Fall Garden Party Ideas for an Elegant End of Summer Gathering

It’s time to host a fall garden party to embrace summer’s end as the days grow shorter and the nights grow longer (in the Northern hemisphere). But instead of feeling sad about the summer’s departure, let’s look forward to autumn’s arrival. You can host your fall garden party anytime from the Fall Equinox through Thanksgiving. Crisp nights with roaring bonfires and roasted marshmallows. Rustling leaves underfoot. Sleeping under the covers. Time to say goodbye to summer and hello to the brisk autumn air.

Incredible autumn leaves

The Nights Grow Longer

Once summer ends, the nights begin to grow longer. But that just means your solar lights will come on earlier. A perfect time for a fall harvest party. A party to give thanks for the summer and pay tribute to the coming darkness (sounds ominous, I know but those long nights also brings Christmas, so don’t fret).

Around the Globe

Mid Autumn Harvest Festival China

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The harvest, and the changing of seasons, is marked by celebrations around the globe. The Chinese and Vietnamese celebrate the harvest on September’s full moon. It’s their Moon Festival.

In Greek mythology, it is when the goddess Persephone returns to the underworld to be with her husband Hades. And fall harvest variously celebrated around the world as Cornucopia, Feast of Avalon, Festival of Dionysus, Harvest Tide, Mabon and Wine Harvest (now, there’s an idea).

Harvest table with glitter squash

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The fall season is a time for reflection, a time for gathering, a time for contemplation. And what better thing to contemplate than throwing a fall garden party for a dozen or so of your nearest and dearest? Pick a weekend and gather the bonfire wood.

Invites

First off, the color overall theme. Think fall vegetables. Pumpkin, squash, corn, eggplant. Nice, earthy colors. Lots of orange. Think leaves changing color. And lots of rich color. Here are a few invites to give you some inspiration but all you have to do is head over to Etsy and search for ‘Fall Garden Party Invitations’ – you will get lots to choose from.

Fall harvest party inviteInvitations can be sent electronically.  Source

Bonfire Invitation Fall Harvest

If you’re having a bonfire or bbq for your fall garden party, let your guests know. Source

Fall Y'all Party Invite

It’s fall, y’all – how perfect. Source

Creative Lighting & Decor for Your Fall Garden Party

I’ve said many times that lighting can “make” a party and I’ll say it again. And you’ve got a ready made natural helper if you live in a climate where your deciduous leaves turn red, orange and yellow (if not, Michael’s always has them). And there are gorgeous fall flowers to be had. Do not forget those charming little Chinese Lanterns. Your fall garden party won’t be complete without them.

leaf-light-patio

Fantastic things happen when you mix awesome white bulb lights with leaves. Source

Candle Bottles

You can never go wrong with clear glass and candles. And flowers. The great thing about your fall garden party, compared to summer solstice or the dog days of summer – it gets dark earlier so you can show your lighting off. Source

Fall Harvest Cluster Lights

Fall harvest cluster lights come in oranges and browns and yellows. Source

White Bulb String Lights

White bulb string lights always do the trick. Old faithful. Source

Harvest glitter pumpkins

All that glitters – Martha Stewart glitter pumpkins are the perfect accent for a fall garden party. Source

Fall Party Harvest flowers

Autumnal colors bid adieu to summer. Source

colorful-cement-bucket

A cement vase – that’s different. No autumn bouquet is complete without those orange Chinese lantern stems.

Mason jar candle with autumn leaves

Mason jars are a decorating miracle – they look so elegant with candles and autumn leaves. Source

birds nest candle holders for fall

These faux birds’ nests are adorable with tea light candles.

White pumpkins are elegant fall decor items

White pumpkins are so elegant, and fall is a time to give thanks.

Apples on the table for fall

Simple apples with greenery and plain white candles can create a wonderful atmosphere. Source

Setting the Outdoor Table for your Fall Garden Party

Whether you are setting the table for two or twelve, do it up right. Bid adieu to to summer with style. Lots of ideas here to help you set table that will delight your guests.

bobo-table

A Bohemian table with pillows for cushions – yet still so elegant. White bulb lights add to the atmosphere after dark. Source

Pergola with white lights, picnic tableEven a picnic table can look fantastic – don’t limit yourself in your choices. And hanging white lights from the pergola finishes the look.

Pendelton blanket fall colors

A Pendelton blanket has the perfect fall colors. Add a table runner of greenery and some white pumpkins and you’ve got a fall garden party table. Source

Burnt oranges and reds for fall decor

What a pretty table – candles and bulb lights. Can’t beat ’em.

felt napkins autumn colors

Felt napkins in autumn colors – all tied up in raffia. Source

Natural Fall Dinner Party TableApples are a popular item for fall harvest decor – and they look great on the table. See how natural it all is with mason jar vases and glasses. Source
crystal and linen outdoors

Wood furniture with greenery, crystal and linen. You cannot go wrong.

Bare trees as the centerpiece

Natural elements – including bare trees as the centerpieces. Source

Over the top fairy lights fall garden party

You can never have too many lights. Source

Food & Drink for Your Fall Garden Party

Apple cider in apple cups

Apple cider with star anise and cinnamon sticks – in apple cups. Source

Wine wreath name tags

Those ubiquitous mason jars again, this time as wine glasses with a self-serve wreath containing a name tag to tie on your jar. You know all those mason jars look alike. Source

non-alcoholic
blood orange soda and other neat non-alcoholic drinks

Don’t forget the non-alcoholic offerings – and make them interesting like this blood orange soda. Source

Eggplant cheese tomato basil

Basil, tomatoes, cheese and grilled eggplant – autumn harvest melt. It’s perfect for your fall garden party.

Bacon asparagus fall menu

You can never go wrong with bacon-wrapped asparagus – and asparagus is easy to find any time of the year thanks to greenhouse growing. Source
Grilled garden party veggies

Roasted vegetable antipasto platter  – perfect fall fare.  Source

roast-chicken-fall-menu

Molasses-Brined roast chicken with thyme – an easy and hearty main course for fall. Source

ffall-seserrt

Pie in a jar – a whimsical dessert that can be packed up and taken home, too.  All you need to do is add the lid. Mason jars are the star again, this time small ones. And you can make apple and pumpkin – offer a choice. It’s little touches like this that make your party memorable. Do something out of the ordinary. Source

pears-for-fall

Pears are a popular fruit in fall desserts. This pear cake can be cooked on the bbq or in the oven – the trick is the cast iron pan. Source

fall-cake

And if you really want to dazzle, get some fancy cakes from the best bakery in town and add pheasant feathers. It really takes the cake – so to speak.

Parting Gifts for the Autumn Soiree

pack-a-snack

Offer an array of small treats buffett style and let guests pack their own midnight snack box. It’s the best and your guests will love it. Source

Fall trail mix

Trail mix in a bag with a tag – just a little snack for later that everyone will appreciate. Source

Take Home S'mores kit

You can order S’mores Party Favor kits online. Source

And when the last guest has been properly sent off, you can put your feet up, light the fire and revel in the new season.

About Beverley Wood 45 Articles
Beverley Wood is a freelance writer and communications consultant living in Mexico City - WhiteDogCreative.com