Seasonal flowers like sunflowers and chrysanthemums will help lend a warm, natural feel to the scene — and because they come in an array of reds, oranges, golds, and browns, they’ll highlight the season’s best colors. Work them into bouquets, table arrangements, or pots.
Succulents are having a moment, and they’re perfect for a fall wedding. The spiky, earthy little plants are inexpensive and easy to care for — they need watering rarely — and will bring a soft green to your table. Cluster a few small pots together for a simple and elegant table arrangement, or arrange a slew of them in a basket for a bigger impact. You can even simplify wedding favors by letting your guests take the succulents home.
Earthy, leafy vegetables echo end-of-summer harvests and work surprisingly well in floral arrangements or on their own. Decorative cabbage or kale plants make lush and unexpected table accents (and are low enough that guests will be able to see each other). Artichokes are equally lovely: work them into table arrangements (just create a “stem” with a skewer and use as you would any other flower) or simply arrange a couple of them together on a table.
Use natural fabrics with a bit of texture, like burlap or heavy linen, on your tables for a classic fall feel. Or, go without a tablecloth in favor of a rustic-style wooden table.
Small pumpkins or squashes make perfect place-card holders and are inexpensive enough to be feasible for a crowd. You could even ask a farmer at your local farmer’s market to set aside some for you. Put a tiny pumpkin on each guest’s plate for seasonal flair.
Late-summer and early-fall favorites like figs, apples, and grapes make an interesting and easy alternative to the usual flower arrangement — and do double-duty as an inexpensive appetizer as well. All you need for an elegant, rustic arrangement are fruits of your choice plus a slate or wooden board to put them on. Add an assortment of cheeses to round out the plate.
White pumpkins are sophisticated on their own, but for a special glow, carve small lace-like holes into the pumpkins and use them as luminaries by placing real or battery-powered candles inside.
Bring the outdoors in by using fallen leaves as place cards. Use spray paint to reinforce and add shine to collected (or purchased) leaves, and then write guests’ names on them.
If you’re opting for long tables rather than circular ones, try running a long ivy or grape vine down each table’s center, eliminating the need for individual floral arrangements. Add a soft glow by tucking a few candles in.