Fall décor offers so much more than cornucopias and pumpkins — the season is a bounty of colorful foliage and rich textures that combine to create an explosion of dramatic style. The range of unusual, natural elements and vibrant florals Mother Earth has to offer is surprisingly plentiful in autumn. Earth tones complement just about any color palette, creating a style that is modern and sophisticated. In fact, brown is the hottest accent color in wedding décor right now; its deep tone beautifully accents vibrant shades of persimmon and jewel tones such as purple and magenta. When you interweave the vivid colors of the season with branches, tree bark, fall leaves, and seasonal fruits and vegetables, your wedding décor provides a dramatic visual display your guests will be sure to remember. Here are some ideas to help tell your love story against a beautiful backdrop bursting with fall delights.
As guests arrive, they are immediately met with programs, a guest book, and other wedding details, all of which can be displayed in creative ways. Consider covering the guest-book table in moss, and use a box made of birch branches or a wooden chest adorned with fall foliage to display the programs. Cones filled with rose petals for tossing are a popular personal touch, and are easy for your florist to create. Wrap cones with tea leaves, enfold them in fall-toned fabric, or cover them in leaves before filling with colorful petals. Add a personalized note inside each one of the cones instructing the guests to toss the petals at the end of the ceremony. These cones can then be arranged near the programs, or placed on guest chairs for a little detail accent at the ceremony site.
Your aisle décor should help set the tone for the ceremony to follow. Consider lining the aisle with floral displays that burst from the tops of faux tree trunks made of pedestals covered in birch-tree bark. Placing vibrant fall leaves along the aisle floor is a unique alternative to rose petals; however, if you prefer the look of petals, consider graduating them in fall-toned colors as they line the aisle. Garden boxes add style to the aisle when filled with fall foliage or flowering plants — mums work well — for an added pop of color. They also create great background for photography (it’s a long walk and cameras will be flashing), and they can be reused during the reception as extra décor.
When the big moment arrives, imagine exchanging vows beneath a natural structure of birch branches, curly willow vines, magnolia branches, amber leaves, and flowers — and also imagine how great you’ll look there. Birch branches come in a variety of sizes and shades, from white to very dark, and are ideal for creating a structure or adding texture and style to an existing one. Don’t shy away from big, bold options that will make your arbor or chuppah pop! Adding earthy textures to wedding-party flowers is an interesting way to tie everything together. Discuss incorporating acorns, linen, fall leaves, thistle pods, and berries to boutonnieres and bouquets with your florist, and ask for samples so you’re sure that the look is exactly as you imagine.
As friends and family transition to the reception, continue your décor with surprising detail accents at every turn. Spread fall leaves or persimmon-toned petals on the escort-card table for a touch of color, and use wood boxes covered in mood moss and filled with small acorns to display the cards. Fresh fruits such as pears or lady apples can be used to secure your escort cards and help tie your fall theme together. While guests take their seats, ensure their eyes will dance around the room by displaying an eclectic mix of centerpieces and table accents made with raw wood, magnolia leaves, wrought iron, and branches of birch. Seasonal fruit is another unique way to add color to the tables, and it looks great in tall- or low-profile arrangements. Table numbers made from small pumpkins, rocks, or artichokes are great conversation starters, and add a unique element to the dining table. Finally, a table detail that is often overlooked is the napkin treatment — it is a great finishing touch and really helps tie the décor together. Wrap napkins with twine and add a leaf or mini pumpkin, alternating the two styles at every other place setting.
Incorporating colored pillar candles in taupe, green, or persimmon will help add fall color to the reception space, as well as display additional creativity. Try wrapping your candle vessels in natural textiles or raw materials such as twine, fall leaves, or fabric for an ambient glow. For an unusual effect, simply hollow out the center of an artichoke or pumpkin and place a votive candle in the middle.
No matter which look you go with, be very specific with your florist about your likes and dislikes, and, if possible, bring photos with you to your first meeting. And always insist on sample meetings so you can be sure he/she knows exactly what you want — there’s no need for surprises on your big day. Most importantly, embrace your own style, make it personal, and have fun.