When love is in the air – and the air itself is a little crisper than it was in June and July – an autumn wedding can open the door to all kinds of creative ideas and possibilities. These range from seasonal venues to rustic décor and rich color palettes (think caramel; burgundy; chocolate; eggplant; copper; red; gold) to heartier nuptial feasts that reflect the robust fall harvest. In literature, a reference to fall is said to mean wisdom and maturity, as well as abundance, and exchanging vows at this time of year may symbolize that the bride and groom are entering into a union imbued with these elements.
With September considered the most popular month for weddings, as we move further into the season traditional hotels, inns, restaurants, and other function spaces may become more available later in the season, once the wedding rush is over. But a little investigation and ingenuity may also reveal a fall foliage-flanked barn (some country barns have even been renovated by hospitality groups to accommodate weddings), bright apple orchard, romantic winery or secluded country inn surrounded by a burst of leafy color, each of which lends itself to creating a truly special event not usually found in more conventional places.
If getting married outdoors, remember clear fall days can sparkle with sunshine and warmer temperatures, but cool or cold nights can prevail as the season progresses, depending on where you live. Ensuring the comfort of your guests and preparing for any contingencies may include a tent, heaters, a decorative basket or two of shawls or wraps (scouring vintage shops can help keep costs down here), and even a fire pit for added warmth and conversation.
Autumnal wedding décor knows almost no boundaries in its variations of deep-hued seasonal flowers, grasses and grains that may include mums, poppies, sunflowers (growing from late August until very early fall), marigolds, bundles of raffia-tied gourds, nuts, goldenrod, wheat and more. If pumpkins have always delighted you, available colors may come as a nice surprise with some of the best party and event planners incorporating white, tan, red, blue, green, and even pink pumpkins into eye-popping fall motifs, with sizes ranging from a few ounces (about 3 inches tall and often called sugar pumpkins as they are also best for baking) to their shin-high relatives that can weigh 20 or 30 pounds. Used alone or in groupings as centerpieces, and even scooped out to hold festive flower and plant arrangements, traditional pumpkins become works of art on a singular day that celebrates your union.
According to some florists, bridal bouquets tend to be more structured and shaped for fall, with velvet or textured sashes adding a seasonal flourish. Wedding attire should also reflect the richness of autumn with brides opting for ivory, antique white or cream dresses, rather than the stark white and blush colors of summer. For the bridal party, if it’s later in the season, you may want to avoid pastels and choose heavier textures and fabrics like satin or velvet, or a combination, in deeper tones. (Don’t forget about autumn-appropriate make-up as well, with summer’s pinks, peaches and frosts yielding to shades that complement darker clothing.)
Where wedding fare is concerned, autumn provides an unparalleled bounty of root vegetables (carrots; turnips; parsnips; pumpkins; sweet potatoes; winter squash), along with fresh pears, pomegranates, apples (think cider-infused roasts), chestnuts, and specialty cheeses. Aged sheep’s milk cheese, for example, is reportedly best at this time of year due to milking cycles. Almost everybody’s favorite — apple spice cake — makes for a spirited autumn wedding cake, and sugary pumpkin tarts or pumpkin crÃ¨me brulee are sweet tastes of the season in festive, wedding-style portions.
If moderate temperatures, spectacular foliage, unique venues, rich garden bounties, and even favorable literary symbolism are appealing components of your marriage equation, a fall wedding is the perfect way to celebrate this very special event.
The Farmers’ Almanac Promotional Edition makes a great affordable reception gift for your fall wedding! Customizable front and back covers for “Save the Date,” reception information, poems, photos, whatever you want for your special day! Put one at every place setting. For more information click here.