Between its stunning colour palettes, cosy evenings, and the soft sensation of leaves crunching underfoot, there’s something incredibly special about autumn, which may explain why it’s now eclipsed summer as the most popular season in which to get married. Statistics show that 40% of weddings in 2018 took place in autumn, while only around a quarter of couples got married in the summer months.
If you’re among that majority looking to get hitched when the leaves start to fall, there are a few tips and tricks you should bear in mind to help you bring out an awe-inspiring autumn theme for the wedding of your dreams.
1. The venue
The autumnal hues of yellow, red, and brown create a warm backdrop to a wedding, so you should pick a venue that can incorporate and accentuate this scenery. Outdoor locations and rustic venues like barns and woodland spaces are ideal for this season, but once you’ve found your dream venue, book it as soon as you can. The season’s popularity is beginning to mean that openings disappear quickly, so don’t miss out!
When it comes to the day itself, make sure your photographer takes some outdoor snaps which capture the scenery around your venue. Although you may be reluctant to host your wedding outdoors—especially towards the tail-end of the season, when temperatures drop—you needn’t worry. Marquees provide perfect protection from the elements, while heaters and fire pits work to keep guests warm.
2. The decorations
Your colour scheme will also help you to choose the right decorations for your big day, and a traditionally autumnal palette will blend reds, burgundies, and mustardy yellows that mimic the colours of the season’s leaves. That said, autumn colour schemes featuring rich shades of purple, emerald green, and pale pink also work well. Whatever you go for, you can use these hues in many ways, whether via the table decorations, cake, or dress code. Your florist will be able to recommend a broad range of seasonal wedding flowers that you can use to create awesome arrangements, from orange dahlias to mustard yellow chrysanthemums.
Incorporating vines, pinecones, and apples can add to this rustic vibe, while copper or bronze vases can further enhance this. Artisanal baskets, black candles, and even pumpkins can also be perfect additions. For lighting, fairy lights and candles help create soft ambience to accentuate your venue and decorations.
3. The outfits
Your choice of attire is crucial to both keeping to the theme and keeping warm. When it comes to maintaining the autumnal atmosphere, pink, deep plum or burgundy bridesmaid dresses works well, while an ivory or cream bridal gown offers an autumnal yet traditional look. More colourful options include rose gold or pastel pink, while rich orange or deep purple outfits offer bold alternatives. To keep warm, opt for heavier fabrics, long-sleeved dresses, and even outerwear like fur shawls. Don’t forget to bring an umbrella—in fact, you might want to provide these (and blankets) for your guests, too.
For the guys, darker tones and heavier fabrics are the order of the day. Autumnal hues like browns and reds work well, while fabrics like tweed, flannel, or velvet will help the gentlemen look sharp and keep warm.
4. Food and wine
Autumn gives you plenty of scope for creative catering, with lots of hearty, warming food that’s evocative of the season. For starters, consider options like roast butternut squash soup, crispy risotto balls with woodland mushrooms, or a broth served in hollowed-out pumpkins. Dishes such as pork belly with apple, a hog roast, or shepherds pie are perfect for mains, while cinnamon-sugar doughnuts, pumpkin cheesecake, or caramel apple desserts will leave your guests drooling for dessert.
When it comes to your bar menu, you may want to serve cocktails with seasonal ingredients like pumpkin puree, apple shrub, and cinnamon sticks. Stout beer, local apple ciders, and mulled wine also pair well with the time of year. For non-alcoholic options, seasonal fruit purees, autumn-themed mocktails, and hot chocolate are all winning choices—you could even include a hot chocolate station with whipped cream and marshmallows to really wow your guests.