As your guests enter the ceremony or reception, the scene is set with hanging sheaths of wheat or corn at the entrance. Rich jewel tones or beautiful leaf hues of red, orange, brown, green and yellow brighten the surroundings and set the space for the beautiful event that is about to take place. Picture the guests entering a room filled with the bounty of the season–pumpkins, gourds, and acorns. Imagine, the space topped off with paper bag luminaria setting a romantic glow around the room.
I am all about sunshine and beach time, but you have to admit, there is nothing quite like a crisp fall day lending itself to the nuptials of a couple in love. Summer is generally defined as wedding season. In fact, people say June is the wedding month. However, the trend toward beautiful summer weddings is shifting. I recently read that in 2013, 35% of couples opted for sunshine-filled nuptials, down from 2009 when 41% of couples opted for the season. In recent years, fall has been making headway as the new wedding season.
When it comes to fall and color, there is no rule that states you must use the leaf hues. You could go with mocha or cappuccino, or navy and gold tone. How about a plum and purple, with some cream tossed in? A bride in cream would make the color scheme appear rich. In the past, brides wore their best dresses when they got married, no matter what the color. Some did select white as a symbol of purity and virginity and to ward off evil spirits, but it was not until Queen Victoria wore white at her wedding in 1840 that white became popular. Today, white is less popular, with ivory and creams splashing on the scene.
In addition, there are no rules when it comes to venues. In fact, an outdoor ceremony, complete with natural foliage as a backdrop, can be so beautiful. Plan for the early festivities to be held outdoors, moving the event indoors once the sun sets. Tents with sides and heaters can help warm up the guests if the Indian summer gives way to an unseasonable cold front.
When I think of fall, the rustic atmosphere of a barn comes to mind. The barn appears to be the newest venue to appeal to young brides, as I just recently attended the wedding of Jessica, the daughter of a really good friend, and Bill. Jessica and her mom transformed this barn area into the most beautiful, warm environment. The barn trusses were draped with cream-colored fabric and large balls of light to give off a warm glow. The tables were set with burlap runners and candles and lanterns. Every place setting was a different china pattern, all borrowed from friends.
The day of the wedding was probably one of the hottest of the summer so far, so the barn was also set up with large fans to keep the guests cool. When it came to food, the bride was all about Nino’s providing the food for her event. She had a tent set up for appetizers for her guests to enjoy after the ceremony while she and the bridal party took pictures. Then, she ordered one of Nino’s buffets for dinner. My nephew Tim and his bride-to-be Heather are also planning a barn wedding in May 2015.
A fall event makes me think of comfort foods–meat dishes, potatoes, a vegetable, etc. However, several years ago, I helped another friend with a fall wedding theme. We transformed the church dining area into a rustic scene, complete with bales of hay, scarecrows, pumpkins and gourds. For the reception, the groom’s mother served fresh fruit, cider, donuts and apples. We set the tables with burlap and tipped-over barrels with apples spilling out. We served fresh donuts from one of the local cider mills. It was a perfect reception to hold off the attendees until the dinner was served at a local banquet center.
If you are setting out to plan a fall wedding, here is a checklist of just a few items to get you started on your way to holy matrimony:
Start a wedding folder
Work out a budget
Pick your wedding party
Start the guest list
Hire a planner, if desired
Reserve your date and venues
Book your officiant
Research photographers, bands, florists and caterers
Throw an engagement party, if desired.
I would love for you to share your fall plans with me!