How to Have a New Years Eve Wedding

New Year’s Eve is the perfect time to celebrate love. Learn how to have a New Year’s Eve wedding to remember with our complete guide.

By Jennifer Prince

New Years Eve Wedding
Photo by Waldorf Photographic Art

The First Look ✨

When you’re in love, New Year’s Eve can be magical. The countdown begins, you’re next to your sweetie, and then there’s that coveted midnight kiss—finally! Imagine those feelings multiplying as you say, “I do,” and have your first married kiss as the clock strikes twelve. We get chills just thinking about it! Capitalize on those feelings, and use our tips on how to have a New Year’s wedding-worthy of your love.

Zola: How to Have a New Years Eve Wedding Photo Credit // Brandy Angel Photography

New Year’s Eve Wedding Pros and Cons

As with any event, there are positives and negatives to consider. Add in the holiday season, and there are a few more caveats to think about thoroughly. Possibly, some of the cons that you view as pros and vice versa. However, it’s best to be aware of potential pitfalls before you encounter them.

Pro: Most People Have Time Off Around the Holidays

New Year’s is when most people have time off, yet they may not have anything scheduled. After the holidays, folks are ready to rest and relax. Therefore, if you let guests know the wedding date well in advance, they should be able to plan on attending.

Con: Some of Your Choice Vendors May Be Taking Vacation Time

Long gone are the days where June was the only popular month for weddings. Nowadays, couples take advantage of fall colors and the holiday season. Consequently, autumn through Christmas is high time for wedding vendors. Their slower season starts in January, and many are ready to relax after December 25th. For those wedding pros that can make it, be sure to tip them well—’tis the season.

Pro: You May Be Able to Take Advantage of Festivities Already in Place

Does your town have a fireworks show at midnight? Book a wedding venue where you and your guests can see the festivities. However, other events could also be a con. If your reception hotel is also hosting an NYE party, that may not be ideal for your celebration. You’ll have a battle of the bands if the ballrooms are close, and there will be competition for parking spaces.

Con: Prices Go Up for New Year’s Eve

When you’re budgeting your New Year’s Eve wedding costs, be aware that you may have to spend a bit more. A higher price could also impact your guests, as hotels and airfare could also be experiencing inflated rates. Plus, your vendors may charge a premium for working on a holiday.

Pro: Everything Can Be Ultra-Formal and Sparkly

If there’s ever—as in ever—a reason to go over the top, it’s a New Year’s Eve wedding. Make sure that your guests have a general idea for what to wear to a New Year’s Eve wedding as you ring in the new year together in style. Feel free to make it a black-tie event and wear a sparkly New Year’s Eve wedding dress. Everyone (well, almost everyone) enjoys an excuse to dress up or get a new gown. Make your celebration the perfect reason to do so. Also, incorporate glitter and sparkles into your decors, such as embellished table linens and flickering candles.

Con: The Weather May Not Comply

This tip applies to all winter weddings. However, it’s especially true for an evening event in the middle of the cold weather season. Roads get slick at night. Additionally, there is inclement weather, such as freezing rain or a blizzard. There’s no way to predict the weather months in advance. Therefore, chat with your wedding planner about alternate ideas, if the need arises.

Pro: Adhering to a Timeline Is Your BFF

Love schedules, systems, and sticking with a plan? That’s precisely what needs to happen if you have a ceremony scheduled at midnight. Work with your planner on a New Year’s Eve wedding timeline. Additionally, this ensures that nothing is rushed—or regrettably skipped—as you usher out the old year and ring in the new with your bride or groom.

Con: You Can’t Start Too Early

If you’re dreaming of a brunch wedding—or even an afternoon event—don’t combine it with NYE nuptials. The only exception is a destination wedding because everyone will most likely be spending all day together anyway. For traditional weddings on New Year’s Eve, it’s best to start festivities in the evening. Therefore, plan to begin no earlier than 5 p.m. or 6 p.m.

First Steps to Planning a Wedding on New Year’s Eve

Zola: How to Have a New Years Eve Wedding Photo Credit // Rm Digital Photography

Should you have a New Year’s Eve wedding, even if it’s what you’ve always dreamed about, there are a few considerations before sealing the deal. Ponder these points to avoid dropping the ball as the ball drops to ring in the next year.

  • Start planning well in advance. Of course, at your wedding you want all of your friends and family to be there. The earlier you book your wedding date, the better chance that they—and your choice vendors—will be able to attend.
  • Chat with must-attend friends and family first. Talk to those closest to you to ensure that they don’t have a big vacation or work trip already planned. Create a list of non-negotiable attendees, and brief them on your timeline.
  • Hire a planner. ahem Hire. A. Planner. Doing so is a must. The holiday season is bustling for all of us. Therefore, make sure that things don’t fall through the cracks by hiring someone to organize and implement your dream wedding event.
  • Book hotel blocks. There’s no doubt that your New Year’s Eve wedding will go into the night. Create a secure environment by encouraging guests to stay in your hotel blocks so that they can be together. Plus, rooms could book quickly for NYE, so reserve early.
  • Provide transportation. Unless you’re having a dry wedding, people will be drinking as they celebrate. Combine that with tired guests, and it’s best to ensure that everyone arrives at their destination. No one wants a DUI, crash, or worse after celebrating.
  • Have childcare available. Out-of-town guests who need to bring their kids will be grateful for childcare. After all, parents deserve a fun night out. Hire a reputable service to watch the littles at the hotel or reception venue.

New Year’s Eve Wedding Ideas

There are endless possibilities when it comes to planning a memorable wedding set for New Year’s Eve. With a little inspiration, these New Year’s Eve wedding ideas will help you craft the perfect celebration for you and your soon-to-be SO.

  • Focus on the holiday. Use NYE as a springboard for everything. The attire, your dress, the timeline. Savor every second of what will be the most memorable New Year’s Eve that you’ll ever have.
  • Consider New Year’s Eve wedding color schemes. Think rich and regal, and you’re well on your way to selecting gorgeous New Year’s Eve wedding colors. Black, white, and gold are perfect for a formal event, or you could swap black for navy or jewel tones.
  • Dress comfortably. Comfort goes for your guests and wedding party, too. Wear separates or a second gown so that you can dance the night away. Also, give thought to your footwear, as you may want to swap heels for flats at your reception.
  • Rethink your bar hours. If you end up partying late, it’s unnecessary to offer alcohol during the entire event. Feel free to open and close your bar during specific festivities. Also, check with your venue to ensure that you can serve alcohol after certain times.
  • Play with the order of events. It’s perfectly ok to have your reception before the ceremony. If you serve dinner first, you can say, “I do” and have your kiss at midnight. We can’t think of anything more romantic. sigh
  • Be creative with your guest book. Have your guests write tips or resolutions for marriage instead of only having them sign their names. You’ll get a combination of sage advice and hilarious answers.
  • Incorporate a countdown. Have an accurate clock prominently displayed, and decide on the increments you want to count. Everyone will anticipate the traditional countdown to midnight.
  • Create a memorable midnight experience. You can have noisemakers, pop champagne, or set off fireworks to commemorate the changing of the year. Some of these items can even do double duty as New Year’s Eve wedding favors.

The formality and celebratory nature of New Year’s Eve celebrations easily lend themselves to weddings. So, get ready to sparkle, shine, and rejoice at your New Year’s Eve wedding. What a fabulous time of year to gather those closest to you to usher in a new year—and new marriage—simultaneously.

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