Entertaining Essentials

Entertaining essentials for Autumn gatherings

Fall is here! Gone are the triple digit degree days and muggy nights, and that means i’t’s time for outdoor entertaining. These are the eleven fall entertaining essentials to consider, from design and decor tips to food and drink ideas, that will help you when hosting your Autumn gatherings.

Decor

Don’’t limit décor to just the tabletop. Add height, dimension, and ambience with string lighting and / or a festive bunting.  An easy and inexpensive bunting can be made by tying together bandannas. Use your creativity to mix and match patterns and prints. String lighting will keep the party going long after the sun goes down.

Tablescape

For a successful party, there is no need to decorate every square inch of your backyard. Instead, create a focal point around your table. Use a burlap tablecloth to match any existing décor and add fresh flower arrangements for an extra pop. White plates are typically a safe bet with a colorful table, and perfect to combine with fun, printed reusable napkins.

Main Course

In order to avoid hovering over a hot grill during your party, select a main dish that is easy to prepare and serve.  A build-your-own-burger bar is a guaranteed people-pleaser, but all kinds of buffets are also great solutions.

Sides
Get creative with the sides. If you’re keeping the main dish simple, spice it up with fun sides! Don’t be afraid to try new things like watermelon salad, cabbage and fennel slaw, or corn fritters.

Dessert
Arguably everyone’s favorite part of the meal. Make sure to serve something to your guests that can be served and eaten easily with minimal mess. A great idea that fits the bill for outdoor entertaining is homemade ice cream sandwiches, brownies, cookies, etc.

Bar
Treat your guests to a fully stocked bar. What better way to cut loose on the weekend than to have your favorite adult beverage paired with great food and great conversation? We also suggest having a festive signature cocktail on hand to serve guests that may be looking to try something new, such as a strawberry mojito, mint julep, or spiked lemonade.

Seating
Have plenty of comfortable seating options available for your guests. Simple and inexpensive throw pillows add a comfortable finishing touch to your outdoor furniture.  

Unwelcomed Guests
When entertaining in late summer and into the fall, be sure to be prepared for any unwelcomed guests of the insect variety. Keep them away with citronella candles and torches, along with sprays and bombs that can be installed before guests arrive.

Fire
When the humidity of late summer dwindles and the cooler temperatures of a Carolina fall evening finally arrive there is nothing better than standing next to a backyard fire pit that adds warmth and ambiance. It’s’ the perfect enhancement to a fall night spent with friends.

Games

Keep your guests entertained with classic yard games such as corn- hole, horseshoes, or even some late summer volleyball for the more active crowd. Games make every outdoor gathering better.

Music
What’’s a great outdoor party without an amazing playlist? Fire up your speakers and include music that appeals to everyone. Don’’t just stick to one genre. Keep it upbeat too. Your party will vibe with the music. The Sonos sound system is the popular choice right now and for good reason. It has excellent sound quality, is wireless, and is so easy to use. Just download and open the Sonos app on your phone, start playing your favorite songs from Spotify or Pandora, and turn the volume up!