At first glance, Thanksgiving involves stuffing yourself with turkey and crashing into a soft couch for some prime football spectatorship. It’s hardly the kind of holiday that screams “romance.” But many couples are planning weddings for the Thanksgiving season in order to celebrate the more intimate side of the holiday: family, community, togetherness, and above all, giving thanks.
Giving Thanks for Each Other
There’s nothing sweeter than wedding vows that reveal how much the couple adores and appreciates each other. Since Thanksgiving is a time of giving thanks, take the time to consider exactly what you’re thankful for about your spouse-to-be. Hearing it said aloud will bring a tear to quite a few guests’ eyes, and it will bring the two of you even closer on your wedding day.
Creating a Wedding Banquet
Since Thanksgiving features a delicious, traditional feast, it’s only fair to assume that your Thanksgiving wedding will come replete with all of the turkey, mashed potatoes, and gravy you’ve enjoyed in other years. When it comes time for dessert, however, there’s trickier ground to cover. How do you reconcile Thanksgiving favorites like sweet potato pie and pecan pie with the image of a white, layered wedding cake?
One easy answer is to serve both. Since your dessert table will be laden with Thanksgiving pies, you can save money by buying a much smaller wedding cake. Most of your guests will be happy with a small slice of cake so they can save room for the delectable Thanksgiving sweets.
As long as you’re combining your wedding celebration with Thanksgiving, why not combine your favorite elements of each? If you decide to go traditional, spice your wedding cakewith nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves for a flavor that’s pure autumn. Ask your baker about running a layer of cranberry sauce through the middle.
You may also want to skip the cake entirely–’tis the season, after all. Wedding pies are gaining in popularity because, let’s face it: plain white cake can get boring. Stick your cake toppers in a picture-perfect, chocolate-pecan pie on a tiered serving platter. Line the rest of the tiers with apple pie, cherry pie, pumpkin pie, and your other favorite Thanksgiving classics.
Planning an Affordable Wedding
Although holiday weddings can quickly deplete even a generous budget, simply because vendor and travel rates are higher during those days, it’s possible to save money with a Thanksgiving reception. For example, if you’re worried that having an at-home wedding celebration is too informal, consider that Thanksgiving is a holiday usually celebrated in the home. The intimacy of a private house is actually a bonus for this particular holiday.
Likewise, Thanksgiving is the perfect time for a bring-your-own-dish meal. Hop on the community-oriented aspect of the holiday to encourage a classy potluck reception. Even if you hire a catering company to serve all of your guests a complete dinner, you can still lean towards menu items like green bean or sweet potato casseroles, which are as inexpensive as they are traditional–and delicious!
Planning in Advance
Holiday weddings are hard to plan for a few reasons. First, many people have longstanding plans with their families over Thanksgiving. Second, travel rates skyrocket during holidays so some far-away guests may not be able to afford airfare to your wedding. Third, many vendors and venues are booked far in advance for special dates like Thanksgiving, meaning you’ll need to beat the crowd (and often pay top dollar) to reserve them. Fourth, since many stores close for all or part of Thanksgiving Day, you’re out of luck if you need to run out to grab last-minute wedding items.
On the other hand, Thanksgiving weddings don’t have to be a headache if you plan far in advance. Depending on how popular your preferred vendors and venues are, consider reserving your wedding date as early as a year and a half in advance. Choosing alternative event venues, such as private homes and backyards, ensures that you don’t have to pay overtime rates for event staff who would rather be home with their families. And, as an added bonus, you’re assured that most of your wedding guests will already have the day off from work.
Give yourself and your guests plenty of time to plan for your Thanksgiving wedding, and you’ll have ample reason to give thanks.
Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.