Planning a wedding for the holiday season can be a lot of fun. There are so many locations already decorated perfectly for a Christmas wedding or winter wedding, for one, so you can take advantage of the free ambiance to make an enchanted wedding to remember. That’s not the only reason to plan a holiday wedding, however. If you’ve always adored Christmas, it does make a great theme. And winter weddings? It’s a no-brainer – off-peak wedding planning can save you a bundle!
Below, we’ve put together some Christmas and winter wedding planning tips that’ll help you create an amazing ceremony and reception.
* Your wedding dress should reflect the joy of the season. A deep red or green velvet cape is a wonderful garment to toss over your shoulders for the reception or on your way to the ceremony. A candlelight or even ivory color dress appears much more dramatic at ceremonies illuminated with candles or soft twinkle lights. Tuxedos are perfect for evening weddings – look into tails for these formal affairs. For a daytime wedding, strollers and waistcoats are more appropriate.
* Floral arrangements can include the flowers of the season – poinsettias, roses, and ivy blend with the greenery adorning the ceremony and reception sites. Your bouquet might include deep red or ivory roses in a bed of trailing ivy. Boutonnieres could be made of a single rose or even a sprig of pine with a small cone. If you’re getting married in a church, ask them what sort of decorations will already be up and plan your colors around their color scheme!
* Greenery is an inexpensive way to add aroma and atmosphere to the ceremony and reception. Drape boughs of pine, holly, ivy, or other greens over doorways, mantelpieces, windows, and the altar. Fill baskets with greenery and pine cones and place near the doorways or at the base of stairways for simple decorations with an aromatic impact. Tall vases filled with white pine cones and bare boughs painted white draped with lights can look amazing. Don’t forget festive colored towels in the powder rooms.
* Your ceremony should reflect your personal beliefs. The holidays are a time of religious significance, and you may want to have a traditional ceremony in your faith. Talk with your pastor about what traditional elements you want to include in your holiday wedding. Some traditional holiday music helps to set the mood. You could have your guests sing carols while they are waiting for the ceremony to begin – though that might not be every family’s cup of tea.
* Your reception can be anything from a few light snacks to a full-blown dinner. For a lighthearted reception, serve hot cocoa and snack foods while you have a holiday sing-along. With your guests already in the holiday mood, it won’t take much for this reception to turn into a long-lasting memory for you and your guests.
* A more reserved reception would be lovely as a sit down dinner with ballroom dancing afterward. Serve traditional holiday foods – roast turkey, ham, or beef with the usual side dishes found on holiday tables. You could also serve something out of character for the season such as chicken or pork, or even elegant French and Mediterranean cuisine but with a wintery twist.
* For favors, find small stockings and write your initials with glitter. Place a tiny tree at each place setting with the names of the guests written on ribbon banners wrapped around the base. Get your bridesmaids together and have a paper snowflake party. Use them to decorate the reception site and perhaps as toppings for small silver cake boxes.
* A sleigh ride away from your reception makes a grand exit, and is the cue for your guests to shower you with bubbles or birdseed. If no snow is available a carriage ride in a wintry white carriage is just as romantic!
* When you plan your bridal ensemble, think snow… silver… Santa… red… We love white gowns with red sashes – it’s a classic look that’s never out of style. How about a satin bridal coat with faux ermine trim around the cuffs and collar? Want more color, then opt for red wedding jewelry instead of more traditional crystal wedding jewelry. Red bridal shoes can also offer a pop of color!