A Winter Holiday Wedding

The holiday season is upon us! A wedding that falls around the winter holidays can be very special. There are common threads throughout many holidays, such as thankfulness, family, faith, and giving. Regardless of your background or specific religious beliefs, there is much to celebrate.

Then there is, of course, the whole winter vibe! Picture yourself in front of a roaring fireplace – because you’re sure to find one here in the Poconos. The warmth and glow of candles add to the ambiance, as do the colors of winter, and rich fabrics we get to wear, or the sparkle of winter white, twinkling lights, the evergreens… the whole nine yards! Maybe with some luck it will snow. Ok, I’m getting carried away now.

Let it snow!!!

Here are a few different ideas for a winter holiday themed wedding.

Prepare for a sing-a-long at the reception. Can Santa make an appearance and give out the favors?

Display your childhood holiday photos. Speaking of photos: set up a ‘photo booth’ opportunity and have pictures with Santa.

Plan a sleigh ride for your guests (or for your entrance).

Christmas, Chanukah and Kwanzaa all use candles. Chanukah is, after all, the festival of lights – so go crazy with your lighting!

Lots of lights!

Put mini Christmas trees on each table for centerpieces.

Literally light the menorah or kinara. Or have a personalized candle lighting ritual, not just a unity candle, but ask your bridal party, parents or other special people to help light lots candles. Light can symbolize many things – think: light in the darkness, and lighting your way. Candlelight is romantic, warm and often represents love.

Inter-faith wedding? Wonderful! Incorporate the customs from both sides, for example: place dreidels and Christmas bells on the tables. Offer some traditional food from each family – rugelach and Christmas cookies for example.

Now let’s go a little deeper. Consider including a special reading, prayer or other way to honor the holiday, either in your ceremony or before your meal.

Create an opportunity for your guests to give to a charity of your choice. And of course give to your favorite organization to honor your wedding as well!  Can you imagine, or re-imagine, a wedding that is about giving rather than receiving? Put a card at each place setting with information on your charity of choice, or other relevant holiday information.

That winter vibe!

You can ask for a toy or other specific items to be brought to your wedding, and set up a toy box to collect them. Please remember to check with the organization you are collecting for – make sure you ask what is needed. Please don’t assume. I know from experience that people love to buy toys for the little ones, and often teenagers are left out.

While I hope we all take the time to think beyond our own lives, the holiday season often brings that to the forefront. The issue of poverty, war and inequality come to mind for me. As we are gather, grateful for what we have, we see others suffering. Yes, shopping is fun, but remembering others in need is even more important. So when thinking about the possibilities for a winter wedding, find a way to reflect your values. It will add to the meaning of your marriage commitment.

A beautiful winter backdrop at Stroudsmoor.

Thank you Lisa Rhinehart Photography  and Stroudsmoor Photography Studio for thes gorgeous photos.


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