Before pumpkin spice lattes were even a thing, I had a deep appreciation for fall. In New England, September and October are basically the only months of the year not plagued by debilitating snow or humidity, plus there’s that whole leaves changing colors thing that I only realized in adulthood doesn’t happen all over the country. So when it came time for Michael and me to choose a date for our wedding, we picked from what we considered to be the premium season: autumn.
But once we started planning, it became obvious that the wedding industry has opinions about things like fall wedding colors, and generally interprets getting married in the fall as having a fall themed wedding. And we were not exactly down for that (for starters, we were getting married on the beach. Where leaves… don’t happen). The trouble is, unless you want to spend the extra time and money scoping out out-of-season decor and flowers, it helps to use what’s available and in-season when you’re getting married. And in the fall, that means an abundance of leaves, decorative gourds, and the color orange. So much orange.
So today we’ve rounded up ten of our best tips and ideas for incorporating fall elements into your wedding without feeling like you’re hosting a Halloween parade:
1. Rethink fall wedding colors. Listen, I love orange. But I think I’m in the minority here. So let’s just start with this: your fall wedding does not need to include orange, or yellow, or any combination of the two, unless you want it to. You can outfit your wedding in hot pink and green and still get married in October, and it will be fine. But if you want that cozy autumnal feel imbued in your wedding, an easy trick for coming up with a color palette that doesn’t feel like a theme party is to mix pastels with jewel tones, like deep plum with blush pink. (DIY Wishbone Place Setting via Style Me Pretty. Photo by White Loft Studio.)
3. Mix a little pink with your orange. Like I said, I love orange, personally. But if you want to cut some of the fall from your orange, mix it with a muted pink like mauve. (DIY Painted Vases via Rustic Wedding Chic. Photo and tutorial by La Chica de la Casa de Carmelo.)
4. METALLIC is a neutral. We currently live in a magical time when gold and copper are neutrals and spray paint is available in abundance. Be thankful for that. When I got married, the neutral was brown, and we were all very into it. (Leaf Decor via Style Me Pretty. Styling by Michelle Edgemont. Photo by Brklyn View Photography.)
5. Orange doesn’t have to be pumpkins: If you want to incorporate orange without resorting to leaves or pumpkins, look to the fruit aisle. Bonus: no one at your wedding will get scurvy. (Tangerine Escort Cards via Elizabeth Anne Designs. Photo by associate photographer Rachel of Melissa Jill Photography.)
6. And pumpkins don’t have to be orange: I mean, it is decorative gourd season. But it can also be hot pink decorative gourd season. (DIY Pumpkin Centerpiece Tutorial via APW. Styling by Michelle Edgemont. Photo by Allison Andres.)
8. Leaves are super cheap. Like really cheap. Which means they can make for really cool big impact decor (like the installation above) or things like escort cards that require volume buys. (Calligraphy leaves via Lamplighter London. Photo by Ann Kathrin Koch. Styled by Knot & Pop.)
9. And they’re kinda like flowers, but again, cheaper. Which means you can mimic the look of those cool flower walls, but for way less money. (Fall Wedding Inspiration via Green Wedding Shoes. Photo by Nhiya Kaye Photography. Florals by Sax Romney.)
10. The grocery store is your friend. Fall isn’t just decorative gourd season. It’s harvest season! Which means there’s an abundance of decor options right in the produce department of your local grocery store. (Above: DIY Gilded Fruit Centerpiece Tutorial via APW. Styling by Michelle Edgemont. Photo by Allison Andres.)
11. Who needs cake when there are donuts? I know there are a lot of strong opinions about the proliferation of autumnal foodstuffs. But nobody ever got mad at a pile of apple cider donuts. (Apple Cider Donuts via Ruffled. Photo by Cyrience. Catering by Private Palate. Food Styling by The Judy Lab.)
13. Let’s get functional: Unless you live in one of those magical places where it’s warm year round, fall weddings mean brisk evening air. Basket of blankets doubles as decor and a preventative measure against the inevitability that someone is going to forget a jacket or sweater. (Blankets via Bridal Musings. Photo by Sarah Kathleen Photography.)
14. Forget flowers: Dried bouquets make an affordable seasonal alternative to fresh flowers. (Dried Wheat Bouquet via via Storyboard Wedding. Photo by Brittany Dow, Second Shooter Stacey Bishop. Styled by deLoop and Vintage Valise.)
15. And if you’re going to eschew flowers. Might as well eschew them all the way right? Because leaf crowns need to happen. (Photo from the With Lavender and Lace Lookbook.)
16. USE PIE IN CREATIVE WAYS: These DIY pie place cards are customizeable (pumpkin is great for fall, apples works for spring) and will definitely be an unexpected addition to your table.