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Planning a Fall Wedding

aug14-fallwedding-01From rich, golden colors to hearty food, you’ll find September, October, and November to be a lovely time for a wedding. Here are a few ideas for incorporating autumn into your plans.

Color Scheme

Your color palette may be one of the easiest ways to add hints of fall to your wedding. The colors of fall are vibrant and rich. Obvious choices are the colors of the leaves – brown, rust, orange, yellow, and deep red. Temper bright colors with a chocolate brown to keep your color scheme from being too busy. Or, use jewel tones like burgundy, eggplant, emerald green, or navy blue for an elegant palette. For a little pizzazz, use metallics like gold, copper, and bronze. Choose cream, rather than stark white, to go with fall colors.

Another inspiration might be the orchards that are overflowing with apples this time of year. Use apple reds and greens, but stay away from fire-engine red and Kelly green; your colors will look too much like Christmas.

In-Season Flowers

Fall flowers give you more options than you might think. Mums, dahlias and zinnias are in season, and they come in a variety of colors. Popular wedding flowers such as roses, calla lilies and orchids are in season year-round. Accent your bouquet or floral centerpieces with leaves or seasonal berries. Here are some more in-season blooms:

Asters
Gerbera daisies
Marigolds
Sunflowers

If the harvest inspired you, add seasonal fruit like pears and apples to your centerpieces and floral arrangements and add natural elements like leaves, acorns, and wheat. Tip your hat to the season by hollowing out real or imitation pumpkins in lieu of glass vases.

Decorating Ideas

Plan a Halloween-themed wedding, and you’ll want to go with pumpkins, goblins, and ghouls or maybe a haunted house theme. If you’re inspired by the harvest, decorate with pumpkins, gourds, hay bales, apples, and corn stalks. Wrap poles in cornstalks, and use pumpkins and gourds in your centerpieces. Miniature pumpkins can be hollowed out to fit tea lights or taper candles.

A fall wedding is also the perfect time to play with textures. Choose different kinds of fabric for table coverings: Quilted fabrics, ruched silk, linen, velvet or ultrasuede. These heavy fabrics will give your reception a warm and elegant feel.

Dressing the Bride and Bridesmaids

Color: The old saying advises against wearing white after Labor Day, but no one will blame you if you pick a pretty white wedding dress for your fall wedding. If you want something different, choose a cream- or ivory-colored dress. These gowns will match nicely with the colors of fall, whether you’ve chosen a palette of bright leaf colors or rich jewel tones.

Metallics also go nicely with fall colors – especially those dark jewel tones – so look for a gown with metallic accents like bows, belts, flowers, or embroidery. You can also find gowns with accents in nearly every color of the rainbow. If you can’t find your color, embellish a solid-colored gown with a sash or flower that matches your bridesmaids’ dresses.

As we mentioned above, fall colors can be bright and bold like the yellows, oranges, and reds of the changing leaves or dark and rich like the luxurious jewel tones of eggplant, emerald green, burgundy, or ruby red that appear this time of year. Dress your bridesmaids in your wedding colors and accent with a coordinating metallic like gold or bronze.

Neckline and sleeves: Just because the weather is getting cooler doesn’t mean you have to choose a gown with long sleeves and a high neck. Strapless, sweetheart, and asymmetric necklines are all popular this season, so if you find a gown you love in these styles, go for it! Wear an attractive cover up or shawl to keep you warm when the temperatures drop.

Short or long sleeves are also appropriate for this time of year. Keep in mind, though, that long sleeves are generally more formal and might look out of place at a casual wedding.

Shoes: Fall can be wet and chilly, so if you only want to buy one pair of shoes, it would be wise to go for closed-toe styles that can withstand some rain. If you’re set on a cute pair of strappy heels, wear something else while you’re outside and make a change when you’re indoors. Sporting a fun pair of rain boots under your gown can make for cute pictures!

Dressing the Groom and Groomsmen

Most grooms will choose tuxedos for their fall wedding, and this classic look is always appropriate. Stay away from white tuxes; they’ll look too summery and out of place. Match the men’s vests, ties, or cummerbunds to the bridesmaids’ gowns and wedding colors. Heavier fabrics like brocade and velvet are perfect for fall weddings. At informal weddings, dark suits, khakis, or dark slacks are totally appropriate. Pair with white or cream shirts and ties that match the bridesmaids.

Special Considerations

Like all seasons, there are several things to consider when you’re planning a fall wedding. For many of your guests, this time of year is back-to-school time. Sports schedules and homework obligations might prevent some guests from making it to your wedding.

Several religious holidays also happen during this time of year, including Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, and Ramadan. If you expect guests won’t be able to attend because of religious obligations, try to schedule your wedding on a different weekend.

Fall weather in Southern Maryland can vary. Warm, even hot, days yield to chilly nights. Use your wedding website or invitation inserts to encourage guests to bring a wrap or jacket to stay warm, especially if you’re planning an outdoor wedding. You can also rent heaters to take the chill of in and around your tent; check with your rental company to see what’s available.