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Planning a Holiday Wedding

Planning a Holiday Wedding

It's the most wonderful time of the year. Why not make it even more so with a romantic Winter Wonderland wedding? Here are 5 things to keep in mind when planning a Thanksgiving, Christmas or New Year's Eve wedding.

1. Decide if you really want a wedding during the holiday. As busy and hectic as the season is with gifts, parties and travel itineraries, understand that you're adding another layer with wedding planning. For those who are not related to you, you're pulling them away from their own families during the holiday season. And as any December birthday baby knows, every wedding anniversary is at risk of being overshadowed by the holidays. But the festive nature of the season may be enough to win you over.

2. Plan a year in advance. While churches and chapels are much less booked in the winter time, you?ll want to book a reception hall at least a year in advance due to the many holiday parties. The same goes for caterers, bands and florists, since so many people will be having office or house parties at that time.

3. Let someone else deck the halls for you. Take advantage of venues already decorated for the holidays. If you?re going for a Christmas décor, you?ll save big on flowers and decorations. Some couples were able to get by with just bouquets for the wedding party. Also look for reception halls with fireplaces and other cozy features.

4. Save the date. Be sure you let your guests know the date of your holiday wedding as soon as you know. In addition, send invitations three months in advance instead of the usual two to give guests plenty of time to make arrangements. Many people travel during the season to visit family, so coming to your wedding might involve alternative arrangements. Out-of-towners may have to pay more for holiday flights and hotel rooms, and make reservations very early to ensure everything is not booked. Ask guests to allow a day or two cushion for the inevitable bad weather delays. Even if snow is not a factor in your region, flight may be delayed from other airports.

5. Special requests. Take advantage of foods, desserts, decorations and music that come around only at this time of year. Serve festive cocktails like spiced cider, spiked eggnog and hot chocolate with Bailey?s. From turkey and ham with cranberry sauce to roast goose and Yorkshire pudding, go the whole nine yards with your reception feast. Instead of a wedding cake, consider the traditional wedding cake: an iced fruit cake. Ask your musicians to add some romantic holiday songs, such as ?I?ll Be Home for Christmas? and ?Let It Snow,? to their repertoire. For a New Year?s Eve wedding, give guests top hats and tiaras, and pass out flutes of champagne for the big countdown.

Here are some more ideas to get you started:

Silver Wedding Favors Dress up your color theme with festive silver.

Bells Wedding Favors Ring in the New Year or sing along to "Silver Bells." Browse this selection of bell favors to find the perfect ones for your wedding.

Champagne Favors No holiday wedding is complete without a little bubbly. Pop the cork and enjoy!

Jennifer Block Martin?s articles have appeared in Better Homes & Gardens Special Interest Publications. She wrote her own book, What to Do When You?re Dating a Jew: Everything you need to know from matzah balls to marriage., and was recently managing editor of How to Buy and Sell (Just About) Everything and How to Organize (Just About) Everything. She lives with her husband Dave in San Francisco.