You have a lot to think about when planning a wedding, which makes for some stressful moments. However, if your wedding falls between November and February, the holidays can complicate things. Even if you’re trying to avoid having your wedding on a holiday, the holiday season is busy for your guests.
Important Tips for planning a wedding during the holidays
From coordinating travel to finding a date that works for all of your immediate family, consider the following tips so that your holiday-season wedding is a success.
Start Planning Well In Advance
It’s always important to start planning your wedding early, no doubt. It’s even more vital when your wedding falls during the holiday season. Out-of-towners especially will need plenty of places to stay for your wedding. Unfortunately, lodging can quickly book up for the holidays, especially in tourist destinations.
If there’s a large hotel in town, you may want to book a block of rooms ahead of time. With the block booked, wedding guests can reserve rooms from within that block, ensuring they’ll be able to find a place to stay even as holiday booking fills up. As an added bonus, hotels often offer discounts on blocks of rooms, saving you and your guests money. Just be sure to get all of the details, since most hotels will release any unreserved rooms from the block by a certain date, often a few months before the wedding date.
Don’t forget that the holidays are busy times for many service providers, like florists, caterers, photographers, and musicians Avoid the last minute scrambling by booking all of these services ahead of time.
Many families have busy holiday schedules, so as soon as you’ve booked a date, send out Save the Date cards so your guests can be sure to attend.
Suggest Holiday Activities
Traveling for a wedding during the holidays can be hard for families, especially if they have children who would miss out on holiday activities that are happening back home. As you plan your wedding, try to incorporate holiday activities, like skiing. A bachelorette party at a ski lodge can make for some memorable photo opportunities and may also knock some items off of your guests’ bucket lists.
Be sure to also give your guests a list of local holiday activities that they can participate in during their downtime. Holiday festivals, celebrations, concerts, plays, and other events can make guests’ trips more enjoyable and help to keep them entertained. Provide this information ahead of time in case guests decide to come into town early or extend their stay later to take advantage of these activities.
Get an Early Start On Your Holidays
Last-minute wedding planning means that your holiday season is going to be busy, and you probably won’t have time for gift shopping. To keep yourself organized and to minimize your stress as the big day approaches, start your holiday planning early.
Consider combining engagement photos with your holiday cards to save both money and time. Plus, it’ll give you a jump on your holiday cards.
Start your holiday shopping early, too. Consider options like using layaway and shopping throughout the year to get a jump on your gift list. As your wedding day approaches, buying gifts won’t be on your mind!
For a stress-free holiday season, get the whole family involved in preparing for the holidays. Get everyone involved with baking and decorating! Host a baking night. Invite your siblings and parents, it’ll make holiday prep fun. Consider scaling down your holiday celebrations because of the big wedding celebration, but still find ways to enjoy special meals with family and friends.
Embrace the Holiday Theme
As you prepare for your wedding, don’t be afraid to embrace the holiday theme. Adding a bit of your personality can make your wedding unique, and if you love the holidays, incorporate them into your theme and your decor. For example, Christmas decorations will be plentiful in the stores before your wedding, and they can be a great way to add some sparkle and excitement to your venue without breaking your budget when you still have holiday gifts to buy.
Don’t be afraid to work favorite traditional holiday dishes into your menu. If you’re holding your wedding on New Year’s Eve, ask guests to attend in their holiday best. And if you’re planning your wedding for Valentine’s Day, there are countless ways to incorporate holiday decor and even song selections into your wedding and reception.
A pop-up wedding can also be a great choice. A winery already decorated for the holidays makes a picturesque setting. Inns also make great intimate settings, because they’re full of traditional holiday decor.
Holidays are all about spending time with family. By having your wedding during the holidays, you’re celebrating not just the holidays, but also the new family that you get to spend them with.
Author Bio: Brooke Faulkner is a writer and mom in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. You can check out more of her writing on twitter, @faulknercreek