While everyone else is soaking in the last weeks of summer, the event industry already has its sights set on fall wedding trends and the trends that will undoubtedly show up in our weddings. This year, industry experts are forecasting a shift away from traditional autumnal details as engaged couples opt for updated, more modern takes on the harvest season.
Here are the must-know fall wedding trends to keep in mind as you look ahead to fall weddings.
Seasonal food displays
There are few things people love more about fall than the flavors — but it’s time to think outside of the pumpkin-spiced box. With so many seasonal options to choose from, it’s the best time of year to get creative with wedding menus!
“Fall is the perfect time to take advantage of seasonal ingredients,” assures Jacqueline Vizcaino of Tinted Event Design. “Couples are working with their caterers to create menus that feature the best of what autumn has to offer, from build-your-own charcuterie boards, roasted squash, and root vegetables to wild game and freshly-baked pies.”
Beyond seasonal flavors, autumn is also a wonderful opportunity to lean into a season of abundance with lavish spreads for guests to enjoy. As Betsy Scott of Hudson Valley Weddings at The Hill suggests, “instead of passed hors d’oeuvres, consider rustic grazing tables of meats, cheeses, fruit, and nuts.”
Bountiful food displays aren’t just for appetizers, though. “Dessert stations featuring fall favorites with a twist are also on trend,” adds Peter Mitsaelides of Brooklake Country Club and Events. “Think pumpkin macaroons, mini apple pies, and cinnamon rolls on sticks.”
A bit of creativity goes a long way, so tap into seasonal favorites and provide your couples with an inventive approach to fall menus.
Who said you can’t serve drinks until cocktail hour? “Some couples are switching up the timeline by opting for “meet and greet” cocktails before the ceremony and reception,” explains Frank Guertler of Bunn DJ Company – Richmond, VA.
Rest assured that these pre-ceremony beverages are getting seasonal treatment as well. “They’re welcoming guests with fall-inspired signature cocktails like spiked apple cider, bourbon-based drinks, or the classic Old Fashioned,” Guertler says.
Welcome drinks are the perfect way to thank your guests for coming while offering you another chance to infuse your big day with a creative autumnal element.
With the industry still catching up on postponed pandemic weddings, couples continue to embrace the opportunity to do it big for their friends and family. Sarah Blessinger of Kindred Weddings and Events explains that “couples are striving to provide a standout experience for their guests that veers from the traditional reception activities.”
“Whether that’s having a casino night complete with prizes for guests or singing all night long with a karaoke DJ instead of an open dance floor, think about your unique group of guests and the activities you enjoy together that can bring the group together,” Blessinger encourages.
A fresh take on fall vibes
As for fall wedding design trends, fall is always an excellent time to embrace a seasonal color palette as an ode to falling leaves and colorful gourds.
“Many couples are into color this year,” assures Nora Sheils of Rock Paper Coin and Bridal Bliss. “They are taking fall tones, brightening them up, and taking their event up a notch with bold tones. Monochromatic aesthetics with a few neutral or metallic pops like black and copper or charcoal and ivory are all the rage!”
In addition to autumnal hues, couples are also leaning into the many textures of the season as Sam Nelson of EVL Events shares. “Our clients this year are steering away from the jewel-toned colors, and less of the literal “fall” inspired themes,” she says. “Instead, they are gravitating more towards the neutral color palettes but adding texture with velvets, dried florals, and warm and cozy touches.”
Needless to say, there are countless ways to achieve a perfect fall-inspired design without falling into the trap of oversaturated Pinterest aesthetics!
It wouldn’t be a fall wedding without plentiful plants, but it’s not just about dried florals and pampas grass this year. Instead, spring and summer’s lush greenery is staying on the scene to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
“For fall weddings and events trends, I’m seeing a lot of green being used both in terms of color but also instead of flowers,” reveals Jamie Chang of Mango Muse Events. “The focus on incorporating various shades of green together, whether in linen, tabletop, greenery-based floral designs, or attire, is being used everywhere.”
These fall wedding trends aren’t going anywhere soon, so keep them in your back pocket as you plan and design your upcoming fall events!
Meghan Ely is the owner of wedding PR and wedding marketing firm OFD Consulting. Ely is a sought-after speaker, adjunct professor in the field of public relations, and a self-professed royal wedding enthusiast.