When summer, the busiest wedding season, pops up prominently on social media and fridges worldwide, it’s all beautiful. But for many couples, these traditional ceremonies come with a lot of baggage – not to mention the time-suck.
So, if you are getting married – congrats! And if you seek an alternative wedding, the good news is elopement packages are more popular today than ever. If you live in the Omaha area, these ten ideas will help make your special day happen without universally breaking your bank or taking your year – right where you live.
Many of these options are good for light planning, not necessarily last-minute. Though, you may find some luck depending on the situation.
- Arlan’s Barber Shop: 3157 Farnam St | (402) 505-8767
- Scissors & Scotch: 6750 Mercy Rd Suite 3 | (531) 466-4655
- Bombshell Beauty: 7625 Main St | (402) 718-5245
- Oliver and Tate: 3852 Farnam St #2 | (531) 222-8939
Arlan’s Barber Shop is a Black-owned barbershop located in the Midtown Crossing area, voted Best Of Omaha by Omaha Magazine in 2014 and Readers’ Recommend in 2021.
Scissors & Scotch is an up-scale and appointment-required barbershop that prides itself in solid cuts, chill vibes, and a bar you can visit afterward. It was voted Best Of The Big O for barbershops in 2021.
Bombshell Beauty was another Best Of Big O recipient in 2021, for a good reason. The beauty salon is surprisingly flexible with its two talented stylists.
Oliver and Tate beauty salon is another appointment-only salon. The stylists can transform differently gendered hairstyles, offer makeup services, and provide complimentary wedding consultations.
Professional makeup artistry
- The Dae-Spa: 6677 Sorensen Pkwy | (402) 320-8851
- Ashton Michelle Makeup: Visit website | (626) 616-2353
- Berry Beautiful Design: 16101 Black Walnut Street (Trial location) | (402) 858-9202
- The Salty Blonde Salon: 417 S 12th St 2nd Floor | (402) 913-2209
The Dae-Spa is a Black-owned one-stop shop for makeup and certified lash services. The business provides great services such as facials, body treatments and waxing. A detailed list and breakdown of its different services and its vision is available on the website.
The self-titled independent stylings of Ashton Michelle Makeup are another solid option on your journey for a flexible freelance hairstylist with 10+ years of experience. Prices start at $75.
Berry Beautiful Makeup represents the work of Rebecca Berry as a freelance makeup stylist, freelance makeup artist, and image stylist. The business received Wedding Wire’s Couples Choice award for five years consecutively.
The Salty Blonde Salon is a Readers’ Choice recipient for local salons – they do an imaginative professional job. You can see which stylists are currently accepting appointments online.
Choice big-day photography
- Showtime Photography Studio and Art Gallery: 1025 Galvin Rd S, Bellevue, NE | (731) 267-4501
- Demo Lives: Visit website | Demo@demolives.com
- Taylor Meyer Photography: 7105 Sun Valley Dr | (402) 250-4847
- Em-Tee-Gee Photography: Visit online | 402-639-2002
Showtime is a black-owned and full-service photography option that can shoot any aspect of your wedding, small or big. Check out their past work online and contact them for more pricing info.
Demo Lives is another Black-owned business and the brainchild of Abiola Kosoko that started in 2005 and blossomed into a multimedia service. They have worked with local spots like Culxr House to national syndications like ESPN. Email them for more info.
Taylor Meyer Photography is a portrait photography business of a freelancer with enough talent and flexibility to serve your wedding needs. The starting price is $119.
Em-Tee-Gee Photography is the pet-friendly photography business of the owner, Maria, with experience shooting a variety of professional tasks. Contact for price and ask about discounts.
Unique and low-key rings
- Junk-N-Treasure: 3504 Leavenworth St | (402) 657-0302
- The Brass Armadillo Antique Mall: 10666 Sapp Brothers Dr | (402) 896-9140
- Borsheims: 120 Regency Pkwy | (800) 642-4438
- Local thrift stores near you
Junk-N-Treasure is an antique thrift store that also offers jewelry for $10 or less – no precious items. And while there is a sea of other cool stuff to distract during the wedding or holiday season, you can find a unique ring or other thoughtful piece here.
Brass Armadillo is another antique store that may have what you seek, with several vendors selling jewelry. Check out their website to get involved in their next upcoming sale.
Borsheims is the outlier on this list. But while it doesn’t specialize in second-hand rings, it offers all price points, including a few rings under $200. The business received 2021’s Readers’ Choice Best Of The Big O in the ring category.
Lastly, try your local thrift stores. This method may require multiple visits to multiple sites, but finding a one-of-a-kind ring for a fraction of the wholesale price could make it all worth it.
- Big Mama’s: 2112 N 30th Street, Ste 201 | (402) 455-6262
- Let Me Feed You: visit online | 402-507-0103
- HyVee: Visit store locator |11 locations in Omaha
- All Inclusive Catering: visit online | (402) 659-1620
Big Mama’s is one of the best and most enduring Omaha soul food spots. Check out the take-and-bake entree selections or hot meals from veggie lasagna to enchiladas and BBQ burgers.
Let Me Feed You is another Black-owned catering business in Omaha that specializes in its unique variety of soul food, including deep-fried lobster tails and fried cabbage with meat.
With over ten locations locally, HyVee is never a dull catering option for your wedding. Peruse the entire catering selection online that features seafood platters priced anywhere from $13-$70, or head straight to the wedding catering section.
All Inclusive Catering is a flexible and affordable shop by Chef Matt Ziskey. He has 20 years of experience and ability to serve any amount of people, from small groups to massive weddings.
Local cakes that rule
- The Cake Gallery: 8247 Hascall St | (402) 397-2253
- Cupcake! Omaha: 107 N 50th St | (402) 281-7403
- Omaha Bakery: 10503 S 15th St Suite 109, Bellevue, NE | (402) 991-9200
- Riverwood Bakery: 1000 Superior St, Lincoln, NE| (531) 772-3075
With the Cake Gallery, the taste matches the look – and they even throw in a smash cake. In 2022, WeddingWire awarded the Couple’s Choice Winner to the business, which opened in 1994.
With Cupcake! Omaha, you get a delicious shared experience while adding aesthetic value to your chill and beautiful wedding day with something wholly unique: cupcakes.
Omaha Bakery describes itself as a full-service bakery, deli, and tasting experience, with its cakes being a standout. The bakery offers bread, cakes, brownies, and cheesecakes for different occasions and is a Readers’ Choice recipient.
If you can tolerate the two-hour drive to and from Lincoln, Riverwood Bakery would be worth it. They deliver at quality and price while baking infinitely creative cakes.
Park spaces for rent
- Mt. Vernon Gardens: 6011 S. 13th St | (402) 444-5955
- Elmwood Park Grotto: 802 S 60th St |(402) 444-5920
- Memorial Park: 6005 Underwood Ave | (402) 444-5955
- Eugene T. Mahoney State Park: 28500 W Park Hwy, Ashland, NE |(402) 944-2523
Check out your local city park venues to secure an affordable and pleasant nearby outdoor setting for your event. The city offers a minimum 2-hour rental service at $75 an hour. And three spots – Mt. Vernon Gardens by the Zoo, Elmwood Park Grotto, and Memorial Park – are hometown favorites.
Mahoney also makes for a solid outdoor location. For a full-on wedding reception rental during the summer, including indoor, open-air, and closed-air options, the price starts at $500.
Make sure to check out both city and state requirements for each site. And remember to secure beer permits if you are boozing! More on that below.
Eloping packages and staycation honeymoons
- Slattery Vintage Estates: 8925 Adams St, Nehawka, NE |(402) 267-5267
- Oft’s Bed & Breakfast: 11523 N 156th St, Bennington, NE |(402) 614-7509
- I Tie The Knots Officiants: 110 N 9th St | (402) 965-1060
- Magnolia Hotel: 1615 Howard St | (402) 341-2500
Slattery Vintage Estates is a winery that also rents glamping grounds perfect for honeymooning. Choose from any of their bungalows from $70 on weekdays and $100 on weekends.
Oft’s Bed & Breakfast is on the National Register of Historic Places and offers rooms at $129-$149 per night. Over 110 years old, it’s well decorated, and there’s breakfast!
I Tie The Knots Officiants offers elopement packages and complimentary 30-minute consultations that help you establish your wedding vision. There is a $100 deposit required.
Magnolia Hotel is another Readers’ Choice recipient that offers solid rates and amenities for rooms, suites, and ADA accommodations. They also have an extensive wedding package starting at $500.
Register for a license in Douglas County
- Douglas County Clerk’s Office: 1819 Farnam Street | (402) 444-6080
- Nebraska Liquor Control Commission Licensing Division: (402) 471-2571
- Hall of Justice: 1701 Farnam St | (402) 444-3988
When organizing a DIY wedding, there are two licenses that you may have to secure, and each has its unique requirements that you must fulfill. Thankfully, they aren’t too arduous.
For your marriage license, there are five steps. Review the requirements online, complete an application in-print or online, visit the Douglas County Clerk’s Office, submit your valid IDs, and pay the $34 (no checks). Bring your witness if you are getting married in-house at the Hall of Justice.
Depending on your wedding plans, you may need a liquor license. You must contact the NLCC via phone or online for your liquor license application. After submitting, there is a public hearing to determine your eligibility. This process can take 3-4 months – so get on this sooner than later. Soon enough, you’ll have legal beer.
LGBTQIA+-friendly indoor venues
- First Unitarian Church of Omaha: 3114 Harney St | (402) 345-3039
- First United Methodist Church: 7020 Cass St | (402) 556-6262
- Countryside Church: 13130 Faith Plz | (402) 391-0350
- Urban Abbey: 1026 Jackson St. | (402) 898-7600
Some may wed through the eloping method due to problematic societal pressures. These locations unconditionally accept weddings for couples who love out loud of all genders, and their venues range aesthetically from grand to quaint.
The First Unitarian Church of Omaha takes weddings from non-members and promotes inclusivity. The church has several ministers to help out and a beautiful, grand interior with a sparkling aesthetic. Plus, there will be plenty of parking.
The First United Methodist Church offers a Sanctuary that seats 600 guests and the Mead Chapel, which seats 50.
Countryside Church generally only rents for weddings for members but may do a wedding for non-members. The Sanctuary seats 500, while the chapel sits 90. Reservations cost $150 for members and $300 for non-members.
Urban Abbey has been offering a safe space for the community to connect with and learn from one another for over a decade. Nestled in the heart of the Old Market, this beautiful, peaceful space can be rented for rehearsal dinners or receptions. Download their PDF detailing recommended readings, services and pricing at theurbanabbey.org/communion/community and click “weddings.”