Pumpkin Wedding Decorations

Crystal Schwanke
Outdoor fall wedding

Pumpkin wedding decorations can be surprisingly beautiful, and are perfect for Thanksgiving, Halloween, or autumn-themed weddings. You will want to secure a source of pumpkins ahead of time to ensure that you are not scrambling a week before your wedding for decorations. Check with your local farmers market or annual pumpkin farm, or your local supermarket's produce manager may be willing to help you order pumpkins in advance.

Pumpkin Décor By Formality

Although many people might consider pumpkins to be purely rustic in nature, there are plenty of ways to dress them up to create an elegant ambiance. From a formal fall wedding to a casual outdoor affair, you have plenty of options for both elegant and causal decorations using pumpkins.

Elegant Pumpkins

Just because you plan to decorate with pumpkins, your wedding décor doesn't have to be country-inspired. Ideas for sheer elegance when it comes to pumpkins include:

  • elegant decor
    Small, white pumpkins can be glamorous when hollowed out with tops cut off to form a bowl. Place candles inside for a soft lighting. Use votive candles for the smallest pumpkins and larger candles set on a metal or other non-flammable base inside for a warm glow on your tables and walkways.
  • If you want your wedding to retain some formality and elegance when decorating with pumpkins, keep the rest of your wedding decor understated and simple. Use quiet colors such as cream or soft gold. Plaid taffeta is another fabric to consider for an elegant, but bold wedding decor theme. Tablecloths or chair covers of taffeta in a dark green plaid will pair nicely with orange pumpkin decorations. Black velvet would work nicely as well for a formal evening wedding.
  • Another option is to spray the pumpkins with a mirror-like paint so that they appear to be made of glass and reflect light beautifully.

Causal Pumpkins

Pumpkins are perfectly laid back for for casual weddings in the morning, afternoon, or evening:

pumpkin walkway
  • Using the orange pumpkins in large quantities can give a laid back vibe to your wedding and add stunning color to your photographs. If you desire, you can line the aisle in an outdoor wedding with a large mix of pumpkins straight off the farm, as if you're walking through the pumpkin patch in search of the perfect one. If your wedding is before Halloween (or even if it's not), put up a sign that says guests can take them home for carving at the end of the celebration.
  • Use a small book made into a pumpkin as a guest book. Have your guests sign the pages, write messages, or even tuck instant photos between the pages. This will be one pumpkin you can save as a keepsake when all others may have to be thrown out.
  • Paint the pumpkins a sunny metallic yellow for a more casual, daytime wedding. This is a great idea for an outdoor wedding.

Ceremony Decorations

The ceremony site is a great place to decorate using a pumpkin theme. There are some very practical uses for pumpkins within the ceremony itself.

  • Instead of large flower arrangements at the base of the altar, consider using pumpkins in white and orange. You can also dress it up with other types of fall squash to provide color variety and visual appeal.
    pumpkin weddding altar from AldasMagnoliaHill.com
  • Another option is to cut the tops off of the pumpkins and scrape out the insides, and then use the pumpkins as vases for flowers around the altar.
  • In the entrance of your ceremony site, set up a guest book and decorate the table with miniature pumpkins. If your ceremony is outdoors, use these little pumpkins to hold down the pages of the guest book or to keep the programs from blowing away.
  • Have your flower girl carry the rose petals in a pumpkin shaped basket. You can find cool pumpkin themed baskets online or in a craft supply store.
  • Have the ring bearer carry the rings in a miniature pumpkin that has been cleaned out. Line it with a gorgeous plaid fabric or stuffed with a miniature satin pillow for the rings to rest on.

Reception Decorations

The wedding reception is the best place to decorate with pumpkins, because guests spend far more time at the reception than they do at the ceremony.

Centerpieces and Table Decorations

  • pumpkin vases
    Large pumpkins can be cleaned and used as vases for floral centerpieces. Green foliage can set your pumpkin centerpieces off nicely and keep the color scheme simple. Be sure to choose short foliage or flowers so your guests can still see each other and speak easily across the table, or choose medium-sized pumpkins instead of the larger variety.
  • Use larger pumpkins as fall wedding centerpieces without doing a thing to them. Scatter candy corn or pumpkin seeds around the pumpkins to complete the centerpieces. Consider creating a grapevine "wreath" of sorts to go around the base of the pumpkin, and then add flowers between the woven vines.
  • Get creative with the pumpkins. Consider hollowing out a pumpkin, much like you would do for a jack-o-lantern, but carve hearts instead of a face. Place a small votive candle inside and have an instant centerpiece that will really impress your guests.
  • Purchase pumpkin-themed candle holders for the fall table decorations. These come in orange, gold, and white and can make a beautiful addition to a romantic evening reception. You can also purchase rustic metal ones for a country wedding.
  • Create or buy pumpkin and gourd wreaths to use as a hanging centerpiece for the bridal party table. Using fishing line, tie the wreath to the legs of the side closest to the bridal part and allow it to hang from the center of the outer edge, facing the guests.
  • Use a pumpkin-themed tablecloth for the gifts table and also for the buffet table. These can often be found in craft supply stores or in discount retailers during the fall.

Food Styling

  • stuffed pumpkin
    Instead of mints, place bowls of brightly colored pumpkin shaped candies on the tables for guests to snack on during the reception. This is not only practical, but it will look pretty, too.
  • Don't forget to decorate the buffet tables. Set out miniature pumpkins with garlands of fall leaves and light strands to dress up the area around the tables.
  • Serve pumpkin soup or pumpkin dip in hollowed out pumpkins for a truly unique and memorable touch to your food spread.
  • Use a large pumpkin with a glass bowl inside to hold the punch or act as an ice basket, as Martha Stewart suggests.

Additional Decorations

  • placecard holders
    Use miniature pumpkins as paperweights for the menus at the reception tables or make small slits in their stems and slide the placecards into them.
  • You can commission professional pumpkin carvers to carve the bride and grooms portraits into two pumpkins for the wedding table, guest book table, or to be placed throughout the reception area. For a truly wacky conversation piece, stack these pumpkins snowman-style onto two larger pumpkins. Dress your pumpkin-people in wedding finery for a unique decoration. If you want to go over the top with your theme, paint small pumpkins as the bride and groom to top your wedding cake.
  • Plastic trick-or-treat pumpkins filled with candy will make memorable wedding favors, and a pumpkin-flavored wedding cake with tiny painted pumpkins on top will complete your pumpkin wedding decorations.

Pumpkin Lighting Details

Lighting is an important part of your ceremony and reception. Use pumpkins to create the right mood by doing the following with your decorations and lighting:

  • orange lamps
    Use round orange ceiling lanterns to mimic the look of pumpkins. They offer elegant ambiance while still fitting in with the overall theme.
  • Smaller pumpkins can be hung from trees or the ceiling with holes cut in the backs for small lights. The effects of this type of lighting can be surprisingly romantic. Be careful of using candles in trees or near flammable objects, and do not use them inside of plastic pumpkins or other decorations that are not designed as candle holders. Battery operated votives and tea lights are a good alternative to traditional candles.
  • For hanging decorations, glue strands of beads, crystals, and chains to dangle from small pumpkins that hang from the ceiling or rafters. Hang them above up-lights to make the most of their sparkle. Between the sparkle and the presence of pumpkins, this can give your wedding reception or ceremony a Cinderella feel.
  • Trees wound with small clear or even orange lights will add a subtle ambience for your dance floor or patio, and tulle ribbons are a nice, soft touch to balance your pumpkin theme.

Preserving Your Pumpkins

Making last-minute wedding decorations can be hair raising, but pumpkins spoil in a couple of weeks in the cold and sooner in warm temperatures. There are products you can buy online to preserve your pumpkins, or ask your green grocer how to keep your decorations fresh

Pumpkins Create a Fall Fairy Tale Wedding

Whatever the mood you strive for with your pumpkin décor, planning ahead will ensure that you get exactly the look you want. No Cinderella pumpkin coaches for you!

Pumpkin Wedding Decorations