What comes to mind for the fall? Fall foliage, the browning of leaves, and their eventual departure from the trees. Pumpkin patches, and plenty of yellow, orange, red, and brown color schemes. Perfect weather as we transition from the hottest to the coldest of the year. Yes, fall is magnificent.
It’s also the perfect time for a wedding.
Are you looking for the perfect venues for your fall wedding? Below, we’ll dive into everything you need to know:
If you don’t want to risk the weather, these indoor fall wedding venues will be perfect:
These quaint inns usually host small- to medium-sized weddings—both feeding them and fueling them at the tavern, and offering beds at the inn. They often offer plenty of cute photo-ops and grant the wedding an overall cozy feel for the fall.
Some things to consider for an inn and tavern wedding venue:
The catering and alcohol will likely be taken care of by the venue. This can be great if it means one less thing to think about; it can be tough if you have a lot of people with dietary restrictions coming to your wedding.
Cost usually comes all-inclusive and is on the cheaper side. Because the place is set up for both housing and feeding—it’s in the namesake: inn and tavern—many typical renting costs are unnecessary. Plus, if the rooms are included in the price of the venue, it won’t be an imposition to have your guests pitch in partially for the cost of rooms (as they would typically get their own hotel room anyway).
The architecture will blend in with the fall theme. Imagine it: red leaves decorating the surrounding trees; the wind blowing them past a quaint 19th century tavern. It’s all so perfect.
For large wedding parties, renting an estate property offers a unique take on the classic ballroom venue. It’s traditional, luxurious, with a touch glamorous. These estates can be found all across the country, in the hills of the Midwest, on the perimeter of The Great Lakes, and on the coast, overlooking the Pacific or Atlantic.
If celebrating in a mansion is your idea of a wedding done right, here are some factors to consider:
Don’t be afraid of sticker shock. The estate itself will be a pricey affair to rent, and that’s not to mention the other rental costs associated: catering, music, extra restrooms, power equipment, etc. While a mansion may seem like it has everything you could possibly want, chances are it’s primarily set up to live in.
Grand estates that are in residential communities may have strict curfews. The last thing you want is for the police to come knocking on the door at 11 p.m., telling you that it’s time to shut the wedding celebration down.
It pairs well with any theme or color scheme. If you want to go all out on the gourds, cinnamon spice, reds, yellows, and all the fall goodness, a grand estate provides a wonderful backdrop.
If you’re planning on having a wedding in a part of the country where the fall weather won’t get you down, there are a couple of go-to venues:
The beaches in Southern California, Florida, and Hawaii are all perfect choices for a fall wedding. You won’t have to fight the summer heat during the day, and a big beach bonfire at night can help keep everyone warm and toasty. The earliest fall months (September and October) might also be well-suited for the Pacific Northwest and Atlantic Northeast.
If your heart is set on the crashing waves as your backdrop, here are some things to consider:
Weather will be less predictable later in the fall. Outdoor wedding venues will always be in an eternal dance with weather patterns. On perfect blue sky, cloud-free days, we remember how blessed we are; on rainy days, we must take solace that there will always be things outside our control. For your fall beach venue, be sure to plan for the worst, while still hoping for the best.
Bring plenty of blankets and equipment for multiple bonfires. Keep your guests warm all through the ceremony and night with blankets and bonfire supplies. You can even get creative and offer themed onesies for people to warm up in and have something to laugh about. Seeing a bunch of your friends and loved ones dancing in onesies will definitely be worth it.
Check with the local municipality about permits. Many state and local beaches require a permit to host a large gathering on the beach.
Glamping is the hot new term for camping in style. It’s “glamorous camping.” Glampsites, as they’re called, provide a wonderful marriage of the beauty of the great outdoors with all the amenities you want to have at a wedding. Here are some things to consider if you choose to go this route:
Many glampsites offer beds within the tents. This offers the amenities that older guests might need to fall asleep and feel comfortable.
Separate the reception area from the sleeping area. Many glampsites are set up all in one space. If possible, keep any late night after parties separate from the sleeping area, so as not to disturb anyone who wants to get a bit of rest.
Make sure there’s plenty of lights spread throughout the camp. For those who aren’t used to camping or being out in nature, you want them to feel comfortable walking around. Should they need to use the restroom in the middle of the night, this will ease their nerves.
If you want a little of both—Mother Nature and some comfortable, weather-controlled space—consider an indoor-outdoor wedding venue:
A barn and lodge wedding venue will offer the beautiful setting of any outdoor space, while still providing all the accommodations you need to be safe from any unfortunate weather spell. For these venues, consider:
Providing slip-proof mats and towels to dry off feet. This is a must, should a sudden downpour soak the walkway from barn to lodge.
What accommodations are provided with the venue. When you rent the barn and lodge, see if they can provide seating areas for dinner. You won’t want to be surprised come the day of the wedding. Also, communicate your plans—they should know everything from the type of decorations to the length of the reception, so there are no conflicts.
The vineyard wedding venue is a much sought-after venue for its pristine views, incredible photo-ops, and of course, all the delicious wine you could want. If sipping on cabernet straight from the vine will fill your glass, here are some things to consider:
The cost of a vineyard wedding can be high. Be prepared to see averages in the $50k range for an all-inclusive wedding. And remember: This number skyrockets the more guests you plan on having.
Fall means red wine season. If you’re into pinot noir, cabernet, and other red wines, the fall equinox marks the end of summer and the beginning of harvest.
Be sure to ask about backup plans for the ceremony. Vineyard wedding venues are often heralded for their beautiful wedding ceremonies in the sunshine with rows of grapevines as the backdrop. If the clouds decide to rain on your parade, it will be comforting to know that they have a plan B ready for you.
Whichever fall wedding venue you decide on, there are a few dos and don’ts to keep in mind for your wedding day.
Do Provide heat lamps and blankets for your guests if you expect the temperature to drop rapidly as the sun goes down. If your venue allows it, a large bonfire is the perfect way to bring people together in a central location and warm up their bones.
Don’t Be swayed by those wedding purists who say that you must include gourds and have crimson color palettes for fall weddings. It’s your wedding, which means you can have pumpkins in May and watermelon imported in December, if that’s what you want. Fall is just another season, nothing more.
Do Consider slip-proof flooring for any outdoor or half-indoor and half-outdoor wedding. The last thing you want is for a guest to fall and injure themselves.
Don’t Plan your wedding on the same weekend as a major football, baseball, or other sporting event. This will result in two outcomes—both of which you won’t enjoy. The first possible outcome is fielding a hundred questions about if the game will be shown during the reception. The second possible outcome is showing the game and having a third of your wedding party crowded around a TV for four hours.
Fall is a reminder of life’s cycle. As the leaves turn red and animals scurry deep within their holes in preparation for hibernation, we are reminded that things come and go, time is always set in a forward motion, and that the warmth of summer will soon be the icy chill of winter.
A fall wedding allows you to embrace that energy. Love comes in ebbs and flows, yet is always set in one direction—deeper. There will be times of warmth and cold, and the bond you set this fall will remind you that this, like everything else, is life’s cycle.
To help get you there, the team at Zola is prepared to help you find the perfect fall wedding venue, as well as everything else you need—registry, free wedding website, you name it.