Fall Wedding Tips from a Photographer

July 18, 2022

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The photographer behind Holly Virginia Photography! I am based out of Norfolk, VA but am available for sessions and weddings all around Virginia. Welcome to my blog!

Hi, I'm Holly!

Fall is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful times of the year and a highly popular season for weddings! Fall is an ideal season for a wedding for a multitude of reasons; the cooler weather, the beautiful fall foliage, BUT it is important to keep a few things in mind when planning a Fall Wedding!


Time of Ceremony

Having an outdoor wedding in the fall is so beautiful, and most of the time, IDEAL! However, be aware of the time you are setting for the ceremony! You want to make sure that there is plenty of light for your ceremony. It’s so easy to forget how early the sun sets in the fall, especially after Daylight Savings! A 5pm ceremony would be perfect for spring or summer, but maybe consider having an earlier ceremony start time in the Fall to avoid the sun setting before or during your ceremony.

Couples Portraits – To ‘First Look’ or Not to ‘First Look’ that is the Question!

Not only do you have to consider the time of your ceremony, but you also need to ensure there is enough light to get couples’ portraits taken!

A great way to ensure there’s great lighting for portraits is to do a First Look. For those who do not know what a First Look is, it is when the couple decides to have a surprise look at each other before the ceremony, usually accompanied by a few moments to exchange some kind words and a little love. It’s a great way to get wedding day nerves out. It’s also a way to get some couple portraits out of the way, so that after the ceremony you can join your guests faster!

I am always a fan of first looks, but they are even more valuable in the FALL!

The ideal time for couples’ portraits is during Golden Hour, which occurs about an hour/hour and a half before the sun sets! Because the sun sets so early in the fall months, it’s ideal to make sure you have plenty of time to do portraits with adequate lighting!

If you had a ceremony happen sometime between 4:30-5:30, there may not be enough time after to get outdoor, naturally lit, portraits! So just be mindful of making sure there is enough time to capture you and your Hunny!

Rain Plan!

Weather is always unpredictable, especially in Virginia, especially in the Fall! This might be a no brainer, but make sure you have a Rain Plan for the ceremony and reception if you are planning and hoping for an outdoor wedding! If your venue does not bring this up, definitely ask! As they say: Plan for the Worst, Hope for the Best!

Wedding Attire – Plan for the Cold!

Are you getting married in the mountains? Or next to a body of water? Don’t forget that wind in Fall months on even the sunniest day, can cause a chill! Be sure to think about yourself, your bridal party, and your guests!

  • Fall Brides – this one is for you! If you are wearing a strapless, or sleeveless dress, maybe think of a creative bridal accessory to wear when it gets chilly, and when the sun sets! I have seen so many cute bridal denim jackets, fuzzy white coats, etc.! You don’t want to be cold when you’re partying with your friends and family! Make it cute!
  • Bridesmaids – most bridesmaid attire have bare arms/open chests. Consider incorporating matching scarfs or shawls they can wear during the ceremony if it’s particularly chilly, or matching jackets to wear at the reception! 
  • Guests – Make sure to think of your guests and their comfort! Consider including a message in your invitations or on your wedding website that says to bring a coat, or an extra sweater. I have also seen couples have blankets to hand out at the ceremony which is a super neat idea! Another thing I recommend is considering having heaters at the reception, especially if it’s a tented reception! It’s hard for your guests to bust a move when they’re cold!

Plan Ahead!

For my final tip, PLAN AHEAD as much as possible! The Fall season is easily the busiest season for most wedding vendors. The season is short and popular weekends get taken QUICKLY! I, for example, already have 4 weddings on the books for October 2022! So definitely do not wait to book your top-choice wedding vendors for a Fall Wedding!

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I LOVE Summer Weddings! I myself was a June bride, so trust me, I am coming in HOT with the tips!

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