The Ultimate Fall Wedding Guide
Planning the wedding of your dreams is a process that begins with endless possibilities. It all starts with the beautiful image in your head of you walking down the aisle in that perfect wedding dress that was made just for you. The where and when it will take place come right after. Every season of the year has its perks. Some prefer the whimsical nature of a winter wedding, others prefer the blooming flowers and new beginnings spring has to offer, while others lean more towards the potential that a warm and sunny summer wedding presents, and some brides-to-be favor the crisp air and gorgeous foliage that comes with having a fall wedding.
When choosing the date and time for your nuptials to be celebrated many aspects come into consideration. When is the perfect time for both of you? When will there be available for the type of venues you have in mind? How long should you wait for your wedding dress to be ready? Will both of your parents and close relatives be able to attend? How many guests? Which date works best for your Maid of Honor and Best Man? The last thing on your mind when you start planning your wedding is that a pandemic will erupt and mess with your carefully laid out plans. Unfortunately, there are things in life we cannot predict and decisions that need to be made to accommodate unforeseen circumstances. As easy as it is to have a back-up plan on account of bad weather, being forced to postpone your wedding due to a pandemic requires a lot of work and decision making.
Whether you originally meant for your wedding to take place between the months of September and December, or the option was thrust upon you due to a pandemic, do not be afraid. The fall season still provides us with a wonderful, yet a bit milder, weather along with the added benefit of a beautiful and inspiring color palette courtesy of Mother Nature.
Tip: Take careful consideration of the major holiday weekends and sporting events taking place during the Fall season and see if there is any way your new date can work around them. It is not just about what date works best for you two lovebirds, but your close relatives and members of your wedding party might have other plans too.
The transition from Spring/Summer to Autumn
The idea of changing your entire wedding decor from bridesmaids’ dresses to floral arrangements and centerpieces sounds very complicated, especially if your wedding was initially going to take place in the middle of the summer. Instead of replacing everything you already have purchased, booked, and made yourself with the help of your fantastic bridal party, there are other ways to incorporate the fall season into your nuptials.
Autumn presents us with a range of colors starting with orange and red hues, and jewel tones with touches of gold that can easily be added to your existing spring/summer palette. We are not saying you should modify your entire wedding theme but adding a few sprinkles of fall into your décor will make the transition more seamless.
Hire a Wedding Planner
If you chose to forego the wedding planner for your summer wedding and dove right into the planning process with your fiancé, we absolutely applaud you. It takes a lot of effort to make sure everything is to your liking and coordinate all the vendors and the wonderful elements that will make your wedding day one for the books. However, finding yourself in the position where you have to postpone it and reschedule everything to a further date is a whole different playing field. These sudden changes require the help of an expert to look at everything from vendor contracts, options, contacting other partners in case certain items need to be replaced, and being able to orchestrate this will take a huge load off your shoulders from the added stress that the current pandemic has presented you with. Think of a wedding planner as an investment. At this stage, where you don’t know how to manage all the changes and deal with vendors who might find themselves in the same stressful situation, hiring a wedding planner to help you postpone your wedding is the best thing you can do.
How to Postpone Your Wedding
Once you’ve both made a decision on when your wedding shall take place, it’s time to talk to your vendors. More often than not, you’ll find that there are clauses in the contracts regarding unforeseen circumstances that might cause a wedding to be delayed and postponed. This is mostly the case for large ticketed items on your wedding list such as venues and catering, however, all of your vendors are finding themselves facing the same situation due to the pandemic and will be accommodating to all brides-to-be. See what options they can offer you and if they’re not in line with your expectations, you can always go for a different vendor. It’s one of the perks of rescheduling your wedding.
Tip: This is one of the main reasons for hiring a wedding planner at this stage. They are experts at renegotiating contracts and can get you a great deal with one of their partner vendors to get you exactly what you want for your wedding day.
Remember, you are negotiating a new date, so be careful with how you word it. Steer away from terms like “canceling” or “cancellation” and be patient and polite, they will surely have some wonderful options to accommodate all of the weddings that are being postponed due to Covid-19.
Getting married in the summer definitely has its perks. Starting with the wonderful weather, the better chance of clear skies and sunny days, perhaps the option of making a weekend event out of it on an exotic location, like at your favorite beach destination. You have an array of possibilities as to what time of the day the festivities will be taking place. That being said, it is peak daylight savings season, which means your party can go on until the evening without a hitch, under the sunlight, and with the potential for some spectacular and very romantic sunset photos.
Moving your wedding date from the summer to the fall does not exactly mean you can just copy/paste your wedding itinerary. Starting in September, the sun starts setting a little bit earlier and moves sooner as the days go by. Consider how these might affect some of your guests and vendors. Perhaps an early afternoon soiree would be better for the more senior guests, or in case your wedding reception is being held at a remote and exclusive location where the roads aren’t as visible in the night.
Indoor vs Outdoors
The idea of having to postpone your wedding until the following season is not as bad as it may seem. Think of it as an opportunity to play with the elements and be able to integrate them into your celebration. One of the best ways to do this is by having the option of holding your reception outdoors! While the thought of having all your glamorous guests standing outside in the heat for hours in the summer might have led you to plan for an indoor reception, in an air-conditioned hall with all the amenities rather than outside in a beautiful garden, you now have the opportunity of taking the party outdoors. Take advantage of the crisp autumnal weather and embrace nature with the enchanting colors provided by the beautiful foliage.
Have a Backup Plan
Much is said about how crisp and lukewarm fall weather usually is, but when planning an outdoor wedding during this charming season one must take into account that just as we’re moving away from the hottest months of the year, we are getting closer to winter. With that in mind, it is always good practice to have a backup plan in case the evening becomes a bit chilly. Consider among your list of wedding vendors a few in case of an emergency that you can reach out to the week of and who might be available for things such as space heaters, a rental company for cozy blankets, or even ask your catering company if they can offer warm drinks such as apple cider and hot chocolate to keep you and your guests warm and cozy.
In case your wedding is taking place on a beautiful lawn in a majestic estate, or at a hotel, another option would be to be able to move the party indoors. Check with your venue beforehand, in case it gets unexpectedly cold during the evening or there’s a sudden downpour. Don’t let it rain on your parade!
As the beautiful bride, it is your main duty to look stunning on your wedding day, no matter the weather, season or time of day. Part of that bridal glow comes not only from your perfect wedding dress but also from how comfortable you are in it. One of the first items you ticked off your wedding planning to-do-list was more than likely your gorgeous dress. There are two ways you can transition this wonderful piece of wardrobe from a summer ceremony to a fall wedding.
- Sleeves. If you already have your wedding dress in your hands and it happens to be either sleeveless or strapless, you can check with the seamstress at your bridal store if there’s any way to add on a pair of sleeves. Some boutiques might be accommodating given the circumstances and be able to offer the alteration to an already delivered gown for an additional fee.
- Cape. If the option of a last-minute alteration is not available to you, consider purchasing a matching cape made from the same material as your wedding dress. Not only will it keep you warm and cozy, but it will add a touch of luxury and drama to your already fabulous gown.
- Long veil. In case your bridal attire consisted of a shorter veil like a birdcage or a blusher, given the odds of your wedding taking place at a chillier temperature than previously anticipated, another way to provide comfort along while maintaining the glamour and romance of your look is by switching to a longer veil. That way your back will be covered during the ceremony, and you can remove it later for the reception, this works best if the second part of your special day is held indoors.
One of the most important elements of your wedding that I really well thought of is the color palette. You and your husband-to-be must have spent hours putting pen and paper to the wedding of your dreams, and it all comes together in the color that will guide the décor and theme of such a special occasion.
There is no need to change the entire décor and theme of your wedding to fit into the fall season, but there are ways to seamlessly blend the new wedding date into the aesthetics you had originally envisioned and have been planning for months. The good thing that both summer and fall have in common is their use of the color palette provided by nature. Spring and summer are often characterized by vibrant and bright colors that match the blooming flowers and overall excitement associated with both seasons. Fall, while being commonly associated with a more subtle version of these hues, is still colorful in essence.
Earthy, golden, and jewel tones are the most popular color palettes for fall weddings. We are not saying you have to change your entire linens, décor, and bridesmaids’ dresses, but since these colors are found in nature, it is easier to add touches them to your existing décor. Perhaps for one of your wedding party’s DIY activities, you can ask them to change the color of the signage from coral to marigold or even teal.
Take advantage of the spectacular shades of yellow and red the season provides us with and bring a touch of nature into your wedding.
It doesn’t necessarily have to match the weather. If your wedding was originally a beach themed or fun in the sun affair, you can think of yourself as a visionary by bringing the summer into the fall with your wedding décor, where the only thing that changes is the date.
Colors that Work Well in Any Season
There are a few color combinations that are commonly found in weddings no matter what time of the year they take place. These represent love, happiness, prosperity, and usually go with everything. From the invitations and set-the-dates to tablecloths and signage, flowers and centerpieces, the right color palette gives your wedding a sense of cohesion and helps define your personality as a couple. The most traditional color palettes found in weddings all over the world and throughout the year are:
– Black, white and gold accents
– Blue and white, with touches of gold or wood for a more rustic feel
– Emerald and white
– Pastel colors
– Neutrals and metallics
– Purple, pink and white
– Jewel tones
If your original wedding plans were centered around these colors, turning the décor of your summer wedding into a fall celebration will be a piece of delicious wedding cake. An expert tip is to add gold or silver for an extra touch of sophisticated fun, or natural materials such as wicker and wood to create a rustic and inviting fall extravaganza where you and your guests can feel right at home.
For those beautiful brides-to-be who decided to go for a combination of gorgeous pastel colors for your wedding day and want to bring the outside in during your upcoming fall wedding, nothing like a few cozy accents to create the desired effect. Maple leaves in their fiery red glory, burgundy or navy signage for a wonderfully subtle contrast, wicker baskets as your centerpieces, pumpkins and pinecones scattered around, gold place settings, and fairy lights. There are many and very diverse ways in which you can turn the décor of your once summer wedding into an autumn affair to help you lift your spirits. Don’t think of it as a challenge, but more as an opportunity to perhaps consider some elements that you hadn’t thought of before or nixing those flower arrangements you weren’t completely in love with within the first place. Postponing your wedding is nothing if not a second chance to truly showcase your creativity.
Adding pops of color can create contrast and dimension to a once monochromatic color palette. The most common combinations of neutral hues for weddings that take place over the summer are:
– Beige, Blush & Grey
– Mauve, Grey & Ivory
– Taupe, Grey and Champagne
Some modern brides tend to lean toward these more neutral color palettes, pairing them with gorgeous bouquets of wildflowers and greenery and string lights for a cozy feel. If you want to take that original vision you had for your summer wedding to the next level and bring it into the autumn, perhaps you might consider adding pops of color such as citrus and jewel tones for your fall wedding. Touches of emerald and burgundy here and there, perhaps some marigold or orange for brightness and contrast in the form of blood orange and grapefruit slices in your centerpieces can create a more inviting and joyful ambiance for you and your wonderful guests.
What if contrasting colors are not your ideal wedding décor? One fabulous way of adding gradients of richness – see what we did there? – to your neutral color palette is to go a shade darker, leaning more towards the jewel tone closest to your current color combination. We are aiming for that rich ombre effect. Nothing says elegant autumn quite like that seamless transition from pastel shade into its darkest counterpart.
Another way to create contrast in your wedding décor is by adding texture. Natural elements like wicker for the baskets that will be holding your centerpieces, burned wood for your signage, pinecones, and tree leaves scattered on the tables, tree bark on your place settings are your best ally to achieve the texture contrast in your wedding décor. You can also get the desired effect by using rich patterns on your tablecloths and even, let’s think outside the box, for the blankets you’ll be handing out to your guests. Cozy and comfy goes a long way in making your guests and you, the newlyweds, fell right at home. Hire a vendor to create some beautiful plaid fleece blankets or throws that your guests can keep as a wedding favor and check two items off your list!
Perhaps the pandemic put some of your wedding planning to a halt, and one of the last stages was helping the beautiful members of your Bride Squad choose their bridesmaid’s dresses. This gives you a great opportunity to insert fall as your new wedding theme. You can take advantage of the ombre element by having each bridesmaid wear a different shade of the same color. In case their gorgeous dresses have already been selected and are ready to go, you could add some cap sleeves or even a pretty coverall with a rich pattern to keep them warm and add some texture to their attire. Make sure the one they end up wearing blends well with your cape and that stunning perfect wedding dress of yours.
Much as with the dresses your gorgeous bridesmaids will be wearing to your fall celebration, your groomsmen need to wear attire fit for the occasion. We’re not saying their suits need to be the same color as the bridesmaids’ dresses, but perhaps they can play with the colors of their ties to create the ombre effect or even their bowties or pocket squares might have some texture. The color palette and overall theme of your wedding are usually first visualized by your guests not only in the décor of your venue, which can be restricted depending on the place where the ceremony is being held but on the attires of the bridal party. Wedding attendees usually expect the bridesmaids to dress according to your wedding dress and bridal look, but tend to have low expectations when it comes to the groomsmen since men rarely take notice of what they’re wearing and whether it coordinates with the groom’s outfit. We are not saying they should wear an orange suit, but if they wear the same color suit and a couple of accessories in the color scheme of your wedding, it could make for a more picture-perfect experience for onlookers and everyone involved.
Fall Wedding Décor
When looking for inspiration on how to decorate your wedding venue for a reception taking place between the months of September and December, look no further than outside your window. Let nature speak to you. The colors of fall will appear in front of your eyes in the form of rust-colored fallen leaves and spectacular sunsets. You can start off by adding a few leaves and pinecones collected from your own backyard and strategically placing them in the middle of your floral arrangements or the centerpieces. Trees are your allies for creating a rustic, yet elegant, setting to embrace the true essence. Branches mixed in with your string lights will create a cozy ambiance, you might also order a beautiful wooden arch from a trusted carpenter and add a couple of twigs with twigs, leaves, and pumpkins to make a fall wedding statement from the very beginning of your ceremony.
Blooming Flowers in the Fall Season
Autumn is one of the most bountiful seasons when it comes to the gift of nature: flowers. Rich reds, fiery oranges, and decadent yellows are the focal point of a fall wedding color palette, and they can be found in the most exquisite floral arrangements. Your bridal bouquet can consist of a combination of dahlias, hydrangeas, marigolds, and zinnias, mixed in with your exquisite floral arrangements. Roses are one of the most popular seasonal flowers during the fall, and they will make the perfect bouquet for your bridesmaids or as part of your centerpieces.
As all of us women know, floral arrangements are not just about the flowers. There are some beautiful fillers in bloom that can help finish off the look of that whimsical and enchanting bouquet. A couple of small twigs and some sprigs of Russian sage, Limonium, solidago, or waxflower, among others can really take your rustic fall floral arrangements to the next level.
The bounty of the fall season is not limited to only flowers. Seasonal fruits and vegetables can contribute a great deal to the crispness in the air that a celebration of love in the fall is all about. Some of them can be beautifully displayed as part of your scrumptious décor, while others are perfect to be showcased in the menu of your wedding feast.
– Apples can be the main feature of your dessert table or offered as your signature drink in a heart-warming apple cider.
– Artichokes and arugula can become the perfect salad or side dish for the main course.
– Beets don’t only have the perfect shade of red to match any fall wedding décor, but they can be enjoyed in many ways as part of your menu.
– Broccoli, cauliflower, rapini, and Brussel sprouts for a flavorful side dish of steamed veggies.
– Cranberries and pomegranates can be featured on your dessert table or as part of a goat cheese salad.
– Kale is in season too for your vegetarian guests to have a meal that is both parts delicious and energizing.
– Potatoes and leeks for those rich and starchy garnishes.
The list of fruits and vegetables that are in season for a fall wedding feast is very long, and it includes some wonderfully earthy flavors that together can delight the most delicate palates and make you and your guests enjoy a hearty meal. Some of the best homemade recipes are made with these natural ingredients, and serving them at your reception will warm the hearts of many attendees.
The best way to ensure all your ingredients are fresh is to buy them from local farmers. No matter where your wedding is taking place, there will always be a farmer’s market where you can contact the local producers of these extraordinary fruits and vegetables. You can ask around with your caterer and see who their suppliers are or help them find local farmers to get the freshest ingredients and contribute to the community. It is a great way of integrating the taste of place into your wedding and creating making your nuptials much more special. Local farmers need all the help they can get, and they will be more than happy to supply your guests with their bounty.
Rustic is the Name of the Game
If you are still hesitant about changing the entire décor that you had carefully planned for your summer wedding only to have it be postponed for reason out of your control, there are a couple of things you can add to spice it up and make it bring the outside in without turning everything on its head. One keyword that can help you achieve that autumn feel on your special day is rustic. Fall wedding décor is nothing if just that! Add textures and color by including elements found in nature.
– Start off by adding an outdoor bar for your Fall inspired signature drinks with a table made with a barrel base and wood slab top.
– Wooden crates for your floral centerpieces will be enchanting enough for your guests to fight over.
– Lanterns and string lights along with some strategically placed greenery, will give the right level of warmth and coziness for a romantic evening.
– Linen tote bags for your wedding favors
– Place settings made of tree bark or wooden signage for your table numbers and different areas of the venue
– Mason jars as candle holders or for the apple ciders
These are some of the best ways to add a rustic touch to your love celebration. The only thing they have in common is bringing the outside in by adding natural elements, from textiles to centerpieces to create that perfect rustic woodland feeling.
Accentuating the seasonal colors that fall provides with its rust and golden-colored foliage will make for a well-rounded fall-themed wedding, without going all out and throwing your previously purchased and signed on for décor elements.
Fall Wedding Theme
Much has been said throughout this piece about how to merge together summer and fall after being forced to postpone your wedding for a few months. However, some of you might want to know in more detail what a full-on Fall Wedding Theme entails.
In order to fully embrace the season for your nuptials, you must consider, first and foremost, the weather. During the weeks following the hot summer season, the temperature starts to drop slowly but surely leading into the winter. You will have to make a few decisions when it comes to your perfect wedding dress and if you’re brave and bold enough you can stick to that strapless that caught your eye and perhaps add a cape to keep the chilly air away. Some wonderful designers have beautiful gowns in every style from a mermaid to a ballgown that feature either cap or long sleeves, high necks or plunging necklines, and more often than not these can be altered to fit your needs.
Keep Your Guests Cozy and Comfy
As far as your wedding guests go, the trick is to make them feel comfortable. The perfect fall wedding must include some quintessential elements available for this purpose. Placing cozy pillows on the chairs and flannel throws for everyone to use will not only provide comfort, but they’ll make your reception even homier.
A fall wedding menu can only be described as comfort food. Food is the comfort of the soul, and you’ll be pleased to know that most of the fruits and vegetables that are in bloom during this magical season work together in harmony to create just that. Think wonderful savory pies, rich salads and garnishes, thick gravies and dressings, rotisserie chicken, and smoked pork. The warmer and richer, the better.
Did anyone say pie? Of course, these delicacies, that remind you so much of home, cannot be left out of a fall wedding theme. If there is such a thing as a comfort dessert it has to be a good apple, pumpkin, cranberry, raspberry, or any kind of berry pie.
Make seasonal apples and pumpkins the main ingredient of your rustic dessert table. Complete with cinnamon and caramel to satisfy the sweet tooth of all your guests.
Just because you have an “All Things Pie” dessert table doesn’t mean you can forego the cake. Sticking with tradition, the most popular fall wedding cake is the naked cake. If that trend is not your favorite, you can go for a more classic style but don’t forget that the multicolored foliage the autumn has to offer is the best source of inspiration even for this special item.
It took a lot of courage and strength from you and your fiancé to make the decision of postponing your wedding even if for a few months. There are certain things in life that are out of our control but being able to manage and take a little detour from that special day you had been carefully planning for months only makes a relationship stronger. These circumstances are part of the “through thick and thin” portion of traditional wedding vows. No matter when you end up tying the know, whether it’s a year from your original wedding date or a couple of months’ time turning it into a fall wedding instead, be grateful that you are both healthy and the day will be here sooner rather than later. In the meantime, in the middle of all the stress of postponing and making arrangements, remember to stay safe.