December-- how is it that you manage to bring the greatest feeling of warmth during the start of the coldest season of the year?  Most would say that it is the  joyful spark of love and merriment that grows throughout these 31 days littered with friends, family, lovers and engagements!

The weeks between these winter holidays and Valentine’s Day (every wedding blogger's favorite celebration)  boast the greatest number of wedding engagements throughout the year. It isn't just that extra mug of eggnog that’s making us all bright eyed and rosy-cheeked--  Love is in the air!

With newly engaged couples anxious to begin the planning process, we've gathered a few helpful reminders to keep the holiday craziness limited to last minute shopping (rather than your engagement):

Give Yourself Time.

Any husband or wife will tell you, planning well in advance is the key to keeping calm and enjoying the beauty of your pending celebration.

Start with the Venue.  

While there are guests to tally, centerpieces to craft, invites to send out, where would any of this be without the perfect venue? Make a day of it and venture out to any one of our beautiful California estates to grab your ideal date and allow time for all of the extras!  Gather your friends, your parents, your fiance, or anyone riding the holiday wave and take some time to browse our properties. We promise, once you’re in the presence of your perfect venue, the rest will fall into place.

Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help.

When spending time with family over the Holidays, ask for feedback on potential venues or ideas you may have. By including those who hold a special place in your heart, not only will you get a better idea of what your guests may enjoy, but they will feel joyed that you have included them in your journey from "I Will"  to "I Do."

Images: Style Me Pretty -- Orchard Love Shoot by Jennifer Bullock Photography