A winter wonderland wedding is many a bride’s dream, with snow on the ground and sparkling candles creating a magical atmosphere. To have a winter wedding at Christmas adds an extra touch of festive wonder to the event.
To plan your perfect Christmas wedding, you may have to consider things you wouldn’t think about if getting married at another time of the year. To help you with your dream day, Vicki Doyle, Wedding Coordinator at Luton Hoo Hotel, has put together her top tips for planning a Christmas wedding.
Setting the date
As with all weddings, the more notice you can give your guests the better. With a Christmas wedding, this is more important than ever. If you are just having close family, then having your wedding on Christmas Eve may work well as you can combine it with your family Christmas celebrations. However, if you have a large guest list, you will need to consider dates that allow your guests time to travel home for their own family Christmas celebrations. Alternatively, the days between Christmas and New Year are extremely popular as many people are off work with free time to travel.
Unlike a summer wedding, where the grounds and outdoor space for photographs is of the utmost importance, choosing your venue for a Christmas wedding is different. You need to consider venues that have a variety of indoor options for stunning wedding photos. You may even find a venue that has a beautiful area inside which is suitable for photos of your entire wedding party. It may well be that the weather on your chosen day is glorious and you can have some photos in the gardens, however remember that you don’t want to keep your guests hanging around for too long in the cold.
It is always worth checking if the venue has a colour scheme for their Christmas decorations. This will help your decision-making process and ensure it doesn’t clash with your final scheme. You could even discuss with your venue where they plan to have their Christmas tree and whether it could be used as a festive backdrop for photographs.
To minimise transport worries, we would advise considering venues that are licensed for a ceremony so everything is in the same place. However, if you are getting married in a separate location to the reception, you will need to arrange transport for the bridal party. While a horse-drawn carriage or open top vintage car may look beautiful, you will need to consider the temperature. Sometimes comfort wins against style; you don’t want to arrive at your ceremony freezing cold. It is also advisable to have a back-up plan when it comes to transport, just in case ice or snow means your chosen transport cannot be used.
There are so many different ways to dress and theme a Christmas wedding.
Your venue may have real fireplaces that can be lit to create a cosy environment and Christmas music could be played to create a truly festive atmosphere. For the reception drinks, you could move away from Champagne and offer mulled wine. This not only creates a point of difference from other weddings, but allows guests to warm up on a cold day and adds a wonderfully festive aroma. Christmas themed canapès are also a quirky way to start the celebrations.
For decoration and special Christmas touches, your venue should be able to recommend external suppliers and festive ideas. For example, rather than numbering your tables, you could give them a Christmas theme. Depending on the amount of tables, think favourite carols, reindeer names or the 12 Days of Christmas.
If fresh flowers are an important part of your decor, you may need to liaise with your florist to understand the varieties that are available in December. If you don’t want to eat up your budget too quickly, we would advise being open minded as shipping flowers from the southern hemisphere is expensive. Take time to research ideas and find examples so your florist has an idea of what look you trying to achieve.
There is so much magic to be had with a Christmas wedding and your guests will certainly be in for a truly memorable festive experience. For your dream Christmas wedding, contact the wedding coordinators for a show round of the beautiful 5-star Country House, Luton Hoo Hotel, Golf & Spa. Call 01582 734437 or visit www.lutonhoo.co.uk.