Fall is a lovely time of year to say “I do.” The weather is crisp and fresh, the autumnal foliage is spectacular, and you can usually get a pretty good deal with your venue and vendors. As the official wedding season begins to wind down, you have a better pick of top services. With so many positive aspects to a fall wedding, it’s important to consider the catering implications of the autumn.
Here are 10 pros and cons of catering for a fall wedding.
1. Pro: Lower pricing
Since wedding season peaks in the summer, once fall rolls around you are likely to see lower pricing for your catering. This will apply across the board for most of your vendors and your venue, which means more money in your pocket.
You can either choose to save that money, splurge on a more extravagant wedding, or even plan a more exciting, extended honeymoon. Either way, saving when you are about to start your lives together is always a good thing.
2. Con: Weather threats
Look, bad weather can come up any time of the year. However, summer weddings are popular for a reason. You have less chance of running into weather issues in the summer months. Fall gets a little more unpredictable with cooler temperatures and more dark, rainy days.
3. Pro: Cool temperatures are comfortable
Although the weather could be worse, the heat in general is not. Honestly, many couples rue the day they booked that July or August wedding when they faced the horrible humidity of a nasty Toronto heat wave.
You want to look cool and refreshed on your wedding day, not sweating buckets in your long gown and tux. So although there is a negative weather implication for a fall wedding, there is also a positive benefit to the cooler temperatures if you don’t love the heat and sweat easily.
4. Con: Fall gets busy
Although a lot of people go away in the summer for vacation, once everyone is back into their daily lives a few things can keep guests busy in the fall as well. Things such as getting kids back to school, university students heading out of town, and of course, Thanksgiving in October, can limit who is available to attend your wedding.
5. Pro: Fall harvest delicacies
Since the focus is catering, there is no denying the wonders of Ontario’s local farms in the fall. Although summer is known for fresh berries, peaches and tomatoes, in the fall that list gets much longer.
Chefs love the abundance of local fresh produce in the fall that provides them with endless possibilities for a menu that is diverse and flavourful. However, from a cost standpoint, the availability of local produce also reduces prices, so that is a bonus.
6. Con: Less chance of creating an outdoor dining experience
Although you might get away with an outdoor wedding in the earlier days of the fall, as we already mentioned, fall weather is unpredictable. That means your outdoor dining experience is not as likely to run smoothly. Although you can invest in a tent and outdoor heaters, and even some charming outdoor fireplaces, you have to consider the practicality of a fall outdoor wedding. And let’s not forget the cost. All of these elements add more to your costs.
You want your guests to be comfortable and not have to worry about a chilly fall day or rain putting a damper on your special day. Yes, it can rain or even get chilly in the summer, but the fall is far more likely to pose challenges for outdoor weddings. So if you have your heart set on a garden wedding, despite the fall foliage and final burst of colour from wildflowers, autumn is not the best choice for outdoor events.
7. Pro: Fall colours
No doubt, the colours of fall are hands down the most romantic and beautiful setting for a wedding. Although many couples are all about the beach or the gardens and lawns of summer, the romance of fall foliage is undeniable. This is one of the benefits of living in Ontario – the explosive display mother nature provides every autumn.
If you are looking for a dramatic backdrop for your wedding photos, fall is definitely an exceptional choice. However, it goes beyond just photos.
Nature offers a wonderful palette of creative decorations to grace your tables so your meal will be resplendent with lovely touches courtesy of the season. From bright orange pumpkins to multicoloured gourds and the impressive height and drama of corn stalks to asters and ‘mums, you’ll have a unique, stunning, ready-made design scheme to create a romantic table for your wedding meal.
8. Con: Guest comfort
A lot of people might be cranky if the weather turns bad. Wedding guests look forward to getting all dolled up for your big day and a fall wardrobe might not be as exciting if guests have to wear heavier clothing. Strappy sandals, sleeveless dresses and light shawls are the fashions your gal pals will want to wear. Guys also have an excuse to go sans the jacket and tie when the heat is on.
You also have to consider people having to wear coats, and even bringing umbrellas, if the weather is bad. Your dining hall will be muddied up with wet umbrellas, sweaters and coats on the backs and chairs, creating a less than elegant setting for your wedding pics.
9. Pro: More choices for gowns
In the summer you need to wear a gown that will help keep you cool, calm and collected. In the fall, you have a wider selection of gowns and can choose to go with off the shoulder, spaghetti straps or pretty lacy sleeves. You can also add some fun or glamourous accessories from faux fur shrugs to vintage cardies and unexpected boots to an elegant velvet scarf.
10. Con: Less “romantic” food and drink
Catering a wedding often includes some specialty romantic treats like chocolate covered strawberries, a chocolate fountain with fresh fruit or cooling champagne cocktails. In the fall, you won’t be able to find the fresh fruits that work well for these romantic touches. Plus, when the chill is on, cold champagne and fun cocktails might not be as appealing as a hot toddy or a spiked cup of hot cocoa.