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Between the beautiful weather and the anticipatory air of the holidays right around the corner, it’s no surprise that fall is one of the most popular times of the year to say “I do.” Whether you’re exchanging vows or attending an autumn event, this magical season is the perfect opportunity to pull out all the stops, especially when it comes to sporting accessories that will truly tie your autumnal aesthetic together.
“Fall weddings often feature autumnal themes that are based in warm and earthy tones with nature-inspired designs,” explains Jenny Wu, founder and CEO of LACE by Jenny Wu; themes which ultimately dictate the direction wedding attendees should take when buying accessories. Jeanne Foley, co-founder of SuitShop, also shares that “green and teal, maroon and purple, brown and tan, and orange and rust” are fall colors that are currently trending for 2023. Simply put, when it comes to accessorizing for the fall, seasonal items like warm metals and natural gemstones reign supreme, as these specific pieces are the perfect complement to those types of hues.
For those trying to narrow down their own fall accessory options, and strike a balance between on-theme and timeless, we put together a simple guide to help you find the best pieces for this special time of year. Read on for everything the experts say you should consider when celebrating the season in style.
Meet the Expert
- Jenny Wu is the founder of Lace by Jenny Wu, a luxe jewelry line specializing in three-dimensional printed rings and statement pieces.
- Jeanne Foley is the co-founder of SuitShop, an online formalwear company that specializes in affordable suits for every style.
- Jillian Sassone is a jewelry designer and the founder of Marrow Fine, an accessories line that reimagines fine and bridal jewelry through design and material.
How to Choose Fall Accessories as a Bride
Even though wedding dresses get most of the attention, every bride knows it’s the accessories that create a cohesive day-of look. Before you begin to add every fall-inspired necklace or bracelet to your cart, Jillian Sassone, founder and creative director of the jewelry line Marrow Fine, advises brides to keep their overarching wedding color palette in mind when selecting jewelry, hair pieces, outerwear, and shoes. Wu agrees, adding that your final decision should also be based on the overall aesthetic you’re hoping to achieve—whether that’s a rich moody celebration or a bright golden soirée.
You’ll also want to pay close attention to your wedding dress silhouette, style, and fabric to better narrow down your accessory options. For instance, if wearing a high-neck gown, skip the necklace and opt for bold dangle sapphire earrings instead. On the other hand, if your dress is strapless, simple emerald earrings or an ornate shoulder necklace will add some sparkle while keeping the look balanced.
The most important rule to follow, however, is that any accessory you choose should feel true to you. “A bride should incorporate elements that best represent her style and the overall theme of the wedding day,” Wu says. Whatever you do, don’t feel like you have to be decked out in harvest colors just because your wedding takes place in the fall.
How to Choose Fall Accessories as a Groom
Some grooms love showing off their fashion-forward side on their wedding days, whereas others find the task somewhat daunting. At a base level, Sassone says fall grooms should focus on accessories that complement their individuality. That may mean pairing a classic tuxedo with Converse sneakers, and an heirloom ring or an eccentric suit with boots and an antique tie clip.
If accessorizing truly feels overwhelming, the good news is that less is usually more. “This fall, in particular, we’re seeing classics and simplicity surge in popularity, so you can’t go wrong with minimal and neutral-colored accessories,” Sassone explains. “Year-round favorite suit colors like black and light gray become absolutely autumnal when paired with ties, shoes, pocket squares, and florals in saturated fall colors.” She also shares that simple accessories are the perfect way to incorporate seasonal shades—like burgundy, navy, and forest green—without overpowering a groom’s look or competing with the wedding theme.
How to Choose Fall Accessories as a Member of the Wedding Party
It’s not just the to-be-weds that get to have all the fashion fun; bridesmaids, groomsmen, and parents can also channel the season with accessories. Before decking yourself out in bold gems and flashy jewelry, however, Foley says it’s always a good idea to check in with the spouses-to-be since most couples have a general vision of how their wedding party should look.
“[The to-be-weds] don’t necessarily need to dictate the specific items (unless they want to), but outlining the general type and color—for example, light brown shoes and belt with a rust-colored tie—will ease stress for everyone,” she explains. After that, everything else lies in the details, as highlighted below.
Similar to selecting bridal accessories, the color and style of a bridesmaid’s dress will significantly influence an entire ensemble. Specifically, for bridesmaids’ dresses that are more understated—like a classic slip in a neutral hue—choose bolder pieces in rich colors, like ruby earrings, a chunky emerald bangle, or a blue sapphire pendant necklace. On the contrary, pair busier dresses with more streamlined accessories to avoid clashing. Think simple studs or a gold chain necklace that can be worn year-round.
What’s more, given that temperatures tend to drop during the fall season, faux fur shawls or matching leather jackets are popular bridesmaid accessories that are both practical and stylish. Sassone also adds that matching accessories amongst the wedding party can help create a cohesive look, especially if everyone is sporting mismatched dress styles and/or colors.
When it comes to fall accessories for groomsmen, Foley notes that adding touches of autumn is fairly easy, especially since traditional looks are rising in popularity. “Classic black hand-tied bow ties, slim satin black ties, and textured materials are the top selection,” she explains. You can even consider utilizing harvest-colored pocket squares or ties if you crave a more seasonal look, or boots instead of traditional dress shoes for a more rustic-chic aesthetic.
While some bridesmaids get free reign to choose their own accessories, Foley does share that, in general, groomsmen attire—including items like ties, shoes, belts, and jewelry—is typically selected by the groom or couple to create a matching aesthetic. “Colored ties, for example, tend to look best when perfectly matched, but varying shades of brown shoes within the same color family can create a beautiful, still-coordinated look that almost feels reminiscent of the season’s falling leaves,” Foley notes.
If groomsmen do get the opportunity to choose their own pieces, Sassone recommends selecting items that complement the groom’s choices.
One of the perks of being a mother of the bride or groom or father of the bride or groom is that you typically get more wiggle room when selecting your day-of accessories—you’ll likely have the freedom to choose between themed cufflinks, velvet ties, sequin shawls, and decadent statement earrings. That said, some couples still prefer their families in complementary colors, so check in with the spouses-to-be before sporting head-to-toe sapphires. Remember: The goal here is to feel confident in your look while not detracting from the couple of honor. It’s likely best to skip anything too flashy unless permitted by your son or daughter.
How to Choose Fall Accessories as a Wedding Guest
“As long as they’re following the wedding’s dress code, guests can really have fun with accessories for their outfits,” Foley says. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and rock a fabric or accessory you don’t usually get to wear.
In general, the dress code is the most crucial consideration when selecting fall accessories. “Fall wedding accessories are great opportunities for guests to add a touch of personal style to their outfits and embrace the fall theme,” Wu says. Still, she cautions that you must stay in line with the couple’s chosen formality and be mindful of how bold you go with your ensemble.
“Fall has so much to offer when it comes to color, and we encourage leaning in, but don’t forget to keep the overall look balanced,” Foley adds. “Remember that with the shades of the season, even a small element can pack a punch.” So stick with one to two statement pieces—like oversized emerald earrings or burnt orange shoes—and keep the rest of your outfit minimal to avoid going overboard.
Accessories are the perfect way for male guests to embrace the season, especially since classic styles are currently trending. “Even within a black tie or tuxedo look, guests can still express themselves and reflect the season if they’d like, with subtle hints of color or seasonal patterns between cufflinks, pocket squares, bow ties, and more,” Foley says. Therefore, go ahead and gravitate toward earthy hues that reflect the fall foliage—such as green, brown, burgundy, and purple—but try to stick with one bold color to avoid a look that lacks harmony.
Lastly, Sassone says no matter the role you play in the wedding, the key to rocking a great ‘fit is to pay attention to the details. Get your shoes shined, steam your attire, and ensure your accessories are clean to elevate your overall look, no matter the season.