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Planning the perfect fall wedding

Cheryl Santa Maria, staff writer
September 23, 2012 — Wedding professionals weigh in on fall wedding dos and don'ts.

Weather can be unpredictable in the fall, so try to plan ahead (Courtesy: StreeterStevens Photography)
Weather can be unpredictable in the fall, so try to plan ahead (Courtesy: StreeterStevens Photography)

From crisp autumn air to crimson and gold foilage, fall is a beautiful time to plan a wedding.

But there are a few things to take into consideration, especially here in Canada.

While your wedding guests won't have to contend with mosquitoes or humid air, they could be faced with rain, mud, and snow.

Yes, snow.

While it's rare, it can happen -- especially in Calgary, which sees an average of 4.8 cm of snow each September.

But you don't have to let the weather get in the way of your big day. Michelle Antunes, wedding planner and founder of The Detailed Bride Event Company, says that most would-be disasters can be avoided by having a contingency plan.

If rain is in the forecast, pack a few umbrellas and a pair of rain boots.

Your photos will turn out great -- and you'll be comfortable.

Wedding photographer Katie Dawson agrees.

"Weather can be unpredictable in the fall," she says. "When you're taking your wedding photos, try to find a location that's sheltered from the elements, but still offers a glimpse of your surroundings. If it rains, there is a plus side: The added moisture will make the leaves come alive with rich autumn colour."

Regardless of the weather, don't forget your water-proof mascara. There's a good chance you'll be misty-eyed on your wedding day, but a good make-up artist will keep you looking your best, whatever Mother Nature (or your mother-in-law) throws at you.

Try to dress comfortably and take advantage of natural light (Courtesy: Michael Murray photography)
Try to dress comfortably and take advantage of natural light (Courtesy: Michael Murray photography)

Other Wedding Tips

Plan for rain and consider your guests."Outdoor ceremonies are great, but make sure you have a back-up plan," Katie says. "It's not uncommon to have to pull an indoor wedding together at the last minute because of unexpected weather."

If you're planning an outdoor ceremony, consider mentioning it in your invitation.

A pashmina scarf is a practical - and stylish - favour. Your guests will feel comfortable in the evening without having to compromise their outfit.

Dress comfortably and take advantage of natural light. Your photographer will scope out locations that showcase fall's beautiful colours, so pack some walking shoes that you can wear in between photos.

 "The best thing about shooting a fall wedding in Ontario is that there is something magical about the sunlight in September and October," Katie says. "The sun sets earlier in the fall, so try and have your ceremony about 3 hours before sunset. If that doesn't fit with your plans, consider shooting your photos before your ceremony." 

Save money by choosing flowers that are in-season. Fall flowers are beautiful and offer a bevy of options. Michelle recommends speaking with a florist about what’s in season and what works best with your chosen theme. 

Work with professionals when possible. "A seasoned photographer and wedding planner will help you prepare for anything," Michelle says. "Work with vendors you trust. They'll keep your best interests in mind."

Last but not least, have fun. "Try to roll with the punches," Michelle says. "After all -- you can't control the weather, so you might as well embrace it."

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