Here at Laurysen we’re always sad to see summer disappear, even if we love fall. The answer? A party, of course! Outdoor entertaining in the autumn involves some special considerations, but if the weather cooperates and your guests are up for something a little different, it can really work out.

There are several reasons you might want to give this a try. If your garden comes to life in the fall with colourful leaves and late-blooming flowers, why not show it off? There are lots of fresh fruits and vegetables available, so a harvest theme could be really fun. Also, people are home from summer vacations and their school year routines should be established, so your friends and family may be ready to let loose and socialize.

Here are a couple of things to remember for outdoor entertaining in the fall:

  1. Since the temperature drops in the evenenings, try to schedule your event for the middle of the day.
  2. Portable outdoor heating comes in all sorts of stylish varieties now. Have something available for those who get cold easily.
  3. Hot drinks may be useful as hand warmers, and you should have some warm dishes ready as well as lighter, more summery fare.
  4. Games will encourage the younger set to run around and keep warm.
  5. Have an indoor backup plan.

Of course, there are the essential steps that will make a garden party a success in any season (OK, maybe not in the winter!). Here are four tips that will help make your event fun and memorable for both you and your guests:

  1. Send out invitations, and let your guests know the party theme in the invitation. Make sure your guests know you’re having the party in the garden, and to bring appropriately warm clothing. You can incorporate this into the design of the invitation, but you should explicitly state this as well.
  2. When decorating, consider the space: if your garden is stunning, decorations should be subtle and natural. The garden itself already provides a beautiful backdrop for your party, especially if you have plenty of flowers and other garden elements, so it isn’t necessary to put up too many decorations. For decorating essentials, (e.g., a centerpiece on each table), consider using natural elements such as fruits and plants – these will complement the garden and not compete with the natural surroundings. We found some great ideas on Pinterest.
  3. Buffet is the way to go for a number of reasons. Firstly, a buffet allows your guests to choose which foods they want to put on their plate and which they want to skip. It also saves you the trouble of having to serve everyone or having to place the same set of dishes on each table. Besides, this setup encourages everyone at the party to mingle.
  4. Serve fresh fruits and vegetables. You’re hosting a garden party after all, and it wouldn’t be complete without some fruit or an appetizing salad. If you have your own vegetable garden, you can use your own produce to make the salad. The guests will appreciate the freshness of your dish and your vegetable garden can become a topic of conversation.

While we love our kitchens, we’re always up for taking the party outside. Have you ever hosted a late-season garden party? We’d love to hear how it turned out, and any tips you’d like to share!