Wedding Planning Guide

fall wedding ideas

With the season’s naturally stunning color palette, it’s no surprise that fall is a popular time to tie the knot. As summer’s scorching heat reaches a cool happy medium before winter, your big day is primed for success. Word to the wise: Fall is the precursor to the holiday season, and includes a three-day weekend with Labor Day, so keep guests’ potential travel plans in mind as you plan the perfect autumn wedding.

But enough fine print—let’s dive into our favorite fall wedding ideas and inspiration!

Photo: Judy Pak Photography

Fall Wedding Attire Ideas

Dressing yourself and your wedding party for fall can be beautiful—but also tricky. Depending on when and where you’re getting married, you might have to deal with a fairly drastic day-to-night temperature shift. But the colors! Oh, the colors…Here are our top fall wedding attire ideas:

  • Pashminas for your bridesmaids that match their dresses to keep them warm.
  • Wedding party colors unique for fall: purple, deep orange, chocolate, burgundy.
  • Dark-colored or black accents for the wedding party, including the wedding dress.
  • Cowboy boots are a playful touch for grooms and brides.
  • For the more casual affair, tweed and denim is a great fall look for the groomsmen.

Fall Wedding Flower Ideas

Many of the more popular wedding flowers are out of season in autumn, but there are plenty of beautiful—and refreshingly unexpected—floral arrangement and bouquet ideas to choose from, including our favorites:

  • Mini pumpkins in your bouquets.
  • More greenery in your bouquets.
  • Burgundy and purple bouquets for a gothic-inspired look.
  • You can still go bright with a fall-friendly array of orange, yellow, and white flowers.
  • Textural elements like wheat and dried grasses added to arrangements.

Fall Wedding Ceremony Ideas

There are no shortage of beautiful indoor and outdoor backdrops for your ceremony in the fall. Here are some beautiful ways to bring in your own style to the main event:

  • Hollowed-out pumpkins to carry petals for flower girls.
  • Use dried leaves instead of rose petals to adorn your aisle.
  • Big, full ceremony arch filled with hydrangeas, berries, and branches.
  • Open-roof ceremonies give guests glimpses of the stars while making it easier for you to incorporate space heaters.
  • Wicker basket filled with inexpensive wraps or blankets for guests to grab on their way to their ceremony seats in case the weather cools during your vows.
  • Have guests toss fall leaves instead of rice or confetti as you exit.
  • A self-serve station at the ceremony offering hot beverages like apple cider and tea.

Fall Wedding Reception Ideas

Party in seasonal style with our (ever-growing) list of uniquely fall reception decor ideas.

  • A barn is the perfect indoor reception idea for fall, keeping guests warm with easy access to fresh air.
  • Embrace fall’s color palette with seasonal color combinations, such as:
    • Orange, brown, and purple
    • Orange, red, and yellow
    • Red, purple, and cream
    • Purple and gold
    • Burgundy, blush, and gold
    • Navy, cream, and mustard yellow
  • Candelabra centerpieces can go gothic-inspired or gleaming and gorgeous, depending on how you style them.
  • Wood elements incorporated into your tablescape, from place card holders and table numbers to centerpiece vessels.
  • Decorate reception tables with floral centerpieces with smaller bowls filled with fresh, in-season fruit like pears, pomegranates, and apples.
  • Fun escort card ideas for fall:
    • Mini-pumpkin escort cards (elevate the look by spray painting them in a metallic color).
    • Apples for escort cards.
    • Pinecones as escort cards, or accompanied with a paper escort card tag.
  • Ditch fall colors with bright, bold, colorful floating paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling of your venue (or tree branches for outdoor affairs).
  • Add glamorous touches with glittering napkins, napkin holders, tablecloths, and/or place settings.
  • Candles, candles, candles—these set an intimate mood and beautiful lighting.
  • Candlelit lanterns as centerpieces surrounded by bud vases filled with blooms.
  • Hanging lanterns and string lighting and add a beautiful glow to any indoor or outdoor venue.
  • Keep kids (and fun-loving guests) happy with pumpkin-inspired games, like tic tac toe or cornhole with mini pumpkins.
  • An outdoor fire pit for guests to gather around and make s’mores.

Fall Wedding Cake Ideas

Yep, you can even tailor your cake for a fall wedding. Here are our most delicious slices of cake inspiration:

  • Adorn your cake with edible leaves made from gumpaste to complement your wedding colors.
  • Use a pair of mini pumpkins as your cake topper.
  • Fall is the perfect season to roll out a chocolate wedding cake.
  • Have your baker mimic the look of wood grain on the cake tiers with a faux bois wedding cake.
  • Display your cake on a wood slice for a rustic look.
  • Or skip the cake entirely and serve an assortment of pies--apple, berry, pumpkin, etc.
  • Have fun with the desserts, including:
    • A Halloween-inspired candy bar
    • Apple pie pops
    • Cookie bar
    • S’mores
    • Caramel apples

Fall Wedding Favors Ideas

Send off your nearest and dearests with love and gratitude, with these fall-friendly favor ideas:

  • Caramel apple favors, tied with ribbons in your wedding colors.
  • Small pine tree saplings for guests to plant at home.
  • Individually wrapped s’mores supplies.