It’s the most wonderful time of the year, indeed! Have you noticed that everyone just seems to be happier around the holidays? And rightly so, I suppose. It’s a time for families and gatherings, food, twinkle lights, kisses under the mistletoe, presents, cuddling by the fire, carols and love. Thousands of couples will be getting engaged over the next two weeks. It is magical…so why not plan the party of all parties during the midst of it all?
A wedding during the holiday season can be simple perfection when planned right. There are a lot of factors that make this sort of celebration a bit tricky but most defiently not impossible. Lots of couples exchange vows during the month of December. If you’re pondering an end of the year wedding here are few things you’ll want to consider.
Location: If you and your groom are from the same hometown and you’re not anticipating that many (or any) guest will have to travel from out of town to attend your wedding then this may be a great option for you! Asking your family and friends to spend money to travel during the holidays is a lot. Its very expensive and many of your anticipated guests may not be able to come if its going to cost them more than a tank of gas.
On the flip side…if all or most of your guests are from out of town then the holidays may be a good time to take advantage of everyone already being in a central location! A wedding close to Christmas or New Years may ensure a larger turn out if family members are traveling home. ((This may mean you having to plan a “destination wedding” for you and your groom…say you live in Florida but everyone is traveling to Ohio for Christmas.))
Date & Time: December is easily one of the busiest times of the year for people. Between the family gatherings and trying to finish up their shopping lists on the weekends people become hard pressed for time. If you’re wanting to plan a wedding around the holidays be sure to give as much notice as possible. Also, you may want to seriously consider a Friday evening wedding. Saturdays in December are precious and few. (Again, if your guests are all local then Friday is a perfect option!) Also, the Sunday brunch option is ever popular this time of year. Nights are cold…and the sun sets really early. This time frame isn’t likely to conflict with any other parties and traditions they already have planned.
**If you’re planning a new years celebration time is key. Plan to start the wedding late around 8..so your guests aren’t pooped by the strike of midnight or start the celebration early around 6. This way they can leave around 10 and be home or wherever they prefer by the time the ball drops. Either option is better than planning a very lengthy reception. Anything over 5 hours is a bit much.
Weather: There is a reason December is considered an off season month for weddings. Its cold. Don’t be deterred if you’ve got your heart set on an outdoor wedding though. You’ll just have to make extra plans to make sure your guests stay warm. (Fire pits, heaters, blankets, hot cocoa bar, ect.) Lets be honest — the chill is pretty romantic after all. You’ll also have to make sure the venue you choose has a spot for some of your elderly guests who need to stay especially warm. Really, any time of the year you have to be prepared for inclement weather…so be sure your venue has a “Plan B” inside option you love.
The honeymoon: The tradition may be to say your “I Do’s” then to immediately hit the road for days of wedded bliss in a remote location. However, this is likely going to coincide with several holiday events you’ll want to attend. Think about how great it would be to get married…spend the holidays with family and friends…then emabark on an amazing honeymoon come January when everyone else is back to the grind at work. (I seriously LOVE this idea.)
The finances: You’ll want to be extra aware of the money flow when planning a holiday wedding. Final invoices and payments will be due right around the final date and this can be tough when you’re also buying gifts for loved ones. (If you spend the next year budgeting correctly though — this wont be a problem!)
Balance: So you’re planning a wedding around the holidays…does this mean Christmas music streaming from the DJ’s speakers and the smell of ham wafting from the caterer’s kitchen. It doesn’t have too. Just because you’re getting married 10 days before Christmas…its still your wedding. Most people will enjoy the opportunity to just get dressed up and have a fancy night out. No santa themed favors necessary!
Can we talk about the great PERKS for just a minute too…
Price: Most venues offer discounted rates during these “off season” months. Its very likely you can pick an amazing location for the wedding at a much cheaper price. (Yes please!)
Decorations: Churches, hotels, country clubs, restaurants…just about every place you’d consider for your ceremony and reception will be decorated for the holidays. Which means money saved! So, If you’re ok with poinsettias and christmas trees as a backdrop for your photos…you’re golden! The holidays can be a super budget friendly time to say your nuptials. Take advantage!
Congratulations to all the couples who will be getting engaged over the next several days. This should be the most wonderful time…so soak it in!