As temperatures drop and days shorten during the fall, folks love breaking out the pumpkin spice and decorating with hay bales and gourds. In fact, some couples choose to get married in autumn just for the flavors and wedding decor; however, for others, fall wedding dates simply work best for their schedules. Whatever your reason for having an autumn wedding, incorporating fall wedding flowers into your big day is a must.
In-season fall wedding flowers come in all shapes and sizes for you to incorporate into your bridal bouquets and ceremony backdrops. So, whether you’re looking to add texture to your autumn wedding centerpieces or need a fabulous filler flower, fall offers plenty of options for fresh and locally grown blooms.
Part 1: Fall Wedding Flowers in Season: A Monthly Guide
Part 2: Ideas for Fall Wedding Flower Colors
Part 3: Break from Traditional Autumn Wedding Flower Arrangements
Part 4: Ideas for Fall Wedding Decorations With Flowers
Going with in-season florals on your big day is your best bet, especially if you need fall wedding flowers on a budget. However, just because the bloom isn’t in season doesn’t mean that you can’t get it. “While this may have presented more of a challenge in years past, many florists have suppliers from various regions that can ship their desired flowers,” offers Bron Hansboro, owner of The Flower Guy Bron in Richmond, Virginia.
“Depending on just how out-of-season the florals are, it may come with a slightly higher price tag, as opposed to shopping with local farms and nurseries,” Hansboro warns. However, a professional florist will work with you to find the best fall wedding flowers. “I’ll typically recommend more seasonal blooms since I know that they’ll thrive in our climate and be the easiest to work with,” Hansboro adds. No matter when your preferred flowers grow, your floral designer can suggest options to suit your wedding day needs.
What flowers are in season for a fall wedding? The answer comes down to what month you get married. Sourcing flowers that are blooming during the time of your wedding also ensures the freshest possible blooms. “By selecting in-season flowers, you are often paying less overall, and you’ll have a better chance of getting them,” advises CeCe Todd, owner of CeCe Designs in Birmingham, Alabama. “Flowers are a natural resource, and it’s difficult for any florist to ever guarantee what they can get. In-season flowers are just easier to access and tend to be more affordable.”
Although florists can source out-of-season blooms from other countries, sometimes there are no guarantees. Bad crops, shortages, and shipping delays can all add up to wedding day floral issues. “When couples choose flowers that are out of season, they just need to have more flexibility and understanding that nothing is guaranteed,” expands Todd. “They’ll also need to plan to budget accordingly, as out-of-season flowers will be more expensive.”
Where your wedding takes place can also factor into what’s in bloom around the time of your wedding. “The beauty of this is that your locale’s seasonality may differ from another wedding you’ve seen,” offers Hansboro. “So, there are no rules to which flowers you’re limited to in terms of ‘traditional’ autumn florals.” For example, what’s considered in season in southern California will be different for those located in northern Maine.
Our list of fall wedding flowers includes blooms available either locally or easily shipped during the autumn season. Let these selections inspire the palette and shape of your fall wedding flowers and centerpieces.
The calendar states that late September is the official start of fall. However, many of us consider back-to-school time (late August or early September) as the unofficial start. The long days of late summer allow for enough warmth for some of summer’s best blooms to linger. Sunflower - Large, sunny, petal-filled sunflower blooms are considered joyful, yet rustic fall wedding flowers. They are abundant in early autumn and are locally grown in many regions, making sunflowers a familiar favorite. Dahlia - Dahlias come in various colors, ranging from soft pastels to bold, bright tones. Additionally, their dense, petal-packed heads are noticeable in fall wedding flower arrangements. “Depending on the variety and color, dahlias can be costly, but the tradeoff is that they are larger, which means you can use just a few in an arrangement and will have a major impact,” says Joan Wyndrum, owner of Blooms by the Box in Watchung, New Jersey. Alstroemeria - Alternatively known as a Peruvian lily, alstroemeria is a hardy plant frequently used as a filler flower. It also comes in several colors, many of which blend beautifully with traditional autumn color schemes. Fritillaria - “One of the most luxurious fall flowers is a personal favorite—fritillaries,” states Todd. These flowers are related to lilies and are a bit rare and somewhat pricey. “Because it only comes in certain hues, it only works for particular weddings with a complementary palette. But if I can get my hands on fritillaries, I’m buying it.” Chrysanthemum - If there’s one flower that takes up residence at nurseries and front porches in early fall, it’s chrysanthemums. Also known as mums, these flowers are incredibly economical. “Mums are the perfect fall flower for a budget-conscious couple,” offers Wyndrum. “Most couples gravitate toward football and spider mums because they are so popular, but we also really love the pompon varieties because they offer multiple blooms per stem, giving you a real bang for your buck.” Stock - Although it’s an odd name for a flower, stock can add a lot of dimension to fall wedding flower table arrangements. Similar to gladiolus and delphinium, stock features many blooms along the length of a single stem.
June used to be the most popular month for weddings, but October weddings have been on the rise for years. For most floral designers, October is one of the most requested months. For that reason, many couples wonder what wedding flowers are in season in October.
Weather can be tricky towards the end of fall, which officially ends close to Christmas. Fluctuating temperatures and shorter days will impact what florals bloom in your local area; however, some blooms thrive on chillier days.
For some couples, decisions about florals come down solely to their wedding day color palette. “We have seen couples utilize purple roses, blue thistle, brunia silver, veronica white, baby blue eucalyptus, and seeded eucalyptus, all of which create a stunning muted color palette, perfect for autumn,” reminisces Wyndrum. Alternatively, your perfect fall wedding arbor flowers may be in a color scheme of sunny, bright tones. But, no matter your palette, our fall wedding flowers list shows what’s available in every color of the rainbow.
Of course, burgundy, maroon, and dark red tones fit in perfectly with autumn fall color palettes. Whether you pair burgundy with monochromatic pinks and reds, or lighten it up with white and cream tones, burgundy is one of the most popular fall colors. Include the hue by choosing amaranthus, hypericum berries, mums, roses, carnations, and burgundy eucalyptus into your fall wedding arch flowers.
Most florists will admit that blue flowers aren’t as abundant as other tones. However, that doesn’t mean that you’re at a loss if you want to include oceanic hues. Blue thistle blooms from late summer to early fall and is often available dried. Eucalyptus and some succulents are also available in blue-green tones.
Many types of fall wedding flowers come in orange tones, which is another popular autumn color. For example, roses in hues of blush, orange, and peach will add texture to your fall wedding altar flowers. Other lovely orange blooms include alstroemeria, mums, marigolds, carnations, and dahlias.
Purple—whether its deep plum or a soft shade of lavender—adds a gorgeous touch to your fall wedding flowers. Centerpieces, bridal bouquets, and photo backdrops can all incorporate the hue. To add purple tones, request roses, carnations, mums, stock, poms, and alstroemeria from your floral designer.
Weddings are filled with happy moments, and sunny yellow blooms can make your big day even more joyful. Search for roses, billy balls, sunflowers, poms, mums, carnations, and alstroemeria. Yellow also pairs well with other bright fall tones, such as orange. Additionally, yellow can also add a pop of color to more subtle palettes.
Having a white wedding is a lovely choice, especially when white blooms are paired with textured greenery, such as eucalyptus. Roses, stock, carnations, alstroemeria, poms, mums, and paperwhites all come in creamy white tones.
Just because you’re getting married in the fall doesn’t mean that you crave rust and gold tones. Some couples don’t want a pumpkin in sight on their big day, and that’s ok! “What I think a lot of people forget about weddings is that there are no rules for weddings anymore,” offers Todd. “You can have bright tropical colors in the fall if you want to—you’re not beholden to any particular hues.”
Todd also says that older traditions, such as incorporating autumn-toned flowers for a fall wedding bouquet, simply aren’t a factor for modern couples. However, using one tone in varying depths for your fall bridal floral arrangement flower arrangements is very impactful. “For the fall, if you don’t want to use the traditional colors, I’m always a fan of monochromatic,” Todd states. “You could get a deep eggplant and pair it with a purple and then a lavender, just all the way down. That would function beautifully in a fall wedding.”
As with any wedding decision, you and your significant other should include florals that reflect your taste. “It is important for couples to utilize what colors they love,” says Wyndrum. “Just because you are having a wedding in the autumn season doesn’t mean you have to have a deep color palette.” The sky's the limit as far as color combinations. Additionally, Wyndrum has seen wedding flowers in fall include pink, yellow, and white tones, all of which are appropriate.
When you crave something a bit more traditional, yet unique, consider optional hues. “If you’re a fan of moody tones for fall, but you don’t necessarily want your wedding to look too autumn-themed, I would suggest branching out and opting for a singular bold color, such as forest green,” advises Hanson. He also suggests pairing deep green with terracotta, blush, and ivory tones to hint at the season.
“By no means are you limited to a traditional color palette simply because of the season,” Hansboro clarifies. “Even if you’re attracted to the idea of utilizing a plum or marigold highlight, think about pairing it with gradient hues to create a look that’s more avant-garde.”
However, if you do crave traditional autumn wedding flower arrangements, incorporate them to the fullest. Fall-themed wedding flowers in burgundy, orange, yellow, and plum are equally as lovely. Plus, if these tones speak to you, there is no better season than autumn to infuse an autumn palette. In short, you do you. If you want an explosion of unique fall wedding flowers, go for it. Conversely, if you wish to showcase hot pink and yellow in the middle of October, feel free to do so.
Autumn is known for its plethora of decorations. A drive around town boasts porches filled with pumpkins, mums, hay bales, and stalks of corn to commemorate the season. Although you don’t need to use any of those above, it’s wise to build off autumn’s abundance. Think about creative ways to incorporate fall wedding flowers. Bridal bouquets and centerpieces are a must, but autumn also lends itself to other fabulous ways to use flowers.
“Eucalyptus garland is a great way to creatively incorporate floral greenery into your fall décor,” suggests Wyndrum. “You can utilize the garland down the middle of reception tables, on the back of ceremony chairs, or in a wedding arch.” Greenery is an easy way to extend your floral budget while still showcasing lots of foliage.
Some of the more delicate flowers can get lost in larger bouquets; however, they have a beauty all their own that deserves to be shown off. Scour thrift stores and antique shops for vintage bottles, or purchase new ones inexpensively at craft stores. Peppering your reception space, window sills, and restrooms with single blooms in small vessels adds interest.
“A lot of people forget about the flat lay. More photographers are shooting a flat lay to showcase a selection of the event day details, such as the wedding invitation,” says Todd. “The flat lay could potentially be made even more dynamic by incorporating some of your wedding day florals for a cohesive look.” Flat lays often include bridal shoes, rings, flowers, stationery suites, favors, and other items to document wedding day details.
Freshly picked flowers look simple, yet stunning when placed along the length of a table in mason jars. Start collecting vintage mason jars for a handmade feel. Another budget-friendly option is to have water-filled vases available at the reception. Doing so ensures that bridal bouquets can double as decor on the head table and in other areas.
“I love the idea of utilizing preserved elements and combining dried florals with freshly picked flowers,” offers Hansboro. “Given that autumn is associated with fallen leaves and greenery on its last leg of the year, incorporating dried, hanging installations above reception tables or using bundles of preserved botanicals as part of your place settings are perfect ways to evoke the feeling of the season.” Pampas grass, billy balls, thistle, status, and bunny tail are all dried floral elements to consider.
Even if you don’t want to include clusters of pumpkins into your big day, think about how to use them creatively. Scoop out the inside, pop in a vase, and use the hollowed-out pumpkin to hold flowers. Secure a vintage, wooden wheelbarrow or cart, and fill it with hay bales, mums, and wedding day signage. Even if you don’t wish to go all out with fall decor, incorporating subtle hints is appropriate.
“Seasonal florals planted in groups along the ceremony aisle can completely transform the space as well, offering a whimsical garden look,” suggests Hansboro. Additionally, the plants can serve as wedding favors, depending on the number of guests. At the very least, potted mums and pansies can take up residence on your front porch after the wedding.
Succulent plants pair well with fall colors, so use this to your advantage, as most are available in green tones. However, many varieties have accents of blue or red to compliment your wedding day florals. Floral designers often infuse succulents into fall wedding bouquets, floral arrangements, and boutonnieres. Adorable, tiny succulent plants also make excellent additions to reception tables. They can also be set at individual place settings as a wedding favor.
If you’re curious about what flowers are available in October for weddings, or which color scheme is best, consult with your local florist—and do your research at Zola. From fall outdoor wedding ideas to unique themes for your wedding, inspiration abounds at Zola. Still unsure about an autumn wedding palette? Zola has you covered! Whether you’re searching for fall favors or budgeting tips, Zola is the place to go for all of your fall wedding flowers ideas.