Howdy, friends! Lauren here from your favorite entertaining site. Today is going to be extra fun because we are talking about outdoor entertaining in the fall! Most would say that summer is picnic season, but I am a huge fan of taking that delicious spread outside in the autumn months as well. Cozy sweaters, a crisp fall breeze, lots of yummy food, and delicious wine to warm you right up – dreamy, right?
So, pour yourself a glass of wine, scroll down, and be inspired to host your own fall picnic!
Living in Chicago means that our fall lasts for a whopping two weeks. That means we have a hot second to soak up everything the season has to offer before it gets really cold. I don’t know why, but fall is my favorite season for entertaining. There is something so happy about having a bunch of friends over, sitting around a table passing yummy dishes, drinking wine, and talking for hours. Fall is when everyone can slow down from summer and take a minute to catch up with friends before the mayhem of holiday season sets in.
That is why the fall picnic is so perfect! You gather up those friends that have been swamped with busy summer schedules, string some lights up, throw a few blankets in a basket, and get to celebrating!
Entertaining outdoors in the summer is similar to entertaining in the fall, you just need a few more accessories. In lieu of the picnic blanket in the backyard, break out a picnic table or a card table with a fun table linen on top. Roll up some blankets and place them on each guests seat, or drape an extra jacket on the back of everyone’s chair. Don’t have enough? Try a mix of both! Early September nights are so beautiful, so don’t cut the party short because people are cold. Plan ahead and watch the dinner last all night long.
If the grill is still hot from summer, by all means, whip something up but if you live in a small space or don’t have a grill readily available, we’ve got other menu options! Hop on over here for some delicious wine pairings, a few fun recipes, and more pictures that will make you want to change your weekend plans.
As far as tabletop prep goes, I say, "the more thoughtful the better!" Throw a fun linen (or two!) over your table, grab some candles and spread them throughout the table, and nothing says ‘autumn´ like a good floral arrangement! Forage some greens in your neighborhood and whip up something on your own or swing by your favorite local florist and do something pre-arranged.
Remember, entertaining doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be thoughtful!
Well, what are you waiting for? Call those friends you’ve been meaning to see, send that mass text, and throw yourself one heck of a dinner party!
photography by constance higley