Top Tips for Planning a Magical Christmas Wedding
27 Oct 2015
Planning a wedding can be a stressful time. Every bride wants her big day to be the best and at Christmastime it’s as important as ever. Often the focus is on the ceremony itself without couples spending enough time and thought on the reception. To organise an event that makes the day feel really special, there are a few things to get right according to Mike Walker, events planning expert and Managing Director of MGN Events.
Here are his top tips to make a Christmas wedding reception go with a swing.
Styling the venue
Once the venue is decided on, think about how you want it to look. Popular themes at Christmas tend to be rustic and country style with lots of ivy, green, red and gold. You may want to stick with one of these or go for something quirky or different – possibly a winter wonderland wedding. The service and reception venue will dictate the way the space is dressed to a certain extent. So for example:
A marquee can be the perfect blank canvas, even at Christmastime. A marquee allows you to create your own luxury reception inside. Think drapery, furniture, props and styling – the list goes on and on. Enlist help from your production team who can take a vision and bring it to life.
Barns and stately homes
A barn venue or stately home will be naturally picturesque so these features can be enhanced with discreet flower displays on tables, swags and beautifully dressed tables to create class and timelessness.
A hotel conference room gives couples the chance to go to town with styling. We’ve styled venues to create Great Gatsby parties, Arabian Nights events and Hollywood glamour parties. Anything is possible, but ensure that if you go down this route, you get it right otherwise it can be a disaster. If you’re unsure whether a certain design will work, stick to something simple.
Music and entertainment
No wedding reception is complete without music. Choose from live performers such as violinists, saxophonists, classical music, jazz or pop. The list is endless and your choice again depends on the chosen theme. If you’re holding a big glitzy Great Gatsby style reception, then a jazz band would be an ideal complement to the theme. If the reception is more traditional, then a string quartet could fit the bill. If you want to let your hair down later in the evening, hiring a DJ is an option. Other quirky options could include hiring a magician to perform magic tricks at the tables, acrobats, stilt walkers or even Father Christmas – the sky’s the limit!
Lighting a room correctly can really set the mood for the day and evening. Coloured lighting adds atmosphere, so use different colours to move from day to evening – right through from welcome drinks to a meal and dancing. Lighting can be pre-programmed and altered at the touch of a button when using an intelligent lighting system. Talk to a lighting expert if you’re unsure.
If you expect guests to use outdoor space in the evening, ensure that steps and uneven surfaces are well lit to avoid accidents. Create a magical atmosphere by hanging lanterns in the space.
Don’t rush things – getting the timing of the day right is crucial to setting the perfect atmosphere. Don’t feel you have to cram the time that you have with music or have something going on all the time. Guests will welcome the chance to chat among themselves between the speeches and any evening entertainment. Above all, allow people to relax and enjoy themselves and you will do the same. You’re creating magical memories to treasure so make sure you relax and enjoy your day.