With its refreshing weather and sensational beauty, fall is an ideal time for an outdoor party. It can be a tricky season as well, however, and it is important to be prepared for surprises and contingencies when planning and hosting an outdoor fall party.
Planning Your Perfect Outdoor Fall Party
The beginning and end of fall can be very different in terms of weather conditions, foliage colors, harvest progression, and other factors. With proper planning, however, you can have an elegant autumn affair no matter when in the season you want to host an outdoor fall party.
- Choosing the Date
Take note of seasonal variations when setting the date for an outdoor fall party. Note when your area experiences peak fall foliage colors or the first snowfall, as well as what general temperatures may be to choose a date that will be comfortable for your guests.
- TIP: Consider renting outdoor heaters later in the season just in case temperatures drop more than anticipated.
- Time of Day
Morning can be very different than evening, especially in autumn. Earlier in the day, dewy grass can be a problem, while falling evening temperatures can be uncomfortable. Note when the sun sets to take advantage of the best lighting to highlight the natural beauty of your party location.
- TIP: Adding a rental dance floor or runners to walkways can minimize slippery surfaces and guide your guests to the party location.
- Location Options
There are many fantastic locations to host an outdoor fall party, including local farms, vineyards, or parks. Seasonal spots, such as ski resorts, may offer great deals before the snow flies, while botanical gardens and other outdoor venues may also have discounts as the season wanes.
- TIP: Be sure any location will be cleaned up before your event, with overgrown bushes pruned, grass trimmed if needed, and some (but not all!) leaves raked.
Nature will happily decorate for your fall party with stunning foliage colors, and you can add to that natural décor with piles of pumpkins or apples, fun hay bale arrangements, and rustic options such as chalkboards, pine cones, and grain sheaves.
- TIP: Coordinate linen colors with natural autumn hues to add even more seasonal color to your event. Gold and bronze are elegant metallic accents as well.
Fall is full of rich seasonal tastes, from late harvests and end-of-season barbecues to hot drinks, campfire options, and tasty treats such as s’mores, hot cocoa, caramel apples, Halloween candy, and pumpkin spice everything. Opt for a menu that highlights all the deliciousness of the season.
- TIP: Rent the appropriate servers to keep your food stations hot, including hot drinks, or use glassware to create a decadent s’mores or candy bar for guests to enjoy.
You can easily get creative with autumn party seating, adding cozy arrangements of hay bales for fast options that can seat many guests. Adirondack chairs, wine barrel chairs, rustic benches, and other seasonal options will add character and coziness to your outdoor party.
- TIP: Create social groups with your seating to encourage guests to have conversations. Group seating around fire pits or low tables to keep people together.
Give your guests great fun at your party with the right entertainment. Consider lawn games such as cornhole and horseshoes to take advantage of amazing fall weather, and don’t forget good music, a photo booth, and some fun competitions like sack races or pumpkin tosses.
- TIP: Rent a quality sound system so guests can hear music and announcements no matter what the acoustics of your outdoor venue might be.
The weather can turn quickly even on the finest autumn day, and it is important to offer suitable shelter for your guests. Tents with flaps and adjustable panels can help you adapt to changing weather conditions, whether you face wind, rain, or snow at the party.
- TIP: Patio umbrellas in fall hues can add quick shelter to your event while also serving as stunning pops of color to enhance your decorations.
If your party will continue into the evening or night, be sure there is adequate lighting after the sun sets. Luminaries, tiki torches, or jack-o-lanterns are fun options to line paths, while string lights, Edison bulbs, and hanging lanterns are great in trees to light up the party area.
- TIP: Rent different lighting options to add a warm glow to your party, and don’t forget glass covers to shield candles or even chandeliers to light up tents.
Being the Best Fall Party Host
No matter how carefully you plan your party, it still takes skill to be a good host. Be sure you are there for your guests, smoothing over any unexpected difficulties. Take the time to engage different guests, introducing them to one another and helping everyone make new friends and connections. If the party is a large one, hire appropriate help or enlist the aid of volunteers so everything runs smoothly but you still have time to be a part of the festivities. And be gracious about the compliments and praise you are sure to receive for such a fun and enjoyable autumn event!