To start planning your Christmas themed tropical wedding, choose your colors.  Traditionally, Christmas means red, green, silver and gold.  There is no reason you can’t use those colors for your tropical wedding.  Chances are, you are going to be surrounded by lush tropical greenery and beautiful green landscaping at your tropical location, so you already have half of your color scheme in place.  To bring in touches of red, you can surround yourself with gorgeous red roses, red hibiscus flowers, or any number of rich red tropical flowers.  Add touches of holiday colored fabric where you can – draped between or over the chairs; on table linens; as curtains.  Ask your caterer for cranberry colored china and gold plated utensils.  Carry the Christmas colors throughout your entire affair.

Choose a gown in a beautiful, clean, crisp winter white, and accent it with a bouquet of green orchids and red roses.  If you want to be set apart from a traditional bride, use a red or green sash around your waist, or have your gown embroidered with red or green thread.  Your bridesmaids can choose to go with a very festive Christmas red gown or even a green gown, or add a taste of the tropics in your Christmas themed wedding by choosing lime green or fuchsia for the gowns.  Their bouquets can be filled with white roses and orchids, or combine some of the beautiful tropical greenery with red roses or red tropical flowers for a stunning look.  Your groom can opt for the traditional black tuxedo, or match your gown with a winter white look for himself; and the male attendants will look dashing in accessories to match the colors of the bridesmaids.

Don’t let the Christmas theme keep you from holding your ceremony on the beach!  Set up a beautiful white arch at the location you choose, and use red and white roses and green orchids and foliage to decorate the arch, and if you are having your wedding ceremony at sunset or at sunrise, consider using battery operated white twinkle lights to give a beautiful glow to the arch.  Have your guests seated in white chairs, each adorned with a wide, green satin bow that holds a gold Christmas bell or a few silver jingle bells, and walk down the “aisle” on a carpet of red rose petals.  No matter what month you get married in, this will put all of your guests in a Christmas mood!

In choosing decorations for your reception, you can keep both the tropical feel and the Christmas spirit alive by using flowers and plants.  Instead of a traditional floral arrangement on each table, consider using lush green foliage on a cone shaped topiary form, and dot the “Christmas tree” with red hibiscus flowers or red poinsettias.  These can be made with fresh flowers from your tropical location, or you can make them out of silk flowers and greens, and then play a game with your guests.  The guest at the table whose birthday is closest to Christmas gets to keep the centerpiece, and you know that they will be reminded of your beautiful wedding each Christmas when they use it as decoration in their own home.  In addition to the floral arrangement as your centerpiece, you could decorate it with a battery operated set of twinkle lights, and liberally sprinkle the table with jingle bells, tied with red and green ribbons.  Use votive candles to add to the romance and wonder of the evening.

Decorations for the room itself should absolutely include Christmas lights, but use them in places people wouldn’t normally expect to find them.  Decorate palm trees and tropical bushes with the lights, and use as much foliage as you can, tying red, silver, and gold ribbons on branches.  As your guests enter, you could have a tropically decorated artificial Christmas tree standing as a focal point.  Use large, beautiful scallop shells as place cards.  Paint the edges of the shells in gold metallic paint, tie them with a red or green satin ribbon, and use gold marker to write the guest names and table numbers inside the shell, and hang them on the branches of the tree.  To make it easier on your guests, keep the shells in some sort of alphabetic order, starting from the top of the tree with the letter A.

 Put a tropical spin on your meal as well to keep your guests in the holiday spirit while reminding them of your tropical locale.  Serve the traditional turkey dinner, but use a Jerk seasoning with a side dish of rice and peas for Caribbean flavor.  Serve appetizers that your family might recognize from your own holiday meals, but add a taste of the tropics by using goat’s milk cheeses and large prawns instead of the more familiar cow’s milk cheeses and shrimp cocktails.  

Your wedding cake will be a real tone setter for this tropical Christmas wedding, so use your imagination.  You can go with a traditional white tiered cake, but wrap each tier in a wide satin ribbon in Christmas colors.  Use fresh flowers and tropical greenery to decorate the tiers on your cake.  Have your cake shaped like a Christmas tree, tinted green, and decorate with beautiful red flowers, picked straight from a tropical garden.  Use a white cake as the backdrop for silver and gold bells, tied with red and green ribbons, and use sprigs of lush green foliage with each little bell.

Treat your guests to the sounds of the Christmas season during cocktails and dinner, but make sure you use music with a tropical sound.  You will find Christmas music done Calypso style, and your guests will enjoy hearing their favorite holiday tunes by way of the steel drums.  You can also find holiday albums with a tropical sound by Jimmy Buffet, the Bellamy Brothers, and numerous other popular artists.  While the party is in full swing and your guests are crowding the dance floor to dance to the hippest music out there, surprise them with a techno version of “Jingle Bells” or another hip version of a holiday hit.

Favors for your guests can really take any form for this type of themed wedding.  You can have silver or gold plated bells engraved with your initials and wedding date that people can use to hang on their own Christmas trees at home.  You could choose a Christmas ornament that will bring back to mind your tropical Christmas themed wedding, like a sea shell ornament or a star fish ornament.  Give your guests a taste of the tropics with your own personally labeled bottles of Jamaican rum, tied with red and green ribbons and jingle bells.  Give your guests a gift of a small pineapple plant or a small orange tree, decorated with satin ribbons or jingle bells (just be careful with these young plants so that they aren’t burdened with too much weight from your ornaments).  You can find candy canes in tropical flavors online at any time during the year, so you can use them even if your Christmas wedding occurs in April. 

A really nice touch would be to have your photograph taken with each of your guests as they arrive at your wedding or in the receiving line.  When Christmas rolls around, purchase photo Christmas cards that allow you to insert your own photograph.  Print a photo of yourself and your guest at the wedding and send each guest a very special, personalized card to wish them a happy holiday and remind them of what a great time you had with them at your wedding. 

Don’t let the date or the location keep you from having the Christmas wedding you dream of.  The season of Christmas brings thoughts of family and friends, and warm wishes for love and happiness.  Those are all things that go hand in hand with a successful wedding celebration and a happy marriage, and it is certainly appropriate to celebrate in this manner at any time of year.  Adding a tropical flair to the event allows you to take advantage of your warm weather location, whether you live there or will be traveling there, while adding the spirit of Christmas.  As Scrooge said in the beloved “A Christmas Carol”, “I will honour Christmas in my heart and try to keep it all the year.”  Give your wedding guests the opportunity to do just that with your tropical Christmas themed wedding.

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