December Wedding? Here's Everything You Need to Know

Considering a December wedding? Here is everything you need to know about the most wonderful time to get married.

By Ruksana Hussain

December Wedding? Here Is Everything You Need To Know
Photo by Lindsey Thorne Photography

December, a month known for festive celebrations, warm family gatherings, and the welcoming of new beginnings. This time of year is special, and wedding planning around it can make it that much more meaningful! There is so much beauty this season has to offer. If you too are planning your wedding for December with a Christmas wedding party or otherwise, here’s all you need to know when it comes to winter wedding ideas!

The Basics

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History and Culture

  • Getting married on Christmas was very popular during the 18th and 19th centuries. Shockingly, the reason was that it was the only guaranteed day off from work!

  • The Irish consider New Year’s Eve as the luckiest day to get hitched. That way the couple can welcome the new year as newlyweds.

1. What’s In-Season?

  • December isn’t quite the month for bountiful blooms, but winter still offers a wide range of foods and florals that you can consider including in your big day.

  • Roasted vegetables like sweet potatoes and parsnips make for rich, warm soups and side dishes-mashed potatoes being a classic favorite. They can also be featured in welcome drinks that guests can help themselves to as they arrive and get settled in.

  • Don’t forget the salads. Crunchy apples, cranberries, and turnips combine beautifully with any main course. They also make for great centerpiece accessories when arranged professionally and in keeping with your overall wedding theme.

  • Ever consider a hot cocoa bar for your dessert table? You should. You might just find that guests enjoy a seasonal bar such as this and may be surprised to find how popular it is. Chocolate bombs are also a splendid option.

  • No flower stands out in the winter quite like a red garden rose. Pair them in your arrangements with some pinecones, eucalyptus, or Hypericum berries. Succulents are also extremely fitting as greenery for weddings this month.

2. Weather

Winter is in full throttle in most regions by the time December rolls around. Be ready for snow, rain, cloudy skies, and chilly weather.

  • The average temperature in most major U.S. cities during December ranges from 27-50 degrees Fahrenheit. More southern states like Florida and Arizona can see warmer days in the 60s-70s.
  • The first signs of snowfall often show this month, so if having (or not having) snow at your Christmas wedding is important, keep this in mind when picking your destination. Check with the venue as well for any weather intel they can provide.
  • Storms of any kind-rain, sleet, snow, or hail- can put a damper on your wedding day plans, so pay attention to your stay locked into the local weather forecast when wedding planning, and always be prepared with a plan B!

3. Holidays

The holiday season is in full swing as December begins. Here is a list of days you should avoid clashing with when planning your wedding day.

  • December 6: Hanukkah ends
  • December 26-January 1: Kwanzaa
  • December 24: Christmas Eve
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve

4. Theme Ideas

Going beyond the typical red, green, and white winter wonderland themes, December weddings can pull off certain styles better than others.

  • Whether your Christmas wedding’s in a barn or your backyard, make the most of the early sunsets. Nothing’s more inviting than a romantic candlelit ceremony under the stars for your wedding ceremony or wedding reception. Check with your wedding venue and wedding planner for ideas on how to make this day extra special.

  • Throw the ultimate bash with a vintage wedding day that doesn’t shy away from glitz or glam. Think luxe décor ideas, fireplaces, and tartan linens. Your bridesmaids will have fun dressing up too. There is plenty of inspiration online and you can also ask your bridal party for suggestions.

  • A lush, greenery-filled wedding is not out of the question this month. Classic decor like garlands, swags, and wreaths can add a hint of holiday season cheer to your wedding and can even be considered for your Christmas wedding bouquet ideas. And, of course, don’t forget the Christmas tree.

5. Clothing Ideas

December wedding? Time to lay on the layers.

  • There’s nothing quite as wintery as velvet and satin added to your wedding color palette. Deep burgundy, greens, and other jewel tones set the bar for an elegant event. Consider it an option for your bridesmaids dresses and they do work well for wedding dresses too. Darker hues can work wonders against the white snowy backdrop so take advantage of it.

  • Sweaters and jackets go without saying. Elevate your look with faux fur or velvet wraps and replace cold shoulders with long velvet sleeves. Include a few shawls in the mix as well, especially for your bridesmaids.

  • Suiting up? You have a lot of options. Experiment with sweater vests, scarves, and heavy wool jackets for the groomsmen attire and groom attire choices. Also try layering different textures and patterns for a warm and cozy look.

6. Winter Wonderland Wedding Favors and Treats

  • Cold-Weather Treats are everything. Consider packing a gift box with self-care items such as bath bombs, lip balms, coffee sachets, aromatic candles, skincare, room or linen sprays and festive mints. The ideas are endless so make sure you keep yourself tied to 3-5 items at most and choose an appropriate packing option.

  • Hot Chocolate Kits are a hit in winter weather weddings. Include directions or make it easy with a chocolate bomb gift set instead. All your guests need to do is drop a hot chocolate bomb in a cup of warm milk and voila! You can do a few different flavors and sizes to keep things interesting.

  • S’mores Kits are an equally fun idea. They can be customized in so many ways for wedding favors including adding mint, cherry and other flavors and packaged in many unique ways so you can add wedding stickers and make it truly yours. Make sure you include instructions so guests can enjoy them well.

  • DIY Snowflake Soaps are gaining popularity so why not include it in your wedding favors? They can be easily purchased in bulk, customized to your wedding colors and theme, and gives guests something uniquely memorable from your wedding day. Besides, anything snowflake-shaped is totally on point.

  • Signature Cocktails are a fun idea too and can be an interesting option for the couple to plan and decide. You can also include two versions for both individuals and have a few different versions that guests choose from. Remember to also include a mocktail version for those who are not indulging in alcohol during this time.

  • Wedding Cake Ideas especially in the form of cupcakes, mini cakes, Bundt cakes and even cookie cakes or candy cakes are a fun way to get guests involved. Simply have them pick one up from a gallery or showcase and offer a variety of flavors and sizes too. They also help add a lovely pop of color to your wedding tablescapes.

5 Reasons to Have a December Wedding

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There are many more reasons but here are five of the top reasons why you should consider a December wedding instead of other seasons that most couples would opt for.

1. Wedding Venues Decoration

Most wedding venues are already decorated at least partially for the season so you’ll have less to worry and stress about. Just add to the existing décor to customize the decorations to your wedding theme and you are done.

2. Magical Winter Wedding Photos

While most wedding photos might feature spring, summer, and fall landscapes, yours will be the only ones featuring magical winter backgrounds full of snow and pinecones. There’s a charm to the images that you’ll cherish for many years to come.

3. More Wedding Venues Available

Not many couples will choose a winter wedding so you will have a larger choice of venues at your disposal. Of course, some venues might simply not be open for the season at all but most others will be able to offer flexible dates for your big day.

4. Creative Wedding Favors Galore

Winter weddings bring their own set of favors and treats to choose from, and you can play around and get quite creative with your options. This will be one reason why your wedding will stand apart from others in your social circle.

5. Winter Wedding Budgets

Considering not many weddings take place in the winter, you can expect lesser rates for the venue, travel, accommodations, and a few other services associated with the wedding planning. With venues looking for business, you might even have some bargaining power to play with.

Three Zola Facts You Should Know

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Interested in how other couples are wedding planning for their December weddings? Here are some fun facts from Zola about weddings this time of year.

1. Couples’ Favorite December Wedding Invites + Paper Designs

December’s most popular Invites + Paper designs on Zola earned their spots atop couples’ wish lists.

  • Violin Suite This classic design features dramatic script calligraphy over your custom photo.
  • Riverside Suite This timeless design features a whimsical handwritten script that accents your custom photo.
  • Galata Suite This botanical design features leafy eucalyptus garlands that frame your wedding details gorgeously.

2. Average Guest Count for December Weddings

The average number of wedding guests on the guestlist for a December wedding is 146.

3. Popular Registry Adds for December Weddings

Couples getting married in December have these top three must-adds on their wedding registries:

Two Things to Consider

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1. Popularity

December may not be the most popular wedding month, but it is a popular month for gatherings and celebrations when it comes to winter wonderland months. So consider the below points when you start planning and setting a date.

  • This time of year your guests may have full schedules, so plan to get your wedding on their calendars well in advance. Send your save the dates earlier than usual and try to receive RSVPs ahead of time so you can plan properly.

  • Families gathering for the holiday season can be the perfect opportunity to make sure the most loved ones can make your wedding. Just check in with them ahead though that they have not made alternate plans exactly on or around your chosen wedding dates.

  • December ceremonies can avoid the “wedding fatigue” brought on by busier wedding seasons, ensuring your guests are ready and excited to celebrate. Your guests will feel relaxed and unhurried with a winter wedding.

2. Cost

Budgets for December weddings can be quite flexible, but don’t let this stop you from making your list of wedding must-haves (and checking it twice). In fact, you might have some additional room to play with as this isn’t the most popular season for weddings.

  • December is off-season for weddings, so you may have a higher chance of booking your desired venue and vendors for a lower price than the summer or fall months thanks to the winter weather. Keep that in consideration as you plan.

  • Most venues are already decorated for the holidays. So, if you’re not too particular, you can save some on decorations and greenery and splurge on your food or favors. Check with venues on what they will already have set up so you don’t duplicate efforts.

Choosing your wedding month is a big decision, but once you do, you lay the landscape for your dream wedding. December may be a tough wedding month to navigate with making sure your guests are free, your venue is available, and your arrangements like wedding attire, food, and decorations can withstand the inclement weather. But if most on that list is checked, go forward with your chosen wedding date confidently. Trust us, everything will fall right into place!

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