To be a successful bride, you have to be in love with the idea of your wedding. A classic wedding option, easy to love, is a Fall wedding. There is nothing more beautiful than an elegantly clad bridal party standing amidst orange and red leaves while holding vibrant ginger bouquets.
Ginger Snyder, former wedding consultant for the prestigious Ronald Reagan International Center one of the top choice venue for DC’s society newlyweds, states “Fall is a perfect time of year for outdoor weddings.” She comments that brides often choose fall weddings because of the cooler temperatures and the accessibility to naturally occurring colors schemes without having to pay per stem. “There are a lot of extra expenses that are associated with outdoor weddings, one of the most costly being temperature-controlled tents. With fall weddings, you don’t have to deal with air conditioning or heated tents, which can save you a lot of money.”
Another insider tip she reveals for the cosmopolitan brides still deciding among DC, LA and great-aunt’s estate in West Chester, NY is that the concept of Fall is regionally determined. “September and October are still considered peak weddings season for many vendors in DC because the end of summer in this area is so humid. But brides can take advantage of this by asking if the venue offers discounts for weddings during more unpopular months.”
Another alluring tip to remember is that Fall flowers generally last longer than other seasonal florals. (Summer flowers wilt quickly). Florists can expect to work with better blooms and there are less worries about the quality of the arrangements.
Fall weddings connote more than just climate, it’s a deliverable theme. “Nature is a focal point in fall weddings.” Ginger suggests small point pieces such as hanging wreaths on the church door, berry boutonnieres and rich autumn leaves decorating the tables.
Themed weddings, made popular by America’s resident wedding-style expert, Martha Stewart, have overtaken the wedding industry by creating points of inspiration for each detail associated with the wedding. “Once the wedding theme is set, it will appear on the invitations, save the date cards, programs, the reception centerpieces and guests’ favors.” She suggests using the classic fall flowers such are dahlias and deep colored roses, like black beauties.
Imagine a cool evening surrounded by lush colors, romantic music, expensive jewelry, and 150 of your closest friends. You reach for a cocktail to accompany a hors devours of carefully chosen hot finger foods, the (open) bar-tender hands you a hot mulled cider drink with a pumpkin mousse tartlet. Tempting? Not nearly as tempting as the upcoming dinner of seared barramundi (filet not steak) perched atop a compote of root vegetables and smooth whipped potatoes. For the cake, choose a traditional carrot or spiced cake with ample layers of butter cream (more creamy than icy).
Balancing the customary bridesmaid-subtly with your less-than-subtle maids’ tastes can be a challenge. According to Jenny Yoo, one of Manhattan’s hottest up and coming designers for bridesmaids dresses, “Ginger is hot Fall favorite. But one of the most popular colors for the upcoming fall season is Chocolate Brown.” While in recent years, she saw her expected maroon and burgundy tea-lengths being ushered into the fitting rooms, she was amazed at the specific requests for Chocolate this season. “I think [the color’s] popularity is due to its richness and instant sophistication, while consistently complementing different skin complexions.” The best way to wear Chocolate, she notes, is to mix it with a pop color like pink, blue, or cream. Dual tone dresses are modern, and create a sense of complexity that traditional bridesmaids dresses lacked. And best of all, it’s a color easy enough to wear for other occasions without feeling too ‘bridesmaidsy’, which she notes most of her customers don’t want.
More from Jenny….“In the past, full length dresses have been popular among brides and bridesmaids for the fall and winter seasons but the recent trend has shifted more towards cocktail length styles.” While long hemlines go a long way in creating an air of elegance, cocktail and tea-length dresses are cleaner and a create more coiffed look. “The shift in the trends towards cocktail dresses is from modern brides willing to take more of a risk and break the traditional rules of bridesmaids dressing.” Something that has not changed….. A-line silhouettes and strapless dresses continue to be popular. “I find that most of our brides and bridesmaids love the clean lines with a special detail or accent (a sash, gathering, ruching, tucking, pleating, ruffles, bows, etc) that highlights the dress.”
Advice from Ginger …
- Does the catering company offer a 4 hour bar or 5 hour bar?
- What level of alcohol is included? Will your guests be able to satisfy their taste for Grey Goose, rather than rail?
- Are your guests offered a “champagne toast” or a “glass of champagne”?
A champagne toast is traditional ¼ of a glass, just enough for one toast. If you are planning a series of toasts, or if you want your guests to enjoy a full glass with a sliver of strawberry floating atop, for a wedding brunch, make sure you read the menu carefully so you know exactly what you are paying for.
- Is the alcohol package “by consumption” or “all inclusive by package”? By consumption means you are paying per glass for each of your guests. In Ginger’s experience, “Packages are generally the better deal. You are guaranteed as much as your guests want and there are no surprises.”
- Remember tax and gratuity is always added. If the rates quoted to you don’t state that tax and gratuity are included, figure an extra 10% tax and 18% gratuity.
Advice from Jenny…
“It’s great that brides are willing to take more risks and have fun playing with colors and styles, but sometimes it can be challenging to coordinate all the options. For example, when allowing your bridesmaid the choice of different styles, try to keep a tight color palette and not go overboard with choosing a different color for every different dress. It can seem like a great idea with all the options, but a little goes a long way.”