Fall is here and with it starts the engagement season and the time when many couples will find themselves planning a wedding. Increasingly the fall is also a big part of the wedding season, as couples are finding a lot of advantages in autumn (guests not dying of heatstroke in formal wear being one).
But with every pro there is frequently a con - especially with Fall weather in New England where a day could be blustery, cold and wet or it could be hot and dry as a bone. As with any wedding, there's only one thing that really matters - that you're marrying the love of your life; for the rest of the day, it's about creating plans that are flexible enough to roll with whatever punches mother nature throws at you. To help you out, here are six tips from Boston Wedding Photographer Ryan Richardson for planning your fall wedding in New England...
6. Winter is Coming
The transition from Summer to Winter isn't a graceful dive from hot to cold, it's a very bumpy roller coaster ride from Labor Day right through Christmas. While historic data can give you a good idea of what your day will probably feel like, you should still think about ways to prepare for sudden dips in temperature (especially for weddings later in the day with big outdoor components).
Many rental companies offer a variety of propane heaters that will keep any outdoor space from turning into Hoth on a fall evening. These can range from very attractive modernist metal obelisks with hearts of living flame to a more practical style that resembles a streetlight. These can help to keep your guests out on a patio or under a tent for much longer into an evening than they might otherwise. Outdoor tents can also be equipped with forced hot-air systems that will keep things comfy and cozy in the event of inclement weather. Speaking of tents, many of them can often be enclosed, so reserve those side panels just in case.
If you're only expecting guests to be outdoors for the ceremony then consider having a table with some blankets, wraps or scarves to stave off the chill (you can get them in colors and styles to match the wedding as well) - and guests can either carry them off or after your event you can pop them in the wash and donate them so you can be kind to your guests and the world.
5. Fashion Options
Now that your guests are comfortable, what about the couple? Strapless gowns are still quite popular (and you really have to hunt to find anything with sleeves), so what are you going to do when you don't want to turn into a human popsicle while out taking photos? The simplest thing would be to steal one of those wraps from your ceremony before you run off to get your pictures taken, something you can just slip on and off quickly between takes.
But that's not the only answer that fashion has given us - you can accent your dress with a bolero jacket, a fur wrap or any of a dozen different pieces of layering that will accent your wedding outfit while keep you warm between shots. You can also lose the jacket or muffler if things get a little too hot on the dance floor, or if the great cold snap doesn't come.
4. Watch the Floor
No matter what the season, if your wedding is going to be outdoors it's important to consider what your guests are going to be treading on (or dancing on). Avoid ceremony or reception areas with bare dirt or bad drainage, because mud or soggy ground don't work well with heels (or big white dresses) and even if it isn't raining on your wedding day, cooler temperatures and shorter days mean that the ground stays wetter for longer in the fall.
You'll also want to be sure any areas where people will be walking are clear of leaves and debris because in the wrong circumstances, those charming fall leaves can be quite slippery.
3. The Wind in the Wedding
Nothing beats a gentle summer breeze blowing in over the ocean and softly cooling things down as it wafts over you. Unfortunately in fall those breezes can more often be like arctic blasts (especially during hurricane season, where strong winds can still pack a punch far away from the path of the storm). So talk to your florist and decorator about ensuring that everything is properly stayed and anchored in case of a sudden wind - nothing looks more ominous than your cute floral arch getting torn down by a quick breeze.
2. Sports, Go Sports!
In planning your New England Wedding for the fall this is a little easier to manage than in other parts of the country (since you're mostly contending with the professional leagues, though fantasy means that just because the Patriots are on a bye week, doesn't mean that sports fans won't be seeking out a TV). If you're marrying a particular fanatic or into a whole family of them, get a good idea of their team's schedule so everyone can have their full attention on the wedding - though most people are pretty good about sorting their priorities.
1. Don't Rely on the Leaves
Everyone planning a fall wedding probably pictures having a rad event surrounded by leaves in the fullness of their colors, those bright yellows, smoldering crimsons and brilliant oranges that just make it look like the landscape is lit by some beautiful flame. But it's often hard to predict how and when the leaves are going to turn when you're nailing down your venue and booking your New England Wedding Photographer (you know, Ryan Richardson Photography), so when the wedding day rolls around everything might be fresh and green; beautiful and bold; or all the leaves could be brown and the sky could be gray.
So when you're planning out your schedule for photos, have a few backdrops in your back pocket that will look good regardless of weather. Alternately, set up a separate bridal session so you can take full advantage of a beautiful fall day without having to worry about the schedule of a wedding.
Hopefully with these tips in mind, your fall wedding will be beautiful and Boston Wedding Photography Ryan Richardson Photography can help you capture it.
Ryan Richardson is a wedding and engagement photographer serving Boston and beyond; including Cape Cod Weddings, New England Weddings, Massachusetts Weddings and Rhode Island Weddings.