You don’t have to trek far to find lush, whimsical scenery near Omaha. In fact, one of the most beautiful wedding sites is right downtown, a serene getaway in the heart of the city. The venue offers year-round options for events of all styles, and it’s minutes away from the city’s best hotels, attractions, and dining.
We always encourage Omaha visitors to check out The Lauritzen Gardens – it’s a great place to walk around and enjoy a relaxing few hours. But one of the best ways to experience this idyllic spot is through a wedding.
It has everything we look for in Nebraska wedding venues: impressive indoor and outdoor scenery, flexible vendor policies, and convenience.
Ahead we’ll share some of our favorite features of Omaha’s premiere botanical center and help you envision your own wedding day in this incredible spot.
The Omaha Botanical Center
The Lauritzen Gardens is located in downtown Omaha in the Riverfront neighborhood. It calls itself a living plant museum, an identity that captures its vibrancy and stewardship.
It spans over 100 acres and boasts a variety of plant life that’s unique in each season. They’re professionally maintained in a setting that’s elegant yet understated. You can walk through tropical vegetation, seasonal blossoms, and artistic displays.
In a city built on industrialism and expansion, it’s nice to visit a place that honors its natural beauty while still celebrating Omaha’s midwestern values.
Visiting the Gardens
The garden is open daily from 9 AM to 5 PM. Admission includes access to the outdoor pathways, indoor floral display hall, massive conservatory, model train display, visitors center, and gift shop.
There is also an onsite cafe and coffee shop, so you can sip or dine inside the botanical center.
Admission is charged per person, and a tram tour is available for an additional fee.
Next door to The Lauritzen Gardens, you’ll find Kenefick Park, which displays two powerful locomotives and views of the river. Kenefick Park shares a parking lot with Lauritzen Gardens and is free to visit.
Planning a Wedding at the Lauritzen Gardens
Omaha’s Lauritzen Gardens is naturally scenic, minimalist, and versatile, making it a perfect place to host a Nebraska wedding. The garden allows weddings after the grounds close to the public, with bookings available from 6 pm to midnight.
One of the best things about hosting a wedding at the Lauritzen Gardens is that it grants your guests exclusive access to the property after hours. Anybody will adore the chance to visit the many gardens, whether they hail from Omaha or are discovering the city for the first time.
Wedding bookings include a getting-ready space, indoor chairs and tables for up to 300 people, and ample parking.
Ceremonies are available outdoors in one of the many exquisite lawns. Though it may seem like a no-brainer to marry outdoors in the gardens (as long as weather permits), the Floral Display Hall may lure you indoors with its neutral yet lush ambiance and stylish comfort.
The Floral Display Hall can accommodate up to 200 guests and is available for ceremonies from May through September. The Cafe is a small yet striking area for indoor ceremonies that’s available year-round – it can hold 100 guests.
All ceremonies are an additional fee on top of the reception booking, though you don’t get any extra time for the add-on. Ceremonies can’t begin earlier than 6, so that’s something to keep in mind if you prefer an earlier celebration.
Receptions take place in the Great Hall, a classic ballroom that’s cozy yet functional. You can easily have 275 guests inside the Great Hall, even with a buffet meal and a dance floor. And if you have even more people attending, you can set up in the neighboring rooms as well.
The Lauritzen Gardens has an exclusive caterer that also provides alcohol and bartending. You can pay an additional fee to use your choice of caterer. All other vendors, like your Omaha wedding photographer, officiant, rentals, and DJ, are up to you.
Newlyweds can get portraits in the conservatory and outdoor areas with their Omaha wedding photographer. The conservatory feels like a tropical oasis, and outdoors you’ll get a modern secret garden setting.
The garden also allows portrait photography during opening hours, or after closing for an additional fee. This is an excellent (and affordable) option if you want portraits on the grounds without holding your entire wedding there.
A Wedding Weekend in Omaha
Will you be having out-of-town guests for your Omaha wedding? If so, you want to make sure you choose a location that allows them to have a great time on their getaway, whether they are traveling across the state or across the country to attend.
The Lauritzen Gardens is the place to host guests from all over. It features all the charm and scenery of the city with a little extra romance. Read on to learn all about offering your guests a great experience throughout your wedding weekend.
Flights & Hotels
The Lauritzen Garden is 15 minutes from the Omaha airport. This is one of the first things we look for when considering wedding venues. If you’ll have a lot of guests flying in (or if you’re traveling for the wedding), avoiding long drives after flights make the trip so much more enjoyable.
Guests will likely want to stay in the Old Market District, which is less than 10 minutes away from the garden. This vibrant neighborhood has national hotel brands and boutique accommodations.
Check out everything you need to know about staying or marrying at the Magnolia, one of Old Market’s most striking hotels.
Travelers eager to gamble may opt to stay in one of Council Bluff’s casino hotels, which are also less than 10 minutes away, just across the river.
Dining & Attractions
Once your guests are settled into their Omaha getaway, they’ll be ready to explore the city.
Old Market has an assortment of restaurants and shops – you can find quaint cafes, trendy breweries, and upscale boutiques.
Less than 15 minutes away is the Blackstone District. This trendy area has a lot of character, and it’s where you’ll want to go for unique bars and a friendly atmosphere. The Cottonwood Room Lounge in the Kimpton Hotel is a must-visit, and some guests might even want to book a room at the historic locale.
But one of Omaha’s best attractions is just around the corner from the Lauritzen Gardens. Families and couples alike will want to visit Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, which is just two minutes from the garden.
Here are a few other great attractions that you’ll want to check out while in town for an Omaha wedding:
- Joslyn Art Museum features Art Deco architecture and captivating exhibits
- Council Bluffs Casinos: Try your luck, just across the river from the venue
- Orpheum Theater presents local and national productions in downtown Omaha
- Omaha Children’s Museum: Families will love that there’s an indoor place to take the kids during their free time.
- The Drover is one of the best restaurants to get a classic Omaha steak
- Catalyst Urban Lounge and Terrace at the Farnham is Omaha’s largest outdoor cocktail bar
The Lauritzen Gardens: Timeless Weddings
Having a wedding at Lauritzen Gardens definitely makes a statement. Whether you are planning a micro-wedding for your nearest or dearest or celebrating with hundreds of loved ones, the venue offers convenience, a tranquil ambiance, and unforgettable beauty.
Ready to learn more about planning a wedding at the Lauritzen? Contact us today to learn more about Omaha Wedding Photography.