Summer may be the season for loving, but autumn is the season for tying the knot. In fact, 40 percent of weddings take now place in September, October and November, according to WeddingWire’s 2019 Wedding Report.

While the season has plenty to offer in terms of natural scenery and mild temperatures, couples shouldn’t overlook another major advantage fall has to offer: flavor.

“We love to use seasonal ingredients and focus on what can be harvested locally and sustainably,” says David Porto, owner of Blue Plate Catering.  “A big component of catering now is really focusing on what presents well and is in season, not just procuring food and putting it on a plate. There is a sense of art with every meal.”

Between savory gourds and sweet spices, there are plenty of seasonal ingredients utilize in your fall wedding menu. Here are a few ideas from the experts to inspire your palate.

Appetizers

Warm up your guests’ palates with some autumn-inspired appetizers. Go for a sweet and savory pairing like bacon-wrapped dates or cranberry and brie pastry bites. Another great option for guests to nibble on: cheese and charcuterie boards garnished with grapes, nuts, chutneys and compotes.

Soups & Salads

Nothing says fall like a warm, comforting bowl of soup. Blue Plate Catering, for instance, offers a Tex Mex chicken tortilla soup on their seasonal fall menu. The creamy soup includes corn, black beans, fire-roasted tomatoes and pulled chicken.

If you’d rather opt for a salad course, Porto recommends swapping out summer berries for more autumnal ingredients. His Apple Pecan Fall Salad, for example, utilizes candied pecans, pears, apples and Gorgonzola cheese over harvest greens.

Entrees

Fall is all about comfort, so extend that feeling to your menu’s main course. For meat lovers, consider serving up pork chops with apple cream sauce; Cornish hens with rosemary; beef pot roast and whipped potatoes; or even individual pot pies with chicken and veggies. And you can keep the vegetarians satisfied with equally filling options like pumpkin ravioli or mushroom risotto.

Dessert

Autumn is primetime for sweets. Incorporate seasonal flavors into your wedding cake with a carrot, apple spice or chocolate hazelnut.

Cake not your thing? Take inspiration from the king of fall holidays – Thanksgiving – by swapping it out for a plethora of pies, such as pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato or apple cobbler. Or, better yet, “go a bit off the beaten path with a sweet potato doughnut,” suggests Porto.

Drinks

With temperatures cooling off, keep guests cozy with drinks that warm from within. Think traditional crowd pleasers like apple cider, boozy hot chocolate or mulled wine. You can also simply spice up your favorite cocktail with fall flavors like caramel apple mules or brandy Old Fashioneds.

©CTW Features