There is something compelling about a Christmas-time wedding. The lights, the music, the calming snow...all of which can easily set the scene for your big day without you having to do a lot of work. However, this time of year can get costly. Some proper planning and a watchful eye can make your special day one that even your guests will remember for years to come.
- Consider a longer engagement period. Though this might not always be possible, think about having an engagement period of a year or so before your wedding date. One advantage to this is that hopefully, you won't run into a booking issue for your ceremony and reception locations due to advance notice. Secondly, you can keep an eye out for decorations, paper products, linens, and bridesmaids dresses on sale after the holidays. You'll have more room in your budget for other things if you save on the decorations you need for the rehearsal dinner, ceremony or reception.
- Use the sounds of the season to add to the ambience. Simple piano arrangements of popular Christmas carols can solve the problem of choosing "just the right songs" to set the mood. If you don't have a pianist for the day, check your local library for recordings that fit your style and desires. Bells also fit in with the season and can be used in the form of a hand bell choir, a bell-ringer (instead of a flower girl) or even in place of birdseed or bubbles used commonly in summer weddings.
- Take advantage of holiday foods and beverages. The holidays can be a busy time for everyone--especially for you as you're planning a wedding! Consider keeping your reception simple and relieving you, your family and your guests from added time and expense. What about an evening wedding with a dessert reception? Holiday chocolates, cheesecakes and wedding cake can pair well with cranberry punch and coffee for an elegant evening. Want to enjoy the winter day for your wedding? Try a light lunch of holiday finger foods and wassail for an afternoon out. Try to incorporate flavor "givens" for added appeal to your day. Candy canes with a note attached from the bride and groom make for festive table favors. Seasonal fruits like apples and pomegranates can add some color to your tables.
- Incorporate the decorating already done for you. If you are getting married in a church, be sure to check ahead of time what kind of decorations will be set up already. Instead of asking them to change their plans (which they probably won't do anyway), incorporate their theme into your decorating ideas. You might not have to add anything! Remember that candlelight fits in well with the season, but check your location for fire codes that might hinder this plan. And just because you want a Christmas wedding, you are not limited to red and green decorations! Royal colors such as eggplant and gold fit well with almost any decor. Silver adds sparkle where needed. And don't forget about the classic purity of a winter white wedding!
Whatever you choose for your special day, remember that the time is to celebrate this special union. Keep the ideas simple and work in the magic of the season to your advantage. Everything else is just "icing on the cake."