If you’re getting married in the fall, you may want to have an outdoor wedding. After all, the blue skies, natural décor, and cool breezes make for a romantic setting. However, the reality may not match your plans because anything can happen. At Improvements, we’re sharing our outdoor wedding ideas for fall so you can plan and pull off your autumn wedding—from the pros and cons of a destination wedding to serving seasonal foods. Make sure your big day goes off without a hitch!
Top Outdoor Wedding Ideas for Fall
Congratulations on your outdoor fall wedding! You may want to incorporate everything the fall season has to offer. However, creating and sticking to a budget can save you money. You may even factor in a “cushion” in case anything goes wrong. After all, having extra funds to cover an unforeseen cost can save you time and stress.
Below are some outdoor wedding ideas for fall, from choosing a location to keeping your guests comfortable. And most importantly, keeping your stress level under control. Let us help you plan and pull off your outdoor fall wedding!
Outdoor Wedding Ideas for Fall: Choose a Location
You may want to have a beach wedding. Or perhaps you’d like to get married at your favorite winery. Whatever your choice, consider if a location will work for everyone. Why? Because even though your wedding day is about you and your groom, you’ll want to make sure a location works for family and friends, too.
Consider the Pros and Cons of a Destination Wedding
Feeling the warmth of the sun and hearing the sounds of waves hitting a beach may put you in a feel-good mood. After all, who wouldn’t want a beach wedding in the fall? However, it may cost you more than you think. For example, you may receive an invoice for chairs, tables, and more. And if you choose a wedding date that’s during hurricane season, your wedding may get canceled. Even if you get married lakeside, you may have to put up with bugs and high winds. Also, a steady lake or ocean breeze means taking extra precautions to secure your wedding décor. And then there’s your hair. It may become disheveled. Yikes!
Get Married at a Local Winery
Getting married at a winery sounds like an ideal location. After all, you have wine, beautiful scenery (rolling hills and vineyards), and inviting private space, from a lovely courtyard to a sun-kissed patio. However, vineyards may be hot and dry in the summer and guests will need plenty of refreshments. If you have your heart set on getting married in Napa Valley, know that some wineries don’t allow weddings. Also, if a winery is near a residential area, the noise ordinance may require your celebration to end at 9:00 p.m. or 10:00 p.m. And, you may only be able to serve wine instead of alcoholic beverages, including your signature drink.
Consider an Apple Orchard
The groves of an apple orchard make an excellent backdrop for wedding photos, and you and your guests can stroll through them. However, consider that venues vary. For instance, one apple orchard may have many “bells and whistles,” from a barn to acres of land, pavilion, and more. Then again, another may only have a barn and pavilion. Some apple orchards sit beside mountains and lakes, while others may share properties with beer gardens and wineries. Is your celebration a destination wedding? If so, is the cost manageable for you and your guests? The possibilities are endless but consider each one carefully.
Say Your Wedding Vows in the Backyard
An all-inclusive wedding reception may account for 50 percent of your budget. But having a large or small backyard wedding may be more cost-effective; the sentimental value is priceless. However, you may have to pay for rentals, including portable restrooms, dance floor, tent, and more. Consider if catering is an option. If not, you may have to hire a company. Also, bugs may swarm around you and your guests during the day and night. And, parking may be a nightmare. Consider the cost of permits and liability insurance.
Outdoor Wedding Ideas for Fall: What Else Should You Consider?
In addition to choosing your wedding location, there are other factors to consider. Below are other outdoor wedding ideas for fall.
Stay Mindful of Extra Costs
A beach, campground, or park may be open to the public, but that doesn’t mean they’re free wedding venues. You’ll want to find out if there’s a site fee or suggested donation. If the location is remote, is there an extra delivery fee? Will you have to pay for sanitation services? What about valet parking? Do you need security? These costs add up!
Consider How Much Electricity You’ll Need (lights, etc.)
You need electricity for lighting, sound and temperature control. If your wedding venue doesn’t have electricity, you’ll need generators for kitchen appliances, amps, microphones, speakers, portable heaters (it gets cold at night) and anything else that requires power. It may pay to hire an electrician to review your wedding location and give you an estimate on the amount of power that’s needed.
Have a Plan B and C
Are you a fan of The Office? If so, you’ll recall that Jim and Pam had a Plan B and Plan C. Hey! With the gang from Dunder Mifflin-Scranton, what could go wrong will probably happen times 10! So, it pays to have multiple backups in place. For instance, if Mother Nature unleashes a thunderstorm, make sure your venue has a building so that you can get married inside. Does your wedding venue suddenly need repairs? Make sure you have a backup. After all, life happens. And you need to be prepared, no matter what!
Keep Guests Warm and Dry and Cool (umbrellas and outdoor heaters)
Getting married outdoors means having to contend with the weather. If its warm, provide guests with portable fans. Pass out umbrellas, so guests stay protected from the rain. Have plenty of blankets and outdoor heaters to keep guests warm at night. Nothing spoils a wedding like grumpy guests. Keep everyone comfortable the best that you can.
Provide Ample Seating
No woman wants to ruin her high-heeled shoes by standing on the lawn, stretching her neck to see you and your groom say your vows. Make sure you have ample seating, from chairs to benches. Even if your ceremony is 5-10 minutes, don’t make your pregnant cousin or Grandma stand. Have chairs available for people who need them. Oh, and here’s another tip: consider distributing plastic heel protectors so that your bridal party and female guests so they don’t sink into the soil.
Keep the Bugs and Wind Away
Did you know that baby’s breath, peonies, and scabiosa attract bugs? To keep the pests away, incorporate sprigs of rosemary, lavender, mint, and thyme. Keep mosquitoes away with citronella torches or candles. Don’t use lightweight centerpieces or vases because they may blow away. Instead, opt for potted plants or gourds that will weigh down an arrangement. If you have lit candles, cover them.
Serve a Seasonal Menu and Keep Dessert Simple
Consider serving dishes that are specific to fall. Appetizers may include mini grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup, artichoke toast, sweet potato cakes with maple syrup, and more. Dinner may consist of 1-3 meal options, buffet or different food stations. For instance, one station may have Thanksgiving turkey with all of the fixings. Another may have Virginia ham, buttermilk biscuits, sausage gravy, and other sides. For vegetarians, serve lasagna, different kind of pasta, and other delicious foods. Vegetables may include broccoli, peas, beans, Brussels sprouts, pumpkin, and more. Desserts may include pumpkin pie, s’mores, cheesecake, apple pie, gingerbread cookies, apple crisp, fudgy peanut butter cake, caramel apple strudel, and more. Your wedding cake may even have a seasonal flavor!
Forget the Rice and Throw Leaves
Throwing rice at a bride and groom as they make their way down the aisle after they’re married is boring. Give guests a bag filled with leaves and have them toss them at you and your hubby. Not only can you save money, but it makes a great photo opportunity.
Light a Bonfire
Nothing says fall like a bonfire. Have one at your wedding, will be a hit with your guests. They can take their s’mores (see the Seasonal Menu and Desserts point) and let them toast their marshmallows and create an ooey-gooey dessert that will warm their hearts just like your wedding.
Are You Ready to Plan Your Fall Wedding?
We hope you enjoyed our outdoor wedding ideas for fall! No matter what you decide, make sure you focus on getting married and celebrating your big day. Remember, you can only control your attitude and emotions. If something goes wrong, don’t let it spoil your day. Have fun!
Got any outdoor wedding ideas for fall? Share them in the comments.