5 Things You Need to Host a Stress-Free Dinner Party this Fall
As the leaves begin to change and the air turns crisp, the allure of cool weather entertaining beckons. Whether you’re planning a cozy family gathering, a ‘Friendsgiving’ with your besties or an elegant soirée, the key to a memorable event lies in the details. We know, it can be daunting (that’s what wine is for!) but we’re here to help. We’ve compiled 5 things you need to do to make your perfectly plated party go off without a hitch.
1. The Food – Make it a Focal Point
Hosting a dinner party is an exciting endeavor, but it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to spend hours in the kitchen. Embrace the convenience of catering, whether it’s simple take out, grab and go from the market, or trays from your favorite local caterer. Outsourcing is a great way to maximize time spent with your guests and easing the burden of slaving over a stove. Want to still cook or do a little of both? Consider combining homemade appetizers with professionally catered main dishes (we won’t tell!) for a delightful fusion of personal and gourmet cuisine. Or, keep it casual and serve potluck style by putting each of your guests in charge of bringing a homemade provision. Blogger and supper club host extraordinaire, Mary Catherine Echols, says she and her gal pals rotate hostess homes for their monthly supper club. The hostess is tasked with creating a main dish and guests are assigned with a dessert, side dishes and specialty drinks from a specific cookbook. “It’s very simple, and so much fun to try to make something you normally wouldn’t,” she notes.
If you do decide to cook, make your life easier by renting tabletop items and serving vessels, sparing you the tedious task of washing dishes after your guests go home. Which leads us to our second point; setting the table.
2. The Tabletop – Linen, Layers, and Lots of Luxury
Aside from delicious food, the foundation of any great dinner party begins with your table design. And one detail that can transform your autumn get-together into a luxurious affair is your choice of table linens. Begin by selecting a style (or styles – hello, mix-and-match!) that harmonize with the season’s rich and warm color palette. Think rich jewel tones, autumnal prints and patterns, and plush fabrics like suedes, boucle and velvets that ooze luxury and bring a tactile experience to place settings. As we noted earlier, renting your linens and table décor can ease the burden of cleanup and laundering long after guests are gone. With Reverie Social, we make choosing the perfect table linens easy with a seamless online shopping experience as well as virtual showroom appointments, and, most importantly, fast delivery and pickup right at your doorstep.
Cold weather calls for lots of layering. Depending on your dinner style, layering can create different atmospheres and an overall feeling of elevated entertaining. For buffet-style gatherings, stack plates at one end of the table so guests can easily access and fill their dishes with yummy bites. If you’re going for a more intimate family-style experience, arrange plates within arm’s reach of each setting, encouraging sharing and interaction. For a formal dinner, use charger plates, fanciful china, and specialty flatware to add depth and dimension. Enhance your tabletop by layering on a table runner to your farm table or across your favorite linen for added dimension. And don’t forget about napkins: creatively folded napkins and elegant napkin rings ultimately pull settings together. The art of layering ensures your table is a visual feast as enticing as the culinary delights you serve.
3. The Details – Floral Arrangements, Candles, and Personalization
To infuse your fall entertaining with warmth and charm, focus on the details. A striking floral centerpiece can serve as the focal point of your dinner table. Depending on your style, opt for floral arrangements featuring your favorite autumn blooms or elegant candle holders that create a cozy ambiance. “A[nother] great way to elevate your table scape is incorporating unique elements using seasonal fruits, vegetables, and vessels that complement the overall event aesthetic,” says Leslie Lee of Leslie Lee Floral Design who notes fresh figs, apples and berries as go-tos for her fall tablesapes.
For themed events, choose décor elements that align seamlessly with your vision, whether it’s a rustic farmhouse dinner or an elegant black-tie affair. Don’t forget to add a personalized touch with name tags and printed menu cards at each place setting. A printed menu card not only elevates the look of your table, it’s an opportunity to brand your event (hosting Tina’s Flirty Thirty? Give the birthday girl a menu card call out) and gives your guests a preview of what’s to come. These small details not only enhance the look of your table but also leave a lasting impression on your guests. For more fall décor ideas, check out blog “Spice Up Your Fall Event: 5 Color Schemes & Table Linen Trends We Love.”
4. The Bar – Elevating the Dining Experience
Enhance your guests’ dining experience with a well-curated beverage selection. Decide whether to feature wine pairings, a DIY bar, or signature seasonal cocktails (or creative mocktails). If you opt for wine pairings, carefully select wines that complement the courses you’re serving, enhancing the flavors of each dish. For a DIY bar, set up a designated area with a variety of spirits, mixers, and garnishes, allowing guests to craft their own drinks. Alternatively, create a signature cocktail that resonates with the ambiance and flavors of the evening. And remember, always offer non-alcoholic options for those who prefer them!
5. The Entertainment – Keeping the Party Alive
Entertainment is the heartbeat of any gathering, ensuring a lively atmosphere and engaged guests. Consider interactive activities such as a trivia game, a photo booth, or even a themed costume contest. Consider interactive activities like a trivia game, a photo booth, or a themed costume contest. The right entertainment can set the tone for the evening and keep the conversation flowing.
Incorporating these five elements into your fall entertaining plans, along with Reverie Social luxury table linens, will guarantee a memorable and elegant dinner party that celebrates the beauty of the season. So, gather your loved ones, savor the flavors of fall, and create cherished memories in a setting that exudes luxury and warmth. Cheers to a splendid evening of autumn entertaining!
Oct. 11, 2023