While the temperature certainly doesn’t feel like it at the moment, this past September marked the first official day of fall! The months of September – November are super popular for weddings and portraits in the Central Valley. Let’s talk about all the fall wedding tips you need to survive this season!
Why have a fall wedding? So many reasons!
First, the weather is more ideal. The hot, humid days of summer have (hopefully) passed, but you and your guests won’t freeze like you would in the colder winter months. This does change a little based off where you are in the world. However, it rings pretty true in the Central Valley. Also, it’s much less likely to rain in the fall than in the winter.
Second, the gorgeous foliage makes every local venue so dreamy! Fall is a naturally beautiful time of the year. The autumnal colors of reds, yellows, oranges, and browns can be found across so many venues throughout the Central Valley. The leaves have started to drop from the trees, but most are still relatively full.
Lastly, a quick Pinterest search will reveal all of the gorgeous autumn-inspired wedding decorations that can be found or created. From pumpkins lining the aisle to warm apple cider during the cocktail hour, nothing beats the seasonal decorations of fall. I love it when couples embrace this time of the year to make their wedding extra unique!
Let’s get to my top fall wedding tips as a Northern California wedding photographer!
1. Have a back-up plan for the weather
As gorgeous as autumn weather can be, it can also be temperamental. I recommend checking your favorite reliable weather apps to keep tabs on how the day is going to be. If it’s going to be a little colder than planned, you can add some space heaters or provide blankets for guests. Everyone will appreciate the thought for their comfort! If the day is going to be warmer than you envisioned, consider asking your venue or coordinator about providing a portable AC unit. If that’s out of the budget, paper fans can go a long way in keeping guests extra cool.
Of course we can’t forget about the thing some couples dread the most for their wedding day: the threat of rain. If you have an indoor venue, skip to the next tip. If your venue is outdoors, ask the venue what their rain plan is. They likely already have something in place for their couples to rely on in the event of rain! You can also consider renting tents to put over your ceremony and reception space.
2. Consider adding layers
The weather tends to start of warmed in the day and cool as you go later in the evening during fall. You can anticipate this by gifting some sort of cover for your wedding party members when the temperature drops. From faux wraps to jean jackets, there’s so many cute options!
Our wedding day got a little chillier in the evening. I purchased some skin-colored fleece leggings that kept me warm the entire night! I didn’t even need the jean jacket I brought.
3. Pick a unique color palette
Fall wedding decor doesn’t just need to be full of yellows, pumpkins, or Halloween! You could go with earth tones like sage, cream, or dusty blue as a nod to the beauty of all the seasons. Another option is to leave the gore behind for your Halloween wedding! You can use dark, jewel tones like deep reds, blues, or purples as your base colors. Then you can tie it all in with darker neutrals like black, charcoal, and chrome to create a luxurious, spooky chic wedding! The options are endless with fall wedding color palettes.
4. Add ambient lighting
The sun sets earlier in the fall, so you may want to consider adding ambient lighting to your reception. Indoor venues will likely have ambient lighting built into the space. Outdoor venues may need a little more help to be bright enough for you and you guests to enjoy the evening. Bulb string lights, well-placed candles, or twinkling lights can turn your reception space into a dream fairytale evening.
5. Day After Session
Have you always dreamed of getting married in a Redwood forest, but then your heart shattered because you saw how much it would actually cost? (Because same.) Consider a day-after session! You would get a chance to put your wedding attire back on and explore somewhere beautiful to take wedding portraits. Contrary to the name itself, it does not need to happen the day after your wedding. My husband and I went to Yosemite after our wedding, and had a day-after session done in the park. Later, we went to Canada for our one year anniversary and put our wedding clothes back on for an anniversary session! These are some of the most treasured photos we have of us.
This option works especially well if the weather was terrible on your wedding day, you wanted to spend more time with your guests (and less on photos), or you just want wedding photos in a dreamy location.
I hope these fall wedding tips help you have the fairytale wedding of your dreams!
P.S. This blog post is Part 2 of my seasonal wedding tips! You find find top summer wedding tips here.
October 1, 2022