(EUREKA SPRINGS, AR) – One of the happiest days of any year is Christmas Day. It’s a special family day. One of the happiest days of your life is the day you and your fiancé become a family, the day of your wedding. Many couples are combining the merry enjoyment of both holidays this year with a winter wedding in the “Wedding Capital of The South”, Eureka Springs AR.
“We are astounded at the creativity of today’s brides,” said Jodie English, chairman of the Bridal Committee of the Greater Eureka Springs Chamber of Commerce. “They are coming up with ideas that make their wedding an event that will be talked about for generations to come. Special themed winter holiday weddings seem to be the trend this year.”
English explained that brides are choosing the winter months to give themselves a better selection of dates; prices that are lower than in the spring, summer or fall; and a time when family and friends tend to get together traditionally anyway. With the essentials like event room rental and sleeping rooms for family and friends costing less, it gives the bride additional discretionary funds to “spice up” her event.
“For example, we have one bride that is planning a Christmas themed wedding,” explained Jack Moyer, vice president of operations and development for Eureka Springs’ Landmark Hotels: 1886 Crescent Hotel and Spa, and 1905 Basin Park Hotel. “Her chosen colors are green and red. Her flowers will include green holly with red berries. Her ring bearer and flower girl will be dressed like elves. Her cake will have red and green adornments. Eggnog will be their punch. Each guest will receive a special present from the couple: a Christmas ornament adorned with the couple’s name and the wedding date. The reception is going to be a holiday dinner with family-style seating and served by our wait staff wearing Santa hats. The deejay will have several Christmas carols to play for a group sing-a-long. And right in the middle of reception, a surprise visit from Santa to have his photo taken with the children as well as those big kids of all ages.
“Many of these friends and family members may not be able to get together during the holidays, so this way they can share two special events at the same time traveling only once.”
“One couple, planning a smaller event, is making sure one of their guests drives to Eureka Springs in a convertible so the newly married couple can sign up and be in Eureka’s annual Christmas parade to the throngs of their cheering guests as they drive by,” Moyer continued. “To prepare their guests for standing outside, the couple has chosen a hot toddy of mulled cider to be served to their guests along with holiday cookies during the reception that includes the parade.” The annual Christmas Parade is held each year during the Eurekasprings.com Christmas Festival held the first weekend of December.
English was quick to point out that there are many winter wedding days beyond December 25, “You cannot imagine the couples that are planning their wedding either on the evening of New Year’s Eve, at the strike of midnight, or the next day on January 1. In fact, it is not uncommon for us to have several brides each year to use the Basin Park Hotel’s New Year’s Eve Ballroom Blitz as their reception party.”
English went on to say, “But perhaps the most creative bride is the one planning her event around a Winter Wonderland theme in late January complete with snow machine for the reception’s crowning touch juxtaposed by a faux fire fireplace. The couple follows that up with a carriage ride through downtown to the recognizable jingle of sleigh bells.”
Some brides that opt for a more conventional setting for a wedding will choose the 1901 Gavioli Chapel, a limestone church turned wedding-chapel, that sits just a few blocks from the Crescent Hotel on Eureka Springs’ Historic Loop. This quaint chapel with its magnificent collection of stained glass windows looks much like the church many had in their Christmas village collection as a child, others will select world-renowned Thorncrown Chapel. Following these traditional ceremonies, brides choose from a reception at either the Crescent or Basin Park Hotels with a limousine ride for the newlyweds. The Crescent Hotel offers this “Winter Wedding” Package for just $1950 and it includes ceremony, minister, cake and reception as well as two-nights in a Penthouse Suite.
“She hasn’t set the date yet, but I have heard of one bride-to-be that is considering a winter wedding and bringing the Caribbean to Eureka Springs,” concluded English. “Her entire wedding will be in a recreated beach motif in one of Eureka Springs’ reception venues. Her guests will be encouraged to wear beach resort attire. Top that off with Reggae music, lots of fruity cocktails complete with umbrellas, and so on and so on… you get the picture. ”
For information to help plan a winter wedding in Eureka Springs, one may go to www.eurekaspringsweddings.travel.