With fall in full swing, we’re in the mood for cozy nights in and celebratory gatherings with friends. Our friend, lifestyle expert, Kristin Mansky from Modish & Main, is here to talk about her spin on festive fall gatherings. Take a look below for fall dinner party ideas and table setting inspiration.
The autumn season typically makes us think of pumpkin spiced lattes, trips to the apple orchard and cozy knit sweaters. It’s this time of year, with the holidays just around the corner, that make me start to think about just how grateful I am for the people and pets in my life, the roof over my head and the food at my table. To give thanks, I thought what better than to host a friends and family fall gratitude dinner party. It’s the perfect opportunity to set out your fall table decorations, some delicious bites to eat and to let those closest to you know just how grateful you are that they are in your life.
With my family living over two thousand miles away, I’ve really come to appreciate the friends that are in my life. They fulfill the role of my family members when I can’t get home (especially during the holidays) and are always there for me when I need them. Hosting a gratitude dinner party to acknowledge how much I appreciate them was my way to say “thank you.” You don’t need much, but planning a little bit in advance to prepare your fall table settings and grabbing some thoughtful gifts will really make the evening extra special for friends or family.
Here are some helpful tips to host your own friends and family gratitude dinner party:
Start with your table settings. It’s your closest friends and family, they love you already, so don’t fuss too much about your tableware. I love to stick with a neutral color palette starting with a linen tablecloth, rattan chargers and simple white dishes. Pick up a few sets of unique wine glasses that your guests can take home with you at the end of the night. I love these “always grateful” wine glasses that worked perfectly for the dinner party theme.
Add the table decor. Grab a bouquet of seasonal flowers at the market and let them be the focal point on the table. Bonus if you get them in a pretty fall color! Set out a handful of candles around the table and surrounding area to create a comfortable ambiance that encourages your friends and family to stay awhile. Use wood cutting boards to display food to keep with the neutral theme, along with festive grateful cocktail napkins.
Eat, drink and show gratitude. As the hostess, plan on serving simple recipes that you can prepare ahead of time so you’re able to be present throughout the dinner. There is nothing worse than a hostess who is stuck in the kitchen the whole time! An easy arrangement of cheese and crackers, a few salads and a delicious dessert will keep your guests full, but not make them sleepy and ready to head home.
Serving wine is a great option so no one has to constantly make cocktails, but I love taking it one step further and preparing a super simple wine spritzer. It tastes very similar to a sangria, but without all the fuss. Take one bottle of Spanish wine, a 12oz can of club soda, slices of fresh orange and handful of grapes. Pour in a carafe, top with fruit and serve slightly chilled.
Be grateful. This is your opportunity to spoil your friends and family by letting them know how grateful you are that they’re in your life. I wanted my guests to walk in and immediately feel special with extra little touches like picture frames with a photo of the two of us, a Finding Gratitude journal and these fun, playful grateful greeting cards that I love to personalize for each guest. Off to the side I had beautiful gift bags ready to go so my guests could take home their goodies. No matter what your budget is, there are plenty of gift ideas that will really let your friends know how much you care.Since there is so much joy to spreading gratitude, I displayed a wire frame with miniature clothes pins and encouraged my guests either take an extra gratitude card home with them to give to someone else, or write a message about something your grateful for and pin to the frame. It was a nice memento to have at the end of a great evening.
Whether your gratitude dinner party is a table for 2 or a table for 20, it’s all about cherishing these people in your life and letting them know and feel how important they are in your life.
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