How to Subtly Incorporate the Christmas Spirit Into Your December Wedding

A tree stump with snow on top of it and a pair of gold rings.

Although summer and fall are the most popular wedding seasons, a winter wedding can be magical in its own right. With beautiful garlands, bouquets filled with poinsettias and traces of snowflakes all around, getting married in December means you’ll be walkin’ (down the aisle) in a winter wonderland.

But if your wedding date is in December, some brides and grooms may be a little hesitant to throw in any type of Christmas decor at the risk of their wedding looking like the movie Love Actually threw up everywhere. Luckily, there are ways to subtly incorporate some Christmas spirit into your December wedding without making it look like Santa’s workshop at the mall. Here are a few tips on how to accomplish this with style.

Kiss Under the Mistletoe

A wedding day is bound to be filled with smooches, so why not hang a sprig of mistletoe to inspire even more? Place a hanging sprig of mistletoe above your wedding altar or right above the sweetheart table at the reception.

Add a Little Christmas into Your Bouquet

A winter wedding bouquet with red roses and fir branches.

There’s nothing that says holiday spirit more than receiving a bouquet of poinsettias or seeing bunches of them around the town square for Christmas decor. Why not put a little bit of that Christmas magic into your bouquet? Add little touches of poinsettias, winterberries or even sprigs of winter greenery in your bridal bouquet that will give it a hint of Christmas without going overboard.

Have Plenty of Christmas-time Treats

Some might raise an eyebrow at too much Christmas decor in a wedding reception, but no one will object to plentiful Christmas treats at a December wedding. Have all your favorite winter goodies in stock at the reception, including hot cocoa (with a bit of a kick for the adults in the room), peppermint bark, warm apple cider and any other sweets you love to eat. In fact, your wedding could be a good opportunity to swap family Christmas recipes and have each family’s treats represented on the dessert table.

Properly Place Some Pinecones

A table set for dinner in a reception hall with pinecones and lights.

Go on an early December nature walk to collect some pretty pinecones to display throughout the reception. A pinecone can be used as a place card holder for seating arrangements or be strung onto a decorative garland. They can also look glamorous with a little sparkly spray paint and put in a big glass jar for table decorations. The creative possibilities with pinecones are endless—and it’s a great way to get some subtle Christmas decor into your wedding without being overkill.

Put a Wreath on the Getaway Car

While silly string and a “Just Married” sign are all well and good, make the getaway car look more festive by adding an evergreen wreath on the front bumper. This will look adorable in photos and would be a perfect place to pose for some photos.

Make it Snow as You Exit

A bride and groom standing on a snowy mountaintop with snow being thrown around them.

Forget the birdseed or the bubbles—have your guests toss some fake snow to make it look like you’re walking through a light dusting as you head to the car. This will be especially fun if you live in a warmer state like Texas or California that rarely sees the real stuff.

Go Caroling or Sing Christmas Songs

Buddy the Elf said it best: “The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear.” Incorporate some real Christmas spirit into your reception by having a Christmas sing-a-long or having the band play your favorite Christmas covers like “Santa Baby” “Baby, It’s Cold Outside” or “All I Want for Christmas Is You.”

If you’d really like to hike up the Christmas spirit, you could be adventurous and gather groups of your guests to go caroling in the neighborhoods around your venue. Once you’re done serenading the neighborhood, gather everyone back around for some hot chocolate in the venue. It certainly won’t be a wedding reception your guests will soon forget.

Jingle Bell Toasts

Silver jingle bells on a table with a cup of hot chocolate in the background.

It’s traditional to give toasts at a wedding, but to give it a bit more Christmas cheer, have any guest who would like to say a toast to the happy couple ring some jingle bells to grab their attention. In addition to toasts, you could also have guests ring jingle bells to get the couple to kiss (instead of the age-old tradition of tapping on the side of a glass) or use jingle bells in the exit toss, which will make quite the sound as you head to the car.

Go Plaid for the Tablecloths

The classic wedding tablecloth may be white, but it would look extra elegant at Christmas time to go with a plaid tablecloth—or at the very least a plaid runner over a white tablecloth. Plaid over the tables will give you that Christmas vibe without giving you too much holiday decoration.

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