Wedding couple in the forest

21 Autumn Wedding Ideas for a Magical Backyard Reception

Autumn is the perfect season to let your creativity roam wild and have the best wedding ever. Whether you prefer going for some barn wedding ideas or simply your backyard, an outdoor wedding can turn into a magical event for everybody involved. Today we are going to show you some autumn wedding ideas to help you organize it better and save some money as well.

Autumn Wedding Ideas for the Fall Lovers

1. Chalkboard Runner

This is a great, inexpensive idea to use for your runner. You simply need to get a long, narrow chalkboard. The best part about it is that you can write or draw on it whenever you want. If you have children invited to the wedding, they will be more than happy to use colored and white chalk and let their imagination free.

2. Use Fall Leaves

Since this resource is extremely abundant at this time of the year, why not take advantage of it? Luckily, there are plenty of autumn wedding ideas where you can use them. One example is to use them in your wedding bouquet, together with other wedding flowers. Alternatively, you can place some in your hair for an original hairstyle. The bouquets on the table (if you decide to have them) can also be adorned with orange or brownish leaves.

3. Make Your Own Altar

The wedding is going to take place at home, which is why you can use an original altar as the focal piece. You can use a vintage buffet which you reconditioned or a fancy desk. If it looks too serious, you can cheer things up with some colorful floral arrangements.

4. Vary the Flowers and Vases

Many people tend to choose similar vases and colors for flowers for this important event. However, a truly original wedding idea would be to mix them up. Combine small and big vases, opposite colors in flowers, etc. If you don’t want to go too far, you can use clear vases of different sizes, for example.

5. Special Burlap Chair Ties

Brighten up those boring chairs with some special burlap ties. You can make one for each guest, but if you think it’s too much, you can just make two for the bride and groom. Decorate them with red or blue cotton pieces, for instance, and write “Mrs.” and “Mr.” in black Sharpie.

6. Wedding Garlands

This is one of the autumn wedding ideas where you can save a lot of money. We all know that floral decorations can be very expensive, especially the ones for weddings. As such, you can create your own garland. Make up a base of greenery and tie it with wires. Cut off flowers and place their stems in water tubes so that they can last longer. Finally, add them with wires to the initial base. Set them on the walls or on arches.

7. Original Cake Topper

Whether you make the cake yourself or order it, you can make your own original cake topper. One suggestion would be to craft some galvanized wire into the shape of a message. You can choose a word that means something to you or simply your names. Use a printed version of the message and bend the wire with a pair of pliers until you reach the desired form.

8. Beverage Menu

One of the rustic autumn wedding ideas is to use a DIY rustic sign with wood planks. Simply nail together various wood planks, depending on how many you need. Use some chalkboard paint on them and let them dry. Then, use some chalk to label each of them with the beverages you are serving. It’s a quick and inexpensive way of letting your guests know what’s on the offer for drinks.

9. Vintage Table Numbers

This is yet another wedding accessory you can do it yourself. Choose some vintage books that are slightly worn out. They should have autumnal colors, such as hues of red, orange, yellow, brown, etc. Simply stick white paper on them, and in the middle of it write the table number with gold ink.

10. Floral Swing

All you need for this DIY wedding project is the frame of the swing. If you already own one, that’s even better. Use lush greenery to set as the base. On top of it, place colorful flowers or let them hang from the ceiling. Vary the colors you use.  Alternatively, you can also add some candles in the middle of the swing, but make sure the plants don’t catch on fire.

11. Chemistry Tools

This is perhaps the most original of the autumn wedding ideas we are presenting you today. An old test tube rack, complete with the test tubes themselves or not, can be used for decorating tables. Place one flower in each tube and then place them all on the rack. It will be a nice replacement for the typical flower bouquet.

12. Heart Guestbook

Instead of going for the old boring guestbook, you can try a more creative idea. Cut medium-sized hearts out of wood planks. Paint them with some chalkboard paint or use markers on them. In this way, you can let your guests write something nice on them. Furthermore, they can be used as decorations when you move to your new home. For a more rustic look, keep them in a metal or wooden bucket at the event.

13. Reuse the Bouquets

If you planned some special bouquets for the bridesmaids, you can reuse them. After you’re done with the ceremony, simply ask them to place their bouquets on the tables, in vases you have already prepared. And since we’re at it, among the autumn wedding ideas you will cherish is going monochromatic. Take advantage of the strong fall colors and use only one type of flowers for it. Go for a bright yellow or orange hue for a more autumnal feel.

14. Whiskey Barrels Table

If you have a pair of whiskey barrels lying around, why not turn them into a table? They might not be too safe for the dining table indeed, but you can use them for the dessert one. Use a strong wooden plank and place it on top of them. Additionally, you may even secure it with some nails. Add a rustic table cloth and place the desserts on them.

15. Tasty Wedding Favors

Instead of looking for some complex wedding favors, go for something sweet instead. Use S’mores or other tasty treats for your guests. Alternatively, you can cook something yourself, such as muffins with carrots or pumpkin.

16. Set a Bowling Alley

Use hay for lining up an unusual bowling alley. If you already have a bowling set, that’s even better, but if not, you can always buy one. Make some stacks of hay to delimit the alley and have some fun with your guests!

17. Mason Jar Lighting

One of the simplest autumn wedding ideas, mason jar lighting is truly magical. Place candles or string lights in mason jars of various sizes. You can either hand them or line alleys in your backyard with them. They will create a truly magical atmosphere. For an extra effect, you can glue glitter on the sides of the jars, but they might not give away so much light.

18. Hay Seating

If you want to give a rustic look to your autumn wedding, you can use hay bales for seating and games. Place some cozy blankets are them. The blankets are useful if it gets chilly as well since people can wrap them around themselves and keep warm.

19. Paper Lanterns

One of the last autumn wedding ideas we are presenting you today is the paper lanterns. Ideally, you can do them yourself together with your family. However, you can also use some commercial ones. Make sure you choose appropriate colors that match the rest of the décor. Another option would be to use pumpkin lanterns if you’re holding the wedding close to Halloween.

20. Use Pumpkins

Since pumpkins are a must for any autumn event, you can also use them for the wedding. You don’t even need to carve them, just place them as centerpieces on the tables. If you still want to get creative, you can carve various patterns on them. Choose waves, geometric patterns or leaves if you want your entire décor to be coherent. Add decorations on them as well, such as rocks, glitter, textiles, etc.

21. Gold Accents

Orange and brown colors go well with gold accents. Besides the table numbers we discussed earlier, you can also use some extra gold accents. You can spray autumn leaves with a gold spray, use it on some chairs, vases, garlands and so on.


Having an autumn wedding is a great idea. Even though nature is preparing for the long winter, there is plenty of beauty wherever you look. These autumn wedding ideas can help you create a truly magical event for the big day. Whether you go for gold accents, mason jar lighting, flower garlands or table numbers made of books, your guests will appreciate the originality.

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Bonnie Enos

I spend my time in my garden trying to create the greatest outdoor space possible. My garden is my happy place and where you will always find me on a nice day. I take my experience and share it here for you to read!

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