Planning a fall wedding comes with such a stunning aesthetic, bringing in bold colors and deep hues that are hard to use during any other season. The popularity of having a fall wedding continues to grow, and we definitely understand why. Whether it’s your love for the woods, the trees and all of the stunning colors that come with them, or you just want to say "I do" when the weather isn’t quite so blazing hot, we totally get it.
Fall is a time to celebrate harvest, incorporate a more unique palette, and embrace a season of change. And with all of the magic of autumn, a wedding in late September through November definitely makes for some of the best wedding photos possible. But there are a few things you’ll want to keep in mind to really get great shots on the big day.
To be sure you have the best plan of action, we asked wedding photographers Miguel Cornelio and Meaghan Bickel to share their advice on capturing the best fall wedding photos.
Meet the Expert
- Miguel Cornelio is a Seattle-based wedding photographer and the owner of Miguel Cornelio Photography.
- Meaghan Bickel is a Washington-based photographer and the owner of Joy Photography.
Real all their secrets below!
Have a Strategic Schedule
Making a solid plan for the variety of photos on your shot list will be a total game-changer for your wedding day. There are so many moving parts, so making sure you have a schedule for when you need people to be in each photo along with when you’ll get the best lighting will be so helpful. “Since the days are shorter in the fall months and the sun sets quickly, I always highly recommend doing a first look earlier in the day to allow more time to do couples photos, family portraits, and bridal party portraits before the ceremony,” says Cornelio.
Keep Weather in Mind
The beauty and the curse of fall weddings are that you’ll never know what’s going to happen with the weather. You could have a sunny, stunning day, or you could end up with rain, but don’t let that ruin your day! “For many weddings, fall means rain. Don’t freak out if the weather changes. Try to embrace the rain,” says Bickel. “The good news is that clouds and overcast weather can still make for great shots. And if it’s partly cloudy, it’s even better.”
But if the weather is truly awful, keep in mind that you do have other options. “Consider a bridal portrait session a few days later when the weather is better,” says Bickel. “It’s another chance to get beautiful in your dress without any time constraints. You’ll have all the time and freedom in the world to get the shots you want.”
Take Advantage of the Fall Colors
With the stunning colors that come with fall—the reds and oranges and golds—play with them in your photos, even if they’re not part of your color palette. “Definitely take advantage of the fall colors, if you have them." says Bickel. "If you’re getting married at a venue that doesn’t have foliage, try to build in a quick trip to a natural setting for your portraits. But be sure to be mindful of parking, walking time, and driving time when you’re working it into your timeline for the day.”
Keep Warm During Your Photo Sesh
The last thing you want is to look back on your wedding photos are realize you look like you’re freezing rather than striking a natural pose. Be sure to plan around the potential for being cold. “Fall weather can be perfect, but it can also be weird, as it’s cold in the morning, roasting in the afternoon, and freezing at night,” says Bickel.
“If you don’t have a long-sleeve dress or a pretty shawl in a fall color, at the very least, put a jacket on between shots so you’re not freezing the entire time. If your shoulders are up by your ears or your hands are in a fist during a photo, it will be a dead giveaway that you’re freezing and faking it.”
Remember the Small Details
Remember all the work that went into the day's small details and make sure to capture close-up shots of your favorites (like the invitations!). “Everybody loves the beautiful detail shots,” says Bickel.
“Consider using fall leaves on the tablescape, wheat in your bouquet, sunflowers, twigs, or different kinds of pumpkins, etc. in your decorations. Fall colors like burgundy, burnt orange, mustard yellow, chocolate brown, and dark green all photograph really well!