I have made no secret of the fact that I am a big fan of autumn. As a season, here in the UK, I think it has some of the best qualities – it is generally not too cold but chilly enough to feel cosy and warm inside and the colours in nature can be simply stunning during the months of September, October and November.
There are so many factors to take into account when deciding which season to get married in. I have had weddings in both the winter and summer and a blessing and reception in autumn and I think in all honesty autumn was probably the best for me personally.
Of course I absolutely loved getting married in Santorini, the backdrop was stunning and the sun was shining, but the weather was almost too nice. It was so hot that we had to wait until the early evening to actually get married, which to me felt a little like we wasted the day and didn’t have as long to celebrate after. Having our reception back in the UK on the weekend of Bonfire night was the perfect contrast and I was able to wear my big wedding dress without the fear of sweating in it!
If you are getting married in autumn, here are some tips I have picked up from working in the wedding industry and our reception last year.
Consider the Weather
I know I just spent a paragraph banging on about how nice the weather can be in autumn, but it is worth noting that the UK is unpredictable when it comes to the elements and our forecasts can change from day to day with wind, rain and even snow a possibility. If you are planning to say your vows, or even to have photos taken outside, consider a back up plan just in case to avoid a last minute panic on the day should the worst happen. Remember that even rain can be used to your advantage, get yourself some beautiful bridal umbrellas to protect your hair, makeup and dress and discuss using the rain to your advantage with your photographer (take a look at bridal rain shots on Pinterest – totally stunning!).
Lighting is Key
Talking of photography, remember to think about sunlight hours when planning your big day. It tends to get lighter later in the morning and darker earlier in the afternoon the later we get into autumn so bear this in mind when thinking about photos you might want taken. Again, use the lighting to your advantage and have your couple shots taken as the sun goes down to capture that illusive golden hour lighting.
A good photographer will be able to advise you if you are unsure and have equipment to help when it comes to lighting, so my advise would always be to spend as much as you are able to afford and make sure you are shown examples of your photographer’s work from the time of year you are getting married.
Consider the Cold
Although autumn is generally warmer than winter, it does tend to get a little chilly, especially as the sun goes down. Consider dress styles with sleeves, or buy yourself a cover up or faux fur stole to keep you warm when travelling to and from venues on the day.
If cold weather is likely, it may also be an idea to consider bulk buying or hiring some cosy blankets to have to hand at your reception venue for guests. For venues more likely to feel the cold such as churches and castles, discuss heating options in advance to ensure you and your guests don’t feel the chill during the day should the temperature dip.
Tailor the Theme
Embrace the season and consider a colour palette of reds, oranges and yellows, opt for an autumnal berry bouquet rather than traditional flowers, or go all out and decide on a halloween theme.
There are so many options when it comes to a wedding in autumn. I would always suggest heading onto Pinterest to get some initial inspiration, you can find everything from cakes to flower girl dresses and it can help get the ideas flowing.
There are so many options when it comes to entertainment and added extras at a wedding these days. Obviously you don’t have to have any of this if you want to keep things simple, or cut down on costs, but if you are looking at entertainment, why not go for seasonal favourites such as a toffee apple or popcorn station, chocolate fountain, a treasure hunt or sparkler send off to finish the night?
Change Up the Food
Gone are the days where you have to opt for a three course sit down meal when it comes to your wedding breakfast. Instead, why not go for something a little different, and fitting for the season, like a pizza station, hot dogs and burgers or something warming and comforting like pie and mash.
If you’re concerned it might not go down well with the older relatives, you could always have the sit down meal first and go for something a little different for the evening. The cake doesn’t have to stay traditional either with so many fun ideas these days, why not have a doughnut tower, a brownie stack or do away with it all and have a savoury cheese cake instead?
Don’t Forget to Haggle
Peak wedding season is usually from around April to October. If you are planning a wedding later in the year, you may be able to get a deal on everything from your venue to your cake if you aren’t afraid to haggle a little. The saying of ‘don’t ask, don’t get’ rings true and, even if they aren’t willing to drop their price, a supplier may be able to throw something extra in to sweeten the deal as you are providing business outside of peak season for them. Consider going for a weekday wedding to further cut the costs and always ask around for quotes before making a decision to ensure you are making the most of your money.