Thanksgiving is one of the few opportunities we have each year that centers entirely around spending time with family, expressing gratitude, and enjoying great food. Unless you're getting married, that is. When you really stop to think about it, this beloved holiday actually sounds a lot like a wedding. That's why we can't think of a more perfect time of year than around the fourth Thursday in November for a family-focused ceremony and reception. If you're thinking about planning a Thanksgiving-inspired celebration, you're probably wondering where to start. The food part happens to be pretty easy-who doesn't love fall flavors?-but it's the décor that can prove tricky. Here, expert-approved decorating tips for your Thanksgiving nuptials.
Layer colors and fabrics.
"Texture is everything," says wedding planner Calder Clark. Instead of sticking with a standard two-tone color palette, Clark prefers mixing texture and color. For a holiday-inspired wedding, she likes the idea of dove gray as a base color, a layer velvet or mohair for texture (particularly in terms of the table linens), and a bolder hue like burnt orange for the water goblets, seat cushions, or flowers. You'll end up a Thanksgiving-inspired tablescape both in terms of color and richness.
Focus on flowers.
A simple and effective way to bring in the colors of the season is with flowers. To keep things chic and elevated, opt for monobotanical, monochromatic centerpieces. Calder likes using smoke bush or blooming olive all the way down the length of a table. To ensure it really pops, layer in gorgeous china, crystal, and silver but keep the rest of the table neutral. Tons of candlelight and gorgeous napkins are the perfect finishing touches, the pro adds.
Create an edible tablescape.
Embrace the harvest and the flavors of fall throughout the day. "Create a bountiful charcuterie table runner filled with seasonal fruits, nuts, sweet potato, and pumpkin paired with cheese, crackers, loose blooms, and scented candles for guests to feast on," says Euri Wong of Bloominous. The completed look will be both beautiful and delicious.
Serve a family-style dinner.
Thanksgiving is about bringing your nearest and dearest together, so why not show that in the way you set up your space? "We love the idea of bringing everyone together with a huge family-style spread," says Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss. Achieve this feeling with long tables where everyone can sit together, then serve dinner on platters that can be passed from guest to guest.
Play up the pumpkins.
Trust us, pumpkins can be chic, especially if you follow Clark's advice and use a mix of pumpkins and gourds, particularly in shades of white. She layers different sizes up and down a long table, and then use tapers and votives for a pretty glow.
Show your thanks.
Planning a smaller affair? Wong recommends showing your love of the season (and your thanks) with a personal touch. "Include a handwritten note with a personal message of thankfulness for each guest," he says. Embellish it with a single seasonal flower or leaf that can be used as a place card.
Use symbolism for gratefulness.
Every flower has a special meaning, so decorate with those that speak to the season. "Roses, sweet peas, campanula, and hydrangea are all flowers that convey thankfulness," says Wong. You can incorporate these into centerpieces, bouquets, boutonnières, or the cards mentioned above. And play up the fall colors while you're at it with muted, vintage shades like peach, mustard, and rose gold.