46 Wedding ideas for fall: Everything you need to plan a fall wedding

men and women wearing dressy outfits stand at a rustic outdoor wedding altar.
Paperless Post BlogWedding > 46 Wedding ideas for fall: Everything you need to plan a fall wedding

 If you’ve envisioned your big day under a canopy of goldenrod, crimson, and rust-colored leaves, saying “I do” during the autumn months may be for you. A fall wedding is the perfect time to incorporate all your favorite elements of the cooler months. And the best part? Nature pulls out some of its most stunning colors to celebrate your love. 

Since the sun sets earlier in the autumn months, a good time to have your fall wedding ceremony may be earlier in the day to take advantage of the daylight hours. Then, head into a stunning twilight backdrop for your photos. Are you limited to a color scheme of reds and oranges? Absolutely not! They provide a natural foundation, but there are many other subtle color combinations that can add to the mood you want.

For more fall wedding decor ideas, wedding invitations, and even cake options, browse our list below to help you plan an unforgettable event—within the budget that’s right for you.


Give your theme a fall treatment

There is no single way to harness the beauty of the fall season for a celebration. A fall wedding doesn’t have to be rustic or boho if that isn’t your style. It’s possible to go a little more glam or simple and modern with the wedding theme you prefer while still having that “fall” quality. 

Below are five different fall wedding theme ideas that may help you discover your own. It’s important to know what kind of theme you like before you dive into the details. 


Left: A close-up of an all-white wedding bouquet; Right: A white floral embossed wedding invitation on a gold background.
Image via Junebug Weddings; “Enchanted Garden” by Oscar de la Renta for Paperless Post.


Classic wedding theme ideas for fall

Classic weddings embody everything we’ve come to imagine of a formal wedding: Formal dress codes, sit-down dinners, flower girls, and ring bearers. No matter which faith or culture you are from, you can plan a classic wedding with fall elements to make it distinctly your day.

A fall wedding with a classic theme will often feature jewel tones that evoke an autumnal vibe with elegance, like: 

  • Deep garnet
  • Emerald
  • Bronze
  • Topaz 

When contrasted with pale white or cream linens, drapes, and other touches, these fall wedding colors will pop and add some drama. Use colored goblets and add centerpieces made of branches mixed in with moss, amaranthus, or dahlias. If you prefer to focus on greens, stick with green foliage in your centerpieces and add some pop to your tables with bronze leaves or miniature gold vases filled with fall flowers. You can preface your wedding theme for your guests with a classic wedding invitation that uses your colors.

Make the most of classic wedding venues such as hotels, historic mansions, historic churches, or museums with impressive architecture. These types of venues often offer indoor and outdoor areas, so you can delight in an outdoor ceremony before moving into a rich and sumptuous reception indoors.


Left: A wedding invitation with a green floral illustration; Right: A rustic wedding table with dried floral and orange accents.
Chincoteague” by Paperless Post; Image via Festival Brides.


Boho or rustic wedding ideas for fall

A boho wedding (or bohemian-styled wedding) brings eclectic, whimsical, or hippie elements into your celebration. These elements pair perfectly with the early twilights and deep colors of fall. What makes boho weddings so versatile is that they can range from vintage to beach to boho chic themes—creating perfect fall wedding ideas on a budget.

For a rustic wedding theme, focus on the natural elements of the season, tying in simple country life aesthetics and ideas. Both boho and rustic themes feature more freedom of expression and less of the traditional constraints of classic weddings.

A fall rustic wedding theme begins with: 

  • Florals native to your location
  • Natural woven materials
  • Wood
  • A keen disregard for perfection 

Boho wedding ideas for fall also incorporate these elements: 

  • DIY features like handmade signs
  • Macrame backdrops
  • A touch of lace
  • Plenty of drapery 

Texture is a primary focus for both themes—think wood in all its forms (like arches built of branches, wooden welcome boards, benches, and wooden crates) and materials like twine and burlap. Combine these textures with deep greens and maroons, or go for a softer approach with dusty rose, peaches, and sage greens.

Embrace all the trappings of nature by looking for a venue that fits your personality. Beaches and clearings within wooded parks fit the boho narrative, while barns surrounded by grassy fields feel very rustic. A modern venue that elicits the same relaxed mood will also work, especially if it features exposed brick walls and minimal décor. 


Left: A wedding table with all-white décor.; Right: A white and black typographic wedding invitation.
Image via Botanique Flowers; “Interplay” by Paperless Post.


Modern wedding ideas for fall

Do you and your partner live a fashion-forward life? Maybe a modern wedding theme suits you. High style is key for this theme, but it can still range from a casual affair to a glamorous night—and it can easily be designed into a magical fall affair. 

To start planning a modern wedding, narrow down the type of venue you’d like. Think outside the box—modern wedding locations stray from the traditional, so look for venues that break conventional rules—an old warehouse, a loft, even an aquarium. For a fall event, a brewery or rooftop lounge can offer libations to warm up your guests and set the scene for a great party.

As for décor, focus on a monochromatic color scheme heightened by trendy foliage and minimalist touches. Less is more for modern themes, so you don’t have to pack in too much. But to achieve some true fall wedding vibes, utilize golds and creams offset with a single warm color (like yellow or burnt orange). You can even go with all white and let the dramatic lighting set the tone.


Left: A black and gold geometric wedding invitation; Right: A moody fall wedding table with a neon sign that reads “‘Til Death.”
Brink” by Kelly Wearstler for Paperless Post; Image by Jami Laree.


Halloween or harvest wedding ideas

We would be remiss to leave out the major holidays of the fall season: Halloween and Thanksgiving. If either of these holidays or their traditions have significance to you, it might be just the theme you’re looking for. 

Halloween is a tried-and-true fall wedding theme—its otherworldly and mesmerizing aesthetic can easily translate into a memorable and delightful wedding. And it doesn’t have to be orange and black. In fact, jewel tones work extremely well with this theme (think purples, greens, and golds). Halloween wedding décor can also include: 

  • Gauzy drapes
  • Black linens
  • Dark candles 
  • Fall foliage 

You can offset your darker tones with white pumpkins for a startling and beautiful contrast—and you can make any venue within your budget work, from the most sprawling historic estate (with a little haunted history for added effect) to a restaurant banquet.

If you prefer Thanksgiving and the bountiful blessings it represents, then go all in with the “harvest” idea. This theme pairs well with a rustic approach, so pull together your outdoor fall wedding ideas and elevate them with the main harvest elements: 

  • Pumpkins
  • Apples
  • Bales of hay
  • Maple leaves

Don’t be shy with your orange hues, either. You can create an elegant and inviting ambiance with gourds of varying shades, lush flowers, and other foliage that evokes a luxurious harvest vibe. Candles will add that extra sparkle, too. And a little sparkling apple cider (punched up however you like) would fit well if you want to include harvest produce in your décor.


left: A man and woman kiss in front of a barn while their wedding party members look on. Right: A wedding invitation with autumnal leaves on a tree branch in the upper left corner.
Image via Lori Young Photography, “Autumn Boughs” by Felix Doolittle for Paperless Post.


Use your invitations to set the tone

Whether you’re orchestrating a simple and modern backyard wedding, an elegant and classic garden soirée, a glamorous ballroom extravaganza, or a rustic barn shindig, the right stationery will be the first thing to set the stage. 

Think of it this way: Invitations are the first impression you give your guests about the type of wedding you’re throwing. Browse wedding invitation ideas that will kindle a cozy autumn feel but that also represent your theme. Consider using a warm color palette with autumnal hues—orange, gold, yellow, and red if those are your wedding colors. If jewel colors are more your tone, look for invitations that incorporate teals or purples instead. 

You can also pay homage to the season in your invitations by choosing a design with classic autumnal accents. Adding a pinecone, acorn, pumpkin, or colorful maple leaf will add some fall flair to your invites. If you’re going for a Halloween theme, look for some invitations that feature gothic swirls or nighttime elements. 

Here are some of our favorite wedding invitations in different themes for fall:

1. Floréal: Perfect for a refined elegant wedding, this invitation gives off major autumn aesthetics with a border made out of a romantic wreath of fall flowers. 

2. Forsythia: Give your guests a golden welcome to your fall-inspired wedding. This invite’s gilded details are as beautiful as an October sunset and hint at a rustic or harvest-themed soirée.

3. Pampas Grass: Give the feeling of running through a windswept wheat field with this pampas grass invitation. This works exceptionally well for an outdoor, country, or bohemian-style wedding.

4. Fall Folk: Serenity is at the forefront with this folksy autumnal invitation. Your guests will anticipate a cozy and down-to-earth event, much like the happy couple they will be celebrating.

5. Herrgarde: You don’t need flowers to evoke the natural wonder of fall. The vibrant green foliage featured on this invitation pairs smoothly with a modern wedding or a rustic one. It will all come down to the details.

6. Ilona Frame: Sleek, simple, and a sweep of gold. No guest will mistake your wedding event for anything less than stylish and modern. The brushed gold design can also align with an industrial setting.

7. Fontainebleau: You can almost smell the romance in the air—and is that a touch of mystery, too? If you’re aspiring for a more intimate Halloween gathering, this could be the ideal invitation to bring your guests in by a gossamer thread.

Include additional information in your invitation with our customizable Blocks, including Registry, Accommodation, and Travel Blocks. Use our guest management tools to communicate with attendees—you can ask questions or provide updates, and they can wish you an early congratulations or marvel at your exquisite invitation choice.


left: A wedding invitation with a gold foil wreath of leaves and grasses. Right: An autumnal floral table centerpiece.
Festone” by Paperless Post, Photo via Haley George.


Festoon the room in fall-inspired décor

The right fall wedding decorations can turn your venue into a romantic autumnal wonderland. With so many different color combinations, floral arrangements, and decor items to pick from, you can experiment to find the type of wedding décor that fits you and your theme. 

Here are a few autumn wedding decor ideas to help you get started:

8. Harvest: Celebrate the harvest season with décor you’ll fall for. Wedding color schemes that go well with a harvest theme include oranges, greens, browns, and golds. 

Hang honeycomb fans or a romantic chandelier for an eye-catching spectacle. When decorating your tables, go all out with pumpkins and gourds. 

Big beautiful flowers such as dahlias or marigolds in your floral arrangements or bouquets will complement the theme beautifully. Or you might consider using a cornucopia as a gorgeous and unique centerpiece instead. 

9. Cozy library: Jewel-toned tomes and comfy couches make a cozy fall library theme work perfectly for a couple of bookworms. Complement your theme with dark, rich colors like oxblood, leather brown, or faded copper for throw cushions. 

Feature your cake on a solid oak table reminiscent of any illustrious library. Then, add floral arrangements with garden roses or amaranthus against dark-hued dishes and champagne glasses.

10. Rustic: If you and your partner are fans of the outdoors, a rustic wedding theme may be ideal. For a barn, garden, or small wedding at home, a rustic theme can work with any number of fall wedding colors, especially gold, sage green, and dusty pink. 

For florals, think chrysanthemums or hellebore. Light-colored dishes atop rattan woven plate chargers and table settings tied with twine and Russian sage elevate the country feel to something more whimsical.

11. Farm: Even if you aren’t throwing a rustic-themed event, a few farm elements can enhance and elevate your décor and add more fall elements. Adorn the reception and ceremony areas with pampas grass, gold-and-black painted pumpkins, and brass-colored fall ferns. 

Paint your names on a vintage tractor tire, fill it with ferns, and set it against a woodsy backdrop for a quaint photo station. Skip the linens and let the wood shine through on your dining tables, or use wooden stumps as decorations adorned with miniature pumpkins and other gourds.

12. Foliage: Flowers are usually the star of wedding centerpieces, but in the fall, colorful leaves and branches steal the show. Bundles of birch or willow branches dappled with fairy lights will cast a spell on your guests. 

Add preserved maple leaves for an extra touch of foliage to adorn tablescapes or stand in as an alternative to flower petals strewn along the aisle.

13. Ceramics: It’s hard to imagine a perfect fall morning without your favorite mug in hand, steaming with hot tea or coffee. Ceramics call to mind warmth, natural materials of the earth, and a sense of hominess. 

Swap glass items for ceramics to give guests an extra dose of cozy (bonus points if they get some hot apple cider in them). Consider other sustainable wedding supplies, like leaf or floral confetti made from the types of flowers used in your arrangements. 

14. Candlelight: As the days grow shorter, candlelight plays an even more important part of our evening lives. Fill your reception and ceremony spaces with candles to invite a golden, autumnal glow into your celebrations. 

Use spice-colored tapered candles for your tables, and hang small lanterns with tea lights around the venue. 


left: A white three-tiered wedding cake decorated with olive branches. Right: A wedding invitation with green watercolor leaves.
Image via Pinterest, “Laurel” by Paperless Post.


Fall flower & foliage ideas

Springtime might be known for its colorful boom of blooms, but the mood set by fall foliage is equally as romantic. From boho weddings to modern galas, flowers and foliage can create ethereal wonder, cozy joy, and limitless photo opportunities.

Plant your eyes on these exceptional arrangements to jumpstart your ideas.

15. Autumn all at once: Roses, dahlias, thistle, astilbe, and smokebush coalesce into an ideal wedding bouquet for fall. The deep tones of burgundy, cream, and hunter green translate beautifully into any classic wedding arrangement.

16. Light the way with a lantern bouquet: If you’ve decided your wedding is a modern event, why stick with tradition? Lanterns filled with deep red and orange roses with green foliage are a spectacular way to highlight fall colors and beauty. Or show off your creativity even more, and choose your selections based on wedding flower meanings.

17. Texture, size, and sunset grandeur: Look for the freshest in-season blooms to create a stunning altar backdrop. Consider pampas grass, orchids, calla lilies, and chrysanthemums in varying sizes and colors to add to a boho wedding theme. Bring them together to create a sunset that rivals the real thing.

18. Sentimental muted colors: Don’t be fooled by the subtlety of whites and pinks. When paired with other striking elements (like green pears or gold table settings), they become as striking as any fall landscape. Hydrangeas, pale cream or pink roses, and just a touch of green can evoke a sentimental and rustic experience.

19. Flower crowns for the boho bride: No discussion of fall flowers would be complete without a crown for the bride-to-be. Fall is a chance to play with movement and texture in your hairpieces to create something both unique and enchanting, like a crown of colorful bunny tails offset by other white foliage. 


Left: Two bowls of butternut squash soup; Right: A hand dribbling honey on bacon-wrapped figs.
Images via Kroll’s Korner and The Heirloom Pantry.


Savor the evening with seasonal food and beverages

Once you’ve got your fall wedding invitation and décor picked out, it’s time to find the perfect food and beverages to fit your wedding theme. Since fall is the harvest season, include some of these classic autumn flavors to feast upon, from the first course to dessert:

  • Hazelnut
  • Butternut squash
  • Pumpkin
  • Cranberry
  • Cinnamon
  • Maple
  • Apple and pear
  • Fig
  • Wild mushroom
  • Pomegranate

Pick out a few fall flavors that speak to you, and you may find the rest of the menu comes relatively quickly. 

20. Butternut squash and Bartlett pear soup

To stay in the spirit of a healthy harvest, source fresh squash and pears from local farms and caterers to make this hearty colorful soup for your event. Garnish the nutty and subtly sweet soup with a sprig of thyme or pumpkin seeds for a festive final touch.

21. Fresh figs stuffed with goat cheese and wrapped in prosciutto

A decadent appetizer that is equal parts sweet and tangy, this dish will dazzle on a rustic wooden plank or platter adorned with rosemary.

22. Brie and cheddar apple beer soup 

Set up a hot soup bar to keep your guests warm throughout the evening. For this cheesy and filling soup, add a topping station with a pecan oat crumble to give it a fall crunch.

23. Cranberry apple pecan salad with poppyseed dressing

Try a light salad like this to offset richer and heartier entrees. If you’re serving buffet style, use some of the featured ingredients of this salad as decoration around the serving dishes.

24. Garlic-roasted chicken with rosemary and cranberries

Comforting and wholesome with a touch of tang, this dish can reflect the vibe of your wedding, too. It can easily stand as the centerpiece of the buffet table with all its colors popping through.

25. Whole roasted sugar pumpkin stuffed with farro

Celebrate the fall season with this whole roasted pumpkin, and make your table settings as cozy and enchanting as your food. Gold and silver tableware will accentuate this dish with a gilded glow. You can also add fun place settings for your guests with monogrammed pumpkins or pinecones for an added tie-in.

26. Caramel apples

Fall-themed desserts, like caramel apples, are tantalizing to the eye and especially gratifying to the sweet tooth. Serve apple wedges or mini apples dipped in caramel for a smaller delight, or indulge completely with a dessert station dedicated to the full apple. Include nut, sprinkle, and candy toppings and chocolate syrup for a final swirl.

27. Citrus sorbets

Refresh your guests’ palates with a citrus dessert. Blood orange and lemon sorbet offers a cool alternative to all the other warm flavors. Best served individually with candied fruit and sparkling cider, a sorbet is the finishing touch to a night of indulgence.


Left: A wood grain wedding invitation with etched details. Right: A hot chocolate bar with a chalkboard and copper drink dispensers.
Chronology” by Paperless Post, Photo via Stonewood Vintage.


When it comes to beverages, you can opt for warm cocktails like hot toddies or cider to keep guests warm after dinner. If you want to feature local drinks, host your wedding at a brewery. Not only do many breweries have a rustic look that’s perfect for a fall wedding, but you’ll also be supporting a local small business. Alternatively, consider holding your wedding at a wine vineyard where the grapevines are turning beautiful fall colors. 

For a signature wedding-toast drink that guests will enjoy and remember, try one of the options below.

28. Ciders

Spruce up your non-alcoholic apple cider with familiar spices like cinnamon, clove, and star anise. Serve it in hollowed out apple cups for a bit of whimsy, or get a little adventurous with your flavors—try a mix of lemon, vanilla, and cardamom. You could also try a pear cider.

29. Cranberry juice mocktails

Cranberry juice isn’t just for kids—it can be the base of your signature drink, with or without alcohol. Try a citrusy, non-alcoholic sangria with cranberry juice and sparkling water. Or make it a cranberry and pomegranate punch.

30. Pumpkin-spiced cocoa

If you know your wedding date will be especially cold, include a frothy hot drink like pumpkin-spiced cocoa. Uplift your standard hot chocolate with spices like ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pumpkin puree to make this a special treat to remember.

31. Pumpkin pie martini

This martini is pumpkin pie in a glass. Your guests will be talking about this drink for weeks, especially if you garnish it with a cinnamon stick. Skip the whipped cream topping for a more elegant look.

32. Cranberry orange whiskey sour

Cranberry and orange make a delectable pair, and this cocktail takes advantage of these fall flavors. Tart and illuminating, this drink keeps the party going.


Fall wedding cake ideas

Equal parts decadent delight and show-stopping work of art, the wedding cake rightfully deserves a table and spotlight of its own. To tie in the allure and charm of fall, consider both the design and flavors of your cake. It can be the linchpin that ties all your other decor together, after all, so focus on fall wedding cake ideas that incorporate the same fall elements you’ve decided on elsewhere. 

Here are some fall cake options that will leave your guests wanting more.

33. Naked cakes: Unfrosted cakes adorned with fall flowers are always a hit. The simplicity of flora against the visible cake layers is reminiscent of an equally unfussy perspective in life (and hopefully one that you’ve achieved in your rustic wedding plans).

Take your cake up a notch by using a startling contrast between chocolate spice cake and white buttercream, lovingly bedazzled with amaranthus, roses, and greenery.

34. Elegant whites and neutrals: The sheen of an immaculately smooth buttercream is hypnotic. When you combine muted fall colors like pale greens, pinks, and golds with leaves, dried flowers, and branches, it becomes something sublime.

35. Deep moods and flavors: A late-fall wedding means you can dabble in rich colors and even richer flavors that add to a Halloween or harvest theme. Take advantage of sumptuous fruits like figs and pomegranates for their taste and appearance—they add an unparalleled luscious visual. 

Don’t be afraid to try something a little different to work wonders on the taste buds, like a compote made from seasonal fruits in a simple vanilla or chocolate cake.

36. Tasty alternatives: If cakes generally fall flat in your opinion, don’t feel beholden to one. Instead, let fall inspire you with another prominent seasonal dessert. Pie always comes to mind, whether it’s pumpkin, apple, or pear cobbler. Apple cider donuts are another favorite. 

Pull out all the stops and indulge in a cinnamon roll cake, or consider a dessert table of mini treats like apple tarts and bite-size chocolate mousses. 


Left: A vintage bus-style van with autumn decor. Right: A wedding invitation with a delicate yet colorful floral border and gold foil.
Photo via Sara Fitz Co; “Adorned Aisle” by Oscar de la Renta for Paperless Post.


Embrace fun and foliage with autumnal activities

“They” always say your wedding is a blur, but take the opportunity to have as much fun as possible at your reception. Show your love for all things fall with autumn-inspired activities to entertain your wedding guests.

Need some ideas for creating the perfect fun-filled fall ball? Try some of these activities out for your event:

37. Fall photo opps: Work with your florist or local art store to create a fall-inspired backdrop for photos. Include colorful fall leaves, add some playful signage, and offer fun props so everyone can take home an autumnal memento. 

If your wedding location features a barn, find an empty wall and add string lights and fall-colored bunting across the top. Scatter white and orange pumpkins, and frame the backdrop with ferns for a complete look. Or repurpose the arch from your outdoor altar by adding simple signage to welcome guests to take photos. 

38. Give guests a break: Stage a guest lounge, and incorporate rugs and pillows for an intimate ambiance. Set out instant or disposable cameras so people can sit, chat, and snap photos when they want to give their dancing feet a break. 

Set up a large, white-painted pumpkin in place of a guest book for guests to sign as they relax.

39. Maximize the cozy factor: If you’re celebrating outdoors, keep everyone comfortable, warm, and in the fall spirit. Provide some heat lamps if it’s cold outside. Set up a make-your-own-cocoa bar or caramel apple dessert bar with various toppings and flavorings to make guests feel extra-cozy. 

Add some backyard games like cornhole or ring toss, and if the ceremony and reception areas are farther apart, arrange for hay rides.

40. Gather ‘round a fire: There’s nothing like curling up next to a fire close to loved ones on a chilly fall night. Create a fire pit to gather around (or opt for an indoor venue with a fireplace) and have s’mores supplies nearby. 

Keep a game of Jenga or Connect Four available near the hearth for long chats and rousing competition. 


Left: A wedding invitation with gold filigree flowers; Right: A table of place cards attached to mason jar candles.
Gold Lace” by Monique Lhuillier for Paperless Post; Image via Martha Stewart Weddings.


Dole out sugar and spice wedding favors

Wedding favors often get treated as an afterthought. Considering you get to leave your wedding with a new spouse, your guests surely deserve a little something to take home with them too, right? Give your wedding guests some fall-inspired favors that will have them reminiscing about your big day every time the leaves start to turn. 

41. Autumn treats: Maple candy, maple syrup, candy apples, honey sticks, or a mulling spice mix are all tantalizing favors that will help your guests relive your sweet wedding.

42. Herbal pouches: If you’ve gone for a rustic wedding theme, fill small sachets with some dried versions of the flowers featured in your wedding (or any other herbal arrangement of the season). 

43. Personalized drinkware: Choose monogrammed mugs or personalized thermoses to continue the theme of cozy warmth inside and out.

44. Fall-scented candles: Cinnamon and spice and everything nice—that’s what your wedding was made of, and your guests can walk away with a little light in their life because of you.

45. Fall seed packets: More than love can bloom with charming packets of wildflower seeds for guests to plant at their leisure. Choose packets made of biodegradable seed paper for an Earth-friendly touch.

46. Warm blankets: If you’re having a small outdoor event, give each guest a small throw or light blanket they can use during the evening. What’s better than a photo opp of all your guests coordinated in deep green or fiery red blankets?

Are you brimming with fall wedding ideas? Start planning your autumnal celebration by picking out the perfect wedding invitations for you and your fall theme. 


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Hero image via Whimsical Wonderland Weddings.