I’m biased, but fall is the best season for weddings. The leaves are a riot of color and the weather is not too hot and not too cold, so you’re not freezing or wishing you could acceptably get married in your bathing suit. The mild weather means menu planning is easier since you don’t need to sweat over if you’ll sweat while eating a hot meal like you do in summer. Plus farm-fresh, local produce is still easy to come by unlike in winter or spring. I’m excited you’re getting married during the hands down best season because now I get to talk all about it.
Fall itself has three distinct seasons: September is late summer, October is fall in all its glory, and November is late harvest and early winter.
For September weddings, you can take advantage of warmer temperatures, late summer flowers, and long days. September wedding colors are cheery and warmer. Think wheat fields, chrysanthemums, and grey dawns.
The backdrop to October weddings is the gorgeous changing foliage. October wedding colors are very harvest-themed. Think dried sunflowers, pumpkins, and maple leaves. And of course, there’s always the fun color palettes possible for Halloween/Samhain weddings.
November weddings are rich and jewel-toned to contrast leafless trees and cooling temperatures. Think warm family gatherings, cool sunsets, and vintage bronze.
Shopping for your wedding nail polish colors is one of the few truly stress-free shopping opportunities of your wedding planning. Polishes are cheap enough that you can pick up a few without breaking the bank and you can try them on at home however many times you want. Try doing that with wedding gowns and suits.
For more wedding nails tips and tricks to get your natural nails ready in time for the big day, read my guide to the best wedding nail polish colors.
If you’re going for a summery look or your climate tends to run warmer in the fall, you can also check out my best bridal nail polish for summer wedding colors article.
Now, on to colors for the autumn bride!
1. Playing Koi by Essie
Playing Koi is, besides gloriously punny, a deep pumpkin or goldfish orange. It’s a burnt rust color that fits right in with fall leaves and harvest themes. This is a perfect lacquer for October or November weddings. It’s a bold color that stands out and would be a great way to tie your accent colors together–or just bring more attention to your new ring. It’s a crelly formula that is easy to work with and is just barely sheer on the first coat and opaque in two coats. Playing Koi has great lasting power and is a unique bridal nail color that will pop in photos. Since it’s from Essie you know this polish is DBP, toluene, and formaldehyde free.
- Rated 4.6 out of five stars by users on Amazon
- Unique, bold color that screams fall
- Three free
- From trusted brand
- Made in America
- May be too bold or dark for some
2. Sparkle & Charm by Julep
Okay, so this is two polishes from Julep’s It Girl collection, but hear me out. Fifi, on the right, is a beautiful creamy pink that is perfectly classy for a wedding any time of year. It’s not so pink that it will look like you’re wearing bubblegum-pink nails, but just pink enough that it isn’t quite a nude. Fifi looks great on all skin tones and is a lovely bridal color. It’s Yumi, on the left, that really makes this a fall look. Yumi is a rose gold holographic glitter that brings in that warm, harvesty vibe of fall weddings. The combination is a classic bridal nail with a fall twist. A base of Fifi and then a subtle gradient starting at either your cuticle or nail tip (like a glitter French Manicure) would be perfect for an outdoor fall wedding.
- Classic bridal neutral with a twist
- Who doesn’t love wedding nail art?
- Two colors to play with
- Five free, vegan, and contains strengthening green coffee extract
- Glitter isn’t for everyone
3. Carey by Zoya
I love grey as a wedding nail polish. I think it’s classy, offbeat, and makes the white of a dress pop. But it isn’t easy to find a nice grey polish. There’s grey like hospital flooring, which we don’t want, and then there’s grey like fleeting rainstorm clouds, which is what we get from Carey. It’s from Zoya so the formula is dreamy and 10 free which is about as nontoxic as a nail polish gets. Carey is incredibly creamy and opaque in one coat. I would still go for two coats to ensure you’re getting even coverage. Grey bridal nails work well with warmer wedding palettes, especially when there are warm pinks involved. You’ll want to swatch this next to your wedding colors to make sure you like the aesthetic.
- Neutral, rain cloud grey
- 10 free
- Opaque in one coat
- Neutral but offbeat
- Won’t go with all color palettes
- May not work on particularly pale skin tones
4. Penny Talk by Essie
October and November are prefect times for gold metallic bridal nails for an expensive, vintage look. Penny Talk has that burnished copper and rose gold look to it that pairs beautifully next to white and works on all skin tones. A gold like this fits with a warm harvest color palette and with a classic white wedding. Another great formula by Essie, this one is smooth and opaque in one coat, but two really deepens the color. It’s free of DPB, toluene, and formaldehyde. The only downside is that if you have deep ridges in your nails, they might be visible under this. A ridge filling base coat can solve that though. See my best base coat post for several ridge fillers. Penny Talk is great if you want to add some shine and glitz for a glamorous vintage look. But that’s just my two cents. (You see what I did there?)
If the idea of a gold wedding polish sounds interesting but Penny Talk doesn’t quite do it for you, check out my guide to the best gold nail polish colors for other options.
- Stunning rose gold
- Three free
- Shiny but not too shiny
- Goes well with lots of colors
- May show nail ridges
5. Black Matte by Jessica
You can’t have s fall nail polish post without something for Halloween. Yes, black nails aren’t for everyone, but if you’re looking for a dramatic look to make a splash with, Black Matte by Jessica Cosmetics fits the bill. Black nails aren’t only for dark and brooding types. Anyone who wants a high contrast look may end up loving this black nail look. Black Matte is a deep, true black that dries without a glossy shine. The finish is more of a soft satin that really elevates the color. This polish is very fast drying which is always a plus. You’ll need to use a matte top coat with this to keep that buffed finish but also extend the life of your manicure. Jessica nail polishes are seven free and contain vitamin E. Also, if you are going for a dark, gothic, Halloween wedding, first off, get it, girl. But secondly, a matte black is more elegant than a glossy finish.
- Rated five out of five stars by users on Amazon
- Matte finish is softer than full gloss
- You’ll definitely stand out
- Too nontraditional for most
6. Take Me To Thread by Essie
Take Me To Thread is part of Essie’s Gel Couture line which is supposed to last you 14 days, similar to a gel manicure without having to cure your nail polish under a UV lamp. It’s not going to last you 14 days chip free, but it will last you longer than most typical nail polishes which is a big plus when you’re going to have better things to think about. Take Me To Thread is a cool, taupey mauve that fits for September and November weddings. It’s a wonderful contrast to a warmer palette. The shade has a classic beauty to it without being a neutral. You could get away with this without your great aunts talking smack later. Sort of a best of both worlds.
The formula is easy to work with and the wider brush makes application a breeze. In order to take advantage of the long lasting benefits of the Gel Couture line, you do need Essie’s Gel Couture Top Coat which gives your polish extra protection and a high, glassy shine. If you already have it, fantastic. If you don’t, you can pick up the top coat and Take Me To Thread together as a package deal to save a few bucks.
- Colorful enough to be fun, but still classic
- Long lasting
- Creamy formula
- Needs matching top coat
- Not for every color palette
7. Bubble Bath by OPI
For a clean neutral look for fall, Bubble Bath would be my go to. It’s called a nude, but it has enough pink in it that it looks lovely and natural on all skin tones. This is a very sheer polish so if you’re looking for full coverage, this isn’t for you. The sheerness allows you to have basically three nail polish shades in one as you start layering and choose the level of opaqueness you want. Magically, this polish isn’t streaky like most sheer lacquers are. The formula is very smooth and spreads for an even coating. Bubble Bath gives your nails a fresh, healthy look to them. It also is a wonderful base for some bridal nail art like a white lace overlay.
- Pinky traditional neutral
- Sheer for clean look
- Coral tone goes with fall palettes
- Too boring for some
- Takes three to four coats to be opaque
8. Cinnamon Kiss by Jessica
Cinnamon Kiss by Jessica is a deep, chocolaty ruby shade that is perfect for late fall and edging over into early winter. It fits with rich, red maple leaves and with the cranberry tones of more harvest centered palettes. There’s a tiny bit of color variation hinting at copper as you turn your nails in the light, but only enough to keep it interesting and not enough to place this color anywhere near the metallic category. This sort of deep red is bold and dramatic as a way to tie your accent colors together, but if this is the only red in your palette, it may be a little distracting.
- Rich cranberry red
- Seven free
- Slight color change
- Great to match accent colors
- Will stain your nails without a good top coat
- Great Aunt Gertrude might talk
9. Mauve Over by Londontown Lakur
This long lasting polish from Londontown Lakur is a dusty mauve color that would be perfect for a September wedding. I can see this pairing beautifully with sunflowers. The formula is thick, easy to work with, and highly pigmented. It’s easy to get full coverage with this one fast. This pink color is very feminine and versatile. With earthier palettes, Mauve Over can lighten it up with a little pinky girliness and for fanciful aesthetics, the dusty rose of Mauve Over can be a grounding contrast color. It basically works for everyone in any color palette. As long as you don’t hate pink.
- Rated five out of five stars by users on Amazon
- Five free
- Vegan and gluten free
- Very versatile
- May be too feminine for some
10. Iris Matte Velvet by Zoya
Iris is from Zoya’s Matte Velvet collection and is a deep amethyst that would look incredible for a November or early winter wedding. This shade could be too casual for some, but as a matte polish, it elevates it up to a royal purple. The formula is a little thin and sheer on the first coat, but opaque at two coats. It’s a rich purple with fuchsia micro-glitter which is really more of a shimmer than a glitter. With the matte finish, most probably won’t even notice the glitter. When you add a glossy top coat, the sparkles become visible and the polish looks even more like an amethyst gem. I like that it’s a matte polish that also looks amazing as a glossy polish. It gives you a lot of flexibility to try out with your attire.
- November prefect jewel-tone
- 10 free
- Choice of matte finish or glossy
- Subtle glitter
- Fast drying
- Glitter may be too casual for some