For many, November kicks off the holiday season, which makes it an enticing and celebratory time of the year to say “I do.” As the seasons start to change and the temperatures begin to drop, some engaged couples settle on a late fall wedding date to embrace the cozy, laid-back ambience that it provides in many regions. Even superstitious duos flock to this month because November nuptials supposedly predict a future of good fortune in your marriage.
One of the most convincing reasons to get hitched in November? This time of the year gives way to an abundance of stunning seasonal blooms, leaves, and branches brimming with color and texture. “It’s the perfect time to embrace the earthy, rich, and warm colors that occur naturally in nature throughout fall,” floral designer Rachel Wyffels of Life in Bloom says. Choosing seasonal, locally-sourced foliage not only looks more vibrant and fresh on display at your wedding venue, but it’s also more cost-effective, according to florist Dr. Paulette Tai Chun-Hossmann of Tai Flora Luxe. Since out-of-season blooms need to be imported from far-away destinations, you have to pay hefty transportation fees on top of the usual price.
Meet the Expert
- Rachel Wyffels is the owner and founder of Life in Bloom, a Chicago-based floral and event design company. She has 14 years of experience in the floral industry.
- Dr. Paulette Tai Chun-Hossmann is the co-owner and managing director of Tai Flora Luxe, a full-service wedding and event designer in Jamaica. She’s been a floral designer for more than 25 years.
- Marta Knudson is the creative director of Sophie Felts Floral Design located in Laytonsville, Maryland.
Whether you’re looking for foliage to line your ceremony aisle or floral arrangements to complete your reception tablescape, there are so many in-season options to choose from. To help you narrow down the list, we asked the experts to give us the rundown on their favorite flowers for a late fall wedding.
Read on for the best November wedding flowers, according to the experts.
Amaryllis bulbs are rich, bold, and exotic trumpet-shaped flowers that make a beautiful addition to a November wedding. Available in red, burgundy, pink, peach, and white, these blooms will add a pop of color to any affair, while channeling the hues of the season and complementing the surrounding flora and fauna planted around your venue. According to Wyffels, amaryllis can function as a focal bloom or accentuate other seasonal foliage, such as camellia or magnolia. Flower expert Marta Knudson of Sophie Felts Floral Design recommends choosing this type of bud if your aesthetic leans more glamorous or if you’re hosting your big day in a historic building or ballroom. Since these blossoms have delicate stems and fragile petals that bruise easily, Wyffels suggests working them into larger installations rather than a bouquet.
From upright stems to drooping tassels, amaranthus have a unique appeal that brings depth and movement to any November wedding. This type of bloom grows one to two feet tall, making it an eye-catching addition to aisle installations or bridal bouquets. To highlight the full trailing effect, we love seeing this type of flower in cascading handheld arrangements that will certainly demand attention as you make your grand entrance. If you’re looking for other types of flowers to pair with amaranthus, Knudson advises using celosia, mums, or sunflowers. These buds are available in organic, earthy hues, such as burgundy and bronze, that scream late fall and lend themselves to a winery or ranch venue. Since these bulbs come from the Greek word meaning “unfading,” amaranthus are long-lasting, blooming from mid-summer until frost.
Although peonies are often a go-to bloom at spring and summer weddings, most people aren’t aware that these fluffy, voluminous bulbs are also available in November, according to Wyffels. You can choose from coral, pink, fuschia, burgundy, yellow, and white tones, hues that capture a late fall scene. With their large size and billowing petals, peonies make a big impact, whether they’re incorporated into a bouquet, a reception centerpiece, or an overhead installation. Peonies are also extremely versatile in terms of the ambiance they evoke: They are equally jaw-dropping on display at a classic garden soirée or a rustic barn setting. Additionally, these fluffy flowers coordinate with many different blooms, but some of Wyffels’ favorites are seasonal berries, foliage, garden roses, dahlias, and amaranthus. Since peonies hold up well throughout the day, you won’t have to worry about wilting buds that may compromise the overall effect.
Hydrangeas are another popular summer bloom, but these large, fluffy bulbs actually continue to bloom into early fall. Then, later in the season, they begin to dry out and change colors. The result? Textured buds in mossy green infused with burgundy, deep blue, and plum shades that perfectly complement the season. Fill up woven baskets with clusters of antique hydrangeas and use them to mark the beginning of your aisle at whimsical ceremonies, or make them the focal point of your centerpieces at a rustic reception in a barn. To implement other varieties, Knudson suggests roses, amaryllis, and tulips. Just a word of caution: Antique hydrangeas droop easily without a sufficient source of water, so make sure they’re properly hydrated throughout the day.
Chrysanthemums, also known as mums, are the quintessential autumn flower. Most mums bloom throughout the fall season, making them a strong candidate for a November wedding. Plus, they’re available in a range of rich jewel tones, such as yellow, purple, red, bronze, and orange, that are commonly seen in late fall celebrations. Since this classic fall blossom is smaller in size, they’re an excellent accompaniment to hydrangea, thistle, and safflower in urn arrangements at the beginning of your aisle or ground installations that flank your head table. With their long-lasting nature, Knudson recommends using them at an outdoor fête, especially with a rustic aesthetic.
Privet berries are a mass of small, navy blue berries that add color and texture to any November wedding and can function as your “something blue.” “There aren’t very many naturally-occurring blues in cut flowers, so this is a great choice to bring in a touch of navy to your wedding through the flowers,” Wyffels says. Since this type of plant is small in stature, it pairs well with larger focal flowers, such as dahlias, ranunculus, and anemones, according to Wyffels. With its hardy stem, privet berries don’t need a lot of upkeep, so you can add them to boutonnières, bouquets, centerpieces, or large installations without stressing about maintenance. Wyffels advises styling them in an asymmetrical way at industrial functions or using them to accent classic centerpieces at a formal affair.
Copper beech comes in rich autumnal tones, such as red, gold, orange, and plum, which makes it a natural fit for a wedding in November. This leafy plant is extremely versatile, pairing nicely with any color, from neutral hues to bold palettes, and every seasonal bloom, from amaranthus to grasses, Wyffels notes. It also makes a statement, whether you accent your ceremony arch or tabletop arrangements. If you’re tying the knot in an industrial venue or a botanical garden in the late fall, Wyfells encourages you to consider using copper beech in one—if not all—of your installations. Copper beech already has a long shelf life, but the preserved varieties last up to several weeks, so you can enjoy the benefits even after you’ve exchanged vows.