Getting married during the Dec Holidays?

by | Dec 2, 2019




In this blog:

Getting married over the Festive Season has such a happy ring to it – the fairy lights are up, everyone is laid-back and taking a breather after the hectic year.

Aside from Valentine’s Day, December is the most popular month for marriage proposals, and Christmas day is the number one day for couples to get engaged. Decembers are filled to the brim with good moods, festive foods and popping champagne corks. 

Wouldn’t getting married over this time be a grand idea? After all, the family members are likely to be gathered in one spot in any case? While some people feel that Decembers are already so jam-packed with plans and activities that having a wedding in December would dilute the occasion, I side with those saying: Let’s double up on the joy. Everyone is planning to get away over December – why don’t we just direct the flow our way, by means of a wedding invitation.



For those who do plan to have a wedding over December, it is absolutely critical to get the RSVPs out well in advance – 6 to 9 months at least. Remember, the expense of getting to your wedding is likely to displace the plans your friends and family have for the December holiday. It is also really important to book flights, accommodation and travel plans way in advance to benefit from early-bird discounts.



Cornie Stols from Vivo Energy married his sweetheart Elfrieda in December: “95% of those we invited accepted. Only two people ended up not making it. It was a fantastic party vibe – everyone was in holiday mode.”

Many celebrities tend to echo Cornie’s sentiment – while some celebrity marriages didn’t stand the test of time, many are still celebrating wedding anniversaries and Christmases together. 

Abroad, actress Kate Winslet and Ned Rocknroll (Edward Abel Smith) (nephew of Sir Richard Branson), had a super-secret wedding on December 5, 2012. As expected, Winslet’s Titanic co-star Leonardo DiCaprio walked her down the aisle. Jada Pinkett and Will Smith married on December 31, 1997.

Locally, former Miss SA and now also author, Basetsana Makgalemele and Romeo Kumalo married on 9 December 2000.  Bassie arrived by boat on the Vaal River and was welcomed by a retinue of navy officers, who formed a guard of honour with drawn swords.

Some well-known celebrities who favoured a December wedding include:

  • Brigitte Nielsen and Sylvester Stallone – December 15, 1985.
  • Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise – Christmas Eve 1990
  • Madonna and Guy Ritchie – December 22, 2000
  • Cindy Crawford and Richard Gere – December 12, 1991.


Martha Stewart, the wedding specialist, and publisher, believes that holidays and weddings have a lot in common, from their focus on celebration to their ability to bring people together. “It makes sense, then, that some couples choose to combine the festivities into one. Christmastime is a popular choice, and especially for those captivated by its charm and cheer.”

However, she draws attention to the fact that: “… it’s important to be cognizant of expectations and traditions when planning a wedding on or around Christmas. Most of your celebrating guests won’t want to miss out on the complete Christmas experience, and neither will you.”

One of the best ways to make the most of the December festive season is by having your wedding in a scenic location – if guests have to change their holiday plans, they would be less reluctant to do so if the destination is a beach house or game farm or just a lovely get-together at the family house. While Europe and the Americas have snowy weather this time of year, South Africa is blessed with wonderfully warm weather – the ideal backdrop for an outdoor wedding.



Chances are that the venue you choose will already have festive décor up, adding to the celebratory theme of your wedding.

You don’t want your wedding to look like Santa’s workshop, but there are many cheerful and elegant ways of sneaking the Christmas theme into your wedding. Your choice of wedding décor colour will play a central role in your choice of Christmas décor used. While red is traditional and cheerful, silver, gold or more subdued colours may be more your style. For stylish inspiration have a look at the Scandinavian natural and minimalistic approach to wedding décor.



are multi-functional and can be applied in so many ways from place cards to centerpieces and décor accents:

Christmas is a super-sentimental time and a great opportunity to create new traditions: fill an old suitcase or hatbox with baubles and have a permanent marker pen close by. Wedding guests are invited to pen down a wish for the couple, and their names. At the end of the wedding, baubles are packed away safely, ready to be put up on the couple’s first wedding anniversary.

Christmas décor is wonderful wedding gifts – and practical ones at that. Fill a basket with beautiful baubles with calligraphy tags wishing all guests a wonderful Christmas day.



Wreaths make magnificent centerpieces and there are so many options to choose from. I quite like the idea of adding some character to the traditional “Mr & Mrs” signs by incorporating fresh wreaths. Why not gift your centerpiece wreaths to a special person per table – this way they will remember your wedding day for years to come.


Include cute Christmas themed cookies with your wedding coffee station or add snowflake themed cupcakes to your dessert station. You could even let your wedding cake lean towards the Christmas theme with gorgeous layers of red velvet cake:


If the groom and his team are a fun-loving bunch, Christmas themed gear could bring a smile to everyone who frowned upon the initial idea.


Whether you call them fairy lights, twinkle lights, or just plain string lights, it definitely tops my list of favourite and most versatile decorations. Fill a vase with Christmas ornaments and a string of LED fairy lights for instant charm. LED fairy lights can even be worked into wedding bouquets or wedding lanterns.


Don’t we all just adore Christmas crackers?  Sometimes more for the tradition and a quick laugh, than the contents. It’s also a nice little ice-breaker for guests. Durban- based Glenart has a beautiful selection of crackers and you can customise your (Christmas) Crackers, add logos or have your own gifts added.

I do love the fact that Glenart is a “green” company, recycling and re-using as far as possible while supporting the local community with job opportunities. I see many ticks why one should be using them for Christmas cracker gifting – be that for a wedding or traditional Christmas.

I also like the fact that they have collaborated with Copper Republic Gin – this exclusive range of Christmas crackers each contains a mini 50ml bottle of Copper Republic Gin, a Christmas hat and a joke. Feeling the Christmas cheer already? Even just a little?




A photo booth is a great way of creating wedding memories. Include Christmas elements into your photo booth – keep it classy enough to be able to send high-resolution digital photos to guests as a thank you, which they in return can use for their next Christmas card.



The downside to Christmas or December weddings is to find suppliers who are willing and able to work over this period. Your preferred florist may be tied up with an actual Christmas lunch. Your photographer may be clicking away at a corporate year-end dinner. Or maybe they are just taking a well-deserved break as we all do. Or at least try to.

While a Christmas wedding may not be practical for everyone I do believe that people who truly want to be there will be. With enough notice, there really is no excuse. After all, it’s your wedding day, it will be your anniversary and as a couple you need to do what makes YOU happy.

And the ultimate reason to get married on Christmas Day?

You will never forget your anniversary!

Disclaimer:  Please note that Umthunzi Hotel & Conference does not host weddings between 16 December and 3 January



She knows her Merlot from her Mojito, her hotel from her motel. From craft food to caviar, her innate curiosity about life and wanderlust provide inspiration for her blogs, articles and press releases about the travel, wedding and Spa industry. Over twenty years in the hotel marketing & PR arena with impressive hotel groups, from Dubai to Durbanville, has evolved into the pure enjoyment of freelance projects under the banner of About Branding.


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