Each year the arrival of September is accompanied by that familiar feeling. Soon the landscape will be transformed into a canvas of color and the air will be filled with the aroma of the changing seasons. It’s a time many have treasured since childhood. If this season also marks the time of your upcoming wedding, designing many of the accents for your ceremony theme can be a fun and inventive way of lending your unique style to the commitment festivities.
With the stress of budgeting, coordinating and pre-planning it’s easy to see why any wedding do-it-yourselfer might wince at the mere mention of taking on another project. Yet for this reason it’s important to remember that this activity can be a fun and relaxing way for you and your partner to connect and create a truly meaningful theme for your event, while saving extra dollars that you might prefer setting aside toward the honeymoon!
Feel free to build on these ideas as a creative starting point:
Autumn Photo Frame
One artistic idea is also a great excuse for you and your partner to take a pause from the stress of planning and remember the moments that have defined your relationship thus far. Using a few simple items you can create a beautiful autumn photo frame that tells the story of your relationship or pays homage to the important people in your lives.
You can begin this project with your choice of decorative paper in an assortment based on your specific ceremony colors. Some great starters for your autumn theme might include a rich black, chocolate browns, burnt oranges or golden yellows. From this point pressed sunflowers, lavender, mums and autumn leaves can serve as decorative accents while a collage of important photos, poems and love letters can tell your story. You can create a single piece or carry the idea across each reception table to give your story more length. Use a decorative stone or wooden photo frame (or series of frames) to complement the natural elements of your creation.
Autumn Place Card Holders
Using a smaller pumpkin variety such as Jack Be Little or Munchkin, you can create a unique and decorative place card holder that will extend your Autumnal theme even further. An apple assortment is another great option, and local varieties are often available at your neighborhood tailgate market. Guests will enjoy the nostalgic and simple way this accents the tables!
To create the decorations, simply place an individual pumpkin or apple at each place setting and insert a metal card holder. You can then insert your place cards and voila! You have a quick, effortless accent that creates a lasting impact for your reception. (If needed, a spritz of lemon juice just at the base of the card holder will help keep the apples fresh throughout the festivities.) Accent flower buds can be added alongside each apple or pumpkin for a more polished effect; your florist may be able to help if necessary.
Do-it-Yourself Reception Centerpieces
Keeping with the natural feel of your autumn theme you can create a uniquely beautiful reception center piece using seasonally available items. This is a great way to establish the basis of your theme with simple understated elements. One such idea involves the use of driftwood as the focal point of your arrangement with the addition of seasonal flowers, autumn leaves and even acorns to create a cascade of autumn color which will no doubt set the tone for your festivities.
Once you’ve selected the perfect piece of driftwood for your reception centerpiece you’ll want to ensure it has been cleaned thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris. A quick spray with a garden hose should suffice in most cases. After cleaning set your centerpiece aside to dry before proceeding.
Now that you have a completely dry piece of wood you can use sand paper to smooth the surface and give your centerpiece a more polished look. You can then optionally apply varnish or wood stain as you like.
After you have finished polishing off your raw wood your creativity will really be able to shine through. Depending on the size and shape of the wood you’ve selected you may consider using a small container that can easily be hidden within the wood as a reservoir of water for any fresh flowers. Use caution with this approach as an improperly seated container can lead to spills later. If your plans allow time the day-of you may even be able to incorporate fresh flowers throughout this arrangement. You can alternately select an assortment of quality silk flowers and attach them by applying dots of hot glue. This approach may be a favorite as you can ensure your arrangement will remain perfectly preserved throughout your reception and can even become a unique seasonal addition to your new home together. And rest assured, silk flowers today are quite beautiful! Some even boast a fragrance, if you like, and it’s also possible to order faux florals online – silk, wood and other options abound which can help you create the exact design you’ve envisioned.
A Festive Dessert Item
You can even take a festive approach to dessert with items such as caramel apples or pumpkin dip. Imagine a platter of fresh caramel apples or even a variety of caramel, candied and chocolate dipped apples to bring back those warm childhood memories and leave guests delighted. If you’re feeling brave you can take on the task yourself or in many cases you can leave it to a dessert vendor to handle this sweet indulgence. Remember to alternate with the option to hold the nuts on certain varieties to ensure that everyone can enjoy the treat.
Chocolate dipped oranges, peanut brittle, spiced bread and other autumn favorites also make a wonderful addition to your hors d’ouevres menu. Today’s chocolate fountain companies sometimes offer a caramel option, which is also another festive way to indulge in many of the seasonal sweets without as much preparation on your part: the fun of dipping apple or orange slices can be left up to your guests!
Another dessert item that is sure to be a hit is pumpkin dip. For do-it-yourselfers there are a million recipes online that you and your partner can have fun experimenting with. Play with different varieties of pumpkin and different combinations of ingredients until you find the recipe that best suits your tastes. As a decorative finish hollow out your favorite gourd and use it as a unique serving bowl. Ginger snaps offer a natural complement to this dessert item and are perfect for dipping. Cheese fondue can also be served in a hollowed pumpkin, if you care for a switch from the sweet!
Seizing the opportunity to create a unique do-it-yourself event theme can be a fun way to build lasting memories that you and your partner will cherish for years to come. It’s also a budget-friendly way to help set the mood for your wedding and reception, and comes with bragging rights when guests ask about your decor. Remember that this is your story to tell so make the most of it - in the way only you can!