22 Ways to Decorate Your Fall Wedding With Pumpkins

Make a seasonal statement on your big day.

Wooden Reception Tabletop with Multi-Colored Pumpkins Down the Middle

Photo and Tabletop by Casa de Perrin

If you're planning an fall wedding, it's time to put pumpkins on your list of must-have décor elements. Available in a range of hues, sizes, and textures, these versatile and undeniably autumnal decorating elements have the power to make a striking statement on your big day. While there are countless ways to incorporated pumpkins into your ceremony and reception, the experts agree that taking a subtle approach is often best. For Annie Lee, wedding planner and founder of Plannie.com, the trick is to let pumpkins serve as an accent, not the main event. And, unless you are going for a full-on Halloween theme, she suggests avoiding orange pumpkins and relying on neutral-hued or painted iterations instead.

Meet the Expert

  • Annie Lee is a professional wedding planner and founder of Plannie.com.
  • Cami Monet Miller is a watercolor artist and the founder of Cami Monet, specializing in custom wedding stationery.

Another big piece of advice from Lee: “Try not to DIY your décor. It’s best to hire a professional to set up your decorative elements. If you are bringing items in on your own, factor in the fact that three medium pumpkins not only weigh ten pounds, but also are an armful.” If you do decide to go the DIY route, though, mini pumpkins make for light and adorable accents. 

A more physically manageable way to incorporate pumpkins is as a design element in your stationery. Watercolor artist Cami Monet Miller assures couples that, when done well, it’s not too on-the-nose. “Our fall couples love to play up the traditional color and aesthetic of the season with rich, cozy hues, but I've found most brides aren't as keen to incorporate pumpkins for fear of getting too ‘fall holiday,’” she shares. “It can be such a beautiful design element! It's all about balance and bringing in those very literal autumn icons in a way that sets the tone of seasonality and warmth without accidentally turning into a ‘theme.’” 

A few of our favorite ideas? Lining them up as aisle markers, placing them on a welcome table, or sending guests home with them at the end of the night. Ahead, 22 unique, creative ways to decorate your entire wedding with pumpkins.

01 of 22

Adorn Your Ceremony Altar

Autumnal Wedding Ceremony Backdrop with Leaf Arch and White Pumpkin Decorated Altar

Photo by Caryn Azure Photography; Altar Design by Julie James Design

If you and your soon-to-be spouse love all things fall and Halloween, this is the ceremony backdrop for you. Paired with colorful fall flowers, piles of pumpkins can add some fall drama to your altar or archway.

02 of 22

Accentuate the Setting

Long Reception Tablescape with Floral Arrangements and Fresh Pumpkins

 Photo by Megan Walker Photography

While there are plenty of chic faux pumpkins available for purchase in the fall, Lee prefers to utilize real ones whenever possible. “The environmentalist in me knows they can go straight to compost versus 40 plastic pumpkins that will be in landfills forever,” she says. Paired with bistro chairs and an arrangement of pampas grass at an outdoor reception, fresh gourds play up the autumnal aesthetic without overshadowing the rest of the setup.

03 of 22

Play Up the Season

Wooden Wedding Reception Tables with Fresh Fruit Centerpieces and Mini Pumpkins

Photo by Gianluca and Mary Adovasio

“Did you know pumpkins come in all sorts of colors? White, yellow, blue, green, variegated. A mix of these can be a great cornucopia fall harvest look without getting anywhere near Halloween-theme,” says Lee. Mix your pumpkins with other seasonal fruits and vegetables for a bountiful centerpiece that speaks to the season without reading like a Halloween event.

04 of 22

Create a Staircase Installation

Stairs at Wedding Reception Lined with Pumpkins, Flowers, and Taper Candles

Photo by Roberta Facchini; Floral Design by Bloomologie; Event Design by Just Bespoke

Your reception entrance is one of the first details guests see, so go all out. For a fall-themed event, you can't go wrong with lining a staircase with a mix of different colored gourds, greenery, and taper candles.

05 of 22

Sprinkle Pumpkins Down the Table

Wedding centerpieces with flowers, mini pumpkins, and taper candles

Photo by Hugo Coelho Photography

If you're looking to fill empty space between floral centerpieces, miniature pumpkins are a great option. We love how much color and texture this variegated variety lends to the display.

06 of 22

Turn Mini Gourds Into Escort Cards

Miniature White Pumpkins with Calligraphed Place Cards

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Any miniature pumpkin can work as an escort card, but white gourds are especially versatile as they suit just about any aesthetic. Attach calligraphed seating assignments to each stem and guide guests to their seats in seasonal fashion.

07 of 22

Use Them to Decorate the Bar

Apple cider bar decorated with pumpkins and mums and a wooden sign

Photo by Megan Lee Photography

If you're setting up a thematic bar (who doesn't like spiked apple cider in the fall?), make sure the associated décor fits the vibe. This rustic display featured pumpkins in a few different shapes and sizes as well as in-season mums.

08 of 22

Build a Statement Photo Backdrop

Bride and Groom in Front of Pumpkin Backdrop at Wedding

Photo by The Shalom Imaginative; Backdrop by The Highland Springs Ranch & Inn

Everyone loves a wedding photo booth, but your guests will be even more inclined to pose for photos in front of yours when it's been uniquely tied back to the season. A pumpkin backdrop is a great way to do just that. Here, simple shelves were decorated with classic orange gourds, but you could also use a mix of different colored pumpkins for a more eclectic display.

09 of 22

Line the Aisle

Bride and Groom Kissing in the Middle of a Wedding Ceremony Aisle Lined with Multicolored Pumpkins

 Photo by Morgan Marie Photography

Each fall, it's a common practice to line your home's entryway with fresh pumpkins, so why not bring that practice into your wedding and decorate the ends of your ceremony aisle with a variety of different gourds? This is a simple way to bring some color and detail to one of the first space's guests will see without spending a ton of additional money.

10 of 22

Create a Lush Aisle

Barn Wedding Ceremony Space with Pumpkin-Lined Aisle

Photo by Gina Paulson Photography

Make your fall wedding decor the center of attention (literally) by lining the ceremony aisle with pumpkins in various shapes and sizes. “Displaying pumpkins in a variety of sizes and colors mixed with hurricane candles on a few steps is a great warm fall greeting,” says Lee. The seasonal favorite—shown here in shades of green, white, and orange—can add a rustic touch to any setting and frame the aisle.

11 of 22

Decorate Long Reception Tables

Long Wedding Reception Tables with Gray and Pink Plates, Gold Flatware, and Pumpkin and Candle Centerpieces

Photo, Design and Rentals by Casa de Perrin

If you've selected long tables for your wedding reception, we love the idea of scattering mini gourds along the length of the tablescape. Pairing petite white pumpkins with candles, greenery, and small citrus fruits creates an abundant autumnal vibe without overwhelming the space—guests can still chat freely with one another but that classic fall vibe is put on full display.

12 of 22

Pair Pumpkins With Other Seasonal Produce

A wooden apple cider bar with autumnal arrangements, pumpkins, and apples

Photo by Danielle Dziedzic

If you're looking for affordable ways to dress up spaces throughout your wedding reception, know that pairing mini pumpkins with seasonal produce is an inexpensive, eye-catching way to add color and texture to any area. Case in point? This creative bar, which featured a bushel basket full of autumnal bounty.

13 of 22

Build a Favor Installation

Mini white pumpkin escort cards on a wooden shelf

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

Make your favor display fun and interactive for guests by attaching their names to mini pumpkins that they can take home. To recreate this display for your own wedding, simply tie ribbon (in any color) to individual white pumpkins, then arrange them on a vertical structure like a cabinet or bookshelf to show each one off.

14 of 22

Pair Them With Darker Colors for a Moody Dessert Station

Two-Tiered Black-and-White Geode-Inspired Wedding Cake on Wooden Table with Orange Pumpkins

Photo by Elizabeth Bettis Photography; Cake by Azucar Bakery

Make your cake table pop by adding a few different pumpkins to the display. We like the idea of using both classic orange gourds and miniature varieties to add visual interest and dimension.

15 of 22

Use Them as a Ceremony Backdrop

Indoor Wedding Ceremony Altar with Pumpkins and Fresh Showers

Photo by Carmen Santorelli

While pumpkins look great along a ceremony aisle, they work surprisingly well as a backdrop, too. This indoor setup featured a variety of white and green pumpkins as well as neutral-colored flowers for a subtly seasonal statement.

16 of 22

Work Them Into Your Paper Goods and Signage

Custom Watercolor Wedding Crest with Pet Illustration and Pumpkin Details

Courtesy of Cami Monet

“I love when couples aren't afraid to take risks with their stationery and do what feels true to them because that's when the paper pieces really start to shine,” says Miller. Watercolor details are elegant and subtle and can add a touch of color without being oversaturated, especially when it comes to bright colors like orange. Lee suggests incorporating a pumpkin as a small icon on your stationery. 

Just be sure to also include a pumpkin element on the wedding day, too. “The rule of thumb is always to make the invitation match the reception décor,” says Lee. “So yes, if there are pumpkins on the invitation, they should also make an appearance at the reception.”

17 of 22

Create Gilded Gourds

gold mini pumpkin escort cards with calligraphed place cards

Photo by Aaron Delesie; Planning and Design by Keely Thorne Events

If you're going for a more elevated autumnal vibe, spray paint might quickly become your new best friend. Pumpkins can be painted any color you'd like, but we're partial to a metallic hue if you're looking for a more elevated take on a rustic look. Paired with hand-torn paper and gold calligraphy, these mini gourds make beautiful, eye-catching escort cards.

18 of 22

Set the Mood

White Wedding Reception Tabletop with Black Accents and Creamy Pumpkins

Photo by Aaron Delesie; Planning and Design by Lisa Vorce

If you're open to a Halloween theme, Lee says it still might be best to ditch the jack-o-lanterns and plan a chic, elevated holiday-inspired event instead. She likes the idea of utilizing a color scheme of black, orange, and gold with plenty of creamy white pumpkins thrown into the mix.

19 of 22

Add Color

Blue-and-White Reception Tablescapes with Hand-Painted Pumpkins

Photo, Design, and Rentals by Casa de Perrin

If you're looking for a really unexpected way to decorate the table, copy Casa de Perrin and create fresh works of art. It's a great option for anyone looking to tackle a statement-making DIY project in the weeks leading up to the big day.

20 of 22

Highlight the Head Table

Wedding Reception Head Table in Barn Venue Decorated with Pumpkins on the Ground

 Photo by Gina Paulson Photography

Mark your distinguished seats with an extra-special display of pumpkins. Here, we love how their warm tones are repeated in the table candles and blooms up above.

21 of 22

Play With Different Styles


Photo by Billy Donya Photography

A fall wedding often conjures up images of a rustic venue, but pumpkins can absolutely suit a more contemporary aesthetic, too. Paired with pampas grass centerpieces and plenty of gold accents, this look is decidedly modern.

22 of 22

Mark Each Seat

Wedding Reception Table with Gold-Rimmed Clear Charger Topped with Mini White Pumpkin Place Card

Photo by Jessica Castro Weddings

While a beautifully scripted place card will certainly suffice on its own, we love the idea of punching up your place settings by attaching said cards onto mini pumpkins. White ones are perfect for a wedding, or get creative with some paint. Plus, they'll keep menu cards in place at an open-air wedding and can serve as a favor at the end of the night. 

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