By Julie Christensen
June might be the traditional month for weddings, but fall weddings have an austere beauty that’s hard to beat. A November wedding has a few other advantages, as well. Because November is the off-season for weddings, you’ll have an easier time finding photographers, banquet halls and caterers. You might also find that the prices for these services are lower during the winter months. November is the low-season for many potential honeymoon destinations, as well, so you’ll get better prices and face fewer crowds.
So, what sort of decorating scheme is appropriate for November? Today’s brides can find most flowers available year-round, thanks to modern greenhouses and shipping, but certain flowers are more affordable during this time of year than others. You should also take a cue from the natural surroundings when planning your wedding scheme. An abundance of vivid blooms works well in July or August, but seems slightly out of place in November. Choose a more subdued palette and decorating scheme for elegant simplicity. And don’t limit yourself to traditional “flowers.” Berries, nuts and even pumpkins make a gorgeous statement for a November wedding. Read on to learn about our favorite flowers for November.
Apples. The last apples are usually harvested in November, making them an ideal choice for your wedding palette. Use apples in everything from table bouquets to take-home gifts for a charming, rustic theme. Opt for heirloom apples, which usually have more interesting shapes, colors and aromas than hybrids.
Berries. How about forgoing the flowers altogether in favor of berries? Gnarled bittersweet vines look charming when paired with muslin and candles for a soft, natural look. Look for berries that are found naturally in your area in November. Depending on where you live, you might find elderberries, holly or even crab apples.
Cotton. Unless you live south of the Mason-Dixon line, you’ve probably never seen cotton plants, but cotton makes an ideal flower choice for a November wedding. These plants have gnarled, reddish brown branches and tufts of soft, fluffy cotton. They create a soft, warm, casual country feel. Cotton also works well if you want to go with a snowy winter theme.
Dahlias. Dahlias come into season in early fall, making them an inexpensive choice for a fall wedding. These sturdy, long-stemmed flowers make long-lasting decorations and they come in a wide variety of brilliant hues. Best of all, their huge size means you can make a big statement with fewer blooms.
Hydrangeas. Both fresh and dried hydrangeas are lovely for a November wedding. The large clusters of flowers are tinged with green or brown for a traditional fall theme. Fresh hydrangeas are highly perishable so order them for the last possible moment.
Leaves. In fall, the foliage is more spectacular than the flowers. Take advantage of this natural tendency. Strew leaves along the wedding aisle or mix them with bittersweet and candles on a banquet table.
Nuts. Don’t let the squirrels have all the fun. November is prime harvest time for pecans, walnuts and other nuts. So you might not want a pecan bouquet, but nuts make beautiful centerpieces. Place a candle in a large votive and surround the candle with nuts for a soft glow.
Pine cones. Pine cones usually say, “rustic,” but with a little thought, they can make stunning, elegant wedding materials. And, if you live in a wooded area, you can get them for a song – or even free – in November. Pair them with other natural materials, such as berries, twigs and birch candles.
Pumpkins. Okay, so pumpkins don’t usually say “wedding,” but you have to admit, they have their own charm and romance. Heirloom pumpkins, such as Cinderella pumpkins, have unusual shapes and come in soft hues, such as cream or sage green. Combine these with candles and branches or carve them and fill them with flowers.
Ranunculus. Also known as buttercups, these flowers have complex, multi-petaled flowers that come in both brilliant shades of orange, pink and red, as well as creamy white. They’re a wonderful wedding flower because of their versatility. Bright shades create a fun atmosphere; opt for cream for a classic, elegant feel.
Julie Christensen learned about gardening on her grandfather’s farm and mother’s vegetable garden in southern Idaho. Today, she lives and gardens on the high plains of Colorado. When she’s not digging in the dirt, Julie writes about food, education, parenting and gardening.