8 Tips for a Stress-Free Fall Dinner Party

As the weather starts to cool off and the leaves begin to change, it’s a sure sign that the hustle and bustle of the holiday season is just around the corner.  Fall always inspires me to enjoy the bounty of the season and puts me in the mood for a party!  Whether it’s a kid-friendly Halloween party, a fall inspired coffee date with girlfriends or an intimate dinner party, nothing beats celebrating with your favorite people.  This year I’m spicing up our fall calendar and inviting a small group of friends over for an intimate fall dinner party that celebrates the bounty of the season, and fosters friendships.
8 tips for a stress free fall dinner party
I’ve teamed up with Calloway’s to share 8 tips for a stress-free fall dinner party that will get you in the mood to celebrate the season in style.  Hosting a dinner party at home can be stressful and intimidating.  But, with a few of my tried and true tips for hosting a dinner party you’ll be toasting friends and creating memories in no time!
Fall dinner party table setting
Fall farmhouse centerpiece

Start with a Plan

Every successful party starts with a plan.  I typically start by choosing a theme or color palette.  Choosing a theme will give direction and cohesiveness to your gathering.  Your theme doesn’t have to be elaborate, gaudy, or complicated, but choosing a color palette or selecting a mood you want to create will make other decisions like dishes, table decor, and what you serve easier.  For me, I wanted this fall dinner party to feel intimate and casual so I choose a farmhouse inspired neutral color palette with the focus on the fall harvest.

Fall farmhouse table setting and centerpiece

Make a Good First Impression

Before your guest join you at the dinner table you want to make a good first impression as they arrive.  With Calloway’s Nursery it’s easy to ready your entryway for guest.  I’m always inspired by the huge variety of pumpkins and squash available at Calloway’s, and found so many beautiful specialty pumpkins that were perfect for my fall decor.  A well-lit front porch with seasonal decor will let your guest know they are in for a memorable evening.  And, the best part is you can keep your festive decor up, long after the party is over.  I made a Happy Fall Y’all sign and used a variety of pumpkins and plants from Calloway’s to create an inviting entryway for my fall dinner party.

Happy fall yall porch

Set the Stage with Natural Elements

Fall is all about celebrating the bounty of the season, so using arrangements and large bowls that include seasonal vegetables, flowers and herbs are not only easy to put together, but they look amazing too!  Not only are natural elements quite affordable, but you’ll be sure to have a fresh, chic and functional display designed in harmony with the season.  In keeping with my farmhouse inspired theme I used a large wooden bowl and filled it with cabbage, succulents, mini pumpkins and herbs to create a stunning, yet simple centerpiece for my fall table.  

When it comes to dinner parties, one of my favorite tips is to set your table first before you create your centerpiece.  It may seem a little backwards, but when you set the table with the chargers, plates and glasses you plan to use you will know how much room you have left to work in your centerpiece. 

Fall inspired centerpiece

Fall entertaining table setting

Fairytale pumpkin centerpiece

Create Ambiance

Fresh, seasonal decor can only go so far in establishing a mood in your party space.  Be sure to utilize music and lighting to enhance the ambiance and create an environment that matches your party’s theme.  Create a playlist, dim the harsh overhead lights and light some candles for a more intimate experience. 

Fall entertaining table setting

Serve a Garden to Table Inspired Menu

Embrace the bounty of the season and create a garden to table inspired menu.  Food is such a great way to connect to nature and the seasons. When you begin with what’s fresh and in season, the meal becomes an unforgettable experience.  Rather than planning an elaborate menu, create seasonal dishes inspired by what you can find at the local farmers market like roasted Brussel sprouts and butternut squash or Roasted Orange Glazed Carrots.  Use fresh herbs to enhance the flavor of your autumn-inspired dishes and create a mouth-watering meal your guest won’t soon forget.

Butternut squash and brussel sprout side dish gg

Have a Dedicated Drink Station

Encourage your guest to relax and fell at home, after all, parties are an occasion to mingle and celebrate the season.  Setting up a dedicated drink station or bar cart allows your guest to help themselves, and gives you a chance to relax and enjoy the party too!  Provide all the fixings for a seasonal specialty cocktail, like a Pumpkin Spiced Moscow Mule, and be sure to offer non-alcoholic options as well.

Fall entertaining bar cart

Pumpkin moscow mule

Add a Special Touch with Place Cards and Party Favors

I am a big believer in place cards, even at an intimate dinner party like this.  Not only do I think that it helps guest feel extra special, it takes the pressure off of everyone figuring out where to sit.  You can add a special touch to your fall dinner party by creating mini pumpkin and succulent place cards that also double as party favors!  I love that once the party is over guest can remove the potted succulents from the pumpkins and keep them, long after the party is over, as a reminder of the wonderful friendships and memories made.  In addition to the mini pumpkin and succulent place cards, I also mixed things up and created DIY chalkboard wood slice place cards that doubled as coasters.

Fall pumpkin succulent placecard

Fall wood slice placecardFall succulent pumpkin party favor

Smile & Relax

There is nothing better than gathering your friends together for a memorable night of good food, great conversation and unforgettable memories! Sit back and relax, and enjoy these moments with your friends and family around the dinner table!

Calloways fall farmhouse table setting

Now that you are ready to host an intimate fall dinner party with friends, don’t forget to head to Calloway’s to pick up pumpkins, gourds, squash, plants, herbs and more to create an unforgettable setting for your dinner party!

Mariah Leeson is the creative mind behind www.gigglesgalore.net. With a passion for celebrating, Mariah created Giggles Galore to inspire families to celebrate life’s little moments with creative, budget friendly ideas. She loves cooking, reading, crafting, hosting parties and most of all spending time giggling with her family.

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  1. This is stunning!!

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