Fall Wedding Ideas for a Stunning Autumn Celebration

Bride Elyssa and groom Nick kiss at the end of the aisle after their wedding ceremony

Mardie Caldwell

January 30, 2024

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Bride and groom embrace at the Rough & Ready Vineyards. photo by Lela Spiva PhotographyFall is a magical time at the Rough and Ready Vineyards, and there is a reason September and October are the most popular months to get married. The weather is divine, and you’ll have your choice of many stunning autumnal hues and decorations.
After the heat of the summer, the beautiful heritage oak trees and the grapevines in the vineyard change from their deep green leaves to warm amber oranges, reds, and yellows. The sunsets are spectacular as the warm hues bathe the grounds in a warm golden glow—what a magnificent time to have a wedding.
Starting in September and running through November, fall’s weather can vary from warm and sunny in early fall to chilly and breezy near the end of the season. Here are some terrific tips to make your fall wedding extra special and to take advantage of the natural beauty of your surroundings.

Fall Wedding Ideas

Weddings are beautiful any time of the year, but there’s something special about having your wedding in autumn. Combining changing leaves and cooler temps provides couples with outdoor options and unique decor themes.
Whether you’re a bride still in the initial phases of planning or pulling together the final details for your big day, our fall wedding ideas will make it memorable. Any fall celebration could benefit from a well-placed pumpkin or dramatic seasonal ceremony. Embrace the season with these fall wedding ideas—embodied with jewel tones, themed motifs, vibrant foliage, and rustic details—that will make your wedding an autumn best.
If you’re a bride in the midst of planning your autumn wedding even though it’s the dead of winter right now, you’ll love getting a glimpse into these real-life Rough & Ready Vineyards weddings! Press “play” on any of the videos below to get fall wedding ideas and inspiration:

Fall Wedding Invitations

Set the mood for your fall wedding when you send out your invitations. Consider neutrals and warm shades for your fall wedding invites. Plaid is the perfect pattern for a cozy fall wedding. You might add touches of plaid to your paper details, such as invitations and escort cards.
Your invitations not only set the stage for your wedding, but they can guide your guests into wearing the proper attire as well.
Photo of pumpkins and leaves in a wedding aisle by Rebekah Townley Photography

Autumn Wedding Décor

Having an outdoor fall wedding can be easy on your budget due to the natural beauty of your surroundings. When considering your décor, whether your style is rustic, boho, or traditional, create a warm atmosphere with harvest colors such as cranberry, burnt orange, amber, crimson, and gold, to name a few.
Consider late-bloom flowers such as calla lilies, chrysanthemums, orchids, and pampas grass for your flowers. Speak with your florist about your vision or create your own masterpieces with the help of online florists.
You could even skip traditional glass vases and put your bouquets inside hollowed-out pumpkins. These will look beautiful as table centerpieces or lining your wedding aisle! If you’re going for white-based bouquets, you’ll want to use white pumpkins, while traditional fall bouquets will look best in orange pumpkins.
As you consider your centerpieces, bouquets, and any additional table or archway arrangements, picture them against the colorful fall palette that will be in the background. Pumpkins and gourds will make lovely, inexpensive centerpieces.
Fall wedding décor tip from the Rough & Ready Vineyards
Piece of pumpkin pie with whipped cream dollop on top

Food & Beverages

You can have so much fun with your food and beverage choices for a fall wedding. The options are fantastic, from hot apple cider to mini pumpkin and apple pies.
Fall fruit such as pears, pumpkin, and apples should be the stars, along with root vegetables and your seasonings, such as cinnamon, rosemary, nutmeg, and cardamom. These choices will set the stage for your fall wedding menu.
Plan your menu to include tasty autumnal appetizers such as grilled apples with prosciutto and honey or maybe pumpkin and pesto crostini.
Follow with a hearty main dish like individual shepherd’s pies or a local tradition such as pasties. Your guests will delight in warm comfort foods that highlight the season.
Even your drinks can get in on the fall time wedding fun! A mulled wine or a pumpkin martini can make a warming signature cocktail that will bring about the smells and colors of fall. For a non-alcoholic signature cocktail, you might serve warm apple cider with cinnamon.
Consider infusing flavors such as maple, pumpkin spice, or salted caramel into your wedding cake and serving it with a special dessert drink such as hot buttered rum or hot chocolate.
Whether friends and family are participating in the preparation of your menu or a caterer, plan your menu carefully to enhance your fall theme.
Fall wedding drink tip from the Rough & Ready Vineyards
A bride shares a laugh with her bridesmaids at her fall wedding. Photo by Rebekah Townley Photography

Wedding Attire

When considering the attire for the wedding party, the possibilities are endless. You will probably want to lean towards nudes and naturals or rich hues and jewel tones.
Of course, the fabric you choose will depend on the expected weather for your wedding. When it comes to fabric, if you feel it is earlier in the season and maybe warm, you may choose a floaty tulle or, if later in the season, perhaps a velvet for you and your bridesmaids. The rich texture and subtle sheen of velvet dresses make them a great way to celebrate fall at your wedding—especially when you choose a seasonally-inspired hue such as copper or taupe.
A groom taking a walk with his groomsmen. Photo by Rebekah Townley PhotographyNext, consider the background foliage of your wedding venue. If possible, tour your venue during the season you will be having your wedding or as near it as possible. If this is not possible, visit the venue’s website to look at photos and watch videos of weddings that took place in the autumn. Doing this research ahead of time will help your photos be picture-perfect.
The groom and groomsmen may opt for a cashmere blend earlier in the season and wool, corduroy, or velvet later in the season. The traditional black suit will be appropriate, or you can spice it up a little with a burgundy, navy, or deep green palette. Also, a tweed suit or blazer will help them get into the autumn spirit while still keeping warm.

Fall Wedding Favors

Your wedding favors can be economical or extravagant, homemade or store-bought. Make sure that a fall theme can be seen whichever route you take for your fall wedding.
From pumpkin spice truffles to personalized honey jars, your creativity can shine with your wedding favors. Your guests will cherish these beautiful mementos from your wedding.
Fall wedding tip from the Rough & Ready Vineyards
Close-up photo of a floral arrangement on a wedding arch by Athena Kalindi Photography

Fall Weather

Weather is always a little unpredictable, so there are a few situations you will need to be prepared for when having a fall wedding. For example, there can be early fall heat or late fall chill. You will also want to be ready for a day that may be breezy or damp. None of these situations is a disaster; certainly, no weather event should be allowed to make your special day anything less than magnificent. The key is to be prepared and to have the right attitude.
To get prepared, start at the beginning. When sending out your invitations, include a website where guests can visit for weather updates. Or, you can request that they share their cell phone number you can text so you can reach your guests with any last-minute changes or instructions. For instance, you may want to remind them to wear appropriate shoes if it rains. If the day before, you see that rain is expected but should be out of the area by a specific time, you may want to move your wedding by an hour or two, and you will be able to communicate this to your guests.
Next, when booking your vendors, speak with them about different weather situations and how they handle them. For example, you don’t want your DJ or band to tell you on your wedding day that they don’t play in the rain!

Your Vendors

A bride and her bridesmaids smiling despite the rain. Photo by Lela Spiva PhotographyAll of your vendors should be prepared to deal with any weather event. However, if there are certain things they need from you on the day of if there is inclement weather, you need to know ahead of time. For example, you may want to ask your photographer for examples of their work on fall weddings when surprised by wind, clouds, or rain.
Consider putting any extra rentals you may need on hold, such as tents, fans, and heaters. When watching the weather, you should have a good idea of what your wedding day is going to look like about seven days in advance.
Check on the deposit policy before reserving. You may also want to have a source ready to purchase shawls, umbrellas, or handheld fans in bulk. If you need to buy items from a store in town, make sure that they have enough on hand. If you’re ordering online, check to ensure they’ll be delivered on time.
Rain and wind can be an issue for hair, makeup, and attire. Speak to your beauty consultant about ideas for weatherproof hair and makeup. You probably don’t want to wear your hair down if it’s windy. And what about your dress? There is a fabric protector spray that you can spray on yourself or enlist a dry cleaner to apply. Then there are those heels to deal with. No problem. Cute wedding rain boots will be just the thing. There is always a solution.
Bride and groom kissing at their fall wedding. Photo by Rebekah Townley Photography

Your Stunning Autumn Celebration

Of all the tips in this article, having a positive, nothing-is-going-to-ruin-my-day attitude is the most important. If it is 103 degrees, raining, windy, cloudy, or snowing, this should still be your special wedding day.
Embrace the adventure. Wind means those beautiful autumn leaves are swirling in the air like colorful raindrops. A cloudy, rainy day can bring about romantic droplets twinkling under the café lights. Meanwhile, a hot day can have everyone kicking off their shoes and dancing under misters.
If your dress gets muddy, the dry cleaner will clean it. If your guests get wet, they will dry. With a great attitude and sense of humor, no matter the weather, you and your guests will have an unforgettable and beautiful day. Sometimes unexpected events turn a perfectly planned day into something even more magical.

“Red and orange and purple from green
Rich autumn colors, a sight to be seen
The winds of change quickly blowing in
With it a new chapter will soon begin…”

– An excerpt from My Heart Beats for You by Tim Smith

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on September 20, 2022, and has since been updated. 

Mardie Caldwell

Written by Mardie Caldwell

Mardie has been a successful businesswoman since 1981. The Rough & Ready Vineyards was created out of Mardie’s desire to contribute to the community. Mardie’s vision to serve the community is rooted in her love of Nevada County, and it provided her with the opportunity to revitalize an old Ranch property into a breathtaking wedding venue.

Her innovative mind and commitment to environmental accountability contribute in a positive way to our community and the surrounding area. With the Rough & Ready Vineyards, Mardie seeks to create the best wedding experience for our clients and their guests, creating memories that will last for generations.

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