Fall weddings can be great options for a lot of different reasons. They can be less expensive than summer weddings, as demand is lower, and you can experiment with lots of different dress styles. The best reason to get married in the fall is you can let out your inner adventurer and be creative with the venues.
Whether it’s the orange, red, and yellow foliage, an old barn, or an apple orchard, everything shines a little brighter during the cooler months of the year. Your guests will be extra excited when your country wedding invitations arrive and invites them to an autumn celebration. Here are twelve great places to consider for your unique, rustic fall wedding.
A Dude Ranch
A ranch can offer you a great destination wedding location. Dude ranches come with everything you need—an ethereal settings that inspires beautiful photos and beckons guests to wander among the trees. They also offer accommodations and provide activities like zip lining or horse riding.
Take your bridal party out to have a memorable campfire under the stars and then greet guests with a country breakfast the next morning. When you eat outdoors, choices like pancakes and bacon suddenly seem decadent and fabulous.
You can have the ceremony indoors or out, so the weather can’t cancel any dancing or the ceremony. If you want to focus on being in mother nature, this is the spot for you. Need a place? Check out Devil’s Thumb Dude Ranch to start planning your dream wedding.
An Off-Season Summer Camp
Remember summer camp? The bunk beds, the cafeteria, the trails—the words “summer camp” evoke good memories for almost everyone and, like the dude ranch setup, offer activities and accommodations for a destination wedding.
A camp offers big indoor or outdoor seating areas that can easily be used for a reception or a ceremony. Many camps are set right next to a lake or near a mountain range, so the setting is gorgeous.
OVY Camp in the San Francisco Bay Area has a great spot for your vows. It offers a gigantic, ancient tree stump with a little stage on top so you can be in clear view of your guests with the forest as a backdrop. You can even decorate it with plenty of fairy lights around stone fire places and all over the interior of barns or cabins.
An Antique Marketplace
Rubies and Rust, a venue that bills itself as a wedding barn, takes the appeal of a flea market and turns it into a fun place to get married.
Unlike the dude ranches or the camps you might choose for your nuptials, a place like this is for the minimalist couple. Don’t expect anything fancy, but you can be assured you will have all the basics. A system to hook up your device to for music, plenty of knick-knacks for decoration, and lots of parking and spaces to get ready are all on order. Be ready to find your own DJ and plan your own catering to customize the day.
So, why is this a wedding favorite? Put simply, it’s incredibly gorgeous. This place takes your love of antiques and country life and makes it a central theme. Even the building itself is a big part of its charm. The corrugated metal has a veneer of rust to tie the whole theme together for the perfect day.
Have your own favorite barn in town? Talk to the owners about renting out the place for an evening and host your event in it. Keep in mind that if they don’t have a lot of weddings at that particular location, you will need to hire a small staff to provide food and decor. If you’re a DIY bride, you can make it transformative with your magic touch.
A Country Castle
A few ranches feature a small turreted building that resembles a castle, making them truly unique venues. The Cherokee Ranch of Sedalia, Colorado is a great example, and the setting will take you back in time and make you feel like royalty. Surrounded by rolling hills, small stone buildings, the mountain top ranch is modeled after the castles of Scotland to help you escape the modern world. Sweeping paths will take you into ancient, stone-worked beauty.
The ranch hosts events of all kinds, including princess parties and geology hikes, so the staff is trained and ready for anything. Don’t plan to have an enormous wedding there; they ask that couples keep their guest list to 250 people or less. If you are looking to have a small, private affair and have your friends and families relax up on top of a mountain, this could be the perfect spot for you.
Learn more at the Cherokee Ranch website where you can see videos and photos of all their events and wedding plans.
A Charming Grotto
A grotto, or a secluded garden originally created as a place of meditation and prayer, can be a wonderful place to get married if you and your spouse are more of a spiritual couple. The Grotto of Portland Oregon is a Catholic garden that features gorgeous spaces all surrounded by huge bursts of color from thousands of flowers. There are also some great rocky spaces covered in hanging moss and little paths for your guests to wander down for a moment of alone time.
A place like a grotto offers a very different feel for your wedding. It’s a secluded area, and the emphasis on the Catholic faith makes for a reflective and introspective day that is perfect for a smaller ceremony. The photos will be breathtaking, and the pressure is off as far as entertaining. The space is so gorgeous you won’t have to do much to make it perfect for you. Offer a nice meal at a picnic table near a waterfall, and your work will be done.
A Desert Resort
Do you love the southwest and its dramatic, rippling red rocks? A resort wedding can put you right in the heart of your favorite setting and give you plenty of opportunities to relax and revel in your destination wedding.
The Enchantment Resort in Sedona, Arizona puts you right inside a canyon while you lounge by the pool, gather around a cozy fire, or even sit down to your rehearsal dinner with your guests. The venue is known for its dramatic surroundings. The rocks of the canyon tower offer open, expansive spaces that you can plan for dancing, dining, or your ceremony. Also, there is an on-site sales team that will make sure you have everything you need, so this is a great option for the bride who wants to sit back and enjoy, as opposed to taking charge of every detail.
Possibly the best reason to choose a rustic resort is for the photos. You can do a short hike up to a peak to really take advantage of the landscape or just stand in front of a rippling red rock and use it as a background. Be sure to have at least one part of your wedding take place in the evening, as the combination of the canyon and the night sky is truly breathtaking.
A Gorgeous Peach Orchard
For the bride who lives for sunflowers, tractors, and fresh watermelon, an orchard of any kind is a great option, but a peach orchard can be extra special. Peach trees are especially beautiful in the fall, and a big orchard, like Isom’s Orchard in Athens, Alabama, can host a wedding with a little bit of planning.
An orchard offers a great space for your guests to explore, and it smells incredible. Best of all, you can take advantage of the orchard’s bounty and incorporate it into your menu. Isom’s is one of the orchards that grow a wide variety of fruits and vegetables, which can help you design a delicious, healthy wedding dinner for all your guests.
Isom’s has a helpful Facebook page to help you get in touch and check out the venue if you have your eye on that particular place. Have a great orchard in your hometown? Stop by and see if they can help you out with your big day. You won’t have to decorate a thing—just invite everyone over in the late afternoon and let the sunset do the decorating for you.
A Southern Plantation
If you love the south and the charm of the Charleston, you can look to an old plantation for your event. The big house becomes the centerpiece, and the surrounding property sets the stage for your special event. These weddings are a step up in glamor and more highly detailed, so this is a perfect choice for a bride who lives for girly touches and anything fancy.
One plantation, Lowndes Grove of Charleston, South Carolina, rolls out the red carpet for couples who want to get married. Even the chairs for the dining tables are extremely beautiful. The house itself dates to 1786 and offers that unique, southern touch all on its own, but the sweeping waterfront views are right outside for some truly beautiful photos.
The best part about booking a place like this in the fall is that you can avoid the muggy heat of the summer and still enjoy the location to the fullest extent. Wander among the oak trees, stroll along the river bank, or luxuriate in the opulent sitting room. This location will make memories to last a lifetime.
On Top of a Mountain
The Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont is a cross between the charm of the east coast and the magic of a European mountain getaway. The whole thing is located on top of the Worcester Mountains, giving the whole space a unique and special feel. They offer a space they call their Wedding Meadow for you and your spouse to truly take advantage of the beautiful setting and have 96 rooms for your guests to stay in so your wedding can be a full destination.
The lodge hosts weddings and events all year long and can make sure you get exactly the wedding you want. If rain is on the horizon or if you just prefer to wed indoors, you can take advantage of the Mozart Room, a high-ceilinged venue that features a gorgeous fireplace to keep your guests toasty while the rain falls outside.
A Classic Barn
This might be is an obvious choice, but there is a reason so many people choose spacious, country barn buildings for dances, parties, and weddings—they are perfect for a gathering. Barns offer a familiar comfort and a warm space that encourages your guests to loosen up and be themselves. Guests love them because the informal space can be a great place to wear more casual clothing, have an extra drink, and dance a little more.
Couples turn to barns for an easy, low-key venue and the surrounding property for the ceremony to capture some great photos. A barn in the autumn highlights the soft, fall colors, with the help of stunning autumnal leaves.
While any barn can work for a wedding, certain places are experienced and fully outfitted. Cedarwood Farms, in Nashville, Tennessee, regularly hosts weddings and offers a house on the property for guest lodging or for the wedding parties to relax as they prepare for the big day. If you want your wedding to celebrate the simple, country lifestyle, a low-key barn can be perfect.
A Fun Pumpkin Patch
Nothing says fall or rustic like a pumpkin patch. They take you back to your childhood, offer a lot of space to enjoy the outdoors, and some even come stocked with trucks and horses.
If you want to plan your wedding there, be sure to inquire if they have some event experience first, as a patch can be a little rough around the edges. Vierra Farms of West Sacramento, California is an experienced location with lots of experience in private gatherings. While there aren’t necessarily private rooms for guests to stay in, you can find plenty of nearby hotels to make it a destination wedding. If that’s not for you, check out a farm or orchard not too far from home and just invite your guests to spend the day.
A Great Backyard
For the bride who is on a budget, a backyard wedding can be a lovely option that still makes the day special.
You might have a friend or relative that has a great garden or a nice lawn for an event. A backyard wedding opens the possibility for a barbecue dinner or your little cousin to practice his or her DJ skills. Plus, pets can be invited to join in the fun. Some couples even ask the guests to bring centerpieces to the ceremony, but, if you do this, be sure to acknowledge each contribution in some way.
Consider adding backyard games like horseshoes, croquet, or even Twister for entertainment. Have a musical friend? Hire them for the big day and help them get the word out about their band.
When you save money on the venue, you can splurge a little more on cake, outfits, or any embellishment you want, like a bounce house or a rented dance floor. Whatever your preference, when you marry at home, you can direct the show.
Fall remains to be a very popular time to get married. Pick your favorite autumn backdrop and starting planning your dream wedding!