Fall-Themed Wedding Ideas
Between the crisp air and the panorama of colorful leaves, fall holds a special place in many people’s hearts. It brings some fan-favorite holidays and delicious foods and flavors that only come once a year. If autumn is your favorite season or feels like the right time to tie the knot, you have plenty of creative fall wedding ideas to consider. To help you plan, we’ve compiled some tips for planning fall weddings, alongside ideas for decorating and selecting food and beverages.
Things to Consider With Fall Weddings
Whether you have your heart set on that late September date or wondering if fall is the season for you, the time of year brings some unique considerations to the planning process.
1. Weather and Guest Comfort
While fall typically has temperate conditions compared to summer and winter, weather can still play a factor. Autumn can bring wind and rain, and that always calls for a backup plan. It’s crucial to choose a venue with an indoor space and rain plan you approve of.
Another consideration is the chilly autumn air. You want your guests to enjoy your big day, so comfort is a top priority. Consider providing blankets or wraps for guests during an outdoor ceremony, and coordinate them with your wedding colors. Also, depending on the date, decide whether toasty outdoor space heaters can make your day even better.
2. Early Sunset
As you’re planning your ceremony, remember the days get shorter come fall. The later the date you set, the earlier sunset will arrive. Planning around daylight is crucial when you have an outdoor ceremony. Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, be sure to coordinate any outdoor photos with the amount of light you have to work with. Fall ceremonies tend to take place a bit earlier in the day than spring or summer events might.
3. Peak and Shoulder Wedding Seasons
Since 78% of all weddings occur between May and October, fall usually marks the end of wedding season. Many couples tie the knot in late spring through the late summer. Late October and November newlyweds have a few advantages. You’ll improve your odds of booking your preferred venue, since the demand starts to fizzle out during this time of year. It’s also more likely you’ll be able to snag your first choice of photographer, videographer and other vendors available on your chosen date.
Still, don’t let the end of wedding season fool you. Autumn weddings are quite trendy, and many people set fall dates to take advantage of the beautiful season. September hosts 16% of ceremonies, and October another 14%, making these two months some of the most popular times to hold the ceremony. In 2019, Oct. 19 was the most popular wedding day of the year. Luck favors those who look ahead and book everything early.
Most people who plan fall weddings dream of saying “I do” among the backdrop of the changing leaves. Foliage is one of the chief attractions of a fall wedding, and that requires getting the timing just right. Too early, and the leaves will still be green. Too late, and the trees will be barren.
Foliage can shift a bit from year to year, and different parts of the country and species of trees see peak foliage at slightly different times. Talk to your venue about their peak foliage and do your homework as you set your date. The Farmers’ Almanac delivers foliage forecasts each year that may help you plan.
5. Fall Date Conflicts
One other thing to keep in mind is how your wedding day falls related to people’s other seasonal plans. You might want to avoid the weekend after Thanksgiving, since so many people go out of town. If Halloween falls on a weekend, you could give invitees with kids a tough choice by planning your wedding the same day. Unless you’re purposely planning your wedding around a Halloween theme, you might also want to avoid the date to maintain the desired mood.
Another conflict around this time of year is sporting events. The World Series lands in October, the NBA and NHL both kick off their regular seasons and autumn is prime football season. It’s smart to plan your day around both families’ favorite team schedules. That way, you can keep your wedding party from huddling around the TV when they’re supposed to be prepping for the ceremony. You might also stop guests from compulsively checking scores on their phones throughout the event.
Fall Wedding Décor
Maybe the most exciting part about planning your wedding is choosing your decorations. You get to personalize everything to your and your partner’s tastes and add the details that will make your day — and your photos — look magical. When you decorate for a fall wedding, you have the option to incorporate many of the festive colors, textures and plant life associated with the season.
Your color palette is at the heart of your fall wedding decorations. Muted, earthy color schemes tend to go well with a fall atmosphere. If you have an outdoor wedding, choose colors to match the surrounding foliage. It’s a good idea to ask your venue what colors the trees turn in the fall, so you can play off the backdrop of all your wedding photos. For example, if the surrounding trees turn bright yellow, a navy blue and rusty orange color palette could be the perfect contrast.
From dark and moody to pale and airy, every couple can approach a fall color scheme a little differently. Consider these on-trend fall wedding colors.
- Coppers: Coppers and bronzes add some shine to the natural earth tones associated with fall. Choose copper as one of your primary colors, or let it be a subtle accent in the table décor. Bronze candle holders and cutlery can add a sophisticated touch to many fall color schemes.
- Jewel tones: Emerald, ruby and amethyst, offset with a neutral slate gray or beige, can add a moody or colorful look.
- Burgundy and blush: Another popular color scheme for fall is deep red burgundy paired with a pale blush.
- Orange and beige: This color scheme is easy to pull off in a fall-inspired wedding. Incorporate amber maple leaves and pale beige linens to complete the theme.
- Neutrals: Neutral grays, beiges and tans look great at any time of year, especially in the fall. Let the colorful foliage take center stage and know your wedding photos will look stunning, no matter the background colors.
- Mauve and purple: Cool, dusty purples can create an excellent contrast with the oranges, reds and yellows of fall. They’re a perfect way to incorporate a stormy, moodier look into the décor.
Delicious food is the top thing many couples and their wedding guests focus on. The table decor can influence how guests enjoy their meals, which makes your tablescape so crucial. A wedding table design will coordinate the flatware, cutlery, glassware, centerpieces and candleholders to complement your chosen color scheme. Here are some fall wedding table decorations to spruce up your spread.
- Pumpkins or gourds: Mini pumpkins and gourds make a creative seasonal alternative to a floral arrangement as a centerpiece. Fall weddings can even use small pumpkins as name cardholders. For a unique look, have a calligrapher write names on the pumpkins themselves.
- Fruit: Apples, pears and cranberries are seasonally appropriate and ideal complements to most fall color palettes.
- Velvet: Soft and luxurious, velvet is a popular texture to incorporate into fall décor. On the tablescape, it can make an excellent table runner, placemat or even napkins.
- Burlap: For more rustic table linens, you could go with burlap. The material works well for table runners, full table cloths or placemats.
- Rustic wood: In keeping with a fall-inspired look, wood makes a lovely decorative element on the table. You might choose wooden flatware or incorporate branches into the centerpiece. Another popular option is to use round wood slices with bark around the edges as name cards or larger ones under the place settings.
The florals in your fall wedding bouquets, boutonnieres, corsages and reception décor need to match your color scheme and be in season for this time of year. Your florist can tell you more about what they can source and arrange for you in the fall. Here are some popular elements to include in a fall bouquet and carry throughout the decorations.
- Dahlias: Dahlias bloom into beautiful, round-headed blossoms between two and four inches. They’re available year-round in reds, pinks, purples, oranges, yellows, whites and bi-colors. They’re an excellent choice for fall bouquets because they can match many color schemes.
- Roses: Like dahlias, roses come in many shades. A romantic choice for fall is golden roses, whose petals sport a lively goldenrod color. Besides the classic reds and whites, roses come in blushes and corals, browns, ivories, purples or bluish purples, yellows and even greens.
- Chrysanthemums: Chrysanthemums range from one-inch button poms to eight-inch spider mums. These flowers are quintessentially gorgeous autumnal blooms. Smaller varieties make great filler flowers, while larger heads can make wonderful bouquets. They have a pinwheel shape with spindle-like petals that come in many colors. Find them in reds, browns, oranges, greens, purples, yellows and bi-colors.
- Leaf accents: A creative florist can incorporate fall leaves as a filler or even in place of flowers. Maple leaves are a perennial favorite, thanks to their rich oranges and yellows.
- Pine cones: Pine cones are another creative alternative to traditional flowers. Accent them with white or blush roses and sprigs of pine or other greenery.
- Greenery:Most floral arrangements have at least a touch of green to break up the other colors in the composition. Sprigs of rosemary, sage, seeded or unseeded eucalyptus, ferns and olive branches are excellent choices.
Fall Wedding Food and Beverage Ideas
Another fun part of wedding planning is menu tasting. Great food makes for happy guests, and a bit of liquid courage can liven up any reception. Meanwhile, 77% of wedding guests say they pay the most attention to the food. Getting the delightful tastes and dining options right is so crucial. Luckily, fall brings many familiar flavors that can put guests in the right spirit and satisfy their cravings.
As the air gets chilly and people prepare for the human version of winter hibernation, your guests will crave warm, hearty meals. A fall wedding can reflect that desire by incorporating foods that offer a feeling of satiation. Hearty meats, filling side dishes and seasonal vegetables are perfect for fall. As you select your fall menu, consider some of these flavors and foods.
- Maple: Maple flavors complement the changing season. Incorporate them into your entrée with maple-glazed ham and into your hors d’oeuvres with maple-glazed bacon-wrapped scallops.
- Cinnamon and spice: Pumpkin spice, cloves and cinnamon instantly add a fall flair to any menu. When selecting your wedding meal, consider dishes that incorporate these classic fall spices.
- Nuts: Many nuts come into season come August through November, and as a result, we tend to think of nuts when it comes to fall-themed menus. Almond-encrusted dishes or pecan fillings make the perfect additions to your fall-themed wedding. An early fall wedding can bridge the transition from summer to fall with coconut shrimp.
- Harvest-inspired foods: An hors d’oeuvres spread featuring cheeses and in-season vegetables alongside an assortment of mustard dipping sauces can remind guests of the abundant harvests that characterize the season.
Festive drinks are an excellent way to put your guests in touch with the season. Consider rustic bar décor to complete the look. Whiskey barrels or wooden crates can make rustic accent pieces to bring your fall wedding bar to life. When it comes to drink selections, consider incorporating the following.
- German beer: An October wedding is the perfect time to embody the spirit of Oktoberfest in your festivities. What better way to do so than with imported German beers and fall-inspired lagers?
- Dressed up coffee bar: Fall is the season of warm beverages. While most weddings bring out a coffee bar for dessert, go the extra mile with your selection of hot coffee. You’ll warm your guests from the inside out with a classy Vietnamese coffee bar. Incorporate an array of cordials and spirits, so guests can dress up their coffee how they please.
- Signature cocktail: Every wedding is better with a signature cocktail, giving you an excellent opportunity to bring in a taste of fall. Incorporate autumnal flavors with apple cider, cinnamon, bourbon, spiced rum, maple syrup, ginger or orange peels. A bourbon apple cider, a maple old fashioned or a light apple ginger spritzer are all excellent seasonally inspired drinks. Don’t forget to give your creation a fun name personalized to you and your spouse-to-be.
Fall Wedding Cakes
Apple, gingerbread, carrot and even pumpkin spice are all tasty choices for your autumnal wedding cake. No matter the flavor you choose, you can incorporate a fall theme through the cake decorations. Here are some ideas.
- In-season florals and foliage: Classic fall cake decorations involve fall florals or even colorful leaves. Match your cake décor to your floral arrangements by having it garnished with a few of the same types of seasonal flowers. Or, add a touch of fall with some colorful leaves.
- Naked cakes: One of the latest trends in wedding cakes is “naked cakes.” Instead of a full coating of frosting, naked cakes might only have frosting between the layers and leave the cake itself exposed. A honey-colored, fall-flavored cake will match a rustic atmosphere perfectly. Dress yours up with some berries or decorative leaves.
- Mini pies: While they’re not exactly a cake, nothing feels more seasonally appropriate than a delicious apple or pumpkin pie. If you want to get creative with your wedding dessert selection, you might forgo the cake altogether in favor of some adorable personal-sized pies.
Book Your Fall Wedding at Colonial Golf and Tennis Club
Colonial Golf and Tennis Club is a beautiful outdoor wedding venue that’s sure to delight you and your guests. We offer several outdoor ceremony locations, including many with gorgeous views of the surrounding foliage.
We know fall weather is unpredictable, which is why we’ve perfected rain planning. We only book one wedding per date, so we can always transition your event indoors if the forecast requires. We have an excellent catering menu and some fantastic all-inclusive wedding packages to choose from, so you can find the fall flavors you’ll love.