Everything You Need To Know About Fall Weddings

Cooler temps, cozy scarves, and pumpkin spice everything. If we’re speaking your language, a fall wedding may be right up your alley.

But, before you fall in love with a fall wedding, read our guide to discover what’s in season, what’s in vogue, and what to take into consideration.

Newlyweds kiss in a field full of fall foliage

Joey Kennedy Photograph

Talk to our Smoky Mountain Wedding planners today! Ask us about Gatlinburg,  Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain Holiday Wedding 

Whatever your wedding date may be, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on weather predictions and inform your guests if they should bring a sweater, jacket, etc. And if your autumn event is going to be outdoors, have a contingency plan in place just in case.

Bridal party wears plaid pashminas for a fall wedding

Maison Meredith Photography

Talk to our Smoky Mountain Wedding planners today! Ask us about Gatlinburg,  Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain Holiday Wedding 

Fall Holidays

Another reason to love fall? It’s the start of the holiday season! From Halloween to Thanksgiving, there’s no shortage of reasons to celebrate during this time of year. (Do Black Friday and Cyber Monday count as holidays? No?)

Whether you host your wedding on a holiday weekend is up to you, but in general, it’s a good idea to steer clear of major holidays such as Thanksgiving. That said, it could be fun to have your wedding on, say, Veteran’s Day weekend when some of your guests may have the following Monday off work.

Fall is also the start of football season, with NFL games on Sundays and college football on Saturdays. If you have a diehard Bama fan in your wedding party, they’d be mighty disappointed if your big day was the same day as the big game. Why not get creative by incorporating football into your wedding? Putting your favorite team’s logo on your wedding desserts or naming a signature cocktail after them is a good way to get your team spirit on.

Newlyweds hold hands in front of bright red fall leaves

Elyse Jankowski

Fall Wedding Pros & Cons

There are tons of advantages to getting married in the fall:

  • Gorgeous foliage
  • Typically temperate weather
  • Lots of seasonally-inspired décor
  • Possible off-season discounts to take advantage of

Plus, because peak wedding season is waning in most parts of the country, it may be easier for you to book your venue on a specific date or get your first choice of vendors.

However, there are some disadvantages to be aware of:

  • As we’ve mentioned, autumn weather can be variable, not to mention even cold, rainy, or snowy on the East Coast!
  • Fall holidays can cause potential date conflicts
  • Daylight Savings Time ends, which means some states will experience a really early sunset (and that could affect the timing of your wedding ceremony and photos!)

Be sure to check with your photographer about the earlier sunset’s infamous “golden hour.” This is the prime time to take outdoor wedding photos, and it’s worth planning your ceremony around.

A simple outdoor wedding ceremony in the fall

Katie Stoops Photography

Talk to our Smoky Mountain Wedding planners today! Ask us about Gatlinburg,  Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain Holiday Wedding 

Autumn Color Palette

Do a Google image search for “Fall Weddings” and you’ll no doubt see tons of deep reds, oranges, and browns. Although this color palette mimics the changing of the leaves and provides natural warmth to any style of décor, don’t be boxed in by the “fall foliage” feel!

Wanna get a bit more modern with your fall color palette? Consider using gold or copper for a bit of glitz and glam, deep plum and emerald green for elegance, or neutral shades like champagne, cream, and slate gray.

Five different fall wedding color palettes

Bridesmaids and Groomsmen

If your wedding location is in a cooler climate, you may want to pick a heavier fabric for your bridesmaid dresses or have your entourage wear boleros or pashminas to keep the chill at bay. Deep jewel tones, glimmering metallics, and long-sleeved bridesmaid dresses are all lovely options for autumn attire.

The groomsmen can get creative with their fall wardrobe, too! How about argyle socks or plaid ties? Smart navy or gray suits are a sophisticated choice with these bold accessories.

Fall bridesmaids wearing maroon dresses in different styles

The Lees Photography

Working With What’s In Season

When you buy what’s in season, you get food and flowers at the peak of their supply when costs are normally lower. Plus, when they’re locally grown they don’t need to be shipped halfway around the globe. So not only do you save money, but you also reduce your carbon footprint. Win-win.

Fall Wedding Food

The fall harvest boasts some comforting eats. In-season vegetables include root veggies like turnips and rutabagas, along with all sorts of squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. How does a steaming bowl of butternut squash soup sound for a starter?

Colorful fruits like apples, cranberries, pears, and pomegranates are also available in abundance. Besides incorporating these fruits into your menu, consider decorating your cake with them, or giving some of these edible beauties as wedding favors.

Hollowed out mini pumpkins filled with soup

tPoz Photography | Chef’s Expressions

Fall Wedding Flowers

While many flowers bloom year-round, there are some in-season fall flowers that are pure wedding perfection:

  • Dahlias are absolutely gorgeous in a wedding bouquet, and deep burgundy dahlias are especially beautiful in the fall.
  • Garden roses are the perfect alternative to peonies this time of year.
  • Anemones, with their striking black centers, are a sophisticated addition to a bouquet.
  • Marigolds come in festive fall colors of gold, orange, and red.
  • Sunflowers add a touch of sunshine to any fall affair.
  • Protea is an unexpected addition to a super-unique bridal bouquet.

We love the idea of using autumnal foliage, seasonal berries, or even acorns as part of your floral arrangements or table décor. You may also want to check out in-season fillers such as scabiosa pods, which lend a modern yet rustic touch.

An in-season wedding bouquet for fall with dahlias and protea

Lauren Scotti Photography | The Bloomin Gypsy

Fall Catering Trends

The biggest trend in fall wedding food? Comfort Cuisine. Both sweet and savory.

We’ve noticed that caterers get pretty creative with fall wedding menus. How about beginning the meal with a creamy soup in a hollowed-out mini pumpkin? A harvest salad featuring roasted butternut squash, dried cranberries, and goat cheese would make an excellent next course. We’ve even seen full-on Thanksgiving-esque wedding buffets with all the fixings—from turkey and stuffing to mashed potatoes and gravy.

For dessert, you may want to consider a hot cocoa or coffee bar with cinnamon-sugar donuts, mulled apple cider with cinnamon stick stirrers, or a dessert table with seasonal fruit pies.

And anything pumpkin. Obviously.

A bride poses next to a Thanksgiving wedding dinner

Analisa Joy Photography | The Wild Thyme Company

Fall Wedding Cake Trends

Fall wedding cakes are taking on a more rustic style, with drizzles of ganache or caramel, “rough” buttercream icing, or no icing at all! Naked cakes are completely devoid of outside icing, and look stunning decorated with fall fruits, such as figs.

Seasonal flavors include apple spice cake, gingerbread, or, you guessed it, pumpkin spice cake. Red velvet would also be a lovely choice to complement a deep red color palette.

A naked wedding cake dripping with ganache and adorned with figs

With Love by Georgie | Lila & Sage

Autumn-Inspired Wedding Favors

Edible wedding favors are always in good taste (sorry, couldn’t resist!), and fall is the best time of year to jump on this trend. In-season fruits like pomegranates lend a pop of color to each place setting, while candied apples would delight any guest. Cute bottles of maple syrup or local honey perfectly fit the season. Mini donuts or pie-on-a-stick are surefire hits, and DIY s’mores packages or mix-your-own hot chocolate cones are a sweet treat for guests to take home.

Mini wedding pie pops are perfect fall wedding favors

Kristen Weaver Photography

Talk to our Smoky Mountain Wedding planners today! Ask us about Gatlinburg,  Pigeon Forge, and Smoky Mountain Holiday Wedding