For the wedding planner, does the date really make a difference? The answer is a resounding YES! It makes a difference as to availability (especially if you are not starting one year in advance), cost, and accessibility among other things. In my case, because of my daughter’s schedule, she could not be flexible on the date, hence a Christmas time wedding.
In an earlier article, I mentioned that the setting for my novel, Hidden Bloodlines, was inspired by the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Not only did my husband and I enjoy the hotel, but my daughter celebrated her 18th birthday there. She loved Estes Park and the Stanley and asked that her wedding take place at a beautiful mountain church with the reception at the Stanley.
A wedding the Saturday before Christmas has quite a few drawbacks, but it also has its advantages. With respect to availability, there are two sides — the availability of the choice locations and the availability of the attendees.
A wedding Christmas weekend is not common, therefore, the church and Music Room at the Stanley were available. On the other hand, since it was Christmas time, not everyone invited could come. For some, that could be considered an advantage (one less person to cover), however, we missed those unable to attend.
Estes Park, Colorado is a summer resort. If it were a ski resort, it would be a winter wonderland, but it’s not — there is no skiing permitted despite the magnificent mountains. Therefore, a Christmas wedding is off-season, with off-season rates – a definite advantage. Moreover, it was Advent and we were not permitted to decorate the church. That was a large unanticipated savings. The church was so beautiful in its own right, no one even noticed it was not decorated for a wedding and I saved quite a bit of money on flowers.
The icing on the cake was that the Music Room was already decorated for Christmas, therefore, my only concern were the table tops and head table decorations (more on that later).
You never know what the weather brings at Christmas time in Colorado, especially in the mountains. It could be 70 degrees or subzero, and you can’t rely on the weather professionals (it’s the only career where you can be wrong on a regular basis and still keep your job). Fortunately the church and hotel for the reception were a mere half mile apart on the main road into Estes Park. In the event of bad weather, at least that route would be open. And, we definitely had very bad weather even though the snow was beautiful.
The church and the Stanley were available Christmas weekend. We had the opportunity to pay off-season rates, and despite the snow, everything was accessible. It was a beautiful wedding with a phenomenal family reunion. Because of the distance traveled, the good times moved from the Stanley to my home. A truly traditional family wedding of fun, laughter, and good times.
Cost Saving Tip: If the bride, groom, or parent putting on the wedding is military or a veteran, always ask if there’s a military discount. You’d be surprised at the potential cost savings.
Do you have any cost saving tips to share?