October Wedding? Here’s Everything You Need to Know

Whether you’ve already decided on an October wedding date or are eyeing the month, we go over all of your need-to-knows.

By McCall Minnor

October Wedding? Here’s Everything You Need to Know
Photo by Zach Caddy Photography

The First Look ✨

There’s much to love about an October wedding—crisp air, stunning scenery, and a covetable cozy feel. That being said, October also hosts a variety of holidays, a change in the weather, and a more competitive market.

Whether you’ve decided on an October date or are eyeing the month, we’ve got all of your need-to-knows covered.

The Basics

History and Culture

While many people might plan an October wedding to coincide with fall or Halloween, October weddings have actually been popular throughout history.

  • In medieval England, the most popular months to get married were October, November, and January, when the harvest had passed. Late autumn was also when they hunted many animals, so there was plenty of fresh meat available for wedding feasts.
  • The ancient Celtic festival Samhain (said to have inspired Halloween) also takes place at the end of the month, honoring the end of the harvest season and the start of the new year. To those who observe, it’s also opposite of Beltane (May Day) on the Wheel of Life, linking it to the festival of love.

Ideas and Inspiration

What’s In-Season

With fall in full swing, a variety of great foods and florals are in season during the month of October.

  • In-season vegetables like cauliflower, onion, mushroom, potato, celery, and pumpkin can contribute to hearty soups, sides, salads, and entrees.
  • Apples, pomegranates, and figs are also in their prime, all ideal additions to sweet desserts and seasonal cocktails.
  • In-season flowers like delphiniums, magnolias, irises, and roses can also be used as inspiration for fall wedding bouquets and decor.

Weather

A change in seasons often means a change in the weather. October, specifically, is popular for its dependable weather. There’s low risk of humidity, intense heat, rain, or snow.

  • In October, you can expect mild temperatures with warmer days averaging in the 60s and 70s and nights dipping into the 40s and 50s.
  • Southwestern states, like Arizona and California, strike the perfect balance—they’re neither too hot nor too cold during this time of year. Meanwhile, the Midwest and East Coast experience a moderate climate and the arrival of fall foliage.
  • Overall, this is considered the ideal month for outdoor weddings, due to comfortable temps and low-risk forecasts.

That being said, it’s important to still stay up-to-date on your location’s weather forecast, provide weather tips to guests via your wedding website, and always have a backup plan.

Holidays

The most popular holiday in October may be Halloween, but there are several others you should be aware of in order to avoid a scheduling clash.

  • October 4: St. Francis of Assisi (Cathloic holiday)
  • October 5: Pchum Ben (Buddhist holiday)
  • October 7: Navratri (Hindu holiday)
  • October 9: Leif Erikson Day (Nordic celebration)
  • October 11: Columbus Day (U.S. holiday), Indigenous Peoples' Day
  • October 15: Vijayadashami (Hindu festival)
  • October 18-19: Mawlid (Islamic holiday)
  • October 27: Navy Day (U.S. observance)
  • October 31: Halloween, National Unity Day (Indian holiday), Samhain (Gaelic festival)

Theme Ideas

The autumn season, an array of holidays, and ideal weather make tons of wedding themes possible this month.

  • Take advantage of the nice weather and autumnal views by hosting an outdoor wedding in a national park, on a hiking trail, or otherwise out in nature.
  • Lean into a Halloween theme by weaving fun details into your decor or having everyone dress in costume. Get specific with a certain concept or film, e.g. Star Wars, Disney, haunted house, or carnival.
  • Go for historic charm by having your ceremony and reception in a grand estate, castle, hotel, or museum framed by fall foliage.
  • Autumn also ushers in plenty of black tie affairs with darker palettes and jewel tones.

Clothing Ideas

Warm days and somewhat chillier nights call for minor strategizing when it comes to dressing for an October wedding.

  • While evenings and nights may be cooling down, avoid especially heavy and warm fabrics like brocade and moire. These materials make it hard to stay comfortable if you warm up on the dance floor or the temperatures don’t drop as much as expected.
  • Instead, opt for light- to medium-weight fabrics like silk, satin, polyester, and taffeta. If you’re worried about getting cold later in the day, bring an appropriate jacket, coat, or blazer.
  • Color-wise, don’t be afraid to go with those that are dark and rich (black, navy, emerald) or those that’ll complement the autumn views (olive, blush, berry, burgundy).

Zola Facts

Wanting to know how other couples are going about their October weddings? Here are some fun facts from Zola about weddings this time of year.

Couples’ Favorite October Wedding Invites + Paper Designs

October’s most popular Invites + Paper designs on Zola are best for sending you and your guests warm fall vibes.

  • Riverside Suite- This timeless design features whimsical handwritten script that accents your custom photo.
  • Violin Suite- This classic design features dramatic script calligraphy over your own custom photo.
  • Bonnie Suite- This botanical design features leafy eucalyptus garlands that frame your wedding details gorgeously.

Average Guest Count for October Weddings

The average number of wedding guests on the guest list for an October wedding is 117.

Popular Registry Adds for October Weddings

Couples getting married in October have these top three favorites added to their wedding registries:

Things to Consider

Popularity

Over the past few years, October has become the most popular month to get married, topping September and even June.

  • If your wedding will take place in a trendy fall spot—like Asheville, North Carolina or Burlington, Vermont—the area may be crowded.
  • Regardless of location, consider planning things earlier than you typically would. Because October is a highly desired month, this could make a big difference in whether or not you secure the venue and vendors you want before they’re fully booked.

Cost

Due to high demand, it’s likely that vendors will raise their prices throughout the month. This is standard for wedding season, which lasts from late spring to early fall.

  • Have this expectation when reaching out to vendors, especially if your location is trendy or popular.
  • To avoid going over budget or being put in a tough spot, create a list of prioritized must-haves. Decide what can get cut or adjusted if need be.

Choosing your wedding month is an important first step in planning your wedding. Before deciding on your date, make sure you weigh each of your options and have all the necessary details. This is particularly crucial with popular months like October. Once you’ve decided, put your date on your Wedding Planning Checklist and start the countdown.

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