Fall is a season of breathtaking displays as the old makes way for the new. This sentiment -- and nature's palette of deep reds and oranges -- makes for a gorgeous wedding. Get autumn-inspired favor ideas, browse our favorite fall real weddings, and find seasonal DIY inspiration here.
First up: What could be more romantic than saying "I do" beneath a tree? Bring the garden fantasy indoors with urns filled with arching Bradford pear branches; gold leaves here and there add a fairy-tale sheen. A cluster of lily of the valley secured with gold double-faced satin ribbon speaks the same language: nature's beauty.
Shake things up with a dish that's distinctive but doesn't abandon traditional flavors: fall-foliage lasagna. The secret? Pasta colored with beet and carrot puree, and shaped with cookie cutters. Your caterer can incorporate these tricks into her recipe; we layered fresh ricotta cheese between beet and carrot pastas, which were cooked, then sauteed in -- and drizzled with -- a brown-butter and sage sauce. The combination is hard to, ahem, beet.
Manzanita branches, with berry clusters attached, were sprayed gold and hung from ribbons. Threaded over them are wide ochre ribbons that hold calligraphed seating cards in place. The contrasting gold ribbon is anchored at intervals with fabric glue. Glittering millinery flowers add the final touch.
Calligraphy by Maria-Helena Hoksch.
Celebrate your new name by crowning a simple cake with a sophisticated script initial covered with gilded trim. Complete the look by attaching matching braid to the tiers' edges with dots of royal icing.
A dramatic display like this is sure to draw well-wishers to the guest-book table. The vivid wreath packed with chartreuse santini mums and covered with tiny bows (secured with T pins) gives people something to admire as they pluck a colored pencil from the nearby cup to offer their sentiments to the bride and groom and sign their names. The blank book has a celadon cover and a bookmark of pale-green trim.
Show your ingrained sense of style with seating cards crafted from paper-thin wood veneer. These inexpensive sheets are pliable enough to fold and cut easily into delicate shapes; the elegant graining makes a distinctive canvas for calligraphy. We used craft punches to create maple and birch leaves.
Offer your fiance's groomsmen a range of tie colors so they don't look too matchy-matchy. Pick different shades in the same color family -- from vibrant red to soft peach, for instance. That way the group appears coordinated, but each guy looks unique.
Beckon your guests to a bar adorned with a radiant floral garland, then stock the station with tempting libations and matching stirrers.
EK Success Paper Shapers daisy punches, createforless.com. Paper and More vellum in metallic light gold and yellow gold, and card stock in metallic gold. Jamali Floral & Garden Supplies rice lights. Sur La Table bamboo skewers.
The diminutive scale of lady apples transforms a fall favorite into a dainty nibble; offer to guests on passed trays as a sweet-tart surprise at the cocktail hour.
A paper leaf is an elegant touch: Use a computer to design and print "Enjoy!" on card stock, then cut out with a leaf-shape craft punch; affix to short skewers with adhesive dots.
Encased in inexpensive vessels, miniature violets take on a delightful "Alice in Wonderland" appeal. To assemble them, put the flowers in glass bowls, add a few pieces of plant charcoal at the roots (this will help them thrive), and press in fresh moss to conceal.
This clever update to the classic fall treat is the brainchild of New York City caterer Peter Callahan, author of the cookbook "Bite by Bite." He added wood twigs to tiny apples, dipped the fruits in caramel, and rolled them in sea salt. Offer these at dessert, or give them out as favors. Whatever you decide, have your caterer make extras -- guests won't be able to eat just one.
As a fitting nod to the season, substitute dried leaves for petals in your flower girl's basket. If fall foliage isn't abundant when you wed, you can order pressed leaves online (from drynature.com).
We lined this pint-size basket with cotton fabric. Using scissors, cut a large round of fabric and a slit on opposite sides to accommodate handles, then place in basket. Wrap silk ribbon around, and tie in a bow.
This display is inspired by seasonal fruits and reminiscent of a farmers' market, right down to the handwritten labels. Crumbly tarts, a lattice-topped pie, and meringues with syrupy fruit are right at home on this table. For decor, place branches bearing tiny crab apples in a galvanized vase.
Melted chocolate is nearly synonymous with indulgence. Serve it alongside yummy delectables to dip, such as dried apricots, pretzel sticks, and cubes of pound cake. Or consider cookies, caramels, fresh fruit, and chunks of coconut. Use Japanese porcelain teacups and sushi trays to yield single-size portions for guilt-free double-dipping.
Sweet marzipan acorns capture the beauty of fall. The marzipan is tinted pale green with food coloring to mimic the appearance of nuts just picked from the tree; a thin coating of bittersweet chocolate, decorated with sprinkles, crowns each one and balances the marzipan's concentrated sweetness. Place the acorns on pressed leaves for a lovely autumn display, and serve them on a dessert buffet or on platters at guests' tables.
Premade decorations dress up a wedding cake in an instant. Embellishments are crafted from gum paste or marzipan and painted with food-safe paint. Have your baker make a plain cake (this one is a basic three-layer cake topped with fondant) to use as a canvas for an assortment of adornments, which can be attached with royal icing. Piped trim at the base of each tier provides decoration.
Customize a flower girl's sweater -- and match it to your palette -- by replacing the buttons with new or antique ones in winsome colors or shapes. Available in myriad styles and materials at fabric and trimming stores, the fasteners are a simple, economical way to create a look that's as adorable as your littlest attendant.
A white-pumpkin shell becomes the vase for an arrangement of roses, daffodils, ranunculus, calla lilies, tulips, and hypericum berries in fall colors -- yellows, peaches, and shades of orange. Smaller pumpkins and votive candles in orange-glass holders fill out the centerpiece.
Just as the coffee is being served, the dancing always seems to begin in earnest, leaving guests with cold coffee when they return to the table. At your reception, offer caramel wafers to rest across the top of the cup -- the coffee will stay warm and the caramel will soften, turning the wafer into a sweet, gooey treat.
A table arrangement of grains celebrates the bounty of fall. In addition to wheat, which symbolizes a fruitful life, this textured display includes other dried grasses (available at crafts stores), so it can be made weeks ahead. The final flourish is a luxurious satin bow.
For a rustic autumn wedding, craft-punched bright paper leaves bearing guests' names transform bare branches into majestic trees; we cut slits into the branches with a craft knife and then slid in the leaves.
Mega giant oak leaf, maple leaf, and birch leaf punches, by The Punch Bunch, from Scrappily Ever After.