Chestnuts roasting by an open fire, steaming mugs of cider...and a bride heading down the aisle! With indulgent meals and lots of time with family and friends in mind, a wedding during the holidays seems like a perfect fit. It does, however, come with its own set of challenges. Thankfully, we've asked our experts to break down the big things you should keep in mind if you're hoping to get married during the holidays, so the only thing that surprises you is that sprig of mistletoe overhead for your first kiss.
Consider a Smaller Guest List
Even if you plan your wedding a year or more in advance, there's a chance that choosing a date during the holidays will discourage some guests from coming, whether it's because they have their own family celebrations to attend or due to the high cost of travel at this time. If you're worried that you'll have fewer guests in attendance, consider making your wedding a more intimate, family-focused event, then plan a second reception later.
Family Comes First
If you're planning on inviting guests beyond your own families and close friends, you should consider turning your wedding into a family-friendly affair and adding kiddos to the guest list. That will greatly increase the chance of your guests RSVPing "yes," as they won't have to choose between your love and spending the holidays with their children. Look into hiring a few babysitters to entertain the smaller ones once the party gets started, as well as kid-friendly activities (like a 10 p.m. "Ball Drop") to make the evening special for them, too.
Be Prepared for Higher Prices
Sure, there may be fewer weddings happening during that time of year, but between holiday parties, vacations, and vendors wanting to spend time with their own families, the price of your dream venue or favorite photographer may be higher than it would be during a different season.
Be prepared to pay more for a wedding on an actual holiday (Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, or New Year's Eve) no matter the day of the week. This also applies to things like flights and hotel rooms, especially if you're having your wedding at a winter destination. Hotels book up months in advance, and airline prices skyrocket this time of year, so the financial impact could affect your guests, too.
Start Booking Early
You're not just competing against other brides and grooms, but also vying for a space or vendor that's equally tempting to a corporate holiday party or a blowout New Year's Eve gala. Start contacting and booking vendors as soon as possible: this will give you a larger number of options to consider, as well as time to find a back-up, should that cozy lodge you love already be full of holiday travelers or reserved for a corporate shindig.