Keys to a Successful Christmas Wedding (Or Any Other Holiday)

Building your wedding around a major holiday has some advantages, but also some disadvantages. Here’s how to get the most out of the holiday, while avoiding the pitfalls.

Send your Save-the-Date cards early! People like to travel during holidays, especially around Christmas and Thanksgiving. If you wait too long to tell them you’re getting married, many of them will have already made other plans. Holiday weddings are best when you have a lot of time to plan them. In this case, a long engagement is a good thing. 

Book a block of hotel rooms early! Guests who are coming from out of town will need a place to stay, and they won’t all fit in your apartment. Hotels fill up fast around the holidays, so a wise couple will estimate the number of rooms required while they’re still available. Then, each guest can be given the hotel’s number to reserve his or her room under your name.

Limit your guests’ need to travel. November or December weddings can run up against snowstorms, especially in northern states or mountain states. If you host both your ceremony and reception at the same venue — say, a hotel — no one will have to bounce from place to place in bad weather to enjoy your entire celebration.

Exploit every photo op. Most venues will be dressed up for the holidays, with Christmas decorations or other holiday finery. Fireplaces, staircases and fountains make great settings for family and bridal party pictures, especially when they’re fully decorated for the season. 

Be tasteful with your décor. Resist the temptation to overdo your decorations with images of snowmen, snowflakes, Santa and so forth. Cool tones like pastel blue are excellent at conveying a winter theme. Consider surrounding your room with columns of elegant uplighting, matched to your theme.

Offer a signature cocktail. Your venue or caterer will probably have some festive holiday-theme ideas as part of its bar package — anything from a special punch to a taste of peppermint or cider or hot cocoa. 

Let the party breathe. Don’t just make it a one-day-and-done celebration. Your whole family will be together, so why not plan three or four days worth of activities? Tour some popular local attractions together. See a show together. Arrange a morning-after brunch for everyone. Your honeymoon can wait a few days.

When planned correctly, a holiday wedding can leave the special people in your life with a lifetime of wonderful memories. Enjoy! 

© Fourth Estate Audio, 2016 – Jay Congdon is president of Fourth Estate Audio, a professional Chicago DJ and Chicago Wedding DJ company.      

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