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Fall Wedding Ideas and ThemesFrom Nina Callaway,
Your Guide to Weddings.
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Ideas for Throwing Your Fall Wedding
If you are looking for a warm and intimate wedding reception, consider a fall wedding. As people start thinking about coming home more, and spending more time with their families, it's a romantic time for a wedding. Here are some fall wedding ideas to get you started.
Where to Have a Fall Wedding
Think of storybook fall setting such as inns, 18th century churches and meeting houses, old mills and even barns. A fall wedding can be casual yet elegant set in a beautiful old barn. You might also look at an apple orchard, a vineyard, or any place that will have a view of fall foliage. If you live in a climate where the leaves don't change, look for a venue with lots of rich dark wood and warmth such as a gentleman's club or university club. A fireplace is an extra special touch.
The Decor for Your Fall Wedding
Set the tone for your fall wedding as soon as your guests enter with sheaths of wheat or corn at the entrance.
Choose either rich jewel tones to decorate the room, or a traditional fall color scheme such as reds, oranges, browns and yellows. A modern fall color scheme uses only chocolate brown with light-blue accents. Fill the room with the bounty of the season - pumpkins, cornucopias, acorns, and gourds. Make jack-o-lanterns with decorative patterns rather than scary faces, or use paper bag luminaria for a similar effect.
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Fall Wedding Flowers
Generally you can find Mums, roses, daisies, yarrow, fall leaves, tallow berries and both natural and dried wheat for inexpensive prices during the fall. A spray of wheat or a mum accented with a pheasant feather makes an elegant boutonniere. Consider hollowing out pumpkins for your centerpiece containers – if you don't have the time, many craft and home stores now sell realistic fake pumpkins. But if you go with the real thing, consider white or blue natural pumpkins for an elegant and unique touch.
Attire for Your Fall Wedding
I recommend that an autumn bride look for cream and off-white dresses with gold beading and accents. Bridesmaids will look wonderful in jeweltone dresses; match the groomsmen's vests to their dresses. Look at rich fabrics such as brocades and velvets for a luxurious touch. Remember that weather in the fall can be tricky – in many areas of the United States, it will be hard to know long in advance whether your wedding day will be warm or chilly. I suggest that the bride and bridesmaids wear strapless dress with capelets, stoles or wraps. On a warm day, the overlayer can be easily removed, but you won't be left shivering on a chilly day.
Planning the Menu
The most traditional fall dinner is a roasted turkey with pumpkin pie for dessert, but there are so many other options for a fall wedding menu. From roasted quail to standing rib roast, choose a hearty meat that will pair well with heavier side dishes such as squash and mashed potatoes. A mushroom ragout evokes the season and provides a nice entre for your vegetarian guests. You might start the meal with a hearty soup served in a hollowed out pumpkin, accompanied by whole grain rolls. Serve warm apple cider in glass mugs with a cinnamon stick stirrer, and offer an alternative to wedding cake with a baked apple dessert.
A Fall Wedding Cake
Really you can serve any wedding cake at a fall wedding, but you can add to your autumn theme by serving a spiced cake or a spiced chocolate cake. Consider having an all chocolate cake, decorated with marzipan fruit. Or omit the cake altogether to serve pumpkin bread and apple, pecan and pumpkin pie.
Give a favor in keeping with the season such as a beautiful apple tied with a gold ribbon, or a bottle of maple syrup. If you have a sweet tooth, give guests caramel apples wrapped in cellophane, or give a DIY kit of a caramel apple recipe with all the ingredients they'll need - a perfect apple, some caramels, and a Popsicle stick. Help your guests decorate for the season by giving them mini pumpkins, or an ear of ornamental corn tied with some wheat and a pretty fall ribbon. Marzipan fruit is also a wonderful fall wedding favor. If you're crafty, I love the idea of giving each guest a jar of homemade preserves as they leave.
A Halloween Wedding
A fall wedding guide wouldn't be complete without talking about the Halloween wedding. Ask guests to come in costume, or have an usher greet them at the door with inexpensive yet stylish masks. The bride and groom can wear traditional wedding clothes or costumes. At a wedding I recently attended, the bride and groom changed into Bride of Frankenstein and a stable groom costumes, half way through the reception. You could also dress as the bride from the "Kill Bill" movies, or as the Princess Bride and Westley. Of course you'll want to have plenty of pumpkins around – consider having a pumpkin carving station to keep any children (and childish adults!) busy for the event.