Guests are already in the mood to celebrate, so a holiday wedding is almost guaranteed to start off on the right foot. Whether your wedding is set for Christmas, New Year’s Eve or the 4th of July, find out what you should expect and how to prepare when you’re planning a holiday wedding.
Build a Budget
Whether your wedding is planned for Christmas or the 4th of July, you’ll need to take higher rates into account when figuring out your expenses. Prices for just about everything are going to run higher during the holiday season. Everyone is throwing parties and needs vendors, flowers, or live music.
Not every vendor is willing to work on a major holiday, so start your search at least six months in advance. The vendors you do find will have to pay employees overtime, so expect their rates to reflect that. Flowers cost more during holidays like Valentine’s Day, Christmas and Hanukkah (and winter months in general), so plan to spend more there, too.
You’ll compete for venue or event hall space with corporate events, holiday parties and then some. So consider holding your wedding earlier in the day, like brunch or lunch, or opt for an alternative location, like a barn or park, to snag your favorite location.
If you plan to have your pastor, priest or other religious figure perform your wedding, check to see if they will be available. If you are holding a later event, like a New Year’s Eve wedding, make sure your venue will let you have the space until after midnight.
Give Advanced Notice
When you choose to throw your wedding over a holiday, your guests need plenty of advance notice before they hold their own parties or attend events elsewhere. By giving your guests an early heads-up, your friends and family can reserve rooms and arrange transportation long before the holiday rush when those things come in at a premium.
Send save-the-date cards six to eight weeks before wedding invitations go out, so you can be sure your dance floor will be filled. Use a subtly themed save-the-date card to complement your holiday wedding, and customize the colors, font, and imagery to fit your special day.
Arrange for Transportation
Some of your friends and family may already be traveling to your area for the holiday, so your wedding may mean one less road trip (and one less personal day off work). Help guests avoid extra stress by holding the ceremony and the reception in the same space, so guests won’t have to try to get from Point A to Point B on any of the worst days to travel.
Otherwise, you may need to look into sourcing transportation to make it easy for out-of-town guests to get around. Smaller wedding parties could carpool, while larger weddings may need to make use of shuttles, taxis or busing.
Prepare a Mood Board
Create a vision for your wedding with the help of a mood board. Collect photos, text, samples that best represent your ideas for the theme, colors, bridesmaids’ dresses, decorations, or even special centerpieces of greenery. You can arrange various farm-fresh flower arrangements in no time.
Make a public or hidden board on Pinterest to collect inspiring images and share them with friends and family members. You can also opt for other online tools dedicated to mood boards. Or you may go offline and browse books and magazines, visit local venues and take pictures on your own. You might even tailor your mood board to the holiday you’ve chosen for your wedding date.
This board will help not only you but your wedding cake supplier, florist, or other vendors as well.
Match your wedding apparel for the season and the venue. If you are getting married during a summer holiday, and plan to have outdoor wedding pics, skip the heavy wedding dress. Your bridal party will appreciate dresses made from breathable materials. Strappy or backless styles are always in fashion.
Likewise, a winter holiday wedding dress can use sleeves or collars, and heavier fabrics, like velvet. If you plan to take outside pics in the winter, purchase a beautiful wrap to not only help you stay warm but to look great in pictures (and the same goes for your bridesmaids).
‘Tis the Season
Even during a holiday, your venue will be a blank space (except for some churches). Liven it up to reflect the holiday. Don’t stick to the traditional color palette associated with the holiday. Instead, think “sparkly” or pull out one or two colors.
Choose either red or green for Christmas or incorporate white snowflakes or berry tones. Ditch the red from the 4th of July, and pick white and blue. Keep your decor from looking overdone by adding a few thoughtful holiday-inspired touches — and skip the holiday music.
Pull Off a Holiday Wedding
With the right budget, plenty of planning and considering your guests’ needs from all angles, you can throw a holiday wedding that won’t stress you out (or your guests). Send out save-the-date cards and you’ll make sure your wedding becomes a top priority.