A major focal point for your reception, the head table includes some of the most important members of your big day, including you and your new spouse! Typically placed at the head of your reception space, your head table can hold a unique group of your wedding’s VIPs. From immediate family members to your wedding party and closest friends, it’s entirely up to you how you fill the seats of this standout setup.
For couples hosting their wedding in the peak of the fall months, there’s no better opportunity to design a head table that fully embraces autumn charm. A backdrop of crisp fall florals, seasonal elements like pomegranates as escort cards, and striking gold accents turn a simple table display into a cozy fall head table arrangement.
Warm reds, earthy greens, and amber yellows are all tones that can easily be integrated into elements of your fall wedding head table. Add bold blooms and branches to create a tablescape that exudes the feeling of fall without looking tacky or overdone. For ideas that go beyond the traditional design route, we sought advice from some of the industry’s top experts to compile a list of head table options for your fall wedding decor inspiration.
Boost your place cards
One of a table’s most customizable features, name cards present an optimal way to showcase creativity for your event’s theme or particular season. Jacin Fitzgerald, founder of Jacin Fitzgerald Events, loves to think outside of the box with seasonal elements like pumpkins, gourds, pomegranates, and even colorful fallen leaves for a fall place setting.
Lean on neutral tones
Complement the rich tones of a traditional fall palette—burgundy, evergreen, orange—with hints of various neutral shades. “I love the pairing of the neutral table linen with the gold decor pieces,” says Tracie Domino, founder and creative director of Tracie Domino Events. “It added warmth and elegance to the space without being too over-the-top."
Don’t shy away from black
An ideal accent color for a modern fall table, black can easily transform your display from classic to contemporary. Emily Clarke, creative director and founder of Emily Clarke Events, considers black when making a bold statement to a dramatic table setting. “Combined with florals in more traditional shades of autumn, adding black as an accent color to the finished product of this outdoor reception made for a perfect design for this chic celebration,” she says.
Go for the garland
For this reception, held in a stunning sailcloth tent, Lynn Easton, co-founder of Easton Events, incorporated lush floral and foliage garlands into the design of this autumn celebration. “Crisscrossing the garlands down the center of the tent created a lower ceiling and added life and color above the head table,” she says.
Play with texture
When working with a fall tablescape, Sonia Hopkins, owner and principal event designer at XOXO Bride Events, relies on different materials to create texture within levels of a table display. “Incorporating the charcoal linen with the crystal glassware, gold trimmed charger, and gold flatware helped to represent softness, while a patterned dinner plate brought in texture and elevated the entire look,” Hopkins says.
Blush—though it isn’t traditionally thought of for a fall color palette—is a great way to soften the other darker colors. Jennifer Thye, owner of Imoni Events, says, “Pairing blush with darker elements like green, fruitwood, and gold can tend to make your dinner reception look more like a wedding without making it look out of place.”
The use of chairs in various colors, styles, and shapes makes for a standout head table that goes beyond your tablescape. For this outdoor affair, Heather Balliet, owner of Amorology, used this concept to create a unique setup that included chairs in black, gold, and white as well as adding accents of black on the tabletop itself.
Opt for moody arrangements
“Fall weddings make for the perfect time of year to utilize those beautiful moody and saturated color hues in your wedding centerpieces,” says Stacie Shea, owner of Stacie Shea Events. Pair an arrangement of burnt orange, cobalt blue, and magenta florals with a gold vase for a striking addition to your display.
Consider seasonal items
By integrating traditional fall elements like pinecones and apples into the display of your tablescape, your guests will feel an immediate sense of pull towards the season. “Pairing these objects with tall candlesticks makes for a magical setting that’s sure to evoke the essence of fall,” suggests Bree and Freddie, owners of Rockrose Floral.
Use hanging florals or greenery
“Bronzes and golds mimic the harvest of autumn, but we didn’t want to overwhelm the eye with too much, so we just added touches of metallic with hanging geometric shapes,” says Eatherley Schultz, founder of Floressence Flowers, who created this striking floral canopy.
Use similar florals throughout
“The use of similar white blooms in both the hanging installation and the floral table runner made for a clean and crisp display that paired beautifully with the rest of the reception’s white decor,” says Alicia Fritz, founder of A Day in May Event Planning & Design. “The use of white is also such a fresh and unexpected color to use for a fall celebration."
Try a lighting installation
Leaning on the concept of a hanging installation, Graham Ervin, director of sales at The Cedar Room, recalls an event where the bride worked with planner Ooh! Events to use lanterns to embellish a wooden beam that hung above the head table of their autumn fête. “Adding light is such a fun way to take a traditional green installation and turn it into a playful yet elegant focal point,” she says.
Applying an ample use of greenery throughout your fall wedding decor is a great way to highlight some of the season’s most natural features. “The fall season is all about texture,” says, Ashley Culicchia Cash, owner of The Graceful Host. “Hanging installations with greenery are a great way to bring about a more powerful visual impact in your event space."
Lindsay Merhege, event planner at Fox Events, considers wood a fundamental decorative element for a fall wedding table display. “Table numbers, florals, and candles are standard for a head table, but using wood along with bright yet subdued fall colors—and decor pieces like antlers—make your head table stand out from the rest," she says.
Consider the venue's unique features
Utilizing the architectural features of your venue when developing your final design concept can translate into a display that’s both effortless and opulent. Thomas Bui, founder of Thomas Bui Lifestyle, worked with the arches of this unique space to craft a head table worthy of a festive fall affair.
Stock up on stone fruits
Francie Dorman and Britt Cole, co-founders of 42 North, opt for seasonal stone fruits when embellishing a lush fall table. “Persimmon, pomegranates, and pears look beautiful and bold when you let them organically spill out over a rustic wood table, accented by rich florals and antique accouterments like heirloom copper dinnerware,” they advise.
Incorporate a table runner
To add softness and texture to your head table, Rebekah Sams, Wedding and Event Specialist at Gillespie’s Flowers & Productions suggests adding a table runner to your decor. Integrating a runner adorned with lace is another way to showcase softness throughout your display.
Subtle is supreme
“There are beautiful ways for an event to center around the autumn season without operating around orange flowers,” says Lauren Chitwood, president of Lauren Chitwood Events. Use subtle decor elements to evoke the sense of fall without being so obvious.