Autumn is such a beautiful season in the UK. There is something so special and comforting about knowing that the cooler crisp days and the stunning changing colours are waiting for us at the end of summer. As the leaves on the trees start to turn, and the warmth of the evening sunset creates a glow that settles on your face, everywhere you look seems to be a patchwork quilt of oranges, yellows, browns and deep reds.
The beautiful qualities of autumn mean weddings in September and early October are an incredibly popular choice for those looking to just miss the peak summer wedding season, but still be treated to the possibility of some fabulous weather and wonderful sunsets. Weddings in late October and November offer some brilliant compromises too, such as generally being more budget friendly and having that real ‘day time into night time’ balance, to help transition from the more formal ceremonies during the day, into the party time at night.
We have put together a list of our 5 favourite ideas to help you plan an autumn wedding:
1) Autumnal Colours - Using seasonal flowers is such a beautiful way to bring the feel of a time of year into your wedding. Not only will your venue be brought to life with the vibrancy and warmth of the hues you choose, you’ll be opting for more budget friendly ‘in season’ varieties. You’re also more likely to be able to choose from the stunning flowers and foliage the UK has to offer, making it a more ethical choice too. Just a few of the flowers in season include: Anemones, Carnations, Dahlias, Freesia, Hydrangea, Orchids, Ranunculus and Roses. Why not ask your florist to add some aromatics into your arrangements too, such as cinnamon sticks, oranges studded with cloves, or herbs such as rosemary? We all know how certain smells can trigger wonderful memories of magical moments.
2) Food & Drink - As the season changes, the types of foods and drinks we like to enjoy often change - and your wedding breakfast or buffet menu is likely to reflect this too. Appealing to those on a budget, good old bangers and mash is often a great choice, being family friendly and easily adapted for vegetarian and vegan diets. Or if you’re after something a little more sophisticated, perhaps spiced butternut squash soup, followed by game of the season, such as venison or pheasant. Why not treat your guests to a hot toddy, mulled wine or even a delicious hot chocolate on arrival? Particularly good for later in the season, and for the children (and children at heart!).
3) The Venue - While autumn can treat us to some beautiful weather, it is an absolute must to be prepared for anything - it is the UK after all! Having a great venue will be top of the list for most people when they start planning their wedding; you may even have had somewhere in mind for years. While a summer wedding might afford you the luxury of being able to use outside space to extend your capacity, having an autumn wedding shouldn’t stop you. If your chosen venue doesn’t give quite enough inside space, why not opt for the addition of a wedding marquee? Most marquees can be expertly integrated with buildings and existing obstacles, such as trees and garden ponds. So, if your worried your perfect venue might not be quite right for an autumn wedding, ask an expert to come and survey the site. You will be surprised what is possible.
4) The Special Extras - So you have the flowers, the food, and the venue sorted. Now is the time to give your wedding that extra special feel. As the evenings turn cooler, having a blanket box is a brilliant idea, especially for the older and younger guests who might feel a chill a little more than most. If you’re planning on using some outside space as part of the ceremony, some umbrellas on hand might be a good idea too. Pinterest has some brilliant ideas for introducing seasonal produce into your day, such as making confetti from leaves, or table centrepiece ideas using gourds and small pumpkins as vessels. Personalised toffee apples make brilliant and cost effective wedding favours, or maybe a toffee apple liqueur for the adults! And finally, nothing says autumn more than a fabulous firework display, guaranteed to generate some ‘ooh’s’ and ‘aah’s’ - and create a wedding no one will ever forget!
5) The Honeymoon - You’re married! Now the big day is over, it’s your time to relax and enjoy some time alone together. Having an autumn wedding means you might have to rethink the usual summer honeymoon destinations, but there are lots of wonderful places to go which still have fabulous weather. How about the Canary Islands? With a short flight and great winter sun, the Canaries could be the perfect choice for a relaxing break. If you want to go long haul, how about adding Thailand to your list, with wonderful weather, amazing experiences and accommodation to suit all budgets and styles. From 5 star luxury hotels to beach huts under the stars, you’re spoilt for choice. If you want to continue your autumnal theme a little longer, why not consider a UK break? Maybe a trip to Scotland to enjoy the stunning vistas of the lochs with a warming whisky at the end of the day. And then of course, it's time to start planning for Christmas!