overall look you hope to achieve.”

In planning the decorations for the wedding ceremony location, consider all the areas that may be enhanced with flowers and foliage. Some of those areas may include:

  • The altar
  • Columns/candelabra flanking the altar
  • An archway or canopy
  • The podium or lectern
  • Ends of the pews or aisle itself
  • Communion rails
  • Window ledges
  • Dressing rooms
  • Restroom countertop
  • The entry vestibule
  • The guest book table
  • Wreaths on doors leading into the sanctuary
  • Stair rails outside the entrance

For everything else on your reception decor and accessories list, Sam’s Club is the place to go! Sam’s Club has outdoor wedding decor; party decor, supplies, and gift wrap; floral supplies; folding and stackable furniture; and table covers. Outdoor wedding decor at Sam’s Club includes arbors and trellises, outdoor canopy tents, fountains and ponds, outdoor lighting, and gazebos. Their wide variety of floral supplies will help you create the perfect centerpiece. Choose from different vases and vintage bottle collections.

Sam’s Club even offers online ordering of fresh floral wedding collections, including centerpieces, bridesmaid bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres, and flower petals. According to the experts at Sam’s Club, there are six ways to make your wedding flowers last:

  1. Choose flowers that take longer to wilt, like hydrangeas, orchids, and lilies.
  2. Schedule your delivery to get your flowers 48 hours (two days) before your event.
  3. Trim your flower stems at a 45-degree angle with floral shears, and re-cut every two days.
  4. “Nourish to flourish” by spraying flowers with Floralife Crystal Clear flower food (sold at Sam’s Club).
  5. Keep stems in filtered, lukewarm water until ready to arrange. Change water every two days.
  6. Keep cool(ish) by keeping flowers out of direct sunlight and away from vents.

Become a Sam’s Club member today to enjoy exclusive savings and access to a wide range of products, in store and online. With two Lincoln locations (4900 N. 27th St. and 8480 Andermatt Dr.), Sam’s Club offers high-quality products that reflect your values and needs.

Jayme Lowell
Venue Catering and Events

With everything that goes into wedding planning, at any given time there will be something that needs your attention. This is why it’s comforting to talk to someone in the industry who knows a thing or two about the process, especially when it comes to the food. We asked Jayme Lowell with Venue Catering and Events a few questions on the topic of wedding planning. Here are her responses:

How can your business be of assistance with planning weddings and/or related events?

We have a very talented catering team that can create a custom menu, tailored to what the client is envisioning on their special day. Being a completely scratch-based kitchen gives us the flexibility to give our clients the flavors they are looking for while keeping the food quality at a maximum. Not only can we serve up to 1,000 people for large wedding receptions, but we can also take care of the catering needs for all of the events leading up to the reception. We have private rooms at Venue Restaurant & Lounge, Piedmont Bistro, and Cactus Modern Mexican & Cantina that work perfectly for bridal showers, couples showers, and rehearsal dinners. No matter where you decide to have our catering served at, you will be working with an event planner on all of the details to ensure you receive amazing food and excellent service.

What makes your business unique within the wedding planning realm?

The most unique aspect of Venue Catering and Events is that we are not limited to the private rooms we have on site at our three restaurants. We handle all of the catering needs for the Scottish Rite Ballroom and the Jasmine Room, and are a preferred caterer at Glacial Till, Champions Club, and the Wick Alumni Center. We cater all over the city of Lincoln and the surrounding areas.

What are some new trends you’re seeing in the wedding industry?

Over the years, we have seen formal plated dinners be the trend, then fancy hors d’oeuvres receptions, then less formal food stations, and now we have come full circle back to a traditional dinner buffet. I think a lot of couples see the value in having more choices to offer their guests and it’s typically at a better price point than the other options.

What do you find to be the most exciting thing about the wedding planning process and why?

I love to sit down with the couples and get to know them. When you learn where they are from, what’s important to them, their family traditions, etc., you can better understand what they are looking for on their special day. I hear over and over again that people do not want the standard wedding food they have had before. Figuring out what they are really looking for and then finding a way to make that happen within their budget is, to me, the best part of the wedding planning process!

Lori Hiebner
Leisure Limousine & Sedan

Transportation is another factor to consider, especially if you aren’t holding your ceremony and wedding in the same venue. Lori Hiebner with Leisure Limousine & Sedan thinks you should arrive in style with one of their fabulous limos, SUVs, or party buses! “At Leisure Limo, we provide prompt, professional, affordable, and, most importantly, luxury transportation service for your wedding needs. Our chauffeurs have the ability to be flexible and will customize the trip as you go. We want you to have fun and not stress—let us take you where you need to go!” exclaims Lori.

After getting all the most necessary budget items figured out, then you can start looking for your dream wedding gown. Adorned Bridal knows that choosing the wedding gown is really when everything starts to come together.

Cheryl Thompson
Adorned Bridal

“We love helping brides get their vision of their wedding day translated through their wedding dress and accessories,” comments Cheryl Thompson with Adorned Bridal. “A bride may have the venue booked, her colors picked out, and an idea of the desired decor, but until the wedding dress is decided upon, the full picture can’t fully take shape. At Adorned Bridal, we also offer custom-made veils. We love when we get the chance to re-make an heirloom veil into something that today’s bride can actually wear! We have bridal jewelry and bridesmaid, flower girl, and prom dresses as well.”

Cheryl agrees that budget is an important part of planning a wedding; therefore, they really attempt to honor that and help a bride get what she wants within the budget she has set. “We try our hardest to make suggestions that would be budget-friendly, while still getting the look she’s going for,” says Cheryl.

Gowns with deep-V necklines and sheer bodices are very popular right now, mentioned Cheryl. However, many brides are looking for something a little more modest, which is why Adorned Bridal’s designers offer most styles with a snap-in liner feature.

“My favorite part of the wedding planning process is, of course, when the bride chooses her gown!” shares Cheryl. “There are a lot of emotions that go into the decision, and for some, it’s a long process of trying on at a number of stores. When the decision gets made, there can be a great sense of relief accompanying the joy and tears!”

“Enjoy the planning process as much as possible,” Cheryl adds. “Remember, you don’t have to have everyone’s opinion or approval on all things—it makes the process much more stressful than it needs to be when you’re trying to please everyone. One to three people are all that really need to help you make dress decisions (yes, that includes bridesmaid dresses). You can bring others back into the equation when it’s time to pick out veils and accessories.”

You’ll look back on the photos and videos from your wedding for the rest of your life, and no matter how perfect your dress is, the last thing you want to see is a version of yourself that you’re not proud of staring back at you. We’re talking about your health and fitness. A lot of people take the initiative to lose weight and get in the best shape possible before their big day. In Lincoln, there are a few gyms that can help with that. For example, 9Round Fitness is a specialized fitness center for people who want a unique, fun, and proven workout that guarantees results. 9Round offers a kickboxing-themed fitness program that incorporates functional, interval, cardiovascular, and circuit training regimens. The programs consist of a proprietary system of nine challenging workout stations developed by a World Champion Kickboxer. In addition, there is Capital City Fitness & Performance, the only Training for Warriors (TFW) affiliate in Lincoln. What separates the TFW system from other training programs is its culture. Although TFW encompasses signature warm-ups, speed training, strength training, endurance training, flexibility work, and nutrition, the most important component of the system is its motivational approach and family environment.

Hair and cosmetics also play an important role in a wedding-ready appearance. Aside from the ultimate wedding bod, you’ll also need to consider booking your trip to the salon and spa for other grooming needs. These are all things that will need to be planned well in advance.

John Aguirre
Ovation Salon

“At Ovation Salon, we have plenty of experience working with wedding clientele, offering services for brides, grooms, and members of the bridal party,” says John Aguirre with Ovation Salon. “You may not think of your hair as a part of wedding planning, outside of just setting the dates ahead of time, but there’s more that goes into the final wedding day look. It’s a creative, collaborative process. We take your direction and inspiration while applying our expertise by making suggestions based on your hair type, face shape, and other things that might affect your desired outcome. Everyone has a signature style, and to achieve that goal, remaining true to that is important. However, exploring different options is the fun part! Don’t be afraid to deviate a little bit from your comfort zone. Doing a trial run allows you the opportunity to exchange ideas with your stylist and try things out. You can even schedule it on the same day as another big event since you’ll leave with great hair!”

As professionals who take great pride in our work, the team at Ovation Salon want nothing more than for you to be a vision of perfection and look absolutely stunning on your wedding day. That ‘glow’ comes from feeling good about yourself!

Wedding and Engagement Ring Spotlight: Sartor Hamann Jewelers

For our readers who are in the engagement preparation stage, we want to highlight our favorite jeweler in Lincoln: Sartor Hamann Jewelers. Finding the perfect engagement ring isn’t hard to do, at least, not when you work with a jeweler who knows how to help you find exactly what you and your partner are looking for. Sartor Hamann is home to Nebraska’s premier diamond selection and offers bridal customers their choice of popular brand names such as Hearts on Fire, A JAFFE, Beverley K., Parade, Sylvie, True Romance, Benchmark and more. They also offer custom design services, and you can check out all of the options that are available on their website.

Anna Alcalde
Sartor Hamann Jewelers

“We have the perfect wedding bands, as well as engagement rings, for men and women,” confirms Anna Alcalde with Sartor Hamann. “We offer hundreds of styles, varieties of metals, and amazing finishes for a one-of-a-kind look. At this moment, all the rage is for ladies to mix and match varied designer, thin decorative bands to stack below or flank (border) the engagement ring. Brides and grooms can express their own style with different metals and styles as ‘couple matching’ is NOT the norm these days. Individuality is encouraged and we have your look in one of our three locations! Can’t find what you love? Ask our award-winning jewelers to design one custom for you or your partner.”

Making the right choice can involve a lot of pressure, but with the help of the experienced staff at Sartor Hamann and a large selection of high-quality fine jewelry at your fingertips, rest assured you’ll find the perfect piece that’s on the cutting edge of style, fashion, and technology.

Let the wedding bells ring! We hope you were able to get something out of the expert advice shared above. If you plan ahead and utilize the resources right here in Lincoln, your wedding day will be everything you hoped for and more!