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Tips for Planning a Holiday Wedding

I LOVE this time of the year. From the lights, to the decorations, the food, the parties, and even the shopping; there is something magical about the holidays. It is a time of the year filled with hope, excitement, and the possibility for a miracle is everywhere. It is easy to see why so many would like share in the magic of the season by getting married. There are some great advantages to getting married around the holidays. There are some disadvantages as well, but they can be easily overcome if you plan ahead. Here are some suggestions and things to consider if planning your wedding around the holidays. 1. Book Early. Many venues fill up quickly with numerous holiday parties, sometimes even a year in advance. The earlier you can book, the better. Keep in mind though that if your venue has more than one space for rent, your wedding guests may run into guests of other holiday functions. Best to ask the facility manager how many other events will be taking place that night; as the music and noise from that function may carry over into yours. 2. Send Save the Dates. It is not required to send a save the date to your guests, but I strongly recommend it if planning a holiday wedding. The holidays are a busy time for many. Letting your guests know well in advance, will give them time to mark their calendars. Especially if you have out of town guests who may need to make travel arrangements early. Typical save the dates are sent out no later than 6 months before the wedding. I recommend doing it earlier with holiday weddings.

Picture courtesy of Deihl's Flowers, Inc

​​3. Check out the venue décor. Many facilities will decorate for the holidays. It can be a great advantage for the couple planning their wedding, as it can help save money on decorations. I do encourage finding out how the venue plans to decorate the facility beforehand. See if they have pictures from previous years and how early you can see the decorations in place before your wedding. Why do I encourage this? To ensure that what they facility does doesn’t clash with your vision of how you want it to look. If the décor isn’t exactly what you had in mind, find out what their rules are for making changes or removing it temporarily. 4. Prepare for the worse. The weather in the Happy Valley area around the holidays can be temperamental. Your wedding day could be sunny and mild, or it could be cold and snowy. If the weather is inclement, there could be some delays and it is likely not all of your guests will be able to attend. Have a long talk with your fiancé beforehand on what the plan is on worst case scenario. Also be sure to talk with your vendors (especially those that may be arriving from a further distance) on what they do in severe weather situations. I would also consider purchasing wedding insurance. More facilities are requiring the insurance in order to cover the event or serve alcohol, and it doesn’t cost much more to add on coverage for other items. It is a small cost in the overall budget and is worth it for peace of mind. 5. Pictures. One of the most important parts of the wedding day is getting those amazing pictures that you will look at for years to come. Most couples want a few outdoor shots on their big day. If that is your wish, make sure to keep in mind how early it gets dark outside. When scheduling your days’ timetable, allow enough time to get those pictures while there is some daylight to spare. Also keep in mind that a lot of the outdoors isn’t springing to life with flowers, and to find locations that still look great in the cold. The photographer is the best source to help you spot those great picture locations, and give you an idea of the amount of time needed for the pictures desired. These are just some items to take into consideration when planning a wedding around the holiday. Being prepared can help make the entire process go smoother and be less stressful. Then you can sit back, relax and partake in the extra merriment your wedding brings to the season. ​

Picture courtesy of Deihl's Flowers, Inc

Wedding consultant Holly Wagner is co-owner of H&K Weddings and Events. Along with her business partner Kacy, they over 20 years experience in customer service, hospitality, and event coordination. They believe in customized personal service and work closely with their clients to help make their wedding day a success. They offer a variety of packages from day of coordination to full service, and will customize them to meet the needs of the couple. H&K Weddings and Events Holly Wagner and Kacy Smith Holly (State College Area): (717) 437-3741 Kacy (Lewistown Area): (717) 437-4302

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