Wedding Planning in Lincoln, NE – 2018


Wedding Planning in Lincoln, NE – 2018

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

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

*Symbolic Gestures*

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

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

Sartor Hamann Jewelers 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 at 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, you can be assured that you’ll find the perfect piece that’s on the cutting edge of style, fashion, and technology.

*Time & Place*

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

No two venues are alike, and the number of guests, as well as the space, amenities, and services offered, will factor into whether it will work for your event. That being said, some would be an ideal venue for more than one, or even all, of the aforementioned events.

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. “The Talon Room is the perfect venue for a rehearsal dinner, ceremony, wedding reception and gift opening brunch. 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.

As the owner, sales representative, event coordinator, set-up coordinator and operations specialists, I’m the one you’ll work with from start to finish to ensure every detail is met with utmost care. By working with one person throughout your entire wedding experience, nothing will be lost in translation.

In closing, Rogge emphasizes, “Remember, it is your day! You may want to impress all of your friends and family with your big elegant wedding, but it is about the love that you and your significant other share that will be remembered for years to come.

Weddings can be difficult and stressful to plan and execute. Let the wedding professionals take on your big day and relieve a little tension in your busy life.

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

Addie Vallier
Nebraska Club

Similarly, Addie Vallier with the Nebraska Club explains, “As the events coordinator at the Nebraska Club, I do more than just book weddings. I really enjoy handling all of the details for our clients and being able to serve basically as their wedding planner. I can contact whomever you’d like – the florist, the photographer, the deejay, etc. – and incorporate them into the entire package of your wedding. We do the setup and the invoices, handling all of the details so your wedding planning experience is as stress-free as possible.

We have the perfect space for your reception, but we have also been seeing a lot of prenuptial dinners, bridal showers, gift openings, and even the actual ceremonies at the Nebraska Club. We recently had a bride put together her wedding in five days and had both the ceremony and light reception in our Capitol room with a stunning view of the Capitol Building. Located on the 20th floor of the US Bank building, we are able to offer an unmatched view of the entire city of Lincoln.”

More toward style and tying that into distinctive aspects of the venue, she also notes, “Because the view offers such a breathtaking atmosphere, many of our brides like to keep decorations uncomplicated to enhance the sophisticated ambiance. We have been noticing a trend towards natural and unstructured floral arrangements. The shabby/chic trend of the past few years is giving way to a more natural, fresh atmosphere.”

Especially with respect to venues in the downtown area, including the Haymarket and Railyard districts, there is high demand mostly due to convenience with lodging as well as plenty of dining and entertainment options. Not to mention most of the options you’ll find here are absolutely stunning and perfect spaces for wedding events.

Hotels or venues within close proximity to them are desirable for many reasons, most notably lodging for out-of-town guests and partygoers who plan to fully indulge in the festivities. Hotels are also particularly useful as a staging point.

Selena Kugler
Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln Downtown/Haymarket

“Brides have become way more involved in their wedding blocks than in the past,” notes Selena Kugler with Courtyard by Marriott Lincoln Downtown/Haymarket. “We offer assistance in blocking off rooms for their guests and family, which is important, but one of the biggest things brides worry about is having a space for everyone to get ready. If we determine this is needed, we make it a point to get them into a suite and block their bridesmaids’ rooms close if they are staying.

The last thing we want brides to worry about is the hotel side of things. I make sure to ask details about their wedding day so that we can provide the best service for the bride, but also so we are ready to welcome their guests as well. Key details we provide are our check in and out times, room types, and what additional services we may be able to offer to make it easier on the bride and so everything is in one location. For example, if a bride is planning on getting ready at the hotel, we steer them toward our one-bedroom suite so they have extra space and a counter. We will also offer to bring up more chairs so that everyone has a seat.

Being aware of check in and out times is especially important so you don’t plan on having the room the entire time and then find out the reservation doesn’t correspond.”

She also points out, “We have space available for rehearsal dinners and gift openings too. For the rehearsal dinner or gift opening, we remind our clients that we have a full catering kitchen so all food and beverage has to go through us. When planning a lot of couples ask to bring in their own food and unfortunately, we can’t do that. When meeting and planning, we’ll discuss options and thoroughly cover the need-to-know items, so it’s a great opportunity to brainstorm and you’ll want to be prepared with plenty of questions and ideas. Above all, this is supposed to be a fun time! Let us take care of the easy stuff so you can enjoy the big day.”

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

Lisa Petersen
Venue Catering & Events

“The Jasmine Room is a sought-after destination for engaged couples looking for an all-encompassing wedding experience,” says Lisa Petersen with Venue Catering & Events. “As a one-stop shop, your Jasmine Room rental comes with a dedicated event supervisor who ensures your event runs smoothly from beginning to end. The Jasmine Room coordinators have a combined total of 60+ years of experience within the industry. Their knowledge of classic customs and up-to-the-minute trends is an integral part of the service you receive. Our staff walk you through the entire process as you navigate the intricate details of planning your big day.

Personalization has been a big trend recently and we expect it to remain that way in 2018. We are excited about couples making bold decisions as they personalize their wedding day events, filling their wedding with all of their favorite things.

Venue Catering and Events offers you service that brings your unique vision to life. The Venue team is skilled at planning everything from bridal showers and gift opening brunches to wedding rehearsal dinners and receptions. Each dining experience is crafted especially for you and provides quality, chef-inspired fare with unmatched presentation and the highest quality ingredients.

As for the venue itself, she offers the following overview: “The Jasmine Room by Venue is where vintage elegance, modern sophistication, and chef-inspired cuisine meet. It boasts unique characteristics such as an ornate 110-year-old solid walnut bar, an original hardwood dance floor, stunning chandeliers set within soaring ceilings lit by a state-of-the-art LED lighting system and French doors leading to a spacious outdoor patio area. The Jasmine Room also includes 3 large, wall mounted screens accompanied by Hi-Def projectors and a full audio system all within the historic Grand Manse. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, there is no other ballroom in Lincoln like The Jasmine Room.”

In closing, when it comes to planning essentials, she advises, “A budget is a must. Book the big items first: Get your ceremony and reception locations, caterer, photographer, and florist confirmed as soon as you can.”

There are, of course, other locations that could prove to be ideal based on logistics as well as offerings.

Peterson notes, “In addition to The Jasmine Room, Venue Restaurant & Lounge and Piedmont Bistro by Venue offer private dining spaces, each with their own, distinct atmosphere and characteristics catering to all events associated with your special day.”

If a destination wedding isn’t on the agenda, for those who are born and raised in Lincoln or who have established roots here for any given amount of time, the venue will likely be in town or reasonably close nearby. Yet, having options is never a bad thing, so perhaps you might even consider extending your search to locations outside of Lincoln.

Terri Carlson
Holthus Convention Center

“Our convenient location just off I-80 and within close proximity to lodging makes it easy for those coming from out of town to find where they are going,” says Terri Carlson with Holthus Convention Center, located in York, NE. “It also makes us a hot destination for weddings that have family all across the state–we are the perfect in-between point!

The location of our facility is one of our key offerings, with our size being another. Our venue is able to accommodate large parties of 650 or more, but we can create smaller spaces for those celebrations that are a bit more intimate. We can meet the venue needs for your rehearsal, ceremony, and reception all in one location. No need to race between venues!

Furthermore, Holthus can fulfill all the venue needs of your pre-wedding events too. With so much flexibility, there’s an abundance of options. Our lobby is the perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon bridal shower and can even be transformed into a beautiful space to hold your wedding ceremony. The Grand Ballroom can easily accommodate large weddings of up to 650 or more, but can be converted to create an intimate reception for 200 or fewer guests as well. Don’t forget about your rehearsal! We have plenty of options to consider for the night before celebration as well.”

With respect to timing and trends, she notes, “The traditional wedding season seems to be fading away and couples are becoming more willing to look at spring, fall, and even winter weddings. Winter weddings are quickly becoming my favorite! The décor is very warm and inviting and I love the use of traditional holiday greens to dress the tables. If you are lucky enough to have some snow on the ground it can provide a beautiful backdrop for your wedding day photos as well!

That said, I encourage couples to be flexible. Saturdays are a hot commodity during the traditional wedding season, but if you are willing to be flexible on certain aspects of your reception, you just may be able to land that perfect wedding date! Alternatively, if you’re flexible on date and time, you might get everything else you want. Often compromise is necessary, so it’s helpful for couples to know what’s most important to them versus what’s negotiable.

Finally, the process of planning a wedding can seem very overwhelming at first, but take your time researching different ideas, themes, etc. The better idea you have of what you want, the better you’ll be able to communicate that to the professionals you’re working with, which will lead to the best outcome.”

*Whisked Away*

Once the place(s) are booked and the time(s) are decided, you’ll have a good idea of your transportation needs.

Lori Hiebner Leisure Limousine & Sedan - Headshot

Lori Hiebner
Leisure Limousine & Sedan

“Don’t forget to book your transportation reservations as early in the planning process as possible,” advises Lori Hiebner with Leisure Limousine & Sedan. “You usually get exactly what you want if you book early enough.

She also provides a few of the most common scenarios where transportation comes into play. “Our limo bus is perfectly suited for weddings. It’s beautiful inside and out and it holds 34-passengers, has a state-of-the-art stereo system, two 42” TVs, wrap-around leather seating and laminate flooring. We provide champagne for the wedding party too! Our 14-passenger and 12-passenger limos are perfect for smaller wedding parties. We also offer transportation service for the bride and groom at the end of the night from the reception as well as airport car and shuttle service for the wedding guests.”

*Hosting Musts*

Any time you’re entertaining, serving great food and drinks is proper hosting etiquette. Wedding celebrations take this to a whole new level, and it will leave a lasting impression on your guests, for better or for worse. While most commonly incorporated into the rehearsal dinner and reception, the engagement party, bachelor and bachelorette party, bridal shower, and gift opening gathering are also occasions that call for such provisions.

Joe Armstrong Cowboy Chicken

Joe Armstrong
Cowboy Chicken

“With catering options designed to fit any need, we can create a menu that is perfect for your event,” says Joe Armstrong with Cowboy Chicken. “Whether it’s our classic chicken, potatoes, and green beans or you’d like us to design a more elaborate menu including enchiladas, ranchero beans, and Spanish rice, we’ll be happy to accommodate.

We do catering for small gatherings like showers and parties but can also accommodate larger functions like the rehearsal dinner or the big day. As it’s important to stay within a budget for weddings, our clients benefit from the value we are able to provide with our offerings.”

He also notes, “While the satisfaction of your guests is our priority, the most important thing about planning food for your wedding is to ensure that when all is said and done, you’ll be serving what makes you happy! Find someone to work with who is interested in putting your meals together with that in mind. Also, your catering company of choice should be able to help you get the important details in place so that there aren’t any balls dropped. This includes the amount of food appropriate for your event, what’s all necessary to complete the meal, and timing–who is responsible for delivery, set-up, table settings, service, and clean-up.”

*“Cake Table” Confections*

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

As is customary with weddings, what’s a wedding reception without a cake? Or, more specifically, the cutting of it (and smashing it lovingly into each other’s faces) at least. In modern times, however, this has evolved quite a bit towards incorporating the sweet treat(s) of the bride and groom’s choosing, which might not be cake at all. Or, if it is indeed cake that you’re after, which still remains commonplace, there are also different variations of cakes to consider if you’re looking to get creative. Just as every wedding is unique, so are the bride and groom’s choices in this area. Ultimately, there are unlimited variations, with no right or wrong. Do whatever you like!

Sharon Hansen Nothing Bundt Cakes - Headshot

Sharon Hansen
Nothing Bundt Cakes

“One of the most popular ways couples are incorporating our cakes is placing our 8” decorated cake on each table as a centerpiece as well as dessert,” says Sharon Hansen with Nothing Bundt Cakes. “It is always a hit at the reception to have dessert right there at the table and the guests get to enjoy how pretty they are too. We can set up an initial consultation to give couples an idea of the different options we have to offer to make their wedding day special.

We see that many brides favor a vintage or simple design for their reception. The nostalgic look of our product fits into that style very well. Our cakes can be dressed up easily with a different frosting style too! At Nothing Bundt Cakes we have a lot of experience with helping to come up with options that fit the design aesthetic couples have in mind as well as their budget. We’re happy to work through the details with the bride and groom, the wedding coordinator, or even the florist to come up with the perfect cake.”

She adds, “We also offer a number of terrific and reasonably priced gifts that are perfect for bridal showers, party gifts and out-of-town guests!”

*Floral Fantasy*

Fresh flowers are a staple at any wedding, from the bouquets and boutonnières to arrangements donning the aisle and tables at the reception. From simple to lavish, with varying color palettes and flower arrangements, you’ll probably never see the same combination twice. Looking at the big picture, there are plenty of other instances when fresh flowers would be a nice touch or gesture too.

Sara Reyes Sudman
Fields Floral

“One of our specialties is weddings!” says Sara Reyes Sudman with Fields Floral. “In 2017, we saw a lot of outdoor weddings with a rustic chic feel. This year, we’re seeing more intimate and unique venues like museums, lofts, etc. As for floral trends, we’re seeing more darker, textured arrangements, like beautiful dark roses with lots of greenery. At Fields Floral, we provide floral arrangements for every budget and work with you to incorporate flowers throughout your journey, from the proposal to the bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, ceremony and the reception.

We design for indoor and outdoor weddings, as well as small intimate ceremonies. In fact, what makes us unique with weddings is our customization and attention to detail. Every aspect – making sure we have the right color ribbon for your bouquets, the freshest flowers, and even beautiful gifts for the wedding party – is taken into consideration. For outdoor weddings, one of our most popular items is the overhead trellis or wooden arch. We have decor items on hand that can be rented and utilized for any venue in the Lincoln area.

With over 20 years of experience and plenty of fresh ideas to share with each and every bride, we’ll make sure that their big day is unique and special to them.”

When it comes to planning, she offers the following words of advice, “Set a budget and have some wiggle room. People come in asking for expensive flowers and they don’t realize how much things can add up. Flowers are expensive and one way to save on this is to incorporate blooms that are in season. The most practical approach is to start with letting us know what you absolutely want to have in your arrangements, including one or two flowers in particular and your colors. Then give your designers some room to do what they do best, design. You will get more for your money that way.

It’s always a good idea to plan ahead and start early. Great vendors get booked up fast, so you want to make sure you are getting your date solidified and all the attention is going to you and your big day.”

*Bridal Beautification*

Who doesn’t want to look their very best on their wedding day? Chances are, you’ve got a goal to reach that’s related to getting in shape, whether it’s losing weight or targeting an area that would make you look and feel better in a strapless dress or slim-fit suit style. None are magically going to happen overnight, so the sooner you get to work, the better.

Physician’s WEIGHT LOSS Centers Lincoln is a great local resource to utilize so that there is no doubt that you will be a sight to behold on your wedding day. With 32 years of development having gone into perfecting their six specialized diet programs, Physician’s WEIGHT LOSS Centers assists clients in maximizing weight loss results through proper nutrition, the application of advanced technology, and continued support. With the help of their counselors, they will match you up with the program that works best for you.

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

Nancy Hopkins
Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers

As part of a comprehensive weight loss program or utilized independently for those seeking a last-minute miracle of sorts, LipoGenics is a laser body contouring system that provides excellent results that oftentimes can be seen immediately after the treatment. According to Nancy Hopkins with Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers, “This procedure only lasts 30 minutes, every other day, and you are able to lose up to 10 inches off of your waist. That 10 inches is equivalent to three to five dress sizes or up to five pant sizes! It is permanent as long as you keep up a healthy diet and regular physical activity. If you take the weight off of your core, it will come back at the same rate as the rest of your body. So, once it is off, it will stay off as long as you take care of yourself. Utilizing LipoGenics is really a great way to target any problem areas so that your wedding day attire fits perfectly.”

In the areas where the weight is lost, the lasers are also tightening to the skin. This existing stretch marks and scarring while also helping you to avoid areas of saggy, floppy skin that are common with significant weight loss.

Hopkins also suggests that the best way to go about losing weight and getting fit in general is to approach it with partners. “Continued motivation and support are critical factors that will influence your overall success in a big way. However, it needs to be someone who will hold you accountable through the difficult times just as much as they praise you during the high points. Sometimes friends, family, and others do not necessarily say the right things because they do not want to hurt your feelings, or will not call you out if you are not following your plan. We are honest with our clients because we want them to be healthy, happy, and reach their goals. Our programs are designed with a built-in support system and guaranteed results if followed as directed because we believe strongly in what we have to offer.”

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

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!

When planning, while most of the focus will be on your wedding day look, also be thinking about other times you’d want to have your hair done. As I just mentioned with the trial run scenario, there are occasions leading up to the wedding such as your engagement photos, bachelorette/bachelor party, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner where having a professional do your hair is a plus—or for some, a must. I can’t stress enough the importance of scheduling proactively as opposed to reactively. You don’t want to be in a position where you have to scramble for recommendations and take your chances with someone you’ve never worked with before because your stylist is completely booked and can’t fit you in.

As professionals who take great pride in our work, we 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, because then you are able to fully focus on being in the moment on your special day.”

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