Christmas Wedding FAQ, Part 2

by admin on September 4, 2007

 From: Bobbie (and Mark 12/30/95) The reception is at an old historic, restored bank. The room is gorgeous, 49 ft ceilings. We are having a lot of Christmas greens for the centerpieces and are having 2 trees with white lights. These are right at the top of a stairway which opens into the reception room. We are also using some pine swags around the head table and on the stairway. We decided to go with ivory tablecloths with burgundy napkins for an accent. I thought a dark tablecloth would make the room seem too dark.

We are lucky enough that there is a parade and fireworks, a whole festival actually, to kick off the season that is held at Town Point Park in Norfolk the Friday night of the wedding weekend. The wedding party is planning on going to it after the rehearsal– a great chance to be wacky and young and have fun almost for free!!! (in tidewater VA it’ll be about 50 degrees outside or maybe warmer, barely any cooler).

She is having us wear a lovely pale gold dress– its a Bob Levkoff, watters and watters also uses the same gold tissue-y fabric.

There will be candles and little white lights used at the reception (held in a restaurant that has a french-country atmosphere) and candles at the church. The flowers are tentatively all white, cream, champagne, and touches of subdues golds. There is talk of gold ribbon and gold leaves being worked into the flowers. Her dress has gold trim!!

There will be a lot of greenery used— but NO Christmas-y bows, holly, etc.

It will be very elegant and special and holiday feeling but not _themed_. The groom really wanted it to only be a Christmas wedding b/c of the date… not the decor and colors. I think that gold is a lovely compromise (everyone else wanted it to feel “holiday”), and will be elegant!

We are having a sit down dinner and dancing with a band, they will play a few holiday novelty songs for dancing– but have strict instructions that it is not to be more than 5 (I think that is what she settled on— they had a whole “Christmas party” repertoire they wanted to use… she made use of their contract to assure that the reception won’t be a Christmas party only– but if you wanted that, look for a band that can do it… this one could).

She will wear a gorgeous white cape both to arrive at the reception and to leave in… its amazingly elegant, I am jealous!! She wants us to have capes too, we are looking for a pattern and fabric that won’t break us.

From: “Kathleen M Mazely”

Do not know if any ideas are new or will be helpful, at the time I just wanted to share what we were doing. One note, I did change the time of the wedding so that we could have luminarias a la the faq.

Colors: red and gold

Flowers: My bouquet — 30 red Columbium roses tied together with no illing. The stems are short with gold ribbon wrapped around the stems with a gold bow. The bridesmaids (2) will have a cluster of fire and ce roses with red tinted heather, again with gold ribbon wrap and bow. Traditional coursages and boutennieres with roses and red tinted heather.

Attire: The bridesmaids are wearing a short, sleeveless, black cocktail dress. I wanted them to have something to wear again and you can always use a “little black dress.” For color we bought these long cranberry colored silk scarves to flow down their backs. With gloves and shoes, it looks like a glamorous outfit from the 20’s. One bridesmaid will wear a 20’s style hat in rose with trim in the cranberry so the outfit does not look completely funereal. I worried about the colors but as everything is sort of on the dark red side they will blend or highlight depending on the situation. We have yet to find some kind of head piece for the MOH. There are only the two and I am not one to try and make them match exactly. I like that they will show some of their personality in spite of being dressed alike.

We made our favors (well there are about 20 to go). I bought red, wooden napkin rings on which we hand painted Winnie the Pooh and Piglet. We also painted our names and the date. I do not like the act that most favors are useless yet this one is only marginal. The main thing is that we had fun. We tied red cording on each one so that there will be the option of putting it on a tree. Perhaps people will get it out with the rest of the ornaments and remember fondly. The caterer will put them on the napkins for the reception.

We are having a Christmas tree. I have not yet found a topper that is satisfactory. I was going to use a Pooh Puppet but am not sure I like seeing him impaled on the tree. :) We are using gold edged, red moire ribbon as garland and white lights. I bought silk sprigs of holly and poinsettias to decorate here and there, but the effect is to be simple and elegant. There will be a fireplace that will be decorated with christmasy pine, candle and red velvet ribbon arrangements. The centerpieces that Jay and I made are ivy wreaths, for the wedding symbolism. We put 3 craft store chrismas decorations on it at 12, 3, and 9 o’clock. I put a nice large red velvet bow at 6 o’clock. It will lie flat on the table. In the center we will put a small wrought ron stand with a bell jar upside down to hold a votive candle above the level of the leaves. These candle holders are the rage in these parts. About 4 months ago I found some that were half price so bought enough for the centerpieces.

For the head table, to avoid family strife, Jay and I will be by ourselves. The florist will make a long, low christmasy centerpiece decoration which we will also use as a decoration for the ceremony. (I am not sure we are having an altar.)

The wedding cake will be red velvet cake, with fondant for frosting. The baker will paint red poinsettias on the fondant for a stained glass effect. This idea came from Collete’s Wedding Cakes by Collette Peterson.

Look at what we have done and it looks to be a hodge podge, but I do not believe that will be the effect. I tried to be consistent in that the red that will be decorating the wedding party is a nice cranberry. The decorations for the reception hall, centerpieces and cake are the more true red since that is what happens with the Christmas decorations available. I just want the festiveness of the season to compliment the festiveness of the occasion.

Hope you are able to gleen some ideas out of this. I do want to say that you did a good job on the faq.

Kathleen Mazely

From: cg847@FreeNet.Carleton.CA (Kirby Gehman)

We got married two years ago. I didn’t want the all out Christmas thing – I wanted a stylish, elegant, and SIMPLE wedding that captured the spirit of Christmas.

We chose to go with a black and white wedding theme (much to my mother and MIL’s horror) but even they conceded that the black taffeta dresses with long satin bows and gloves and black and white tuxedos looked really good.

My bouquet was red and white roses with ivy and ferns, while the other flowers were red roses and white carnations.

The church was already decked out in its Christmas finery and we only added a huge birch, fir and pine cone candle centerpiece for the altar. (we donated the centerpiece to the church to use on Christmas Eve!)

We had an evening candlelight service. The congregation sang Hark the Herald Angels. Friends lit the candles. And instead of confetti (which is prohibited at our church) guests threw birdseed!!

Instead of a guestbook, we had guests sign a Christmas tree skirt that we use every Christmas.

We had a cocktail reception with lots of goodies. The hotel provided the hot buffet and all my friends and family provided enough of their Christmas baking to last a lifetime. The hotel was already decorated for the season (with a tree etc.) so we just had them add candle centerpieces and use black and white tuling.

To thank each of the guests we gave away Christmas tree decorations (all the people invited celebrate Christmas) that my husband and I had made.

These are just a few ideas.

The secret to a beautiful wedding is to sit down, just the two of you, and decide what you WANT, what will you make you HAPPY. And then go for it!

Good Luck!

Jennifer and Kirby (and Little One due shortly after our anniversary!)

From: (KEBMHC92)

We are getting married 12/9 (less than 3 weeks!!!) and are going all out on this Christmas theme:
The organist is playing carols during the prelude at the church while guests filter in, and the pianist at the reception (cocktail and finger/tea foods — its a noon wedding) will play seasonal songs too. I am carrying red roses with holly for my bouquet, and everyone else gets a combination of red and ivory roses with ivy. The flower girl is carrying a basket made out of pine cones (at Crate and Barrel this year) filled with red rose petals. The church decorations are hurricane lamps, surrounded by pine boughs and pine cones tied with red/green plaid ribbon. At the reception, which will already be somewhat decorated — it is a historic home/museum — we are having two Christmas trees and I am making the centerpieces for the few tables that will be around for people to sit: baskets filled with pine cones (detect a theme??) and gold christmas balls and tied with plaid ribbon, and we are hanging mistletoe from al the doorways. We are serving hot mulled cider and eggnog. Our flower girl is helping hand out the favors which are handmade ornaments (local craftsperson made three types:angels, x-mas trees, and snowmen), and those english x-mas “crackers”; and over my protests, my mother is making the old standby, red and green hershey kisses in tulle (blah). Santa is supposed to stop by, because the church is having breakfast with him that morning (before the wedding). A lot of this may be from the FAQ — but I never saw it so if I’m duplicating ideas, sorry!

Good luck!
Kristin (and Stuart) 12/9/95

From: Cherish Siwy
I’m getting married this December & here are a few of the things we’re doing.

1. Christmas tree (complete with coloured lights) instead of a gift table.
2. Decorating with roping, greens & holly & pointsettia plants.
3. Straight from the FAQ–gingerbread house as centerpiece on the buffet table.
4. FAQ-Santa is coming & handing out our favours—chocolate bars, I made the wrapping for them.
5. Christmas carols will be played while the guests eat.
6. Using battery operated Christmas lights (you know the kind that goes in house windows) as part of each table’s centerpiece.
7. In the Italian tradition, we are passing around cookie trays, but some of the cookies will be Christmas as well as Italian.

I think that’s it. Our wedding cake will be dressed for Christmas too in greenery. As for flowers, I wanted pointsettias in all the bouquets, but my florist said they don’t last well, so I’m having red gerber(a?) daisies for the girls & creamy white ones in mine. (They look nice & they’re very inexpensive!)

Hope that helps you.

cherish (& jeff)

From: (Patrick O’Shaughnessey)

We had a candlelight evening ceremony the day after Thanksgiving in a big Catholic church. Have you ever seen those tall poles that clamp onto the pew and hold a candle at the top? I found some at a local rental place for $8 each, they were brass and about 6’5″ tall. Our aisle was quite long, but I really wanted to process with those lighting the way. So I rented 10 in all, decorated them with pew bows, and set them up starting at the back of church on every other pew. They reached about halfway to the front of the aisle. I liked this because I didn’t have to worry about anyone tripping or bumping it getting in and out of the aisle (entering the pew, also leaving for communion). I saved money while creating the effect for everyone who entered the church to be seated that they were entering a sort of magical place. It feels sort of like a tunnel of candles, walking “through” them. Got many compliments!

The other thing that people said was so beautiful was that my bridesmaids carried candles (decorated with some flowers, greens, & ribbons, but not many) down the aisle for the processional. They were ordered through a catalog my florist had, for $7.25 each and they had a short round hurricane glass to go over the 4″ candle, so there was no open flame. There was also a metal handle to carry it with. Decorated, they cost me $25 each. My MOH had a different color candle and ribbon on hers than the other 4 bridesmaids. They blew them out once seated in their pew and just walked with their groomsman back up the aisle candle-less for the recessional. These 5 candles (along with my bouquet) were all we used to decorate the head table and it looked great.

We used a Unity Candle in the ceremony, and we rented 2 floor-standing, black wrought-iron candlabras that held 7 candles each. The were decorated with flowers and ribbons and went on each side of the altar, costing us $50 total. They stood about 6′ tall with candles, and looked gorgous in the photos. We got a great photo of my brother lighting them just before the prelude.

Our wedding was at the start of the holiday season, so pine greenery was a main theme for our florist. There is a railing that goes horizontally across the front of church (parallel to the front pew) and we hung a thick garland of fresh pine that dipped and then attached to the supporting poles of the railing. At equal intervals there were crimson-colored (I hate bright cherry-red) velvet bows, and there were tiny white Christmas lights strung throughout all the boughs of the garland. This was the unifying touch! Economically, these little white lights are the best and I wish I had used them in other places. They looked so romantic , yet festive!

We had a half-hour prelude which lasted approximately the duration of the sunset, so our lighting indoors kept getting darker (emphasizing the candles, etc. ). Just before the processional, while the ushers unrolled the aisle runner, we had the lights over the congregation turned up so that the wedding party could be seen and the programs read. Make sure you test your lighting at the time of day that you will be holding the wedding!!

I find candlelight to be extrememly spiritual, symbolic, and romantic — all the things I wanted to capture in my wedding. We also had candles in crystal glasses (surrounded by a wreath of pine greenery) as our centerpieces, votive candles around the base of our cake, and a silver candleabra on the piano at our reception.

Best of luck to you!
–Christine (& Patrick 11/24/95)

From: (C. Frazier)

Our wedding is in…sheesh!…16 days (Dec. 30th). If I were you, I would definately buy items on sale after Christmas that you will be able to use. Start now. Usually after Christmas stuff goes on sale for up to 90% off (Hobby Lobby in Oklahoma City area). Use lots of tulle (white) with maybe some glitter spray. Get several cans of “snow”, lots of snowflakes you could hang from the ceiling at the reception, clear plastic decorations (angels, bells, bulbs, icicles) white ribbon, maybe gold ribbon, white lights, white wrapping paper, etc. Big silver bulbs or gold. Greenery. All of these things can be used for all kinds of stuff. We have caught ourselves saying “We should have bought this last year when it was on sale.” Even though what we originally intended on using it for is not what it will be.

Get round mirrors during the year as they go on sale or you get coupons. Then get some polyfill and at the reception, you can lay the mirrors on the food table, cake table, etc. and put the polyfill around the edges to make it look like a frozen pond. You can then put your punch bowl on top of the mirror or whatever. It really looks pretty. Toole is nice to work with and can make beautiful bows that look soft. In the middle include a clear bulb hanging down, maybe some white ribbon, some white pearls, whatever. With the white wrapping paper, wrap empty boxes and add a bow (with an accent color) and you can use these as center pieces or to add height to a buffet table (looks like there is more food).

At our wedding, when the flower girl walks down the isle, she is going to drop snowflake confetti instead of rose petals. This would also work for you. One of the favors we are giving out is small bottle of bubbles that our guests will blow at us during our first dance. (Hopefully it’ll look like snow falling). Also, I’d use lots of candles.

I think an all white wedding would be beautiful. Even your brides- maids in white would be pretty. Best of luck and keep us posted on your ideas.

From: (Andrea Mankoski)

An auspicious date! My husband and I were wed on December 16, 1993. We were married in a large cathedral-like stone church, which was beautifully decorated with Christmas greens and pointsettias. The reception hall was a lovely 19th century place that had huge high ceilings and parquet floors. We decorated the perimeter of the room with huge Christmas trees with white lights. We had potpourri-filled glass ornaments on the trees and encouraged the guests to take home an ornament from the tree as a souvenir. We also had huge white pointsettias everywhere – on the stage by the band, on the buffet tables and the non-alchoholic bar. In the center of each table we had a white taper in a crystal snowball candleholder surrounded by a miniature Christmas wreath lying flat on the table.

I carried white poinsettias and roses in my bouquet. The organist played Beethoven’s Ode to Joy for the recessional (December 16th is Beethoven’s birthday.) The jazz band played Christmas songs at the reception – I danced with my father to “Silver Bells.”

From Fri Mar 3 10:26:07 CST 1995

My personally biased opinion is December. We got married this past Dec.and if I must say so myself…. it was beautiful. We used lots of pine(my boquet was 36 red roses intermixed with pine). The BM’s had 5 red roses mixed with pine, pine cones and a votive candle in the middle.We also had a huge Christmas tree decorated with 1000 white lights.The church was decorated with swags that we made ourselves from greensin the backyard. The bridesmaids dresses were black velvet and forest green brocade.

For the prelude we had a violinist and pianist play Christmas hymns.

Well, enough about my wedding. The point is that you can do so many things at Christmas time. For the reception we had a decorated Christmas tree and placed the gifts under the tree.

We, too, are “religious” and felt that Christmas time brought added meaning to the ceremony. We chose the Christmas story (in Luke) for the scripture reading.

Copyright 1996- 2007  Last modified on September 4, 2007

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