Category Archives: holiday wedding planning

20+ Holiday Wedding Ideas

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holiday wedding with babys breath centerpieces and cranberry napkinsPlanning a holiday wedding around the Christmas or New Year holiday is a really unique wedding planning process.  Best yet, a holiday wedding can be whatever you want to be: a winter wonderland, a traditional Christmas dinner, an elegant winter festival, a traditional vintage holiday, a festive holiday party with friends and family.

There are a lot of different directions you can take when planning your holiday wedding, and one of the first steps you need to take is to decide what kind of atmosphere you want to set at your wedding.  Once you’ve made that decision, coordinate all the details of your wedding from the invitation to choosing the right wedding that is the perfect back drop for your holiday wedding.  When touring wedding venues, look for building features that complete your atmosphere; for a vintage holiday wedding, look for a venue with historic features.  For an incredibly cozy holiday wedding atmosphere, search for a venue with warm and inviting foyer (perhaps with a fireplace?) and a neutral backdrop for your cozy wedding décor details.

wedding venue with candles, uplighting, and glittery snow back dropThe next step is to choose the right holiday wedding ideas that can tie all the details of your wedding together (or if you can’t, to choose a wedding venue with planners that have the know-how to bring it all together).  To be sure, you have a great list of holiday wedding ideas to choose from, including some of our favorites:

  1. Traditional lanterns
  2. Hot cocoa bar
  3. Cranberries (in vases with floating candles, as décor touches)
  4. Sugared fruit in champagne
  5. Baby’s breath décor (looks like a dusting of snow!)
  6. Red roses (with white for a sharp contrast)
  7. Decorated pine cones
  8. Ornaments (in vases, with candles, as table décor)
  9. Candy cane accents (and for drinks?)
  10. Christmas cookie favors
  11. Decorated Christmas tree
  12. Poinsettias
  13. Christmas wreaths
  14. Boughs (around stair railings, over mantle, down center of long tables, or…)
  15. Sprigs (at place settings, as centerpieces)
  16. Candles
  17. Glittery backdrop (perfect for winter wonderland or backdrop for white wedding décor)
  18. White branches
  19. Shawls
  20. Cocoa or coffee favors (with peppermint or another holiday flavoring)
  21. Ornament favors
  22. Snowflakes (on tables, on branches…)

Wedding Planning Tasks to Get Done Over the Holidays

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wedding planningThe holidays are crazy busy, but they are also an opportunity for couples wedding planning. We can hear you: “Seriously?! I’ve got too much to do!” Whether you just got engaged over the holidays, or you’ve been waiting to pull the trigger on your wedding planning, the holidays are your chance to “get the ball rolling” and start checking off boxes from your wedding checklist.

So why are the holidays the right time to get started? Depending on your occupation, you and your fiancé may have less professional obligations. If you have family coming into town, this is your chance to involve them in the wedding planning process.

Booking your venue

wedding day venueBefore you design the invitations, or plan the flowers, you’ll need to start by choosing the right wedding venue for your special day. While choosing the right venue sounds easy, reserving the perfect site is a lot like Goldilocks in the story about the three bears. You need to find a site that’s not too big and not too small. Fortunately, you don’t have to eat porridge to find the “just right” venue, but finding the place that’s perfect does require a conversation with your fiancé about all the factors you both need to consider when selecting the perfect wedding venue such as your style as a couple, your needs, expected amount of guests, date, and budget. We’ve written in depth about how to choose the perfect venue in a past blog post.

Once you’ve set your wedding venue criteria, set up appointments to visit halls. If you can’t personally visit the hall, send someone you trust. Make sure you ask questions and confirm every detail, and enjoy your storybook transformation from Goldilocks finding the right place to one of those fabled princesses or princes who finally finds true love.

Dress shopping

The holidays are an ideal time for dress shopping when your friends and family are in town and off of work. Remember, wedding and bridesmaid dresses should be ordered 6-12 months before the wedding day. If you can, make an appointment at your preferred dress shops. An advanced heads-up ensures enough staff to give you personal service.

When you go dress shopping, use this piece of advice: select who comes along with you carefully. While your friend or family member may be an enthusiastic dress shopper, you don’t need a “Negative Nancy” when choosing your special dress. You don’t need a full entourage either, no matter what you see on those TV shows. Use caution when choosing friends and family to come along for a less stressful, and fun, experience.

Food

wedding foodThe food at your wedding is a huge part of your big day and a decision that should not be made lightly. If you have a caterer in mind, be sure to ask the question, “can I use my preferred caterer at your venue?” when researching wedding venues. Some venues only allow certain caterers, or have an in-house caterer that you are required to use. On the other hand, venues with open vendor policies allow any licensed caterer to serve at their location.

If you do have a choice of caterer, make sure you ask caterers you are seriously considering for a taste test and information about their services. Be very clear about what you want at your wedding, so your caterer can give you accurate pricing information.

These items are by no means an end-all list (you can find that full planning list here); feel free to book your entertainment (once you’ve booked your hall), select and draft your invitations and save the dates, book your photographer or videographer, and choose a florist. If you don’t have the time, or just feel overwhelmed by it all, add another criteria to your wedding venue list: a wedding venue with event planners on staff. An event planner can book your important details, such as your wedding venue and food, and coordinate all the small details so your wedding planning doesn’t feel as crazy busy as the holidays.

6 Winter Wedding Ideas

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winter wedding ideasWinter wedding wonderland. Cozy holiday gathering. Nutcracker theme. Your holiday wedding could go in a million different directions with ice bars, crystals, pearls, snowflakes, white roses, red roses…the list could go on and on of winter wedding ideas. You could choose all of the above, but you don’t want your wedding to look like a mishmash affair without a clear direction. How do you choose the right winter wedding touches for your unique winter wedding? Use our list of winter wedding ideas to find the winter wedding touch that you can hang your hat on, and the direction of your winter wedding.

Touches of cranberry

For a warm holiday feel, incorporate touches of cranberry into your wedding decor: in the flowers in the centerpieces, in water with candles, in bouquets. Carry the color into your cake, chair ribbons, dresses—even in the color of your cocktails or champagne. You can use this touch of cranberry as much as you want: as subtle touches in your all white winter wedding, or extensively in your bridesmaid dresses, bouquets, invitations, centerpieces, etc.

Ornaments

Nothing brings a touch of holiday class to a wedding reception than holiday glass balls. Choose the color of your ornament décor—gold, red, blue, purple—and use them in your centerpieces, as accents on your chair wraps, on the tables, in the welcome area.

Hot chocolate/hot cocoa bar

Want to give your guests a warm inviting feel at your wedding? Want to bring back memories of cold winter nights with a cup of hot cocoa? No matter what you call it, a hot chocolate or hot cocoa bar is a wonderful way to warm your guests up after venturing out into the cold to your wedding. Set up a hot cocoa bar as a way of welcome, farewell (as a favor to take home), as a side table at your wedding, or as an individual kit at each place setting.

cookies for wedding guestsWinter/holiday candy table

Candy canes, fudge, peppermint bark, sugar cookies…imagine your favorite holiday candies laid out on a table around a gingerbread house centerpiece surrounded by Christmas lights. Or create a centerpiece out of a vase filled with lights, and jars or vases of your favorite holiday candies. Whatever vision of sugar plums is dancing in your head, it’s the perfect way to sweeten up your guests, and to take home in small personalized boxes or bags.

Pine

If holiday trees are a mainstay of your childhood memories, and you want to incorporate that feel into your wedding, use pine boughs as a subtle part of your décor. A sprig of pine at each place setting, or a decorated pine cone that shimmers in the candle light, or mix them in ornaments, cranberries and other holiday wedding décor….there are a lot of opportunities to bring your favorite holiday tree into your wedding.

winter wedding ideasGlimmer of fallen snow

Obviously you can’t ask for a soft blanket of snow outside, but you can recreate that feeling inside your wedding venue. Think white, sparkly pinecones and beautiful white décor, candles, strategic lighting, crystals—anything that can give your wedding celebration the sparkle that you get after a winter snow fall.

Once you’ve chosen the direction of your winter wedding, choose a wedding venue that makes the perfect background. If you need event planning services to make your winter wedding vision come to life, contact a wedding venue that offers event planners on-staff. Together with your event planner, you can choose the touch, or touches, that make your winter wedding your own version of a winter wedding.