Hey y’all, Katie here! With my first ever blog post, so cut me a little slack if it’s not the best thing you’ve ever read, I’m not as slick with the words like Brighton! But if you got a chance to learn about me here, you know I am passionate about any and all things creative. So why not start my first post with how to host the perfect, fall dinner party!
The main things I will be covering today are obviously- all the things that go into a dinner party:
A theme, the tablescape (we have lots to cover here) and the food..mixing allll of that with tips/tricks/my favorite party supply websites/etc! Starting with….
Okay, don’t think I am cheesy when I say a theme. A “theme” can be as simple as the type of flowers that the centerpiece will include and organizing everything about the rest of the tablescape to go with the colors of the flowers.
A pretty basic fall thing inspired me was…pumpkins, duh. The minute Trader Joe’s put out all things fall my mind was flowing with ideas on what I could do with all the cute, little pumpkins! So step 1- done!
With pumpkins being the main focus, I knew the other colors to incorporate in my tablescape would be oranges, browns, whites, creams, maybe a little yellow.
Lastly, I wanted this theme to have a name. I created an invite that I texted my friends and needed something that flowed, and “Pumpkins & Pinot” came to mind! My instructions to my guests were “Bring a pumpkin and your favorite wine, the rest is taken care of!” I just made my on Canva (so easy!).
To me, the tablescape is everything! This is where I had the most fun. A tablescape mainly includes: Place settings, place cards, silverware, napkins, plates, a menu, and a centerpiece.
- One of my all-time favorite patterns is gingham, so you can imagine how much I’ve loved that it’s been so “in” this past year. Even if you aren’t a gingham fan, I feel it’s very “on brand” for a fall dinner party. I found these awesome paper placemats. They come in a set of 25 and you literally pull them off like you would a piece of paper off a notepad- EASY! You can also use a roll of wrapping paper to make an easy table runner if you’d rather do that over placemats.
- Place Cards – You can get SO creative with place cards- I love thinking of something “cool” or “different” I can write everyone’s names on. If you all follow me on my Instagram account @KNFcalligraphy, then you know I have been doing calligraphy for a couple years now. For this theme, I had multiple ideas- you could use mini white pumpkins or a pine cone with a place card in it, but I went with a leaf- simple, easy, small. You can use real (which I actually would suggest).. but we don’t really have leaves falling yet here in Dallas so fake it was! I just used a sharpie, but paint pens could work great too depending on what you are writing on.
- Silverware/Plates – Pretty self-explanatory, either use what you have (which Is what I chose to do here, as I wanted a “nicer” feel to the table).. or for easy cleanup – just get your utensils from wherever (I have linked below my favorite party supply sites! )
- Napkins/Linens – I was lucky that my mom had the most perfect linens to go with my theme, I sound like a 50-year-old when saying this, but I absolutely LOVE a good monogrammed linen. I think this is such a great gift idea for someone in my age group, as you can easily gift a set of 4-8 monogrammed napkins. I have a small collection now, it makes even the simplest dinner you cooked for your roomie even better! Still talking napkins, paper napkins are always easy and the same websites below have adorable options.
- A Menu- this is not essential, but it’s a fun way to incorporate some color to the table setting and prep your guests on what they are having. I also made my menu on Canva, they make it too easy! If you want to get extra creative, come up with fun names that go along with your food!
- And I saved the best for last – the centerpiece! I knew from the get-go I wanted pumpkins, pumpkins, and more pumpkins. I also imagined candles and possibly flowers if I felt it needed some extra spunk- but thankfully, the pumpkins did exactly what I was hoping they’d do- fill the space, and not block anyone’s view! Trader Joe’s had all these mini pumpkins for .99 cents a piece, so honestly, this was a pretty affordable but drastic centerpiece. For any other themed party, you can never go wrong with flowers, candles and throwing in some inspo from your theme. (use Pinterest- unless you re easily overwhelmed, but if you need inspo- that is the best place to start!)
Before moving onto the food, I wanted to link my favorite party shops I mentioned above here! My favorites are Oh Happy Day Party Shop and ShopSweetLuLus. You can easily order paper plates and napkins that flow together, and depending on the occasion- other fun finds like cake toppers, streamers, banners and anything in that realm!
Here is where you need to decide if you are cooking or getting something catered! I wanted to actually cook for my guests (and I had a small enough number of guests that I could handle it)..but I still wanted something easy to make for a large group of people.
One of my favorite healthy recipe sites is Skinnytaste. EVERYTHING is amazing! My sister introduced this to me years ago when we lived together and now it’s basically the only thing I cook from. My all-time favorite dish is the Butternut Squash and Black Bean Enchiladas. To save time the day of (as I work and didn’t get home till after 5 to start prepping).. I made the insides of the enchiladas on Wednesday then stored them in the fridge. This made for an easy Thursday when I came home and scooped that into the tortillas and stuck them in the oven- easy peasy! If you choose a Mexican dish, you have also made your appetizer extremely easy- chips, salsa, and guac. Dinner is served!
My only other tip when picking your menu- is to go along with your season. So something hearty and warm in the fall/winter, and lighter options for spring/summer!
Dessert is last-since I was a one-man show this go around, I decided to make it really easy and order something. Any other event, you all know I would have whipped up some cookies and painted them to go with the theme- but I just do not have enough hours in the day! I ordered cupcakes from a local bakery and added these edible leaves I found on Etsy. BOOM- done!
To finish off the night, I told everyone to bring their pumpkins and we sat (in the kitchen due to weather) and carved pumpkins! Such a fun and low key activity to end the night on.
If you have stuck through reading all of this- BLESS YOU. I really, really hope you enjoyed reading this and got inspired to host a dinner party of your own! If you ever host one (that was inspired by this perhaps), please send me a pic on @KNFcalligraphy or message B and she will show me! I’d LOVE to see them! Also, if you enjoyed this, Brighton and I would love to hear your feedback and if I should guest post again- my feelings will not be hurt- I am not a blogger, I just enjoyed getting to share something I was passionate about!
Thank you to Mi Golondrina for the fabulous shirt, Y’all .. they are my absolute favorite shirts. Mi Golondrina is a local small business here in Dallas, all their pieces are handmade in Mexico, and each piece is so very special. They are easy to throw on to do something casual or dress up to go to dinner. When you wear any of their clothing pieces, you can really appreciate the hard work that has gone into every stitch. If you have a chance, you should check them out online here or visit their showroom here in Dallas!
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