Christmas at Biltmore: Adding it all up
Written By Amy Dangelico
For the Home
Decorating America’s largest home for the holiday season is certainly no small task. Christmas at Biltmore is one of the Southeast’s most storied Yuletide destinations and we know that expectations are set pretty high.
Yet the beauty of Biltmore adorned for the season never disappoints, a remarkable testament to the expertise of our Floral staff. Each January, before the holiday decorations are taken down, our designers and reserve team start planning for next Christmas.
Designs and arrangements vary from year to year, meaning every wreath, ornament, and bow is selected or created precisely for its intended location that holiday season.
The amount of imagination and preparation required is staggering, not to mention the sheer volume of décor. So besides a talented crew and a full year, what exactly does it take to create Christmas at Biltmore?
- The 2016 celebration boasts 62 decorated Christmas trees inside Biltmore House.
- The largest tree in Biltmore House is the Vanderbilt traditional 35-foot-tall Fraser fir in the Banquet Hall. It takes about 50 Biltmore staff members to carry the tree through the house and raise it safely and securely into place.
- An illuminated 55-foot-tall Norway spruce stands on the Front Lawn of Biltmore House, along with 20 other lit evergreens.
- A total of 44 additional decorated Christmas trees can be found at other locations across the estate, including Antler Hill Village & Winery, The Inn on Biltmore Estate, Village Hotel on Biltmore Estate, and our restaurants.
- The Conservatory is decorated with “trees” made of potted plants and other natural materials. Over 30 live trees and shrubs are used to decorate other estate buildings.
Lights and Candles
- About 30,000 lights and 150 candles are used in Biltmore House. More than 135,000 LED and mini lights twinkle across the estate.
- The Front Lawn tree is illuminated by 55,000 lights. An additional 20,000 are used on the surrounding trees and shrubs.
- Lit at dusk, 300 luminaries line the driveway and Esplanade in front of Biltmore House.
The Banquet Hall tree is trimmed with 500 ornaments, 500 LED Edison style light bulbs, and 500 wrapped gift boxes. There are 13,000 ornaments decorating the other trees inside Biltmore House and another 13,000 used in other areas of the estate.
Poinsettias and Other Blooming Plants
There are over 1,000 traditional poinsettias on display as well as over 1,000 other bloom plants including amaryllis, Christmas cactus, orchids, peace lilies, cyclamen, begonias, and kalanchoe.
Our wreaths are made of fresh white pine and Fraser fir, ornamented with golden arborvitae, holly, or other natural materials like twigs and cones. Artificial bases are decorated with ornaments, berries, faux flowers, and ribbon. There are 360 fresh wreaths and sprays along with 130 faux pieces throughout the estate during the season.
There are 100 orbs made of fresh white pine and Fraser fir or dried and faux materials decorating the estate.
A total of 7,527 feet of fresh white pine and Fraser fir garlanding adorns the estate, all of which is replaced weekly for freshness and fragrance. An additional 1,200 feet for faux garlanding is used in Biltmore House with another 1,500 feet used across the estate.
Ribbons and Bows
There are 500 bows used in Biltmore House and about 1,000 used in other areas of the estate. Base materials vary from narrow cording to 8-inch-wide ribbon, decorated with velvets, metallics, satins, burlap, printed cottons, and more.