21 Spectacular Fall Wedding Ideas on a Budget

Autumn gives you decorations for free, plus lots of other ways to save on your wedding.

Published September 1, 2023


If you've always dreamt of an autumn wedding surrounded by beautiful leaves and blue skies, there's an added bonus. Fall is one of the most affordable times of year to get married. There are so many great fall wedding ideas on a budget. After all, nature is helping you out with the decor and offering you a ton of inspiration.

Need to Know

Fall is a great time to save on basic wedding packages, venues, and vendors, too. You're not holding your wedding during the peak summer season, so many professionals may be willing to negotiate on a lower rate for their services.

Let Nature Be Your Wedding Venue


If it's not in the budget to hold your wedding in a church or hall, let nature be your wedding venue. Look for a park in your area with beautiful fall foliage and consider holding the wedding there. Many city and county parks have pavilions you can rent in case of rain, and doing this is way cheaper than renting a building.

Quick Tip

If you hold your fall wedding outside or in a pavilion, be sure to let guests know to dress warmly in case of chilly weather.

Forage for Your Arch or Alter


Sure, you can spend some money to buy or rent an arch for your wedding. But fall makes it easy to forage for a free or nearly free centerpiece for your wedding ceremony. Look for tree branches you can arrange in an arch or even a tree that has a naturally arching branch. Drape it with fabric or ribbons, and call it perfect.

Let Nature Decorate Your Wedding for Free


Speaking of natural decorations, one of the best fall wedding ideas on a budget involves using (totally affordable) elements of nature to add beauty to your event. There are lots of ways to do this.

  • Scatter colorful fall leaves down the aisle.
  • Place pumpkins or gourds near the wedding arch or on the tables.
  • Collect branches with fall berries for centerpieces.
  • String colorful fall leaves together for garlands.
  • Use pinecones for texture and interest in your table decorations.
  • Have bowls of nuts in the shell (and a nutcracker) on each table.

Skip the Flowers and Go for Grasses or Dried Blooms


Fresh flowers are traditional for a wedding, but they can be kind of pricey. Fortunately, fall offers a budget break in the form of grasses and dried flowers (plus leaves, pine cones, you name it). Go for texture as well as color and get creative with your bouquets and table arrangements.

Quick Tip

As a bonus, if your bouquet is made of grasses and dried flowers, it's going to last a lot longer than a fresh one. No rushing to pick up the flowers on the day of the wedding, and you can have it as a souvenir from your big day for years to come!

Use Gold Spray Paint for Wedding Accents


Know what looks good with basically every fall color? Gold. While that might sound expensive, it really doesn't have to be if you break out the trusty spray paint. Paint everything from old wood chairs to Mason jars with gold paint to give your fall wedding an upscale look that's totally on budget.

Let There Be Twinkle Lights


Fall days get shorter, and if you're going to be partying after dark, you'll need some sort of light. The most magical light is also the cheapest, and it doubles as a budget fall wedding decoration too: twinkle lights. Pick up some packs on sale (if you have planning time, hit up the store shelves right after Christmas).

DIY Some Inexpensive Fall Centerpieces


Fall wedding centerpieces don't have to be expensive. In fact, this is the season of endless affordable options. Try these alternatives to pricey blooms:

  • White pumpkins painted with your initials
  • Baskets of apples
  • Bouquets of branches with colorful leaves
  • Table runners made of scattered leaves
  • Bowls of mini white pumpkins

Get Cozy on the Cheap


Fall can be a little chilly, so encourage guests to cozy up by scattering blankets and throws around the wedding or reception venue. You don't have to run out and buy a bunch of new throw blankets, though. Shop your local thrift store for mismatched blankets that all have a couple of colors in common. It will look amazing and oh-so cozy.

Hold Your Wedding in the Morning (With Cider and Donuts)


Sure, weddings are usually an afternoon or evening thing, but there's no rule that says they have to be. Fall mornings can be incredibly gorgeous, and if you have a mid-morning wedding and small reception, you can get away with serving cider and donuts instead of a full meal. It will feel festive and won't look like you're skimping on anything.

Serve Hearty Fall Food at Your Wedding


Want to serve a full meal but save money? Once again, fall has your back where budget is concerned. There's nothing like a hearty stew, a salad, and some great bread on a chilly fall evening, and it's totally cheaper than serving a full plated meal. You can lean into the theme of cozy and comfy and leave guests feeling satisfied.

Embrace a Boho Theme for Your Fall Wedding


A boho wedding is the ultimate in laid-back creativity, and it's also a great way to save money. A fall boho wedding is perfect because you can use all those natural elements for decor and add your DIY touches that will let you save big. You can also embrace the mismatched look with outfits and your decorations, letting you pick up deals at the thrift store or anywhere else you find them.

Use Hay Bales for Chairs at Your Wedding


Renting chairs for the ceremony or reception can actually be kind of pricey. And let's face it, it's not the most exciting way to spend money. Once again, fall makes it easy to save. Embrace a rustic fall theme and use hay bales draped in blankets for your seating.

Opt for Wedding Pie Instead of Cake


A multi-tiered wedding cake with fancy decorations will easily run you hundreds or thousands of dollars, but for a fall wedding, you totally have another option: pie! With Thanksgiving right around the corner, pie is the ultimate fall dessert, and you can save big by having a pie buffet instead of a giant cake. Plus, guests can choose their favorites.

Use Caramel Apples as Favors (and Placecards)


One great way to stretch your wedding budget is to have one item do two jobs. You want to give your guests favors, and you need to tell them where to sit. Cover both by picking up a bunch of candy apples and attaching names to the sticks. You can put one at each plate, and guests will totally love this classic fall treat.

Choose a Warmer Tone for Your Wedding Gown


Have you ever noticed that long white gowns are sometimes way more expensive than basically the same dress in a different color? You don't have to skip the white dress, but if you choose to, it's a great way to save. And fall kind of calls for warmer tones like peach, taupe, cream, or even jewel tones like burgundy.

Bring in Rustic Wood Where You Can


A totally affordable and easy way to save money on a fall wedding is to use rustic wood decorations everywhere you can. From apple crates to old wooden ladders to worn chairs and stools, there's plenty of rustic potential here. And you can find most of these items super cheap at flea markets or thrift stores.

Shop Fall Sales at the Fabric Store


Fabric is super useful for decorating without breaking the bank, and it's even better if you can get it on sale. Many fabric stores hold fall sales, so that's the perfect time to score a deal on everything from velvet to burlap.

Quick Tip

If you have some time before your wedding, get the best deals on fall-themed fabrics for the following year just as this year's fall season is winding down. You'll see gorgeous options for a fraction of their usual price.

Go Super Casual for an Intimate Fall Wedding


As a general rule, everything formal tends to be more expensive. One budget fall wedding idea is to keep things super casual instead. You'll save on your dress for sure, but you'll also save on food, music, and even the venue. This works especially well for an intimate outdoor ceremony where guests can wear what's warm and comfy.

Opt for Fall Wedding Decorations You Can Eat


Another way to make one wedding item do double duty is to make your decorations edible. Guests will love this, and there are lots of ways to make it work:

  • Use crates of apples on the guest book table and gift table.
  • Have pumpkin or apple pies on elevated cake plates that work as both a centerpiece and a dessert.
  • Scatter plates of donuts and carafes of hot cider around the reception.

Mix and Match Your Dishes and Glassware in Fall Colors


Don't want to go to the expense of renting dishes and glassware (or table linens, for that matter)? Start scouring your local thrift store for great deals. You can find mismatched glasses for pennies, for instance. Pick a fall color scheme like orange or red to keep things looking cohesive. You'll find that these colored items are often cheaper than white or clear.

Let Autumn Leaves Be Your Send-Off


If you had a giant budget, you could have guests release a bunch of doves after the ceremony. But let's be honest — even the doves aren't fans of that stunt. With a fall wedding, you have the perfect send-off free and at your fingertips: colorful leaves. Have guests toss autumn leaves in the air as you walk back down the aisle or leave the ceremony.

Get Creative With Fall Wedding Ideas on a Budget


Holding your wedding in the autumn gives you tons of freedom to save and plenty of room to get creative. There are so many wonderful fall wedding ideas if you're on a budget that there's no reason to pick just one or two. Use a bunch and have a gorgeous wedding for way less money.

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21 Spectacular Fall Wedding Ideas on a Budget