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Falling for Fall
What to consider for your autumn NH wedding

01/26/17
By Kelly Sennott ksennott@hippopress.com



 Fall is a pretty popular time of year to get married in New Hampshire, according to local wedding planners Laurie Mantegari and Nicole Mower. Of course, there’s the foliage, but the season also offers the most options for activities and flavors, thanks to its moderate temperature and bounty of in-season foods. 

 
Location, location
There’s really not a bad place to get married during a New Hampshire autumn, said Mantegari. Locations that help showcase the landscape are particularly popular this time of year, from apple orchards to wineries to rustic barns. 
“It just has a nice, crisp feeling in the air, and it’s really a fun time of year. There are a lot of options to work with if you are planning a wedding,” Mantegari said. “You can pretty much turn any venue into what you want, no matter what time of year it is.” 
The colors are one reason this season’s so favorable. The temperate weather is another. Mower, who specializes in tented events, said this is her busiest time of year. It’s not too hot, not too cold and generally not too wet — perfect for an outdoor wedding.
Peak foliage season tends to be the most popular for fall weddings. 
“Most vendors will say their calendars are totally full from September to October,” Mantegari said. 
With all of fall’s long weekends, Mantegari said many of her couples look for venues that offer on-site or nearby accommodations, or places where there are activities to enjoy outside wedding hours. It’s one of the reasons renting campsites has become so popular.
“It can be expensive for an out-of-town guest to have to come to it. So why not give them something so that people have options for a weekend getaway?” Mantegari said. “It’s nice to create elements for guests so they can enjoy more than just the wedding day.”
 
Seasonal flavors
Autumn is about comfort and seasonal food, Mantegari said, from bacon-wrapped appetizers to plates that incorporate fall flavors like apple and pumpkin. She said you’ll also find more hot food on wedding menus — warm brie with crackers instead of cut cheese with fruit, or butternut squash soup or pumpkin bisque instead of a salad. For beverages, you’ll likely find hot apple cider, either on its own or spiked with rum, and seasonal beer, from pumpkin to Oktoberfest. 
Because the fall is bountiful with in-season fruits and vegetables, it’s easier to source food locally. Fire pits are more common this time of year, and so are s’mores. After the main course, it’s all about the dessert station — like, perhaps, a pie station. 
“There’s something about pies and New England, definitely in the fall,” Mantegari said. “A lot of couples are getting away from the standard cake. Even in the spring and summer, they’re doing dessert stations, though in the summer you might be seeing things more like cream puffs or mini cheesecakes.”
 
What to wear
Mantegari said attire is more dependent on the time of day and location than the season. Dresses are typically shorter during the day, longer at night. Outdoor weddings are often more casual than those indoors (and might require warmer clothes).
“It matters where the wedding is taking place. In a ballroom? On the seacoast, where it’s really windy? In a barn? I feel like that is more telling of what the attire is as opposed to the season. Fall on the coast will be chillier than in the middle of a field,” Mower said. 
Fall wedding colors, however, are usually warmer and deeper — red, orange, mauve and burgundy are common hues.
 
More to consider
Mantegari said lots of her clients really run with the fall theme. 
“There are just so many different things you can do with pumpkins, apples and hay bales. I’ve seen people create seating with hay bales with fabric lain over them. And I’ve seen people do fun things with transportation,” she said, noting one couple who incorporated a hay ride carrying guests from the ceremony to reception. 
However, shorter days are a factor. 
“You want to take into consideration your photos and when the sun is setting,” Mower said. “If you have your ceremony around sunset, you’re not going to have a lot of time during cocktail hour for photos.”
And think of your guests. 
“You don’t want guests standing in the dark while you’re saying, ‘I do,’” Mantegari said. 





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