FOCUS ON THE FEELING

Tips for planning the wedding of your dreams.

WRITTEN BY NISHA HALLERT

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Photo courtesy of Nevada Museum of Art

Congratulations! You’re engaged. Now the hard work of planning your wedding begins. The process can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, planning your wedding ought to bring you joy. After all, you are orchestrating the biggest event of your life. Though a lot of details need to be sorted out, being intentional about your desire and staying organized can infuse your planning with a sense of ease. My advice for achieving this is to focus first on the big picture. What do you want your wedding to feel like? Once you clarify your vision, the fine details will emerge.

Venue choices

Nothing is more important than your venue selection. This should be the first decision you make. Selecting a venue that encapsulates your personality will enable your vision to manifest in a tangible way. When searching for your perfect wedding spot, consider nontraditional and extraordinary spaces. Are you a total do-it-yourselfer who relishes the maker culture? Look for a warehouse in an industrial space that you can truly transform. Does it have exposed brick? Industrial steel rafters or wooden crossbeams? Perfect. Take this blank canvas and paint your dream wedding.

If you are less maker and more Downton Abbey fan, consider a castle in a faraway land. While this destination wedding likely will draw a more intimate crowd, you will gain the benefit of embedding your honeymoon into your wedding journey. Plus, think of the accoutrements: princess dress, horse-drawn carriage, and lawn croquet for the reception.

Art enthusiasts should consider a venue that appeals to their creative sensibilities. At the Nevada Museum of Art, we help couples curate their celebrations to match their personalities. Often, the food and décor will be themed to complement an exhibition on view. The stellar architecture, sculpture garden, and rooftop make for incredible photos as well — a critical consideration when booking your venue. An artist loft or theater also make a good choice for art lovers.

A nontraditional venue delivers more than a look to your wedding: It sets the vibe. Love aviation, or is your soon-to-be spouse in the military? Consider an aircraft hangar. Enjoy craft beer? Breweries make for great party spaces. Nature lovers can imagine clear-top tents in remote locations, such as a meadow or a mountaintop, under the open sky.

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Florals by Brandie Chisholm of B and B Flower Designs. Photo by Gagewood Photography

Crafting the experience

Your wedding is one of the most meaningful stories you will ever tell, so what do you want it to feel like? What kinds of details can you layer into your venue that will help create an everlasting impression on your guests?

Destination wedding couples, for instance, will want to keep local traditions and cultural experiences in mind. If you’re headed to Mexico, consider finding a local restaurateur to make handmade tortillas. Hire a local dance troupe to spice up the reception — performers who will engage your guests in something interactive.

Other reception trends include the silent disco — especially important for venues that prohibit noise after a certain hour. Art lovers might consider hiring roaming sketch artists to personalize portraits for guests.

Sensory experiences also are a great way to bring your special day to life. Senses engage the emotions, thus encoding the memories in a meaningful way. Theknot.com suggests living bars, complete with herbs that can be used in craft cocktails. Wild and lush floral arrangements will create a cavalcade of fragrances sure to delight your attendees.

Textured and laser-cut linens, feathers, dark and moody colors, and see-through Lucite décor are other experiential elements that can make your wedding an unforgettable event. Also, balloons never go out of style. Incorporate them into your event as a large statement: balloon arches, a head table, or photo wall backdrop are creative uses of this fun décor element.

Yes, planning your wedding is a big deal! But remember, this is your celebration, a way to show off your personality while creating a lasting, fond memory for you and your partner, and your family and friends. Focus on the feeling, and the rest will follow.

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Floral arrangements by Thrans Flowers. Photo by Gagewood Photography

Nisha Hallert has more than 15 years of industry experience, planning 600-person galas, rooftop weddings, intimate exclusive dinners, events for VIPs such as President Clinton, and more. She currently works as director of special events and sales at the Nevada Museum of Art and serves as immediate past president of the Reno/Tahoe chapter of the National Association for Catering and Events. In 2014, Hallert and her team were awarded a national NACE award for the Best Social Event Production of the Year.

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