It’s fall and love is in the air: This wedding season’s hottest trends

Cider drinks and moody hues are among the popular fall wedding trends this year. (Photo: digitalskillet, Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Fall is the perfect time to have a wedding. The air is cool enough so you’re not sweating bullets while waiting for the bride and groom to lovingly stumble over their vows, the leaves are a beautiful color, creating a gorgeous backdrop for photos, and the kids are officially in school, so you have a perfect reason to dip out early if the party is boring.

Aside from October being one of the most popular months to get married, what can you expect when attending an autumn wedding celebration? 

Wedding planning experts say fall weddings are all about embracing the beauty of the season, so think seasonal comfort foods (and drinks), moody hues and cozy venues.

Couples take advantage of the cool weather by picking venues that can accommodate their guests onsite – think cabin or ranch-style venues, says Anna Price Olson, senior editor at BRIDES. Normally, they’ll host events such as a pre-wedding movie night or organized group activities such as wine tasting and hiking at the venues. 

Tyler Speier, event planner at Tyler Speier Events, says couples will incorporate elements into their wedding that give guests a cozy feel.  

“From warm blanket stations to hot cocoa stations, s’mores stations to fireplace installations as a part of a lounge, couples are making sure their guests are comfortable as the evenings begin to get colder,” Speier says.

Handing out fleece blankets to guests has been a common theme, experts say.

Another way to stay warm during a chilly fall wedding? Liquor up your guests in autumn-appropriate ways. Seasonal drink stations such as a spiked apple cider bar are a thing during fall weddings, says Jeffra Trumpower, senior creative director at WeddingWire.

Trumpower notes that alcohol-infused escort cards are popping up this season. 

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“Tequila is definitely having a moment at weddings this year, as we’re seeing tons of couples use tequila shots as a fun way to get their celebrations started,” Trumpower says. “Nowadays, couples are using their escort cards as the perfect opportunity to direct their couples in the right direction, while starting their party off on the right foot, with a tequila shot that also includes their seating assignment.”

Fall’s true essence comes out at meal time. 

“The fall vibes continue on to the main meal, too – couples may customize their menus to showcase in-season goodies like pies instead of formal desserts and cozy dishes,” says Alyssa Longobucco, senior style and planning editor at The Knot.

Olson notes some autumn couples even opt out of having a wedding cake and go for “homemade pies, caramel apples or even s’mores for dessert” instead.

Olson and Speier say wood-fired food stations are the way to go this autumn.

“Couples are also taking an experimental approach to dining with food cooked outside of the kitchen and on display in an outdoor fire pit or wood-fired oven,” Olson says.

Speier says wedding food stations incorporate seasonal flavors such as butternut squash wood-fired pizza. Very specific and very mouth-watering.

How can we forget the biggest fall trend of all? Moody. Hues.

“You’ll see a lot of couples incorporating hallmark colors of the season like moody burgundy, emerald green, vibrant orange and navy blue in everything from attire to reception decor,” Longobucco says. 

Trumpower says the moody hues have bled out of fall into other seasons this year. 

“While seasonal colors tend to remain the same year over year, the fall color palette complete with various moody hues has been popular throughout the seasons this year with to-be-weds opting for moodier hues in their wedding palettes all year long, although they tend to be elevated throughout the fall season,” she says.

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