Most brides count down the days until the wedding like children count the days until Christmas. But what happens when the two collide? What happens when all of your spare time is already going toward wedding planning, and you have to take a month-long break for Christmas?
Take a deep breath and relax, because you don’t. The holiday season is a great time to multi-task. Think about it: both involve planning for and organizing festive occasions; there is absolutely no reason you can’t combine the two. Here are some ideas suggested by the wedding gurus at About.com.
You’ve already got some sort of binder or planner (even if it’s on your phone) for your wedding. (You do, don’t you?) Do the same thing for Christmas. Have tabs for your to-do list, gift lists, events, receipts, etc. This will make it easier to spot overlapping tasks so you can kill the proverbial two birds with one stone – and have fun while doing it.
Gather information for wedding invitation lists.
This is actually the easiest time of year to plan your invitation list. As those Christmas cards come in, either save the envelopes or enter the addresses straight into your planner. And family gatherings are a good time to ask about extended family members who may need to be invited. Someone at the gathering is even likely to have their addresses. In addition, consider this advice from The Best Wedding Blog Ever: Take advantage of family gatherings to ask the most recent brides for their feedback on vendors, venues, etc.
With holiday parties coming up, this is a great time to get your girls together and plan a day of shopping. While you’re looking for party dresses, you can scope out bridesmaid options, too. And while it wasn’t too long ago that no one would be caught dead in a bridesmaid dress outside of the wedding, that’s changing. Today’s dresses are modern and stylish, and some of your girls might just decide the dress can do double duty.
Host double-duty parties.
It might be easier to skip hosting this year, but if you have your heart set on it and your budget allows, have the vendors you’re considering for the wedding cater your party. You could even host a small cake-tasting party and have guests vote on their favorites. Or invite the girls over to help you assemble wedding favors while you drink eggnog and watch Christmas movies.
Make the most of trial runs on hair and make-up.
How many brides have had their stylists practice fancy up-dos only to go home and vacuum? Don’t waste all of that glamour! Try to schedule your practice runs for the day you have a fancy party, and you’ll be the belle of the ball.
Make your Christmas wish list.
Most people actually prefer to shop with a wish list, so don’t be shy about adding wedding items to yours. There are so many little things that add up fast, like a registry book or a cake server. Those are perfect things to put on your Christmas list.
Make shopping trips multi-purpose.
We all have people for whom we want to buy “a little something”. And then there are hostess gifts for the parties you attend. These are great things to consider when you’re shopping for Christmas gifts, wedding favors, bridesmaid gifts, etc. It’s always cheaper to buy in bulk; you’re likely to get much nicer gifts for the same price you had planned to spend. Another great idea – and one that could simplify your list considerably – is to order personalized Christmas ornaments from websites like OrnamentShop.com. You can have an ornament designed just for engaged couples personalized with your names and the date of your wedding.
Pay attention during religious services.
If you’re in the habit of going to church only on Christmas and Easter, take advantage of Christmas services to look for special readings or passages that you’d like to include in your wedding. It’s also a good time to re-introduce yourself to the preacher or priest who will be performing the wedding.
Shop the after-Christmas sales
This is a great time to buy decorative items and small favors. Even if your wedding colors don’t include red and green, you’ll find plenty of goodies in gold, silver, and white on clearance.
Instead of seeing Christmas as an interruption in your wedding planning, see it as an opportunity to multi-task. You can get your Christmas shopping and wedding planning done at the same time, and, with everybody already in a festive mood, have a lot of fun doing it.
Susan Thomson is an avid wedding planner. She enjoys writing about the tips and tricks to a beautiful nuptual on wedding and bridal blogs.