Planning your wedding around a major, or even minor, holiday can be an exciting and unforgettable way to celebrate your nuptials. There are pros and cons to holiday weddings, however, and it’s a good idea to know what you’re getting into.
Religious holidays, like Christmas and Chanukah, can be problematic for friends and loved ones who have prior obligations or would rather not attend a wedding on a sacred day. You also need to consider the different religious or non-religious beliefs of your guests, and whether or not your service should include touches specific to the holiday in question. Reception halls and houses of worship tend to be more booked on all holidays, and vendors are in high demand.
If you’re intent on having your wedding in December, but don’t have a large budget, consider an at-home wedding. (For Christmas or Chanukah, a ceremony at home followed by a reception at a local venue is a nice compromise.) For a non-secular holiday like the Fourth of July, a backyard wedding is a great option, or a beach or park; always find out ahead of time about fees and restrictions.
An advantage to major holidays is that your site might already have much of the decorations, saving on floral or designer fees. Houses of worship frequently have decorations in place, as do reception halls and restaurants. When touring prospective sites, find out what their décor will be, and see if it can be incorporated into your wedding.
One definite “to-do” for a holiday wedding is to send out save-the-date cards and give guests as much time in advance as possible. As soon as you’ve booked the date, send out the cards, and follow up with reminders and updates on your wedding web site. A year’s notice is not too early for holiday weddings. Expect more RSVP “no’s” on holidays, as some loved ones won’t be able to change their vacations or annual holiday plans.
Since airfares and hotel rooms are more costly over most holidays (Valentine’s and Halloween being two possible exceptions), look into group rates as soon as you can. A great touch is to leave gift baskets with holiday themes. Your guests will get into the spirit even faster if they arrive at their hotel to find a bag full of stocking stuffers!