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Ideas For Planning a Magical Christmas Wedding

christmas wedding venue

If you absolutely adore the festive holiday season, and wait with anticipation for the time when dwellings are decked to the nines with mistletoe and holly, and a feeling of joy blossoms in the air, then it makes perfect sense to get married to the love of your life during the Christmas season.

The beauty of winter weddings is that it’s the perfect time for a black tie event, if that’s what appeals to you. It’s also the ideal time for a more informal wedding ceremony and family-friendly reception.

In this post, we’ll share plenty of tips to help you plan a special day that’s truly unforgettable. Before we get started, though, here’s a pro tip: Book your wedding venue and reception venue early. Although summer weddings may be more common, venues of choice can get booked early because of family and corporate holiday get-togethers.

Now, here’s more!

Choosing Your Colors

For your Christmas wedding, you can fully embrace the traditional colors of stunning red and contrasting evergreen, or you can create a truly magical winter wonderland using pure white and glistening silver. Or, you can go against expectations and use royal blues or purples, with surprising touches of gold.

As another option, you can choose an unexpected color scheme but incorporate touches of more conventional hues. That way, if a significant number of guests are dressed in Christmas colors (which is reasonably likely), then all will go together brilliantly.

And, what about a touch of tartan plaid?

Saying “Yes” to an Unexpected Dress

When you get married in a warmer climate, you might typically decide to stay away from certain fabrics, choosing more comfortable ones that move and breathe with you. But, in the relatively cooler winter months, you can incorporate touches of these fabrics—perhaps wearing ultra-smooth velvet shoes that coordinate with the men’s velvet bow ties, or a delicate faux fur stole—during the holidays.

Beautiful Bouquets and Boutonnières

If, for example, you want to celebrate with the season’s traditional colors, you’ve got a wide range of options, from snow white lilies to deep, rich amaryllis. No matter which flowers you choose, you can incorporate holiday greenery such as ivy, plus delicate pinecones and/or acorns (perhaps lightly kissed with glitter), silvery brunia berries, aromatic eucalyptus, and more.

If the women are wearing velvet shoes or the men are sporting velvety bow ties, you could add a stunning, trailing ribbon of velvet to the bouquets to pull all together. You can even have the rings presented on a gorgeous velvet pillow.

Confirming Your Wedding Venue

If you’re getting married in a church, then being wed during the holiday season can often simplify your planning and even reduce your expenses. That’s because churches are often already decorated for Christmas, perhaps having a beautiful tree up and decorated; garland strategically draped; and candles ready to be lit.

It makes sense to talk to your contact at the church to see what additions or changes you can make to the decorations at your wedding venue. Perhaps you’ve dreamed about elegantly decorated candles located at the ends of pews to light your bridal procession up and down the aisle, or strategically placed centerpieces of trailing flowers.

If you’re getting married in the same place where you’ll hold your wedding reception, then that hall may already be decorated for the holiday season, as well. If not, then it’s likely that those decorations are readily available.

Confirming Your Wedding Reception Venue

This is when you’ll want to make sure you can customize your wedding reception venue to transform it into what you’ve imagined for this very special event. If the venue is not typically decorated for the holidays, be sure to inquire what is permitted in regards to decorations (like candles, for instance).

As far as decorating for your Christmas theme, you could consider covered chairs, perhaps decorated with bows, sprigs of pine, and/or ornaments and berries. Tablecloths could alternate between red and gold, with name tags tied to stems of vivid green pine needles. You can also scatter mistletoe throughout the venue so that everyone who attends can feel the Christmas love.

It makes sense to choose a venue that:

  • is conveniently located
  • has free, ample parking
  • is handicap accessible
  • provides the right amount of space for your guests
  • offers customized setups, including but not limited to seating
  • has WiFi
  • provides the audio-visual technology you need
  • allows you to create a space for dancing, plus the band or DJ
  • scenic area for unforgettable wedding photos

If you’re also looking for a place to hold your rehearsal dinner, a special brunch for bridesmaids, or something similar, you can ask about booking that, as well.

Ask the wedding reception venue whether they provide catering options and whether you can bring your own caterer.

Cheers!

Choices at the bar can include mulled wine, a traditional Christmas drink that warms people up body and soul, or warm apple cider, champagne tinged with cranberry juice, and more. Drinks can include cocktails as well as mocktails that look stunning but contain no alcohol, each garnished with gorgeous edible flowers. You can also offer hot cocoa with peppermint stirrers, unique drinks with a candy cane hanging on the glassware rim, and more.

Don’t Forget the Details!

Do you want your band or DJ to include heart-warming Christmas carols? Holiday songs that make the young and the young at heart smile and sing along?

Instead of a more traditional box for guests to leave their cards, what about a gingerbread house? Instead of having guests toss birdseed at you and your new spouse when you leave the wedding venue, what about having your friends hand out jingle bells that attendees can ring with joyful abandon? These same bells can be used at the reception when it’s time for the couple to kiss again, and can also be taken home by guests as a party favor.

For a tongue-in-cheek touch, you could offer guests the choice between two different types of favor bags, one labeled “naughty,” and the other one “nice.” You could have a gingerbread cake, or a cake with each layer looking like a differently wrapped package.

You could offer guests shortbread, iced Christmas cookies or chocolate bark, or desserts filled with marzipan.

Something Old, New, Borrowed and Blue

Something Olde
Something New
Something Borrowed
Something Blue
A Sixpence in your Shoe

This old English rhyme lists what a bride should traditionally have with her on her wedding day. Having something old offers up a sense of continuity, and so perhaps you can wear a piece of jewelry that belonged to your mother or is an especially cherished gift given in years past. It could be your grandmother’s veil that she carefully preserved for future generations.

The “something new” portion of the rhyme is usually pretty easy to fulfill and represents optimism for the couple’s new life together. This can be something specifically purchased to fulfill this line of the rhyme, or the new apparel you’re wearing.

Including “something borrowed” is said to bring good luck to the couple. This can include a piece of jewelry from a loved one, or whatever else fits your situation. As for “something blue,” this color represents three key qualities of a successful marriage: love, purity, and fidelity. Brides used to wear blue garters for this purpose, but you can wear a pair of blue shoes, include blue in your bouquet, or whatever else inspires you.

As far as the sixpence, which is meant to bring prosperity, you could include a more modern coin in your bouquet or as part of your apparel, perhaps incorporated in a bow on your shoe.

Thrasher-Horne Center: the Perfect Anytime Wedding Venue!

Fortunately, our conference center is the perfect atmosphere for your wedding ceremony, as well as the ideal wedding reception venue. We offer six banquet rooms that can be customized to the design you envision. Our grand banquet room offers couples with a contemporary space, complete with beautiful chandeliers, and can accommodate up to 220 guests and still leave room for comfortable dancing.

Some couples choose to hold their wedding ceremony at our venue; others, the reception. Still others hold both their wedding and reception in our grand banquet room, while others hold their wedding ceremony in one banquet room, and the reception in another.

Hundreds of couples from the Jacksonville area and surrounding region choose the Thrasher-Horne Conference Center for their special day, receiving five-star service at a surprisingly affordable price.

We’re conveniently located and handicap accessible, with ample free parking—and we offer a wide range of options and customizations for weddings and receptions. Thrasher-Horne Center has a list of recommended caterers, ones that offer a broad range of options, from snacks or light hors d’ oeuvres to themed dinners or award-winning barbecues. Other couples decide to use their own caterer.

Whether you’re in the early planning stages or are ready to reserve a date, please contact our rental coordinator at 904-276-6815, extension 2, or email us at ellenhare@sjrstate.edu.

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Located at St. Johns River State College
283 College Drive
Orange Park, FL 32065
904.276.6815

Box Office Hours: Monday through Thursday from 11 AM - 3 PM
We are also open one hour prior to showtime on event nights.

Email us at boxoffice@sjrstate.edu