One of the two places we looked at was The Thompson Alumni Center, located on the University of Nebraska at Omaha campus. We liked this place quite a bit, actually, especially because they had an outside courtyard area that could also be rented out, in addition to the ballroom inside. However, it turned out to be not exactly what we were looking for in terms of size, so we actually ended up going with...
The River City Star Yacht Club Pavilion! When we visited this site, we left loving absolutely everything about the place. Each spring, the club puts up a white wedding tent on their grounds, and rents it out for weddings and other events through the early fall. Besides the tent itself being totally beautiful, it is located on the Missouri riverfront and offers great views of both Downtown Omaha and the new(ish) pedestrian bridge that links Omaha to Council Bluffs, Iowa.
The reservations department at the yacht club is run by two super-sweet sisters who have been extremely generous and helpful with our planning thus far. As of right now, we're planning on having a lunchtime reception (following our 10:00am wedding) with dancing and other fun activities included, of course :) The space also includes a small picnic area outside the tent, where we plan to create a kid-friendly environment to keep all the youngsters happy. We are planning on putting together some sort of kid activity kit, too - with coloring books and play-doh and all sorts of other fun things. With our rental rate, we also have dibs on the firepit, which I would love love love to utilize, but probably just isn't going to happen / isn't necessary at 2 in the afternoon...in june...in omaha. Sigh, I'll survive.
As for decoration of the tent itself, I think we'll keep it simple as use the tulle & white lights package offered by the club. I may look into some DIY decorations for added flare, like the pinwheels or bunting in the pictures below. We'll see how time and budget things work out.
Stay tuned for decoration and food updates regarding the reception!