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Special Events Blog
Kevin Dennis

What Your Clients Want for Their Fall Special Events

Fall is here, a season that brings a rich array of design options for special events. Here is some autumn inspiration.

When fall weather starts to show up, the industry tends to usher in a slew of new trends to fit into the cozy harvest-season vibe. People want to embrace the season by incorporating design themes that are an event’s equivalent of woolen sweaters, pumpkin-spice lattes, and crackling fireplaces. For many, fall isn’t just a look--it’s a feeling and a lifestyle.

In many ways, autumn tends to transcend other seasons in the way of event trends. There seems to be a pretty specific energy that surrounds a fall celebration and, for the most part, everybody is in on it. Fortunately, there are countless ways to capture the beauty of fall without falling into the trap of using the same old Pinterest designs for inspiration.

Let’s shed some light on what clients are looking for this fall and how you can play it up in unique ways to turn each event into a one-of-a-kind celebration.

1. Rustic tones
The fall season seems to bring out the couples who love rustic accents, so we’re seeing a lot of wooden details such as reclaimed wood walls, farm tables, and log slabs. However, this isn’t the rustic that we’ve seen in the past—now, there’s usually no lace or Mason jars showing up in these celebrations.

Instead, we’re seeing a shift to more industrial accents to complement the rustic wood features. This means iron candle chandeliers, Edison bulbs, market lights, and anything else that can make a space feel like a luxurious and glammed-up warehouse.

2. Warm color palettes
Say goodbye to the pastel months; we are entering the season of rich and colorful hues. Just go outside and take a look around for inspiration. Mustard yellow, auburn red, burnt orange--autumn brings its own color palette to the table.

Don’t feel limited to the typical fall color families, though. Now is a good time to play around with other shades as well! Jewel tones are a particularly great choice for bold pops of color. The idea is to incorporate vibrant colors that instill a sense of warmth and coziness. Get creative and find out what that means for each of your clients.

3. Seasonal textures
Remember that woolen sweater mentioned before? Textures aren’t just inspiration; they can play a big role in the event’s design and its overall ambience. Think lounge areas with knit throws and velvet pillows, or raw linen across tables for an organic feel.

Play around with options and get to know the textures that your clients love. Observe what they wear during your meetings or ask them for a picture of their living room. If they have a thing for handwoven baskets, consider that as you work up the details of their event space.

4. Ambient lighting
No fall event is complete with some gorgeous soft lighting to set the mood. Chandeliers and market lights are excellent overhead options. Your best bet is to use fixtures that have auto-dimmers so they can adjust throughout the evening as the sun goes down and the party goes into full swing.

Candlelight is also a must for autumnal celebrations. The soft flickering of a candle adds just the right amount of warmth and coziness that will have people feeling like they never want the night to end. Double-check your venue’s open-flame regulations to ensure that you are adhering to code. Also, consider using LED candles in hard-to-reach places for easier placement and less worry.

5. A backup plan
You didn’t think this was going to be all about design trends, right?

With any change of season, there are always considerations to be made surrounding weather and outdoor temperatures. Fall can prove to be especially tricky, as the temperatures can be so finnicky. It could be in the high 90s one day and in the 60s the next, so you need to plan accordingly. This certainly varies based on region, but it’s something that we all have to contend with at some point in the year, whether it’s September or November.

Plan ahead and always have a contingency plan prepared, especially for outdoor events. If you experience a sudden drop in temperatures, make sure you have an indoor space ready to go or that your tent has heaters installed to keep guests comfortable. Keep a close eye on the weather as the event day approaches so you can communicate with the rest of the event team to determine the best option available.

Fall is a beautiful time of year, and the season’s weather can often play in our favor for gorgeous outdoor celebrations.

Autumn-inspired design trends play a big role in the events industry, but that’s not where they start. For more inspiration, look to fall fashion, interior design spreads, and even gardening magazines. Clients pull their desires from the concepts they’re exposed to throughout industries, so get creative and look for new ideas everywhere.

Kevin Dennis is the editor of WeddingIQ and the owner of Fantasy Sound Event Services, a full-service event company based in Livermore, Calif. Dennis is the past president of the Silicon Valley NACE and current international president for WIPA.


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