Fall is such an exciting time of year to get married.  In most regions, the weather is no longer summer-sweltering, but fair and crisp.  There's a sense of anticipation in the air-the long days of summer are over, and the busy holiday season has not yet arrived. The change of weather can be energizing, and the promise of warmth, comfort and festive gatherings, just around the corner, can accentuate your fall wedding planning. 

Weddings this time of year can be so elegant and beautiful without spending thousands of dollars. This is especialy true if you understand what makes sense for you to spend more money on, what make sense for you to spend more time creating, and what makes sense for you to purchase. If you're having a fall wedding and are researching cheap fall wedding ideas, here are a few that can help your budget go far.

Fall Wedding Colors

Cheap fall wedding ideasCredit: By John Fowler from Placitas, NM, USA (Fall Colors Uploaded by russavia) [CC-BY-2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Fall wedding colors should be vibrant. Think flaming orange, cheerful yellows or crimson true-reds. However, if you want to go with a more spring-like or summer palate, such as pastels, the best way you can reflect the season is to bring in hints of fall colors.

Cheap Fall Wedding Tip #1:

When renting linens, choose white tablecloths and bring in your colors through the choice of napkin. Colored tablecloths and runners are usually more expensive, especially when you choose texture. You can save by choosing  colored napkin with texture.


Fall Wedding Themes

Cheap fall wedding ideasCredit: T. Mool

For our fall wedding, we replaced floral centerpieces with intricately carved pumpkins, which reflects the season, and decreased our costs significantly. When the sun set, guests were delighted by the different carvings, of autumn leaves or trees, glowing around the venue. 

If it's a day wedding, consider using squash in your centerpiece along with flowers, such as a squash "vase" filled with flowers.

Bring in your fall themes, with nods to both the season and the most popular holiday of the season, Halloween.

Hortense B. Hewitt Wedding Accessories Calla Lily Knife and Cake Serving Set
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(price as of Sep 24, 2013)

Cheap Fall Wedding Tip #2: Consider "rustic" centerpieces, such as squash, in place of floral arrangements, and to express your fall theme.

fall weddin themesCredit: T. Mool

Theme pieces-

These don't necesarily have to be "goth" (though they can be), but can bring a sense of play into the day, such as these caketoppers above. Think about what's involved at harvest time, whether "Indian" corn, or even bales of hay to distinguish different areas.

Again, fall is naturally a rustic time of year, and many of these ideas fit in with a rustic theme. However, if this isn't your vision, a sophisticated red-rose centerpiece wrapped with orange or yellow ribbon can reflect the season just as well

Edible Fall Leaves - Set of 32 - Cake Decorations, Cupcake Topper
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Cheap Fall Wedding Flowers

cheap fall wedding flowers: use candles insteadCredit: By Isamilabo (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Set of 72 White Unscented Votive Candles and 72 Holders
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Cheap Fall Wedding Idea Tip#3: Cut costs by increasing light sources and decreasing floral arrangements.

First if you are having a daytime wedding, think about what metallic and reflective elements you can bring in. Can you add silver to the table, or add something that reflects the light, such as small mirrors, like confetti around the centerpiece? Or a silver, or gold vase?

Fall is the harvest season, it's not a floral time of year, and this is great news for your wedding budget.

Lighting goes a long way in creating a romantic atmosphere. Having worked in catering for many years, one of the biggest mistakes I see couples make is to overspend on flowers, in hopes of better beautifying their space. Lighting does this so much better, and it's much less expensive. If your space doesn't allow open flame, there are inexpensive battery-operated candles, and these can be floated, put in inexpensive vases and placed throughout the space to change the look. A simple string of lights overhead, or lanterns hung throughout the space, does this job well, too.

I can't emphasize this enough, the size of the space can overshadow the floral arrangements, unless they're large, dramatic, tall arrangements, which can be very expensive.

Cheap Fall Wedding Idea Tip #4: Go to farmer's markets and flower markets to create your floral arrangement.

Instead of hiring a florist, ask one of your artistic friends or relatives, to pick-out your floral arrangements at a local flower market. It's an early sun-rise trip, but it can significantly cut costs.

Fall Wedding Ideas DIY

Cheap Fall Wedding IdeasCredit: T. Mool

Cheap Fall Wedding Tip#5: Make a list with three columns:

  • What you wish to spend the least on

  • What you wish to spend the most on

  • What you wish to make, and how much time you are willing to spend making it

These columns will help you create a wedding budget, not only for your finances, but also for your time. When you know what' s important to you, you know where best to alot your time, and you'll be less likely to overspend, too.

All of my grandparents have passed on. It was important to me to spend time creating my own bouquet, which would honor them (and a way for them to "walk me down the aisle").  I also wanted to bring in natural and fall-like elements and colors, such as the birch-shaved "roses", chocolate brown silk flowers, and an antique finish to the photographs, along with real roses on top. This was worth the time, because it was one of the elements that set the theme of our wedding, rustic and quaint. It's also a keepsake, that I can give to my children someday, and a way to spread the love from our day.

Spending tons of money may not be in your budget, but understanding what you really care about in the details, will help you create a beautiful, festive and memorable day.