At This and That Event Rentals, we are entering the busy season for weddings in Nebraska. Winter seemed to never end so we are very excited for our spring and summer weddings and events. While spring and summer are popular wedding dates, we are seeing a lot of fall weddings as well. The weather is always unpredictable in Nebraska, but fall can be a beautiful time to set the date. Below we are recapping a special fall wedding for which we “went all out.” Our daughter, Tiffany, was married to a great guy in September. It was a beautiful ceremony and reception – and it all came together in less than four months! The photos below were captured by Laura Kay Photography.
With only four months to prepare, it proved difficult to find available venues to accommodate our guests and vision. We were very fortunate to be able to host the ceremony outdoors on a beautiful property just outside of Milford. The location served as a summer camp long ago and holds special memories to many in our town. The owners allowed us to use their old, white church pews for the ceremony which perfectly matched our “vintage/romantic” vibe. The ceremony site was held under numerous old trees that provided shade on a warmer-than-average September day.
With the beautiful landscape serving as the perfect backdrop, our rustic decorations added the perfect touch to complete the look. Steve took advantage of some old barn doors we had acquired a while back and rigged them to stand on their own. It was such a dramatic entrance for the bride and her dad when the doors were opened to reveal them to all of the guests. This is definitely one of our favorite items, and it works so well for outdoor weddings. To decorate this piece, we used sheer, burgundy tulle and swags of greenery. We also placed two metal cylinders with floral arrangements in front of the doors.
For the altar, we used a refurbished fireplace mantle that we painted white. Greenery and floral swags along with clear, glass candlesticks were added to the top while candlesticks of varying heights and textures were added to the bottom section. We also placed a vintage rug in front of the mantle for the couple to stand on. Alongside the mantle, we had two beautiful displays. The display on the left is an old table that Steve refinished (with an extremely heavy, wrought-iron base). This is where we displayed a bouquet of flowers in memory of special family members who had passed away. On the opposite side, we used a large easel to display a wooden sign made by Tiffany. The sign features the verse from Ruth 1:16, “Where you go, I will go and where you stay, I will stay.”
Down the aisle, we displayed chippy, metal spheres which housed a (battery-operated) candle and some greenery. They were hung upon shepherd’s hooks which easily supported the heavy weight of the spheres.
Another favorite piece we incorporated was this white, antique dresser which served as the guestbook table. On top, we displayed the guestbook and various items and included an old suitcase for cards. A drawer was pulled out to house the wedding programs, fans, and bubbles. Nearby we utilized some of our larger easels to display the couple’s engagement photos. We’ve seen this dresser rented out not only for guest book items but also for dessert displays. It’s a great piece that adds that extra vintage charm.
A couple of things to think about when holding an outdoor ceremony include:
- Keep the weather in mind. We had a backup location at our church in town in case of bad weather. We also had fans available to combat the heat.
- Make sure restrooms are available. While not ideal, we did have a few porta-potties on site just in case. Since most guests were there for less than an hour, it was more for precaution.
- Bugs. While setting up a few days before, we noticed that the mosquitos were terrible. We ended up using a couple of foggers the morning of and it helped a lot. You could also offer bug spray.
- Parking. We were fortunate that our hosts had signs and specific areas for parking. Make sure you plan accordingly for your site. You don’t want people parking a mile away, in the mud, or somewhere where they shouldn’t park.
- Bridal party. Make sure you have a place for the bridal party to hang out. They often have to arrive early for photos so make sure you have food and drinks available. Don’t forget about entertainment for any little ones running around!
- Sound and other A/V requirements. There’s nothing worse than witnessing a beautiful wedding ceremony and not being able to hear a word. Our videographer provided a sound system with microphones and also ran the music. Make sure you know what kind of voltage is needed and how you’re going to connect the systems. A practice run is always a good idea!
The reception was held at the Pla Mor Ballroom just west of Lincoln. If you haven’t been here, it is a dance hall that has been around for over 85 years. Since the couple wanted to have a live band (AM/FM – check them out!), the venue worked perfectly as it has a stage and a large dance floor. The one setback was that we weren’t able to decorate until the night before the wedding. Since we’re accustomed to having (at least) a full day to decorate, this proved to be quite the complication. However, the staff was great to work with and we had an army of helpers to assist (we have amazing family and friends!).
We had a plan and labeled the totes with how they should be set up. Luckily, we were able to bring in most of the bigger items the day before and had the pergola set up. We decorated that with burgundy tulle, greenery and a few fairy lights. For an additional “wow factor,” we hung our custom-built metal light fixture in the middle. It features multiple hanging Edison bulbs, greenery and flowers and added some much-needed lighting. We used a couple of our old, wooden tables covered in lace tablecloths. Candlesticks, tealight candles, and various floral arrangements were added as well. We also used some of our vintage china dinnerware for that special touch.
We had fun decorating our not-so-traditional dessert table. The bride and groom don’t like cake (weird, I know) so we went with mini cheesecakes, various cookies, and donuts. (Shoutout to our family who helped us make the cookies and over 900 mini cheesecakes!) We used an old white-washed table for the base and added various tablecloths and pink sashes. We utilized our popular three-tiered cupcake stand, various white cake stands, and pink platters and plates. We also featured lanterns of various sizes with battery-operated candles. (As a note, be sure to check if your venue allows for real candles; otherwise, battery-operated candles are a great way to get a similar look). Other finishing touches included a lighted “Love” sign, flowers, and dessert labels. We added a bi-fold screen with greenery and lighting for the backdrop.
A fun feature we’ve been seeing a lot of at weddings is to have a “photo op” setup instead of renting a full-on photo booth system. We love to feature our cream-colored couch and vintage, pink rug. We added some fun lighting features, a white backdrop, and a cinema-esque light board featuring the couple’s hashtag. This is a great way to get your guests to take pictures and be able to view them on social media long after the day is over.
Overall, the day was beautiful and everything came together wonderfully. We are so grateful for our friends and family who helped us out. Weddings can be exhausting, but we love being able to provide items that make a wedding feel uniquely beautiful. We’re excited to see more pictures from weddings from our 2019 brides and grooms!
Photo credit to Laura Kay Photography.