As wisps of green appear on trees and tulips break ground, it seems an odd time to think pumpkins, apple cider and fall weddings. Still, now is the time to plan for a change of seasons … and relationship status. (Hello, Mrs.!)
Many brides opt for a fall wedding because the outdoors radiate rich colors and textures unlike any other season, and often, fall weddings come at a more competitive price. For Mandy Johnson (nee Muzik), autumn offered both those beautiful benefits – plus it simply worked for their schedule.
“My husband, Craig, is a golf pro in the Midwest, so he has no time off during the playable season,” shares Mandy. "We just picked the first weekend that his course was closed in November.”
Combining an off-season date with a Friday weekday event provided savings to splurge elsewhere. “We upgraded our linens and opted for Chiavari chairs,” a wedding must, according to Mandy. She also opted not to reuse the ceremony flowers for the head table, but went all-out with new floral arrangements and umpteen candles for ambience.
While favorited fall wedding colors include cranberry, deep green, gold or a taupe-inspired lavender, Mandy resolved to go bold with orange, her absolute favorite. “The challenge was incorporating this strong hue without it looking tacky,” she notes. “By tempering the orange with gray –which they say is the new beige – the color scheme worked beautifully.”
A corporate event planner, Mandy knew an outdoor wedding in late fall bears inherent weather risks.“I knew we needed a good backup indoor space, which is why we chose Geneva National Resort. If we had to move the ceremony indoors, Geneva National had the best windowed room options. Plus, we wanted a lake view with trees, and the renovated Legends Room with its wood pillars and lighting was perfect.”
Fortunately, the couple woke to an unseasonably sunny, stunning and 60-degree wedding day. “We were able to have our dream outdoor ceremony over the lake at sunset with the amazing Midwest colors of fall,” recalls Mandy. "With that beautiful backdrop, the ceremony was a show stopper. Then we walked into the reception, and were reminded of why we chose that room. The sun continued to set through the windows and our vision transformed the space into something amazing and forever memorable.”
To accomplish the same sense of perfection for your fall wedding, Mandy recommends sticking to your budget as much as possible without forgoing the feel of your wedding. But most importantly, she says, “Trust your instincts. It’s your day and not anyone else’s. Choose what’s right for you.”
VENDORS: Ceremony, Lakeview Terrace at Geneva National; Reception, Legends Room at Geneva National; Photo/Video, Ideal Impressions Photography; Floral, Treasure Hut; Wedding Cake, Sweet Discoveries; DJ, A Personal Touch; Dress, Kathryn’s Bridal; Hair/Makeup, Tiffany Tia; Officiant, Reverend Jennifer Miller; Transportation, Wow Limo.
Geneva National Resort is located along the wooded slopes and shores of Lake Como in Chicago's version of the Hamptons - Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Geneva National features a legendary trifecta of semi-private golf courses designed by Palmer, Player and Trevino at one singular and stellar location.