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.
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
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).
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.
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.
Invitations can be sent electronically. Source
If you’re having a bonfire or bbq for your fall garden party, let your guests know. Source
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.
Fantastic things happen when you mix awesome white bulb lights with leaves. Source
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 come in oranges and browns and yellows. Source
White bulb string lights always do the trick. Old faithful. Source
All that glitters – Martha Stewart glitter pumpkins are the perfect accent for a fall garden party. Source
Autumnal colors bid adieu to summer. Source
A cement vase – that’s different. No autumn bouquet is complete without those orange Chinese lantern stems.
Mason jars are a decorating miracle – they look so elegant with candles and autumn leaves. Source
These faux birds’ nests are adorable with tea light candles.
White pumpkins are so elegant, and fall is a time to give thanks.
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.
A Bohemian table with pillows for cushions – yet still so elegant. White bulb lights add to the atmosphere after dark. Source
Even a picnic table can look fantastic – don’t limit yourself in your choices. And hanging white lights from the pergola finishes the look.
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
What a pretty table – candles and bulb lights. Can’t beat ’em.
Felt napkins in autumn colors – all tied up in raffia. Source
Wood furniture with greenery, crystal and linen. You cannot go wrong.
Natural elements – including bare trees as the centerpieces. Source
You can never have too many lights. Source
Food & Drink for Your Fall Garden Party
Apple cider with star anise and cinnamon sticks – in apple cups. Source
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
Don’t forget the non-alcoholic offerings – and make them interesting like this blood orange soda. Source
Basil, tomatoes, cheese and grilled eggplant – autumn harvest melt. It’s perfect for your fall garden party.
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
Roasted vegetable antipasto platter – perfect fall fare. Source
Molasses-Brined roast chicken with thyme – an easy and hearty main course for fall. Source
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 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
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
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
Trail mix in a bag with a tag – just a little snack for later that everyone will appreciate. Source
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.