Considering a Christmas Wedding

People frequently ask me if I have a wedding to officiate on Christmas. Not this year, but yes, I have done a few. There are many reasons NOT to have a wedding on such a big holiday.  There are some positives as well – let’s review them!

People love Christmas for many reasons: there is of course the religious meaning of the celebrating the birth of Christ, and it is also a time to share special moments with family and friends. Perhaps it’s a love of giving, especially gifts for children, along with the magic and wonder of Santa Claus. Any of these are traditions are the very same reasons to love a Christmas wedding. It can be a way to express not only the couples’ love for one another, but to share the spirit of the season.

Remember, however, when you chose to have a wedding at Christmas, you might be asking your guests to give up time they would rather spend at home with their immediate families. Are they willing to sacrifice their own traditions to be with you? As so often in life, the answer is ‘it depends.’ It might be distressing for some, yet others might enjoy it as a change of pace. If you are considering a Christmas wedding – run the idea by the most important people on your guests list, immediately family and best friends, and ask for their feedback. If it’s a ‘done deal’ they really can’t be honest, so be sure to check it out before committing to this date for your wedding.

If it’s a ‘go’ here are some suggestions.

A good guideline for making it a worthwhile experience is guest participation. People prepare and do so much for their families at Christmas time. Can you provide some interactive experiences for them at the wedding? Bonfires and caroling would be perfect. Imagine spending a weekend attending a wedding at a resort that has incredible décor or provides sleigh rides and other winter activities for everyone! Is it sounding good now? It is to me!

All things Christmas, from the secular to religious, can be integrated into your wedding. Here are some more ideas:

Greet your guests with mulled wine, spiced hot cider or hot chocolate.

Plan your reception family style – one long table and offer classic Christmas fare.  Make it feel like one big family affair, because that’s what a wedding is anyway – the joining of families.

Cookie decorating for children of all ages would be fun, then serve the cookies of course, and have some extras to go.

Don’t forget a gift exchange! A unique tree ornament makes a great favor (wrapped like a Christmas present) or use ornaments for your seating instructions by tying the escort card to the decoration, maybe even hang them from a string of lights.

Music, music, music! Whether a band or DJ – some Christmas music is a must! There are many holiday songs with love themes.

And of course, lights, lots and lots of lights.

Arrange for an appearance from Santa, or if he’s not available, how about Mrs. Claus, or even some elves?

For the more extravagant couple – wouldn’t it be magical to see snowflakes fall as you seal your promise with a kiss? Set up artificial snow above the altar with a pull cord – it could happen! Or maybe just have everyone toss white confetti – that might be easier.

For the ceremony, there are many appropriate scriptural passages, or you can include readings and references from many other sources of inspiration, ones that shine light on the power of love and the magic of the season.

Children’s books can provide inspiration, they often teach important lessons in life. I especially love the Velveteen Rabbitexcerpt about how love is what makes us real.

Most importantly when you plan a wedding at Christmas you are planning not only for one of the biggest milestones in your own life, but a special experience for your guests. That’s a lot of pressure. But with a few special touches you can have something very memorable. Everyone will forget that they missed Santa’s visit at home, because the spirit of Father Christmas will be with them in abundance at your wedding.

thank you Lisa Rhinehart for your beautiful photography!

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