2021 Fall Wedding Trends

October is the most popular month to say I do—and not just this year as couples hustle to rebook postponed celebrations thanks to the global pandemic. Fall has historically been coveted by to-be-weds due to the changing leaves and crisp air. It also tends to be less rainy in most parts of the country, making it the ideal time to wed outdoors. Flower options are endless, seasonal foods are delicious, and there’s less calendar conflicts with summer vacations in the rear view. Planning a fall soiree? Read on for our favorite trends of the season and how to make them yours.

Color Pairings

Fall is full of rich color inspo for wedding palettes. Earth tones are the new preferred neutral and play well with bolder hues and metallics. Jewel tones like emerald, burgundy, sapphire and amber complement in-season florals, while also feeling luxe. If you want to lighten things up, sage, dusty blue and cream pair nicely with classic fall hues like burnt orange or berry. Don’t be afraid to choose a handful of colors—there’s no rule that says you only get two! Or choose one strong hue and vary the saturation of your other colors for a monochromatic look (think: wine, eggplant, plum, and mauve).

Venue

On the heels of Covid-19, more and more couples are seeking indoor/outdoor spaces for their I dos. Fall is the perfect time to bask in nature thanks to cooler temps and gorgeous natural surroundings. A vineyard, outdoor patio, or a cozy barn are excellent venue choices. Historic houses or a brewery with tenting potential is another way to take advantage of the season. Look for a space that represents who you are as a couple and can accommodate your guest count, and have a Plan B you like just as much (in case of a cold front).

Decor

Nature really shows off in the fall, which means you need less in the way of decor, especially if you’re celebrating al fresco. Rustic elegance is having a moment—a mix of high/low elements allows for a casual ambiance with touches that elevate the overall look of the event. For example, set up reclaimed wood farm tables under a canopy of twinkle lights, or craft a luxe lounge space in a corner of the barn, complete with plush cushions and cozy blankets to keep guests comfortable as the temperatures drop.

Florals

Show stopping arrangements are trending, and with fall’s floral bounty, it’s easy to see why. Florists are mixing fresh and dried stems for a textured look. Garden roses, chrysanthemums, calla lilies, and dahlias all bloom during the fall months along with a variety of berries and colored greenery. Pampas grass and baby’s breath are finding their way into centerpieces and bouquets, and making a big statement. Gourds, pumpkins, and fruit (think: pears and apples) are also trending as a tabletop decor moment. If you want to forgo any Halloween vibes, opt for white pumpkins or green gourds mixed with purple and yellow florals.

Catering

Incorporating seasonal flavors in your menu ensures you have the freshest offerings for your guests—and fall is a season with so much culinary potential. Consider including favorites like pumpkin, pears, apples, figs, and root vegetables into the mix. Serve a spiked cider or a mulled wine as your speciality sip. Individual portions remain supreme as caterers work to keep guests safe. Charcuterie boards, passed plated apps and personalized desserts (think: mini pies or a jars of cake) are big hits with couples looking to wow guests. If you’re celebrating outdoors, consider ending the night with campfire smores. And edible favors are always a hit—send guests home with DIY jars of jam, candy apples, or a bag of warm apple cider donuts.

Fashion

Nontraditional ensambles continue to trend with couples. Bridal runways were filled with square necklines (90’s throwback!), billowy sleeves, and capes. High-low hems and transformative pieces (think: skirt that transforms to shorts) are also hot as are romantic gowns with embellishments. Traditional suits are getting a bit of a modern day twist with luxe fabrics like velvet, satin, and jaccard. The statement jacket is also having a moment with grooms and groomsmen—jewel tones like rust, teal, and emerald are top picks. Pearl accessories have also made a classic comeback. Borrow a pair of drop earrings from your grandmother for an instant, on-trend, “something borrowed.”

Paper

Your wedding invitations are the first hint guests have into your celebration’s style and vibe. If you’re planning to play up the season for your event, use your invites to set the stage. Consider including an autumnal icon, like an acorn, a pinecone, or fall foliage in your paper suite. Don’t be afraid to incorporate patterns into the mix, too—plaid and check designs feel right on target. Colored paper or envelopes add a surprising punch, while metallic foil (think: gold or copper) elevates all correspondence.

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