Host a Backyard Fall Dinner Party

by Courtney WhitmoreOctober 5, 2015
Now that cooler weather is coming our way, the leaves are turning, and no more pesky mosquitoes, it’s time to enjoy your backyard for some fall entertaining! Turn your backyard deck, patio, or yard into a gorgeous fall dinner party setting to host friends and neighbors. Celebrate the season in style with these top tips!

Let your food do the decorating work! That’s right, I mean turning your fall-themed desserts or appetizers into a gorgeous centerpiece. A simple clear cake stand with fall leaves is the perfect display for apple crisp parfaits or other fall foods. Guests can enjoy the view of dessert while they eat, too – yum!
Speaking of fall leaves, this is my #1 tip or styling a fall themed tablescape for a dinner party. You can either gather them up yourselves or visit a craft store to find fall leaves and décor. Choose a simple table covering (I love yellow!) or place them directly on the table. Scatter them as if they were a table runner and adorn with mini gourds, pumpkins, and pops of vibrant color with flowers. I love the red and yellow combination so red carnations were an inexpensive yet pretty flower to use! You can use smaller cake stands for your décor or place some directly on the table. Vary it up to create your fall display!

For place settings, keep it simple! White dishes are a year-round favorite but match the décor by using yellow napkins layered with red ribbon and gold calligraphy place cards. You can find calligraphy scripted place cards on sites such as Etsy or get crafty and make your own.
If you don’t have matching glassware (I love red because they match so many holidays), then clear glass with a red ribbon wine tag is a great alternative. Grab some fun cocktail napkins to set around or set up a side bar on a console table or bar cart to let guests mix their own beverages!
Gold is a trend that isn’t disappearing any time soon so treat yourself to a set of gold flatware, it’s perfect for fall parties and ties together with the gold ink on the calligraphy place cards. Hosting a casual shindig but still love the gold? Glitterville has a plastic set!
Good food is essential to a fabulous party! This is the time to showcase those delicious fall flavors like apple and pumpkin.
I’ve pulled a few of my favorite menu items and ideas below. S’mores, anyone?

Enjoy setting the table for your fall dinner party, but remember to also enjoy the party itself! Try to finish up the table setting and food at least 15 minutes prior to guests arriving so you can sit back, sip a beverage, and get in the party mood! Cheers to fall!

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About The Author
Courtney Whitmore
Courtney Whitmore is a published cookbook author, entertaining and food stylist, and blogger at where she shares the art of presenting classic foods with a modern twist and setting a tablescape with lots of pizzazz. She attended Vanderbilt University earning both a bachelors in Communications + masters in Organizational Leadership. Her expertise has been seen in Better Homes & Gardens,, Ladies Home Journal, AOL’s DIY Life, Access Hollywood, and