The New Norms of Wedding Planning.
One positive result of the pandemic is that we’ve come to realize what is truly meaningful and important in our lives. Planning for a wedding — and what this significant occasion will mean to you, your family, and guests — is no exception.
Many couples who decided to forge ahead with their wedding plans during this time have established brand-new traditions with true sentimental value that many expect to redefine the wedding experience well into the future … and wedding vendors are all too willing to help ground these traditions.
We asked local businesses in the Reno-Tahoe area to offer their sage advice on wedding planning and what trends are sticking.
When to Start the Journey
According to the majority of wedding vendors we asked, the sooner you start your wedding planning, the better.
“The next two years will be extremely busy with weddings,” says Andy Bomberger, director of event sales at The Club at ArrowCreek in South Reno. “Try to get your venue and date figured out as soon as possible and then work on finding your other vendors.”
As safety measures increased during the pandemic, weddings and receptions became smaller, more intimate gatherings. According to wedding vendors, this trend toward boutique weddings is here to stay for a while.
“We are definitely seeing smaller events happening, and events on more non-traditional days like Friday and Sunday,” says Kris Daters, co-owner of Mix Bakeshop in Reno. “We also feel that the trend toward smaller, more intimate weddings will continue, as it gives the couple more time to spend with their most important family and friends.”
Quality Outdoor Time
A shift toward the great outdoors as a wedding venue seems to be common for post-pandemic weddings.
“We are seeing many outdoor weddings, even into the fall and winter months,” says Dominic Martin, brand marketing manager at Quick Space in Sparks. “Some wedding couples have had to wait up to two years to ensure their guests can safely attend their celebrations, and an outdoor venue is the best solution for accommodating growing guest lists and out-of-town guests alike.”
Picking the perfect spot for your wedding or reception can be the starting point to curate the décor and elements of your special day.
The Club at ArrowCreek, according to Bomberger, is a beautiful full-service wedding and event venue.
“The most distinctive features of The Club at ArrowCreek are our location and views,” Bomberger says. “Sitting 1,000 feet up from the valley floor, we have panoramic views of the entire valley, and we are nestled at the bottom of the mountains. We are also a full-service venue and truly focus on the customer experience.”
Calafuria, in Midtown Reno, is a small, private villa with covered patios, gardens, a large lawn for ceremonies, a separate bridal lounge, an indoor and outdoor Surround Sound stereo system, and a dance area surrounded by tall fences and walls, creating a quiet oasis in the bustling center of town.
“Unlike other wedding venues, we don’t rely on outside catering,” says Tim Magee, owner of Calafuria. “There is a full bar and commercial kitchen on site, and couples are able to customize their menus, easily deal with all dietary restrictions, and enjoy fresh dishes coming straight out of a professional kitchen.”
If you are looking to create your own vision with a twist, The Depot Craft Brewery & Distillery might just be your ticket. This historic building on East Fourth Street in Reno was built in 1910 to serve as the headquarters for the Nevada-California-Oregon Railway, and it’s now a full-service brewery, distillery, restaurant, and event facility.
“I am seeing a lot of people using our space to create their very own custom vision,” says Corrin Courier, general manager and events coordinator at The Depot. “I feel like weddings were so similar for so long, and now we are seeing a huge shift in originality, and it’s awesome.”
For nature lovers looking to host smaller gatherings, River School Farm in West Reno offers couples the freedom to host their nuptials and reception in an intimate setting next to the banks of the beautiful Truckee River. The basic wedding package includes all-day access to the property, including the on-site stage, amphitheater, and fire pits.
“We are pretty flexible,” says Iris Stille, business manager at River School Farm. “People can bring their own caterers, alcohol, and ministers. We do not require them to choose from a list. This flexibility helps with keeping the expenses at bay.”
If craft cocktails and libations are your cup of tea, so to speak, Ramblin’ Libations in Reno is ready to get the party started.
Owner Anna Maye Vetter (aka “The Goddess of Hooch”) has converted a 1966 Dodge van into a mobile tap wagon that provides beer, wine, and cocktail services and offers additional bars for larger parties. Vetter has more than 10 years’ of award-winning craft bartending and recipe development, bar management, and menu consulting experience in the Northern Nevada marketplace.
“The goal at Ramblin’ Libations is to take the worry out of what is an important cog in any wedding or special event,” she says. “We work together with our clients to listen to their needs and respond in a hassle-free, collaborative way. We also specialize in well-crafted, non-alcoholic cocktails for designated drivers.”
Hosting an outdoor wedding or reception? Don’t forget about providing enough restroom facilities for your guests.
Dominic Martin, brand marketing manager at Quick Space, says that while an outdoor venue provides scenic views and open settings, the space might not be equipped with enough facilities to support your guests.
“Quick Space offers our luxurious executive restroom trailers for weddings,” Martin says. “Each trailer has sleek and modern interiors, large mirrors, great lighting, and flushable toilets. These mobile restroom trailers are comfortable and private, each with climate-controlled suites, warm running water, and stereo systems to match the tone of your wedding. They offer elegance and functionality in a flexible, mobile design.”
Beautifying Your Venue
If you can’t seem to commit to a specific type of flower to adorn your wedding space, leave it to the florists.
Galena Forest Flowers offers tailored floral design service, guidance through the entire planning process, and recommendations based on decades of experience in the Reno-Tahoe special events industry.
“Ultimately, floral accents are a reflection of your unique personality and enable you to celebrate your day with as little stress as possible,” says Liz Obritsch, wedding and event designer at Galena Forest Flowers.
Obritsch says her team has seen its clients trending toward more muted tones and warm neutrals with pops of saturated color and contrasting textures.
Couples can now have their cake and eat it too when it comes to the sizes, shapes, and even types of desserts served at their weddings. Serving individual-sized desserts has also been an emerging trend that fulfills safety protocols, with no cutting or plating required.
Batch Cupcakery in Reno offers healthy desserts made from authentic, natural ingredients and vegan, paleo, gluten-free, and keto options.
“At Batch, we are seeing the trend toward cupcake weddings return,” says Anne Archer,
owner of Batch Cupcakery. “Mini cupcakes and truffles also are the perfect bite-sized decadent dessert.”
At Mix Bakeshop, couples can choose from cupcakes, pies, and cookies to delight their guests.
“It’s not just about a traditional cake anymore,” Daters says. “Many couples choose to have a variety of dessert items, and we often provide cupcakes and pies for the dessert table as well as custom sugar cookies for wedding favors.”
Rebel Pioneer Bakery in Reno creates organic cakes, macarons, doughnuts, and other specialty desserts to cater to your Big Day.
“Slicing a cake is definitely a timeless tradition worth enjoying during this special celebration,” says Mollie Connell, owner and head baker at Rebel Pioneer, which will open its first brick-and-mortar location in Midtown this spring. “We use organic ingredients and never use artificial colors or flavors. When it comes to design, Rebel Pioneer cakes are unique, modern, and organic.”
Transportation for guests is usually one of the last things couples think about.
Reno-Tahoe Limousine is a family-owned business that has been serving the transportation needs of its wedding clients for 34 years, offering stretch limousines, sprinter vans, and mini-buses.
“If you have a destination that is difficult to get to and from, please look at adding mini-bus shuttles to ease the stress for your guests,” says Danell Wilson-Perlman, owner of Reno-Tahoe Limousine.
If you are just starting your wedding-planning journey, lean on the professionals who have seen the recently redefined trends and the timeless traditions in action to ensure your special day is one that you, your spouse-to-be, family, and friends will never forget.
Galena Forest Flowers
Michael & Son’s Jewelry
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Rebel Pioneer Bakery
Reno Tahoe Limousine
River School Farm
The Club at ArrowCreek
The Depot Craft Brewery Distillery