Autumn is a beautiful season that allows us to watch nature slip into her rusty browns, yellows, and oranges. The air is crisp and fresh while many homeowners’ veggie patches are full of radishes, broccoli and baby spinach. So, how about celebrating crisp fall evenings by throwing a fab outdoor party and giving a comfy vibe to your gathering? Take a look at how below:
Choose a Theme
With so many things going on during autumn, it is impossible to run short of themes. Go natural, using leaves, orchards and harvest time as inspiration. Of course, it’s Halloween too so a great time of the year to throw an outdoor party with carved pumpkins, bonfires, candles and hot mulled drinks! Oktoberfest and back-to-school are also great themes. So take your pick and then you can play with the colours and textures to create a fun environment for your guests to enjoy.
Although your decorations should be aligned with your theme (i.e. matching tablecloths, table decor and dinnerware), do bear in mind that hosting a garden party in autumn is very vulnerable to Mother Nature’s mood swings. For that reason, it is a good idea to make your covered patio or big balcony the centre of all fun. Otherwise, cnsider using patio umbrellas or a tent. Choosing waterproof décor will save the day if the weather changes suddenly.
One of the best things about having an outdoor party is the fact that you don’t need fancy silverware and glasses. There are paper, biodegradable, and plastic options in endless colours to coordinate with your theme so you will be spoilt for choice. Plus, you save time on clean-up!
Other décor ideas/tips:
Keep the centrepieces as simple and minimalistic as possible; something like a glass vase with a candle and a leaf wreath wrapped around it is a great choice that also won’t get damaged in the wind or rain.
Consider streamers and banners that “speak” of autumn. Just ensure that you have securely adjusted and tethered down everything.
Make wreaths or displays with natural things from around you, such as leaves and pine cones.
Hay bales make excellent décor (and seating options) for autumn parties – great around a warm firepit!
If you don’t want to light up the BBQ and spend most of your time grilling food, you could slow-cook brisket, pork, or ribs in the oven. Then you may just want to crisp them up on the grill, which will save you extra time. Alternatively, griddled chicken, as well as vegetable dishes and casseroles also comprise great autumn meals.
As for desserts, baked apples and grilled pears (sprinkle with honey and goats cheese) alongside butternut squash, roasted pumpkin, apple cobbler, and pumpkin pie are all safe bets for a fab autumn garden party.
You could have a signature autumn cocktail to spice things up. For instance, try adding caramel sauce to hot apple cider or to hot chocolate add some chocolate chips, whipped cream, cinnamon sticks or marshmallows as toppings. For those who like a tipple, how about espresso-flavoured tequila, peppermint schnapps, Bailey’s Irish Crème, or whipped-cream-flavoured vodka.
Now, if you would prefer a chilled signature drink, delicious plum and apple-inspired sangria made with a mix of Pinot Grigio and Gin are definitely worth a try! Alternatively, you may find some beers from local craft brews that are ideal for autumn.
Keep bugs at bay and guests happy by using a couple of electrical discharge insect control systems (or bug zappers), some citronella candles, bonfires or tiki torches that burn sage and citronella. There are also insect-repellent outdoor curtains and wasp traps that will do a great job. Keeping the food table or buffet somewhere inside the house or just covering the food are also effective ways to keep bugs off. Alternatively, if you have internal bi-fold doors or similar, you may use them to create a designated area to protect your food.
As you switch from day to night, you need to make sure there will be enough light to continue the party after sunset. Hang globe lights from trees and string lights along the railings of the patio. Place lanterns, rope lighting or light posts near the pathway that leads to the party area.
Also, light up the food and bar areas. And, don’t forget to turn on some house lights, including those of the bathroom. That way, your guests will know where to go.
The most important tip for having the best autumn garden party is to enjoy every bit of it. Make your preparations early and ensure everybody is comfortable, fed and watered, warm, entertained and you will be just fine. Time to sit back, relax and have fun!