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5 Wedding Theme Ideas For Fall

Written by: Kimmy Foskett

If you’re in the midst of wedding-planning, you may have heard this hot take: fall weddings are the new summer weddings. That’s because, quite literally, they’re cooler. The benefits to throwing a fall wedding include not-so-hot temperatures, an autumnal color palette, and lower costs (if fall happens to be off-season in your city). It’s also easy to get creative when it comes to fall wedding theme ideas. From using leaves in place of flowers, to surprising guests with warm cider in place of champagne, there’s something undeniably cozy about a fall wedding. And let’s be real, who doesn’t love feeling cozy?

The reasons you love fall are probably the very same reasons that October has now officially surpassed June as the most popular month to get married. The fall foliage is the ultimate backdrop to a wedding photo shoot, decor-worthy produce like pumpkins and apples are in season, and you can sit outside by a fire without overheating.

But at its very core, autumn is synonymous with nostalgia. September conjures up memories of the end of summer vacation and back to school days, October reminds us of corn mazes and Halloween, and November is the high point of the season with its Thanksgiving feast. Falling in love is as nostalgic as fall itself, so here are some decor ideas for your post-summer wedding.

The Foliage Fest
The benefits of making leaves the visual theme of your wedding? They’re beautiful, and they’re also a lot more affordable to procure than flowers. And your color palette doesn’t need to consist of reds and oranges, fall tones vary. Add greenery and set up an arbor, or cover your tables in long, leafy garlands. Place hanging dried flowers like marigold or lavender over each table. You can even place dried leaves in the bridal bouquet, or as a finishing touch on the cake. (Just make sure you don’t eat them!)

The Harvest
From apple-picking to toasting pumpkin seeds, fall is the time for bountiful food and outdoor festivals. Your harvest-themed wedding might feature painted miniature pumpkins as centerpieces, or hay bales as cocktail hour seating. You can riff on this theme on your menu as well. Maybe you serve some apple cider donuts and mulled wine at cocktail hour, or miniature pies alongside your cake. Yum!


The Masquerade
While summer holiday weddings can be polarizing, a Halloweekend wedding can inspire nontraditional themes. There’s no need to go overboard on the spooky decorations, but providing beautiful masks for your guests at a black-tie affair can liven up the party. Even if you plan a more casual event, a black or plum table-cloth with gold accents can be a lovely color palette — it’s not Halloween-themed, it’s gothic adjacent. Non-negotiable: lots of candles on each table.

The Camp-Out
One of the best part of an outdoor fall wedding is that during the day, you won’t need a sweater, but at night, a bonfire or warm blanket feel appropriate. Whether your wedding is near a beach or at a mountain resort, a camp-themed wedding is simply adorable. You can provide blankets or shawls at each seat at your outdoor reception, or organize a s’mores bar and fireworks at the after-party. And for the celebration hashtag? “#Camp[LastName].”


The Barn Party
Farms and barns are traditional wedding locales, but they can be sweaty — and smelly — during the hot summer months. An antique barn or an open field are just more aesthetically appealing during the fall. Plus, the right barn doesn’t take much to decorate, because you can keep things rustic with wooden benches and tables, enhanced by candlelight or autumnal floral arrangements. Barn weddings also give you the exact right amount of indoor/outdoor space for guests. And maybe even cute cows in a field nearby to feed!