‘Tis the season…to get married? Holiday weddings seem to be on the rise, and it’s easy to make a case for why. Cozy fires, drifting snowflakes, twinkling lights and a renewed sense of gratitude can make the end of the previous year and the start of the New Year the perfect time to say “I do” surrounded by loved ones. It just so happens to also be the busiest time of the year. Pull it off and avoid ending up on friends and family’s naughty list with these tips.
1. Timing is everything. It may be your dream to walk down the aisle on Christmas Day, but it will be a major headache for guests. For best results, aim for a date that’s holiday adjacent to make the most of the seasonal spirit without causing too many conflicts. In 2018, Christmas falls on a Tuesday, making the Saturday before an ideal pick! New Year’s Eve can be a fun exception, as many people’s plans are less concrete. Just time out the festivities to last until midnight so your guests aren’t left looking for something to do at 10:30.
2. The more notice, the better. Holiday weddings and spontaneity don’t mix, at least not upfront. If you’re planning to tie the knot on or around Christmas or New Year’s Eve, commit to how many guests you want early on and find a venue that works for your preferred date. Keep in mind that venues may also charge higher rates for holiday weekends.
Once you have the details locked down, send out a save the date as soon as possible. Conventional wisdom says to spread the word six to eight months in advance, but it doesn’t hurt to give your guests extra notice during a season that is often filled with inflexible holiday plans.
3. Consider guests’ resources. As much as your guests may love you and want to celebrate you, money can be tight at the end of the year and chances are you’re not their top priority. Be clear about letting them know you completely understand if they’ aren’t able to attend. Take into account the sacrifice they’re making to be part of your special day if they are able to come and consider including a note on your invite or wedding website saying their company will be gift enough, or get in the giving spirit and request donations for a favorite charity in lieu of gifts.
4. Get detailed. Since your guests will be planning part of their holiday season around you, be sure to do them the courtesy of providing as much detail up front as possible, including specifics about accommodations, transport and recommendations for things to do during their stay if they’re attending from out of town.
Likewise, the vendors working your wedding are probably in the throes of their busiest season personally and professionally. Communicate your expectations and the schedule clearly. And don’t forget to show your gratitude to everybody involved!
5. Incorporate the right amount of holiday spirit. There are so many familiar visuals tied to this time of year, it’s easy to jump to red and green and snowflakes for a Christmas wedding or gold and glitz for a New Year’s Eve ceremony. While you don’t have to totally avoid these elements, think about what you love about the season and how you can incorporate those things into a ceremony that still feels unique to you and your partner rather than like a holiday party. Strands of fairy lights and sprigs of greenery are seasonal and romantic. A DJ that plays only festive tunes? Not so much.