Believe it or not, fall weddings are just around the corner. While I absolutely love summer and summer weddings, I am so excited for fall weddings. The romantic colors, the crisp weather, and awesome decorating opportunities are so exciting. However, to pull off the perfect fall wedding doesn’t only mean having the right colors and decor, it also means being prepared for any type of weather that could occur. So to fully prepare you for your beautiful autumn nuptials, we’ve prepared a guide with plenty of ideas on how to plan a fall wedding. From picking the right long, chiffon bridesmaid dresses to choosing the perfect seasonal venue, here are some helpful tips to get you started!
Picking a venue is going to be completely dependent on your location and budget. Besides the more traditional indoor options, consider venues that are perfect for fall, such as barns, lodges, orchards, vineyards, etc. One of the best things about these venues is that they are usually stunning enough on their own so you won’t need to break the bank to spruce them up with tons of decor!
If you’re doing an outdoor venue such as an orchard, make sure to have a back-up plan. Even if your back-up plan is to move indoors, have a tent set-up, or include some extra heat lamps. Making sure that you are prepared for rain, heavy wind, or possibly even snow will be absolutely crucial!
Just so you are aware, make sure to check with the venue to ensure that their policies fit with your needs. Do they have an alcohol license? Are there bathrooms on site? How late can the event go? Do they have a clean-up crew or will you need to provide one? If you aren’t sure what to ask, check out our Vendor Question Guide for a full list of questions.
Deciding on colors is one of the biggest decisions a bride and groom have to make! From the bridesmaid dresses to the decor, the colors will definitely be noticed so getting them right is key. When deciding on your scheme, you want to make sure that you’re keeping a consistent theme and not getting too color focused (only one shade throughout the entire wedding) or getting too color crazy! Consider the 60/30/10 rule:
60% of a primary color (ie. bridal party attire, invitations, and bridal bouquet)
30% of a secondary color (flowers, linens, centerpieces, and decor)
10% of an accent color (flowers, centerpieces, and flatware)
It’s that simple! Consider a deep, rustic color for your primary such as an eggplant purple, navy blue, or a claret red. Dustier shades such as a blush pink, sage green, or slate blue are perfect for a secondary color. For accents, consider soft neutrals or metals such as gold, bronze, or copper. Try to keep your palette cool and earthy, especially since depending on what month your wedding lands in, you might have some bright, colorful leaves as a gorgeous backdrop for your outdoor pictures!
We love color palettes, and we especially love them for fall. Here are a few of our favorite color combinations:
Featured is Kennedy Blue style Lucy in latte
Latte is a beautiful, modest color for bridesmaid dresses. This color is also surprisingly flattering on a variety of skin tones as well! We love pairing it with claret and gold for a romantic feel.
Featured is Kennedy Blue style Anna in black
Black, sage green, and white may not be your first thought for a fall wedding palette, but it's certainly gorgeous! This color combo is classic and timeless. Add hints of gold or silver for a fun accent color!
Wine is a bold and vibrant shade for fall. It stands out against the fall scenery and makes a statement. You may not expect this to work, but wine looks great with other vibrant colors like teal! Balance the palette by finishing it off with a gold accent and green florals.
Kennedy Blue style Stella is featured in navy blue
Navy blue is a very popular choice for fall weddings. Navy blue complements the natural colors of the fall scenery especially well, and is really easy to incorporate into wedding palettes. Accent it with orange, yellow, and claret to bring the autumn season into your wedding.
The key to the perfect fall decor is knowing how to not overdo it. It’s easy to get carried away with any one theme, but being able to execute it in an elegant way is what really makes a wedding stand out. Add in rustic and natural elements such as leaves, branches, twigs, wood, and flowers into your decor. Seasonal edibles such as apples, pumpkins, and cranberries also make great autumn ornaments.
Create centerpieces adorned with candles, deep greenery, and metallic flatware. Create an arch made of branches for the ceremony. Use wooden signs to indicate the reception location or the bar menu. Just remember — a little bit can go a long way, so don’t overdo it!
Bridal - For a bridal fall look consider something light, flowy, definitely long, and possibly even with sleeves. Lace sleeves are super trendy right now, so it’s not a hard look to find and it’s also extremely classic so you won’t regret it years down the road! (Just ask the royal Duchess Kate, who totally rocked the infamous lace long-sleeved wedding dress!)
Bridesmaids - For your ‘maids, long chiffon bridesmaid dresses are a gorgeous choice. They give enough coverage in case of chilly weather, but they still have a chic, romantic look that’s perfect for the fall atmosphere. Lace and chiffon are a seriously stunning combination for fall weddings, and luckily Kennedy Blue offers a ton of options! Choose from our lace top, chiffon bottom dresses or our new embroidered lace top, chiffon bottom dresses. All are romantic and complement the fall aesthetic perfectly!
In case of chilly weather, make sure to bring a light jacket, sweater, shawl, or flannel for you to wear in between pictures. A cardigan or shawl would also make a great gift for your bridesmaids and a super cute photo opportunity!
Now almost any (long) dress can be perfect for your fall wedding if it’s in the right color, but these are the best of the best!
Mackenzie is pretty much perfect for a wedding in any season. The ruched bodice and criss-cross straps make it a one of a kind dress. I especially love Mackenzie in bordeaux (pictured below). Bordeaux is a deep, rich color that is even more beautiful in-person, and will look stunning in your fall wedding!
Bordeaux is a gorgeous color for fall!
Stella. We have seen Stella featured in many fall-time Kennedy Blue Real Weddings (look at all of them here!) Chiffon fabric is perfect for fall weddings because of its natural flowiness. The criss-cross halter top is soooo beautiful and fits the fall atmosphere very well.
Stella is beautiful in all colors, but we especially love it in navy blue!
Eleanor. A drop dead gorgeous lace dress from our newest collection, Eleanor is a perfect dress for a fall wedding. Lace bridesmaid dresses are elegant and classy, and Eleanor is no exception. The exquisite detailing of the lace, the classy slit, and incredibly beautiful fabric covered buttons on the V-back makes this dress one of my favorites for a fall season wedding. Available in a variety of fall-esque colors like bordeaux, navy, eggplant, and silver, Eleanor is a beautiful choice for your bridesmaids. (Also check out Finley, the high, sheer neckline version of Eleanor).
Jade. Embroidered lace is great for a wedding in any season. But until you see Jade in eggplant or bordeaux, you haven’t seen the perfect embroidered lace dress for your fall wedding yet! With a high, sheer neckline and classy slit, Jade is the perfect complement to the stunning fall scenery.
Eggplant purple is the perfect rich, deep color for fall weddings!
Lola. Lace and chiffon is a seriously stunning combination for fall weddings. Kennedy Blue has a whole collection of lace top, chiffon bottom bridesmaid dresses, but one of my favorites is Lola. The off-the-shoulder straps are beautiful and stylish, and the scoop back neckline is just stunning. There is a kind of understated elegance to Lola that will help your ‘maids shine.
Lola is featured here in silver, one of our newest (and favorite) colors.
Anna is almost always on our lists of favorite dresses, for very good reasons! Classic and timeless, you will not regret choosing this dress for your bridesmaids. Anna is a simple dress with a V-neck and V-back, but the ruched bodice and sash add some beautiful elements. Anna flatters a variety of figures, so you really can’t go wrong choosing this dress!
Anna is an awesome dress to wear again after the wedding! Featured here in black.
Riley is a great pick for fall weddings. Soft chiffon, simple design, and available in over 30 colors, Riley is the definition of simple elegance. We love the V-neck and V-straps (and the thick straps allow you to wear a normal bra!) Seriously gorgeous on a variety of figures, Riley is just a wonderful bridesmaid dress.
Sage is a great color for fall weddings.
Wren. Another one of our gorgeous embroidered lace dresses, Wren is a stunning fall dress. Again, lace and chiffon is a great combo for fall weddings and embroidered lace is no exception! The embroidery detailing reminds us of fall leaves and florals, so Wren will match the season perfectly!
Wren is beautiful in latte!
Yummy! Isn’t wedding food delicious? A super easy way to incorporate the autumn season is with food. Serve seasonal dishes such as pumpkin soup, butternut squash ravioli, a turkey dinner, or just good ol’ comfort food! For desserts you can offer options such as mini pies, caramel corn, or a build-your-own s’mores or caramel apple bar.
The fall theme can even be carried over into the bar. You can serve a rum-based apple cider, Irish coffee, or a maple bourbon cocktail as signature drinks. One quick Pinterest search for “fall cocktails” will bring up endless options!
Deciding on favors that affordable and fun for guests is always a tricky task. My suggestion? Anything edible! Gifts such as homemade oatmeal cookies, popcorn kernels, pumpkin spice cake mix, s’mores kits, nuts, and honey, all make great fall favors. If you don’t want to go the edible route, you could give out mini pumpkins, fall-scented candles, or even a small blanket to wrap up in!
[Other Tips to Keep in Mind]
Prepare for unfortunate weather. Bring high boots or rain boots to keep your feet and attire from getting wet or muddy. (Rain boots can also be a fun photo opportunity!)
Bring umbrellas! Pay attention to the weather forecast and if you see any sign of rain, stock up! You can find them relatively cheap so buy enough for everyone in the bridal party. Extras can also be used by your guests.
Get ready for the cold. Mother Nature can be very unpredictable (especially in the northern states), and even if your wedding is in September it could still snow! Remind your guests to bring shawls or sweaters, and set up heat lamps just in case.
Keep your guests bug-free. Make sure to provide insect repellent, wipes, or candles to avoid any nasty little creatures eating away at your guests.
Be flexible about your hair. If it’s extra windy, up-do’s are probably your best shot at keeping your hair from going limp. Keep lots of hairspray on hand and ask your stylists what they’d suggest.
Create a unique altar with florals, leaves, or tree branches | Tandem Tree Photography
Purple, orange, and red make a great color combo for fall weddings | Allen Doberenz Photography
What a cute fall photo! | Studio 220 Photography
Treat your guests to fall themed drinks | Allen Doberenz Photography
Wedding planning is tough. But it is so worth it! Fall weddings are especially fun and romantic, which is why we love them so much. From decor to food to fun favors, anything and everything can be made to complement the beautiful fall season. As long as you are prepared for unfortunate weather and double check all details with your venue, fall weddings are the best. And nothing beats taking your wedding photos under the vibrant fall leaves!
What are your favorite colors for fall weddings? Have any fun decor or favor ideas? Love fall weddings? Share with us in the comments below!
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Taking Your Measurements
For the most accurate measurements, do not measure over your clothing. Your measurements should be taken while wearing undergarments similar to the ones you will wear with your dress. The measuring tape shouldn't be pulled too tight or have too much slack, and should always be parallel with the floor.
**Wedding apparel is typically sized differently than retail clothing, so keep in mind that it's not uncommon to find yourself requiring alterations.
Bust size: Wrap the tape around your back and under your arms at the fullest part of your bust (not underneath the bust).
Waist size: While standing up straight, bend at the waist to one side. Take the measurement where the natural crease happens in your side. This should be a few inches above your belly button.
Hip size: Standing with your feet together, wrap the tape around the fullest part of your hips and butt to get this measurement.
Choosing your correct size
Compare these three measurements to the Kennedy Blue size chart above. It is very important that you order the largest size that corresponds to your measurements. For example, if your bust measures 40.5" (size 12), your waist measures 31" (size 10) and your hips measure 41.5" (size 8), we advise that you order a size 12, and get your dress altered down to custom fit your body. Ordering anything smaller than a size 12 would not fit in the bust area. Please note: Our bridal gown size chart is different than the bridesmaids sizing and is listed below.