There’s nothing quite like an autumn wedding. It makes sense that spring and summer weddings are popular – after all, who doesn’t love a bit of sun? – and winter weddings feel luxuriantly cosy. But autumn? That’s when a special kind of magic happens.
Looking at everything from wedding dresses and flowers to food and photography, this is a dreamy season to get married. There are some excellent options that only become available for an autumn wedding.
While spring may be associated with new beginnings, autumn also comes with a sense of possibility. It’s that starting-a-new-school-year feeling: a fresh start, the excitement of new beginnings. If that doesn’t sum up getting married, we don’t know what does!
And if you’re planning on jetting off on honeymoon soon after your wedding, you’re in luck: autumn is an excellent time to visit some wonderful destinations, particularly long-haul. Just check out our guide to where to honeymoon in October.
Ready to fall in love with an autumn wedding? We explain why this could be the season for you.
1. Autumn weather can be great for weddings
There’s a lot to be said for having your wedding outside the hotter months. For starters, you don’t have to worry about providing shade for potentially over-heating guests. What’s more, it’s easier to keep your bridal look immaculate if you don’t have to sweat-proof your make-up or wonder what the humidity will do to your messy wedding updo – and don’t get us started on how very visible perspiration is on white fabric…
Image | Getty
In the UK, autumn officially runs from late September to mid-December, according to the Met Office – that’s Tuesday 22nd September to Monday 21st December in 2020, to be precise. Obviously, there’s quite wide seasonal variation in terms of temperature, so if you really feel the cold, look at dates in early autumn. The average temperature is 20°C in September and 16°C in October.
READ MORE: This tool predicts whether you’ll have rain or sun on your wedding day
Another advantage of an autumn wedding is that you’re unlikely to arrange for much if any of it to be outside. Summer couples spend weeks checking every weather app going to find out whether they can still get married outside and hold an al fresco drinks reception. As an autumn couple, you can relax knowing that your indoor plans won’t be subject to any last-minute disruption – and if you do get all-day good weather, it’s a bonus!
2. You have a lot of wedding dress options
Most spring and summer wedding dresses will work just as well at an autumn celebration – you simply need to add a cover-up. In addition to all those floaty styles, you can also add wedding dresses in weightier fabrics to your to-consider list.
From Sanyukta Shrestha’s Autumn Daydream 2020 collection
Think sumptuous silks, opulent velvet, strokeable stretch jersey and high-end brocade. And then there are the high-neck and long-sleeve wedding dresses that are too heavy for summer but will be perfect for autumn. With so much choice, you’re bound to find something that makes you feel magical.
READ MORE: The top 50 bridal boutiques
3. Autumn colours are beautiful
Autumn is famed for the richness of its natural colours: orange, red, purple and green in an array of brilliant shades, with pops of gold. If you decide to let the season guide your wedding colour palette, you can create a wonderfully inviting look.
But you don’t have to go bold at at autumn wedding. A palette of muted pinks, faded coral and touches of greenery is just as season-appropriate.
4. Your bridesmaids will thank you
Those sumptuous autumn colours aren’t just for your décor. You can also use them to make your bridal party look amazing, whether you choose gorgeous green bridesmaid dresses or gowns in beautiful burgundy, or any other autumn-appropriate colour. Orange may seem like a hard colour to pull off, but it all depends on the shade – consider coral bridesmaid dresses for an easy win. Of course, you don’t have to have one colour for all your bridesmaids; you can put them in mismatched dresses that suit their individual style.
5. An autumn wedding should be cheaper
Prices are lower outside peak wedding season, which means you can make your wedding budget go further.
READ MORE: How to work out (and stick to) your wedding budget
6. Autumn weddings mean excellent food
A lot of the good stuff comes into season in the UK in autumn. For meat and fish-eaters, it’s the time for game – venison, pheasant and rabbit, for example – and seafood including clams, oysters and crab. There’s plenty for vegetarian and vegan wedding food too, such as cauliflower, leeks, cabbage, potatoes – and, of course, pumpkins! Your caterer can add a luxe finishing touch to any dish as September onwards is Burgundy Truffle season in England.
And don’t forget the sweet stuff.
Fresh figs, apples, pears and blackberries can all make for some decadent desserts, or beautiful, edible decorations for your cake.
7. Your drinks reception will be amazing
You can add some autumn flavours to your drinks, too, with season-appropriate cocktails that suit chillier temperatures and make the most of the available ingredients. We’re talking sloe gin fizz, appletinis, alcoholic hot chocolate – and, of course, mulled wine.
READ MORE: Your guide to a wedding bar & drinks
8. You will have your pick of suppliers
Yet another advantage of going off-peak is that you’ll find wedding suppliers’ diaries won’t be as booked up. We’d still advise you to book everything at least a year in advance, but you will find that you have more choice than in spring and summer.
9. Autumn is a good season for grooms
Anyone who’s ever sweated through a summer wedding in a suit knows that it’s not easy to look smart and stay cool when temperatures are soaring. Whether he decides to rock a cool rustic suit or go fully formal in black tie, he won’t have to worry about overheating in autumn.
10. It’s fireworks season
With both Diwali and Bonfire Night occurring in November, this is peak firework season, so you can give a nod to the time of year with a wedding fireworks display. There will also be sparklers in the shops – ask your guests to form a sparkler arch for a truly magical photo opportunity.
11. It’s also Halloween
This won’t be for everyone, but if you’re a lover of all things spooky, now’s the perfect time to incorporate that into your wedding. You can keep it subtle with some Halloween nail art or go all out with Halloween wedding decorations.
12. Autumn is ideal for wedding photography
With the leaves changing colour in dramatic fashion, you’ll have some beautiful natural backdrops to your wedding photos. What’s more, while spring and summer light can be harsh, autumn light is generally softer and more flattering, particularly early in the season. As it gets dark earlier, just make sure you talk to your photographer about timings, so you don’t miss out on natural light for your newlywed photos.
READ MORE: Your wedding reception timeline – what to do when
13. You don’t risk wedding fatigue
If you get married in the summer, you run the risk that your guests will have been invited to multiple celebrations within the same month. They’ll still be excited for yours, of course, but after attending several in a row, a certain fatigue does kick in. Not so with your autumn wedding, when fewer other couples will be getting married.
14. Autumn means naturally beautiful decor
While spring and summer do bring beautiful blooms, there are some delightful flowers that come into their own in autumn, such as aster, delphinium, hydrangea, roses, lisianthus, orchids, calla lillies and dahlias. In late autumn, you can finish your arrangements with berries and foliage. If you’re particularly keen on a flower that isn’t in season, ask your florist if they’ll be able to dry some for you, for a rustic effect.
There are so many other elements from nature that you can include in your decor, too. From leaves as part of the arrangements or as place cards to tables adorned with pumpkins and wishing-tree guestbooks made from branches, the only limit is your imagination. Forage them yourself and you can save money, too!
READ MORE: How to choose the perfect wedding flowers & florist
15. Your guests won’t be as booked up
It’s not just all those weddings that make summer diaries so full – holidays and family get-togethers are also popular during that time. This means it can be tricky to find a date that all your loved ones can do. You should find it easier in autumn. As an added bonus, hotels and travel should be cheaper, too, bringing down the cost of being a wedding guest.
16. Autumn is an excellent honeymoon (or minimoon) season
September to October is known as “shoulder season” in the travel world. This is the period when many destinations still enjoy good weather but prices are lower than at peak times, so you can have a luxe-for-less honeymoon. You’ll also avoid the summer-holiday crowds.
Mauritius and the Seychelles, for example, really come into their own in September and October, and Thailand’s idyllic islands another great bet.
LUX* Le Morne, Mauritius
Want to go on a South African safari honeymoon? Head there in October for sunny days. It’s spring in Australia and New Zealand, which is a perfect time to visit.
And this isn’t just true of long-haul – plenty of short-haul destinations are delightfully crowd-free in autumn, which is particularly important if you’re planning a city break to somewhere like Paris, Rome, Venice or Barcelona.
But of course, you don’t have to leave the country for a romantic getaway. UK honeymoons can be lovely, whether you escape to the country or explore a new city.
READ MORE: The 23 best spas in the UK
17. Your guests can wear autumn outfits
There are those who adore dressing for warmer weather, and for them, choosing what to wear to a wedding in summer is a delight. For others, however, there is no greater fashion pleasure than the unveiling of the autumn/winter collections, whether high street or designer. Anyone who understands that pleasure will hugely enjoy choosing their wedding guest outfits for your celebration.
While you’re sorting out the main event, don’t forget the pre-wedding celebrations – we’ve found 17 of the best unusual hen party ideas.