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The time between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s day is known as “engagement season” in the wedding business. And yes, it’s true that many couples choose this time, while surrounded by family, friends, and warm fuzzy holiday feelings, to take their relationship to the next level with an engagement ring. What many officiants know, however, is that it should be called, “elopement season!” For many of the same reasons people choose to get engaged between Thanksgiving and Valentine’s Day, many choose to go ahead and tie the knot.

On Friday, December 6th, I had one couple ready to do just that, and they took full advantage of the Christmas spirit! They got married in front of the town of Apex’s Christmas tree on beautiful, historic Salem Street. They chose the night of the town’s Christmas tree lighting, so the whole street was alive with activity, including horse drawn carriages, hundreds of people bundled up enjoying the lights and decorations, Mr. and Mrs. Claus make their rounds, and of course the highlight of the event, the huge lit up Christmas tree in front of the Chamber of Commerce building. The bride was a Gilmore Girls fan and described the scene as, “her own Stars Hollow!” I just loved that!Apex Tree Lighting

The ceremony itself was short and sweet, but shared bits of their love story and how they got to this point in their lives. The couple had grown children who were there for the ceremony and the whole family was bursting with love and joy. It was obviously a very happy occasion for everyone involved. The bride’s daughter-in-law surprised her with a beautiful bouquet of white flowers and rust-colored hypericum berries, absolutely perfect for the holiday event. And of course, their first kiss was sealed under the mistletoe! The family stayed after to enjoy some white wedding cupcakes in celebration, by the light of the Christmas tree. What a magical evening!

Apex elopement

Are you planning a holiday wedding?

The holidays can be a budget-friendly time to get married if you’re looking to save on decorations. Many wedding venues including historic homes, bed and breakfasts, and inns will have already decorated for the holidays and won’t need anything else in the way of wedding decor. Even if you are decorating a venue yourself, plants associated with the holidays like poinsettias, fresh garland, and holly are typically much less expensive than traditional wedding floral arrangements. If you are willing to brave the cold, outdoor locations such as a historic main street lit up for Christmas, or in front of your town’s Christmas tree make for great holiday wedding pictures.

Having a string quartet or pianist playing classical Christmas carols before the ceremony is a nice way to set the holiday mood for your guests. Likewise, playing more upbeat, modern Christmas music during cocktail hour keeps the theme going, but gets guests ready for the party! This website has some great ideas for both traditional and modern Christmas music to be played during different parts of the celebration.

Happy Holidays!

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I am an ordained minister available for spiritual, Christian, non-denominational, interfaith, and civil or non-religious wedding ceremonies. I am based in Garner, North Carolina and serve the surrounding area, including Raleigh, Durham, Cary, Apex, Clayton, Fuquay-Varina, Holly Springs, Morrisville, Wendell, and Knightdale.

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