By Wedding Planner, Elizabeth Bailey
Maryland Fall Weddings are even more popular than the traditional favorite month of June…
So, for couples planning their Maryland Wedding in September or October, advanced planning is a must. Popular venues and vendors book up quickly, and it’s not unusual to plan a fall wedding with an 18 month lead time.
Here are some tips though to keep in mind when planning a fall Maryland wedding:
Keep Time Change in Mind
Sunsets are early (6:25 pm by mid-October), which means that outdoor ceremonies must take place earlier than in the summer months. Often temperatures drop just as fast. For those couples planning an outdoor tent wedding, lighting and heating are important considerations when planning. Hire a great tent and rental company, and they will be generous with advice on what is needed to keep your guests comfortable in the coolness of the night.
Consider a First Look
Because darkness comes early evening, many couples decide to do a “first look” for Fall weddings. This means that at the appropriate time prior to the ceremony they will meet privately and with the photographer to see one another for the first time. This special moment and photo session generally lasts about 40 minutes, in which the wedding party also joins in for formal photos to be complete before the wedding ceremony begins. First Looks are a smart way to get a lot accomplished before the sun goes down.
Lighting is very important for weddings in the Fall. Strung café lights are still very popular and give off light, but not too much to interrupt the party.
Go Hearty and Savory with Your Menu
A menu for a fall wedding typically would include heartier foods and more savory cocktails. During these months catering menus might include an amuse bouche of charcuterie at each guest table, delicious short ribs over mashed potatoes, lamb chops, red wine sauces, and a selection of home made breads. A signature cocktail might be bourbon based versus a vodka based drink popular during the spring months. Guests generally will eat and drink more when the weather is cooler and bathing suits are packed away. Late night snacks like mini hot dogs and tiny grilled cheese sandwiches are a wonderful touch at the end of a wedding reception.
Get Creative with Cake
Wedding cake flavors in the autumn months are just so fun! Think Cranberry Orange, Pear Spice, Walnut Caramel or Cider Pound Cake. Add a delicious Sweet Cream Cheese frosting and your guests will be totally raving about the wedding cake.
Flowers Don’t Have to be Traditional
Flowers are so beautiful in the fall now with the availability of amazing colors of local dahlias and perennials. One doesn’t have to necessarily think orange/yellow/bronze for fall flowers, but instead choose colors for flowers that compliment the wedding. Then add elements like textured table linens, farm tables, natural wood chairs, and lots of candles.
Some other fun things seen at fall weddings: colorful pashmina shawls draped on ceremony chairs to take the chill off for outdoor weddings, a whiskey and cigar bars after dinner, and the ever popular after-party fire pit with delicious s’mores at the ready.