Happy December! I’m beyond excited for this holiday season -- Christmas decorations, cookies, sweater weather -- it’s all so delightful! What’s more, I love December weddings and elopements. They always feel a little extra magical. Plus, there are some fantastic ways to use the holidays to your benefit when hosting a wedding this time of year. Here are my top 5 favorites:
1. Discounted Decorations
If you’re embracing the holiday season, decorating for your wedding can be done by shopping literally anywhere. Home Depot, Target, Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, even thrift stores, have tons of decorations to choose from. The best part, though, are the discounts! If you’re engagement is longer than 1 year, stock up during the after-Christmas sales in January. If you’re planning on a shorter timeline, not to worry. There are plenty of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, as well as discounts as the holidays get closer and closer. My advice, because you’ll find more decorations than you could imagine, make sure to have a clear vision before hitting the stores. This will keep you from getting overwhelmed. I’d also recommend keeping a list of what pieces you’re looking for so you don’t get swept up in buying more than you need because it was discounted. Spending more money than intended simply because it was on sale won’t help you stick to your budget.
2. Family & Friends' Travel
This is a double edged sword, of course, but for many couples the holidays are a great time to get married because their family and friends will already be gathering. This typically works best if you’re planning to have your wedding in your hometown, or a location that’s easy to travel to. We don’t typically recommend planning your wedding around your guests’ plans, however, it could benefit you to reach out to some of them for their availability. It doesn’t take long for the month of December to fill up with holiday parties, and you’ll want to choose a date and location that compliments what’s already planned.
3. Off-Peak Rates
Many venues and wedding professionals offer off-peak season discounts to encourage clients to book outside of summer months. It helps vendors fill their calendar, and can significantly help your budget. Discounts can range from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars depending on the type of service being offered, so make sure you keep an eye out for these price differences.
4. Shorter Planning Timeline
Like any business, wedding professionals prefer to have steady work throughout the entire year, but because of the popularity of summer weddings, this isn’t always the case. By getting married during an off-peak season, you can actually decrease the amount of time you need to spend planning because their is much less competition when booking vendors. Your main competition will be holiday parties, which may still impact some caterers, DJs, bakeries, etc. However, anyone that specializes in just weddings will have more availability.
Snowy, or in many cases, rainy pictures are just as adorable as sunny summer ones. If you can bear the cold, and you come prepared, you can get some really amazing outdoor photos! If this is something you’re considering, always let your photographer know in advance so they can plan accordingly. With Christmas decorations around cities and towns, lights everywhere, and snow on the ground, there could be tons of options near your venue, but it’s advised to scout out some locations in advance. Then, on your wedding day all you’ll need to do is grab your umbrella or shaw and mittens, and go for it!