Need a little style inspiration for your fall wedding? We quizzed event planning experts in search of ideas that will make your ceremony and reception totally contemporary. In short, it's all about texture, deliciously rich colors, glamorous touches, and a few elements that say (but don't scream) "fall."
This season, wedding decor is all about texture. That means tablecloths in tactile, visually intriguing materials like quilted or ruched silk, linen, velvet, or even Ultrasuede. Use fabric with a crimped look or multiple textures (like organza embroidered with bits of chenille), or layer two tablecloths (think sheer velvet on top of taffeta).
For an of-the-moment look, mix subdued neutrals with surprise pops of bright color. One stylish bride ordered custom-made napkins in natural linen with magenta silk undersides, which peeked just slightly when they were folded on the table.
Speaking of napkins, they're a clever place to work in seasonal accents. Tie them with a small bundle of millet or a crab apple accent for a fall feel. Look for inexpensive seasonal napkin rings at places like Crate & Barrel or Pier 1 Imports (you'll find simple but stunning ones in gold and silver, wood grain, resin, and great fall colors). You can also make your own napkin bands using velvet or grosgrain ribbon.
Fall Aisle Style
Add a seasonal touch to your ceremony by using shafts of wheat or bunches of grapes (real or faux) as aisle markers. It's harvest season in the vineyards, so say your vows under a pergola covered with grape vines -- even if you're not in the wine country.
Metallic accents continue to be huge, from classic silver and gold to more unexpected (and fitting for fall) pewter copper and bronze. Mercury glass vases will add glamorous pops of silver to cocktail tables and centerpieces. Gold and silver leaf accessories will liven up any table or place setting. Beyond vases, think napkin rings and framed photos telling the story of your relationship.
Black glass or crystal (like Baccarat's romantic-meets-goth creations) will add a fashionable and unique touch to tabletops as onyx crystal goblets or vases. Fill the vases with champagne-colored flowers to heighten the drama.
Less is More
Rather than tons of tiny votives, make a statement with thick pillar candles in rich hues like pomegranate and aubergine. Display them in beds of big crystals for a glitzy and glam effect.
Add flair to any space with chandeliers (they can be hung from the ceilings of tents too). Consider a modern piece dripping in Swarovski crystals, or vintage varieties filled with candles.
If the weather requires you to stay indoors for the reception, but you want to add a natural element, rim the room with potted deciduous trees showing off their most electric fall colors.
Fall Gobo Effects
Another way to bring the season indoors: Illuminate the dance floor or the ceiling of a tent with a branch pattern (created by a gobo lighting effect) and warm amber light. It will look as if the early evening sun is streaming through the trees.
By using LED light fixtures, you can easily change the mood for different portions of the party. Start cocktails with a sunny effect; move to pink and purple sunset tones on the walls and ceiling during dinner; and then slowly morph into a deep blue with white "stars" as you and your guests take to the dance floor.
Sources: Jennifer Brisman Weddings, New York; Robyn Goldberg Weddings & Special Events, New York; Debi Lilly from A Perfect Event, Chicago; DeJuan Stroud, New York