With the heat of the summer passing, it will soon be time to welcome in cooler temperatures and the beautifully rich and colorful tones of autumn. For many couples, Autumn is the perfect time of year to get married – not only do many venues offer significant discounts or include extras to entice you to choose a date that is out of peak season, nature really does provide the perfect inspiration for those who want something a little different from their day. And don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be all pumpkins and toffee apples, there are plenty of ways to embrace autumn and create something beautifully unique for your wedding.
Here are our five top tips to creating the perfect autumnal wedding.
Work with what nature gives you
There’s no doubt about it – autumn really does a lot of the hard work for you with creating the perfect backdrop for your big day. As the leaves start to fall and the landscape changes to rich russets, deliciously deep reds and dark velvety brown tones, add in some metallic hints and beautiful foliage to create a warm, luscious rustic or boho vibe. Enhance a stunning natural setting with lots of wooden touches from log rounds on your tables to authentic apple crates that are filled with interesting and unusual props and pretties along with some personal photos. Natural materials and organic colour schemes work perfectly and don’t be afraid to play with texture using macramé, hand-dyed linens and imperfectly perfect crockery to create a tablescape of dreams.
As the sun starts to set much earlier, it’s also important to work with and enhance the lower lighting levels. Dot beautiful lanterns, candles and tea-lights around your venue to produce a cozy, intimate and romantic feel. If you are lucky enough to have open fires in your venue, keep these lit and gently burning away throughout the entire celebration. If your venue doesn’t allow naked flames, there are some amazingly good artificial candles and tea-lights available to hire or buy which are just as effective. Getting that beautiful sparkler shot becomes so much easier as your photographer can arrange this much earlier in the day when less of your guests are likely to have gone wandering! Lastly, fairy and festoon lights add a perfect twinkly touch both inside and outside – the more the merrier!
Comfort is key
If you are looking to avoid the heat of summer, but would still like some of your day to take place outside, autumn is the perfect season for you. Keep in mind that whilst daytime temperatures may allow for welcome drinks, photographs or even lawn games to take place outside, come the evening, temperatures will drop so you do need to be prepared. You can keep things very simple by dotting baskets with some pretty blankets around your venue or perhaps you might even consider adding a fire-pit for guests to relax around. As well as taking care of your guests, make sure you also think of your bridal party. Your bride tribe will almost certainly need some kind of shrug or throw to keep warm and do ensure there are some umbrellas and possibly even wellies to hand to keep everybody comfy whilst capturing those all-important outdoor photographs!
Food glorious food
Autumnal food is all about comfort and don’t be afraid to get imaginative here. Consider feeding your guests beautiful warming dishes like pie and mash or using street food trucks to serve some autumnal classics. Chili and rice, curries and jacket potatoes are guaranteed to go down a storm and provide much-needed energy for dancing the night away. For sweet treats, why not let your guests toast some marshmallows around the fire-pit, serve indulgently delicious crepes and offer a late-night hot chocolate or warmed cider to round off your evening celebrations.
Finally, one of the great joys of an autumn wedding – the weather. Yes, seriously! Most couples plan their autumnal wedding on the basis that the weather won’t be amazing, which means that even a hint of sunshine really puts the cherry on the cake!
Are you planning an autumn wedding? Perhaps you have had an autumn wedding? We would love to hear your story and see your wedding photos.
Everyone knows that in order to make your wedding day special you’ll need to make a few important decisions along the way. Among the biggest choices you’ll have to make is picking the right wedding venue.
What is the big deal about the venue? Wouldn’t any venue do? Here’s a look at the important aspects of why choosing the right wedding venue matters and tips to guarantee your hunt for the perfect venue goes as smooth as possible.
Creating the Atmosphere
The venue will be the central part of creating the atmosphere at your wedding. The venue’s style will be key to defining the rest of the wedding theme. Many even choose to build their theme around their selected venues.
If you already have a wedding theme in mind – perhaps you are looking to create a quirky vintage wedding, you can narrow your venue search for venues that suit the theme. For instance, if you want a relaxed, no-fuss wedding, don’t pick a posh hotel where guests have to sit at their tables.
Adding Your Unique Touch
Not all venues provide the same opportunities for you to highlight your personality – in fact, some venues might not even be accommodating for slight color changes. If you are looking for a place to decorate yourself or to add your own unique mark on it, you need to find a venue that allows this.
On the other hand, you might prefer to have a venue that makes the whole planning process easier. Some venues will be decorated according to your selections and this allows you to focus your attention on other aspects of organizing the wedding.
The venue will naturally be the setting for your wedding entertainment and the food – both crucial parts of organizing the wedding. Certain venues only allow you to pick from their caterers and from a specific set menu, while other venues might be more flexible with what they provide you.
Checking what the venue’s catering and drinks policy is should be one of the first questions you ask them before you necessarily even check them out. You don’t want to spend your whole wedding planning visiting venues that turn out to be ill suited for your needs.
Furthermore, if you are planning to organize special entertainment, such as a fireworks display, at your wedding, make sure you ask about the venue’s policy. It’s always a great idea to tell your suppliers which venue you’ve booked as soon as possible, so they can prepare for it!
Staying Within the Budget
The wedding venue is one of the largest expenses, if not the largest, of your special day and you naturally need to find a venue that fits into your budget. You don’t want to go with a venue that doesn’t provide you the things you need nor do you want to get in debt just to book your dream venue.
The costs for planning your wedding includes more than just those for the day of: You have to take into account everything you might need for your bridal party, your bridal shower and bachelorette party, and, of course, your rehearsal dinner. So how much should you shell out for the night before your big night?
So, what’s the cost?
The average cost of a rehearsal dinner is $1,330—about one-twentieth of the price of the wedding. While some in-laws foot the bill, more couples are paying for it themselves. “You can still have a fun night. You just have to be strategic,” says Leslie Lukas, an event planner in Bozeman, Montana. “Mexican and Italian are generally bargains. So is a catered picnic at a park or in a backyard. Just don’t have it at your own house—you don’t want to spend the night before your wedding cleaning.” The most direct way of shrinking your bill, of course, is to cut the guest list. Etiquette gurus will tell you that the only people you must invite are immediate family and the bridal party. But we know plenty of brides who had a simple rehearsal dinner with just their parents—and yes, their attendants still speak to them. And although you might want to shrink the cost of the rehearsal dinner, you still want it to be a cohesive part of your wedding weekend.
“Think of the rehearsal dinner and the reception as parts of one event—the wedding weekend,” says Richard Nix Jr., owner of Butler’s Pantry Catering & Events, in St. Louis. Having a formal wedding? Consider complementing it with a more low-key event. A huge trend is to serve up regional comfort foods, like a lobster boil or pig roast. “We threw a Vices of Virginia dinner before a Halloween wedding in The Plains,” says Maria Cooke of Ritzy Bee Events, in Washington, D.C. “There were local wines, oysters, bourbon milkshakes, and a cigar roller. It was totally sinful, and guests loved it.”
One of the hardest parts of planning a wedding (besides that wedding guest list), is choosing the music for our ceremony. You have the pre-ceremony music as guests are arriving, the processional, the bride’s entrance, a song to play during communion or any other ceremony you choose, and then a recessional song (which is typically a bit more upbeat).
Many couples end up choosing various instrumental versions of songs and they are beautiful! So if there is a song you love but the lyrics don’t quite work for a wedding, then choose the instrumental version and you’ll be all set – it’s the best of both worlds!
With all of that being said, here are some of our favorite wedding ceremony songs.
Shabby chic is a term that is floated about quite a lot in the weddings world, but it is often an area that is difficult to define as it blurs the line between vintage and rustic. Put simply, shabby chic is a gorgeous theme that incorporates a slightly worn, home-made feel into any décor for an effortlessly stylish look.
If you’re thinking of including shabby chic elements in your big day then extra wedding points to you, as one of the key wedding trends for 2018 is all about the use of weathered materials and natural elements in the décor.
If you’re stuck for inspiration then read on, as we’ve got 17 shabby chic wedding ideas that are sure to turn any wedding décor from drab to fab.
Shabby Chic Invites
The shabby chic theme and wedding invitations are two things that go hand in hand, seeing as it’s super easy to convey the look this way. Brown card, string, rough edges and swatches of contrasting materials and prints are all great ways to achieve the look if you’re making the invites yourself.
To prevent your shabby chic wedding invitations from looking too ‘scruffy’, make sure that your invite fonts are neat and tidy to highlight the formality and importance of the occasion.
We love this invite from Eaton Cards and Stationery, which completely nails the shabby chic look.
Signs are a great way to inject character and personalization into your wedding day. If your wedding reception is outdoors then direct your guests with rustic wooden wedding signs like this one here – extra points for the pops of color and quirky hanging letters!
Image Credit: Trenderway Farm
Chalkboard signs demonstrate shabby chic wonderfully and are a sure fire way to grab your guests’ attention. We love this vintage style photo booth sign from Wedding in a Teacup, which is super easy to hang up around your venue.
Romantic quotes are an easy peasy yet sentimental way to beautify your décor. For a great shabby chic wedding idea, choose a framed quote on a hessian print or neutral colored canvas like this customised one from Etsy. Adding the names or initials of you and your partner is also a great way to personalise your wedding.
Image Credit: Etsy
A Vintage Trunk
We love vintage inspired wedding décor and older items that have a distressed or worn look about them are perfect for a shabby chic theme. Got any old suitcases or trunks lying around at home? If so, then these would be an excellent way to collect cards and gifts from your guests.
This world map suitcase from Not on the High Street would also be ideal for this job, or you could just use it just as a decoration if you’re planning a travel themed wedding. We also love the addition of DIY luggage tag bunting to the case.
Image Credit: The Wedding Of My Dreams at Not on the High Street
Birdcages are a very popular accessory for wedding receptions as they can be used in so many different ways. Our favourite idea is a large, distressed looking birdcage that is transformed once filled with lots of fresh, seasonal wedding flowers. Voila – shabby chic centrepiece sorted!
Order of the Day
Make the schedule of the day fun by writing it out on a chalkboard for a personal touch. The handwritten element is a cute touch and makes the proceedings feel less formal.
Image Credit: Winters Barns
Continue the shabby chic wedding theme into your flowers and opt for a posy wedding bouquet filled with lots of lovely dusky-colored roses that are fully open. Amnesia roses have a gorgeously faded pink and purple hue that would be perfect for a bouquet like this.
Instead of recycling old bottles, clean them and keep them for your reception flowers instead! Lime bottles like these contrast well with some bold summer wedding flowers.
Get creative with your wedding flowers and display them in any old item that you can get your hands on. Baskets, weathered metal buckets, boxes, jars, draws and bird cages are all super inventive ways to display your wedding blooms.
Oh and did we mention that china tea cups are also a great way to display flowers? Read on to find out more ways to make tea cups part of your shabby chic décor.
As mentioned before, old china teapots and tea cups with ditsy floral prints are a whimsical alternative to an ordinary vase.
Another key wedding trend that looks set to go big in 2016 and beyond is the inclusion of quirky Alice in Wonderland inspired details, so if you’re hosting a tea party reception then tea cups being used for anything except drinking tea would be a fitting, surreal element!
For more shabby chic wedding ideas, you could add name tags to the tea cups so that they become cute place holders for guests, or perhaps you may want to use them to hold sweet treats at a dessert table.
Image Credit: Susan Renee Photography
If your budget is limited when it comes to planning your reception then fear not, as there are loads of ways to do shabby chic décor on the cheap.
Keep a stash of clear jars in the lead up to the wedding (they’re also fairly cheap to buy in most home stores) and fill them with things such as beads, flowers, stones, flowers for super easy DIY wedding centrepieces.
We love these seaside appropriate jars which are a great beach wedding idea. The same idea could be applied to any style of wedding – simply fill the jars with items that highlight the theme.
These adorable jars from Not on the High Street have a lovely homemade look about them with their checked ribbon. Fill them with candles and scatter around your venue for instantly romantic lighting.
Image Credit: The Contemporary Home at Not on the High Street
Hessian, also known as burlap, is a great material to use if you’re searching for shabby chic wedding ideas. There are many ways to include it in your décor, just be careful you don’t overuse it and alternate it with other colors so that it doesn’t overpower your theme.
A simple way to include hessian in your wedding is by using it for the table runners or perhaps even as a chair decoration.
DIY bunting that looks a little frayed and unfinished is the perfect way to do shabby chic. This cake, photographed by Imaging by Susanne, ticks off two elements of the trend with the use of a mini bunting cake topper and burlap ribbon.
If you’re having a shabby chic themed wedding with DIY style elements then it’s only right that you treat your guests to appropriate favors! Think homemade delicacies such as mini pots of jam with frayed, fabric lids and biscuits presented in antique, retro style tins.
This one is worth putting the time into as your guests will appreciate the effort you’ve gone to and will enjoy tucking into these amazing wedding favors!
When it comes to the table numbers, think along the same lines as the wedding invitations and look for stationery in neutral colors with little vintage illustrations.
Image Credit: Nina Thomas Studio
Reuse the chalkboard idea again for your table numbers. Choose boards with colorful frames that are suitable for your color scheme. We also love the addition of a mini globe in this particular table set up – extra shabby chic points!
These metal heart table number holders from Wedding in a Teacup are the perfect embodiment of shabby chic. Place them in vases, birdcages or any other centerpiece that you can think of.
The table plan doesn’t have to be boring, draw your guests attention with this quirky wire table plan holder from Wedding in a Teacup. The wire board also comes with six bird pegs so that you can attach your own stationery – we like how it’s been styled here with a travel theme in mind.
Sometimes the unfinished, natural look can really pull together your wedding décor. Rather than a fussy, formal tablecloth, ask your venue for long wooden tables that are left bare. Don’t go overboard on wedding table decorations here, simply add small arrangements of fresh flowers along with your table numbers and placeholders.
This marquee set up is pure shabby chic perfection! We love everything about it from the long wooden tables and chairs right down to the multi-colored pastel bunting.
Image Credit: Monks Withecombe
Your venue may be able to provide well used antique items or furnishings that can be used as part of your décor. If not, go treasure hunting on sites like Gumtree and eBay if you’re willing to part with the cash.
At Holly and Iain’s real wedding, they used old books, teacups and jam jars in their décor and also provided this vintage typewriter which Holly found in her dad’s shed! This gave guests a unique and special way to leave their messages for the couple.
Image Credit: King Studios Photography
We love these little silver lanterns from Wedding in a Teacup. The distressed metal look is so on trend right now, plus metallics are becoming a very popular color scheme.
Hang these up outside the venue for gorgeous mood lighting when the sun sets, or you could hand them out to your guests as candle wedding favours – put scented ones in for an extra special touch.
If you love these shabby chic wedding ideas, then check out our round up of 50 vintage wedding ideas which are full of more amazing inspiration.