Elegant Decorating Ideas for an Autumn Wedding Reception

Autumn Wedding Decorations

How wonderful to have the fall season to celebrate in! There’s just something about that crisp chill in the air and the gorgeous colors of the trees that make an autumn occasion seem extra special. And one occasion you’d surely want to mark in style is your wedding reception. What better way to do this than with the rustic elements, textures, and colors of fabulous fall? You can see all these in this cozy party setting we styled.

Welcome Reception Guests with a Welcome Arch

Wedding reception welcome arch

Transform your reception into a fall garden scene! A welcome arch would be a striking way to set this off as an evening to remember. It serves as a lovely lead-in to the party area, don’t you think, as it frames the inviting scene that awaits.

Our arch is made from dried branches and twigs mounted on a metal frame. But you could simulate the same effect with a portable garden trellis, also holding dried branches or faux climbing vines. For accents, we added artificial maple leaves and glowing tea lights in hanging votive holders.

Prepare a Tablescape Inspired by the Changing Season

Autumn tablesetting for reception

The warm colors of fall truly get a chance to shine as you usher guests in to the dining area! Here, our table setting is aglow with tones of orange, rust, ochre, brown, and copper set against ivory, white, and leafy green.

We chose to present the guests’ place cards on mini twig wreaths hanging on each chair back, and crafted the napkin rings from raffia fiber and autumn leaf cutouts.

Create a Rustic Vignette Style Table Centerpiece

Easy fall wedding centerpiece

Our centerpiece is actually a mini showcase of seasonal elements. And that’s what would make it so much fun for you to recreate!

Just as we did, gather whatever natural and decorative elements you have on hand. Our selection includes bright orange garden blooms, some dried branches and leaves, glass cylinders in varying heights, mini gourds, woody vines, white candles and votives, even a copper kitchen canister. Then, arrange all these to create an artful little vignette in celebration of fall!

Add Decorative Table Details with a Budget-friendly Spin

Fall decor accents

Be resourceful, too! Scour your home and garden for distinctive decorative accents that will add a rustic character and interest to your party table. Our table runner, for instance, is just a length of fabric with stripes in orange, mustard, and black—tying together all the autumn hues on display. We added a wine bottle and cork (time to bring out that collection you’ve got stashed away!), plus a vase of greenery for a refreshing break from the oranges and browns. See more lovely ideas in our centerpiece post!

Plan a Charming Guest Book Alternative

Autumn guest book alternative with leaves

To one side of the welcome arch, we set up a small table holding—in place of a traditional guest book—a wedding wish box. The same leaf-shaped cutouts adorning the table napkins we used as cards for guests to write out their wishes and greetings for the couple. We even dressed up a pencil with some raffia and a large wine cork on the end.

After the reception, how charming would it be to suspend these leaf greetings like a mobile in your home or to insert them among the photos in an album on this special occasion?

Give Something Special that is Fall-inspired

Autumn favor ideas

In keeping with the season, prepare autumn-inspired thank you gifts for your guests as well. As always, packaging is key. So we glammed up vanilla-scented potpourri in pretty pouches, and bundled up scoops of crunchy nut mix in sheer wraps.

You could make your own variations on fall favor packaging, with burlap or muslin bags, quaint little baskets, sinamay boxes, or terra cotta pots. Then, you could DIY your favor tags, using handmade paper, dried corn husks, fallen autumn leaves, or heavy kraft paper.

Display an Interactive “Autumn Wishing Tree”

Fall wedding wish tree

Did you notice the framed “tree” in the background of the guest tables? Well, this is one feature of our fall wedding setup that is truly versatile! So feel free to adapt it to your own celebration.

For our example, we cut the trunk and branches from brown card stock and mounted these onto a framed cork sheet. We then added artificial maple leaves and pinned paper cutouts of more leaves among them. You’re probably seeing the possibilities now, right? Think escort cards, a wishes-and-greetings station, even a fun game or activity setup for your guests to enjoy!


  1. Love this! Those maple leaf guest cards are so pretty!

  2. I love how the arch look! Its perfect for fall! This looks really lovely! http://www.alloccasionbanquetcenter.com/

  3. Thank you, Sharon! That arch is a great accent piece, whether indoor or outdoor.

  4. This is a great source of ideas and tips for an autum wedding reception. Autumn sounds like an excellent time for a wedding. As mentioned above, the crisp chill in the air and the gorgeous colors of the trees, these are great reasons to have an autumn wedding. Love those maple leaf guest cards.

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