Can Holiday Weddings and Proposals Be Original?

February 5, 2021

I might have a soft spot for holiday weddings and proposals because they’re something I witnessed, or heard stories about, as I was growing up. 

On Easter 1939, my grandparents, madly in love, snuck off to elope. They didn’t have a lot of money, but they had a lot of love. Over the years, rather than celebrating their anniversary on this specific date, they chose to celebrate their anniversary on the random Sunday Easter fell on each year. You could accuse my grandfather of forgetting his wedding date, but I believe he did it as a special way to celebrate his love for his bride. There was something about having an anniversary on a holiday that made it especially sweet.

An old photo of a happy couple and example of successful holiday weddings.

Every year, he would bring home a little gift to commemorate their special day. My grandma would smile and cherish the love he bestowed on her, and as their little family grew, they always found a moment to pause on Easter and celebrate. I never met my grandmother, but I have seen some of the gifts that my grandpa gave her each year. One year he restrung her favorite pearls with dental floss. And, during the 20 years after she passed, he never dated or loved another woman like he loved my grandma. 

In 1989, long after my grandmother had passed, my grandfather breathed his last breath, mere hours before Easter. My family believed that he was able to be reunited with his bride just in time to celebrate their holiday anniversary together once again.

In 1968, my parents married on my dad’s 21st birthday. There’s absolutely no way they can forget this date as it is both an anniversary of birth and marriage. It’s a special moment that they have shared for over 50 years. My dad’s not a big gift giver, but every year on his birthday he brings his bride a bouquet of flowers. 

An old photo of a bride and groom getting married on the groom's birthday.

So now, you have found the one you want to spend the rest of your life with. You know, that one who melts your heart and makes you just know life is better because they are in it. Now what? Do you pop the question? If this is your next step, how do you pull it off? When is the best time to do it? Is there a tried and true way to make this epic? Are there do’s and don’ts we need to know? 

As we approach February and one of the biggest proposal holidays of the year—Valentine’s Day—you might be asking the question, can holiday weddings or engagements really be original? And the answer is absolutely! Holiday proposals and weddings can absolutely be unique and memorable! No matter which day of the year you get married or engaged, you can make the moment or day meaningful and filled with original ideas. 

Just like my grandpa and my dad, you can incorporate original elements to make your holiday proposal or wedding something worthy of the love you want to express. Here are some tips to pull off an original proposal or wedding on a major holiday. 

1. Making  holiday weddings or proposals personal

It doesn’t have to be expensive or over-the-top to outshine the holiday. There’s always something that brought the two of you together that you can use to bring the originality to the moment. This could be a special trip you made, a special food you enjoyed, or a song or an activity that defines you as a couple. Adding these special touches to your holiday wedding or proposal shows that you pay attention and are sure to make the day memorable.

A man proposing to his girlfriend in Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, during a photoshoot with Adina Stiles Photography.

2. Use the holiday as your backdrop and weave it in as your theme

This could be red roses or candy hearts as decorations, a firework sendoff, champagne toasts, or balloons with a special saying on it. 

A Valentine’s Day proposal can be a great surprise! Since your partner is likely already expecting a date, they may not see the proposal coming, despite the added romantics. If Christmas is a special time for you, incorporate it into your holiday wedding or proposal with snowy backdrops and festive decor.

A couple kisses in front of a Seattle skyline while the moment is caught by Adina Stiles Photography, who also shoots holiday weddings and proposals.

3. Make your holiday proposal or wedding timeless and unforgettable

Adding a special touch to holiday weddings and proposals can help set it apart for the regular holiday festivities.

Maybe it’s a balloon ride or a trip to a snowy mountain. Maybe it’s a special dinner or a walk on your favorite beach. A little planning can make even a major holiday the perfect setting. 

A man gets down on one knee while proposing on a holiday on the beach while his girlfriend wears a beautiful dress.

4. Get your family and friends involved

They can help you pop the question, and of course they’ll want to be part of your wedding. It’s a clever way to pull off the perfect event. For example, friends and family can get your future mate to your chosen holiday proposal spot or disguise the moment so it’s truly a surprise. 

A man and woman look into each other's eyes after getting engaged on a holiday, moment captured by Washington wedding photographer Adina Stiles.

5. Hire a professional photographer to capture the moment or day

Whether it’s a surprise proposal or your wedding day, why not document the event with professional photography! If you’re looking for a professional photographer in Washington State or elsewhere in the Pacific Northwest, contact me. I would love to help you document these special moments!