How to Plan a Fall Wedding: Weather, Pumpkins, & More

Fall wedding decoration, pumpkins blog header

While everyone has their favorite season, there is no doubt that autumn is amongst the front runners. Crisp, color-changing leaves, cool air, and cozy sweaters are staples of fall, but how do you help a couple plan for a fall wedding? Is fall really only about pumpkins?

Where should the ceremony be? How much will it cost compared to a summer wedding? What kind of fall decorations are best?

When it comes to planning a fall wedding, there are a few things that are a must. And then there are a few great choices to offer clients. From decorative gourds to reception bonfires, we have great ideas to help you plan.

When and Where to Host a Fall Wedding

From woods to parks and open fields, fall weddings are typically a natural affair. There are a lot of venues that have beautiful grounds where ceremonies can take place, so as you’re researching things for fall weddings, don’t just think indoors. Outdoors is where it’s at, though that does come with some other things to keep in mind.

Technically speaking, fall starts towards the end of September and ends mid-to-late Novmber. Now, depending on where you and your clients are located, that can differ greatly. However, in general, September, October, and November are the key months for fall weddings.

September: The Wild Card

Fall wedding outside, alter and bride and groom.
Timing is everything with a fall wedding, especially if you are holding it outdoors.

September weddings are touch and go if the clients are gung-ho on an autumnal atmosphere. Leaves are beginning to change but won’t be into their full colors quite yet unless you’re far up north. 

There is also a chance of a heat surge known as an “Indian summer” and risks having a suddenly boiling fall wedding day. That said, if the couple doesn’t mind a late summer wedding with some fall touches, then September is a great choice.

October: More Than Just Halloween

Of the fall months, October is the perfect one. It’s also incredibly popular for that reason. Crisp, cool air, leaves in their full color change, and pumpkins galore—October is the exemplary representation of fall. That said, if couples want an October wedding, they will need to book venues earlier than they may realize, as well as have a few back-ups.

Halloween weddings are always fun, but again, it is a very popular time and couples need to plan accordingly. Make sure they’re aware and prepared to make some sacrifices if all their dream vendors are booked.

November: Holiday Hang-Ups

November is tricky because chances are people are going to prioritize Thanksgiving over going to a wedding. With COVID-19 still affecting communities and policy, chances are most people aren’t going to do multiple outings with lots of people attending and will be forced to choose. It’s something to bring up to clients. Where do their priorities lie?

That said, the weather in November tends to be a bit more crisp, even bordering on cold. If clients want a November wedding, definitely make sure you help them plan to keep guests warm, especially if there are any outside elements.

Planning for Fall Weather

While fall is one of the more reliable seasons in terms of what to expect for weddings, there are two major things to keep in mind when discussing a fall wedding with clients: temperature and rain. You’ll want to know what weather to expect, well before the ceremony

Like spring, fall can be quite wet, especially in certain parts of the country. A lot of fall weddings are outside and, as such, need a rain plan. Forcing guests to sit out in the cool air when it’s drizzling on them isn’t a great experience.

While no one ever wants to go to Plan B, having it will save everyone a lot of stress on the day of the ceremony. If the venue has an indoor space for a rainspace, great! If they don’t, maybe having couples look into tents to shelter the guests is a good suggestion.

Staying Warm

Make sure brides (and grooms) choose seasonally appropriate outfits for their wedding party. Having poor bridesmaids in short, sleeveless dresses is torture on a chilly November day. Encourage them to incorporate faux furs, plaid, velvet, and other warm linens into their outfits. And maybe no open-toed shoes.

Fall can go from very warm to very cold in a day. It’s a time of change, and there’s a lot of variables. Evenings will be cold, though, and if the reception is going late into the night, having heating elements is a must. 

For a rustic vibe, a bonfire is a great choice. For something more sleek, there are heat lamps available. Some venues may have fireplaces as well. At the very least, clients should have some room in their budget for blankets and heating elements for themselves and their guests. After all, we don’t want anyone getting cold feet!

See how Martha Stweart Weddings put together a beautiful Fall wedding, on a California ranch.

Fall Wedding Decorations: All About the Pumpkins

white and orange pumpkins, large decoration
To pumpkin or not, that is a question for fall decorations at a wedding

When searching for fall wedding ideas, there are a few things that are guaranteed to come up. Pumpkins are the big one, of course. There are a lot of ways to incorporate them, from lining the aisles to using mini pumpkins as seating cards to even using a fake one as a guest book.

One of your best resources will be Pinterest. Create yourself a series of fall wedding-inspired mood boards, as not only is this going to serve as inspiration, but it can help drive traffic to your services. You’ll see lots of trendy fall wedding ideas that aren’t just pumpkins, as much as we love them.

Acorns, branches, mushrooms, and leaves are other options to use for decoration points. Think of a great mini tree trunk centerpiece with mushrooms sprouting from it and some acorns scattered about. There are so many cozy fall ideas to come up with.

Floral options for fall are in earthy and warm tones. Think burgundy, orange, rust, deep yellow, browns, and green. White and cream sneaks in there often as well. It’s best, when planning out florals with clients, to focus on the colors of changing leaves and things typically associated with fall.

Wedding arches and chuppahs for fall weddings are typically of the more rustic variety. A lot of couples can DIY these with branches and such, but there are commercial versions available as well. 

Apple Cider, Pumpkin Spice, and Everything Nice

Fall comes with its own array of seasonal foods and drinks that people go nuts over. When planning a fall wedding, part of your job may be to assist couples with their menu. You can have a lot of fun with a seasonally themed one, and fall is possibly the best choice for such a thing.

Pumpkin spice is popular for a reason, and any fall wedding that doesn’t incorporate it in some way is missing out. This doesn’t mean clients should have a Starbucks cart at their wedding (though they could). Instead, they could use it for a dessert bar filled with mini pumpkin pies, along with apple and pecan pies.

A hot chocolate bar is another great idea, especially for receptions later in the afternoon or evening. Put a mulled wine and hot apple cider station next to it and guests will have autumn in a cup at their disposal.

Warm, hearty foods like turkey, pot roasts, and other family-style meals are great options for a fall wedding. Fish and steak are more for the summer, and while they can be fine choices, try to have couples lean into the theme with the food as well as the decorations.

Fall Weddings Are Cozy and Romantic

Planning a wedding during the autumnal months will allow you, as a wedding planner, to embrace all things cozy and warm. It is also a romantic time of the year and can be enhanced with the use of candles and twinkling lights to give couples a magical experience.

A few pumpkins never hurt either.

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Annette Corrie

Our ‘Certificate of Professional Wedding Planning Course’ is here to help you through the process, by providing a step-by-step guide to getting started and becoming successful in your new career. This course will help you gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to oversee all the details of a wedding. This course will help you prepare a successful and magnificent event!

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Annette Corrie

Course Director

Our ‘Certificate of Professional Wedding Planning Course’ is here to help you through the process, by providing a step-by-step guide to getting started and becoming successful in your new career. This course will help you gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to oversee all the details of a wedding. This course will help you prepare a successful and magnificent event!

Annette Corrie

Get Started



Certificate of Professional Wedding Planning Course’

This course will help you gain the skills, knowledge, and confidence you need to oversee all the details of a wedding. This course will help you prepare for a successful and magnificent event!