In many parts of the country — and in our storybook New England vision of the seasons — November’s a funny month.
After all, it doesn’t truly belong to autumn or winter. And as a period all its own, it poses a special challenge when it comes to designing a wedding that’s informed by the natural world.
On the whole, Fall’s flame-red oak leaves and pumpkin oranges are just too noisy for November. And that formal blanket of white we associate with winter, and pair with jewel tones in weddings? That’s not quite right either.
True, this month might have its share of snow. But what most of us visualize is something more like this: fields of golden grasses, barely brushed at the top by the promise of snows to come. For those who love monochromatics, November’s a rich visual feast without an ounce of excess.
So, if you want your November wedding to retain a seasonal feel, and not resort to fuchsias and oranges just for lack of options, here’s some ideas to get you started.
Capturing the Colors
Bright white says “winter.” Rustic says “fall.” But neither of these are the perfect fit for November.
So, what does look gorgeous? Combining shiny and luxurious materials with the rustic. Skip the maple leaves and pine branches, but get busy with a mainly monochromatic landscape. Start with ivory, and progress through cream, wheat and gold to latte and mocha brown. This forms a beautiful basis that we all instinctively see as native to the season.
But don’t cling too tightly to this palette, because a few accents will bring out its dimensions. So just barely hint at the season to come, by adding a touch of cranberry or hunter green, or the season we just left behind, with dollops of mango or pale green.
A beautiful ivory gown in Peau de soie satin sets the stage for the rest of your palette. Adventurous, yet picture-perfect fascinators or hairpins that weave in cream-colored feathers with the look of just-blown cotton add a powerful dash of seasonal romance.
The groom will make a perfect match in a mocha or latte-colored vest and tie, with a boutonniere that combines a single ivory rose with ryegrass or seed pods. As for bridesmaids, they’ll look stunning in reds or toned-down browns, like cranberry, mocha or cinnamon.
The rich and filling foods of winter are a great match for the November wedding. Serve a tangy cranberry margarita as your signature drink. With dinner, have the waitstaff pour golden late-season wines, like Gewurztraminers and Rieslings. And with the cake, a special ice wine will perfectly set off its sweetness.
Ivory hydrangeas are the ideal blooms for November weddings. But don’t stick too close your monochromatic scheme, here; florals are a perfect place to sneak in accents. Hint at fall with orange-colored Leonidas roses and mango callas, dried grasses, fiddleheads or bittersweet vines. Your golds will look all more golden in contrast.
A Delicate Balance: Tables
While the perfect November table takes some of its character from nature, the foundation should be pure luxury. Bypass those ordinary, too-white linens for beautifully patterned damasks (don’t forget the napkins!) in ivory and cream. Give the room a little more interest by dressing up a portion of your chairs in gold sashes, and some in mocha or copper.
But against all this opulence, add back a bit of nature: a spring of dried wheat in each napkin, or gold-painted pears or apples on a tray.
Hardy fruit like apples or pears, spray-painted gold, make stunning eye candy for November weddings. Combine them with gold ball ornaments, both matte and shiny. Pile on a cake tray, or into clear eiffel vases for the start of the stunning centerpiece. Cake tray? Weave in a few classic blooms, like mango and ivory mini-callas or peach-colored roses, plus some gorgeous trailing amaranthus in burgundy or green. Eiffel vases? Add in curly willow or birch branches for height.
Pull up a Chair …
Every bride is bound to bring something different (and fascinating!) to November’s delicate balance between dramatically-different seasons. Tell us what colors, table ideas and inspirations you’ve hit on so far.