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Photo by Paula O'Hara

As Fitzgerald wrote in The Great Gatsby, "life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall." With bright foliage and fall harvests, this certainly holds true. There's no better way to celebrate autumn than by making memories with friends and family at a fall themed party. Here are some ideas that have inspired us to throw a fall soirée sure to bring out the warmth of the season.

Orange (Pumpkin) is the New Black 

From pumpkin patches to jack-o-lanterns, pumpkins are a fall staple. While Halloween may have passed, you can still integrate them into your fall festivities and decor!

Using hollowed out pumpkins as festive bowls is easy to do and completely foolproof. Set the pumpkin on a bed of twigs and fall berries to get the look below. Tip: If you're worried about the pumpkin not being completely dry and potentially spoiling the treats you are going to fill it with, you can either pop the pumpkin in the oven to dehydrate it or simply line the inside with a colorful cloth or wax paper.

Courtesy of www.bhg.com

Courtesy of www.bhg.com

Converting pumpkins into flower vases is an easy way to spruce up centerpieces or food display areas. Play on this idea by filling different sized pumpkins with fall flowers, berries, and herbs.

Courtesy of www.bhg.com

Courtesy of www.bhg.com

Painting pumpkins with chic designs is perfect for creating a look that will last longer than one dinner party. This year, sparkles and gold are huge staples thats contest nicely with the generally rustic feel of Fall. We love the idea of incorporating rustic paintings alongside glitzy designs, as seen below.

Courtesy of PB Blog

Courtesy of PB Blog

Instead of the usual orange, yellow, and brown pallet, find different colored pumpkins and squash to create an avant-garde Fall look. Believe it or not, there are actually tons of different colored pumpkins, such as the Australian Blue or even "Red Warty". Contrasting these unexpected colors with clean white lines makes for a farm-to-table look with an Autumnal influences.

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Serving the Right Thing 

While Fall is usually characterized by Halloween candy and caramel apples, break the mold and serve up something savory and delicious. When looking for the right food items to serve at your Fall bash make sure to choose something earthy and warm that complements the crisp weather. Here are some of our favorite appetizers.

As an appetizer... Before cronuts and cupcakes, fondue was all the rage. We love the idea of reviving this old crazy with Food Network's Cheddar and Hard Cider Fondue. Accompany the easy-to-make cheddar fondue with either cooked chicken and apple sausage, sliced baguette, roasted shallots, or even pears, apples, or pretzels.

Courtesy of foodnetwork.com

Courtesy of foodnetwork.com

The main dish... Catering to different tastes can be hard, but chicken is always a reliable people-pleaser. Although it may seem humble, a beautiful roast chicken is a stunning autumn dish. Williams Sonoma's Herbed Roasted Chicken with Grapes is simple to make but sure to impress.

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma

For dessert... Serve up Williams Sonoma's famous Salted Caramel Apple Pie. A chic take on the caramel apple, this pie is traditionally autumn while still modern. The salted caramel elevates the dish past run-of-the-mill pies and its presentation is sure to impress. Serve this up with  à la mode and your guests will never forget this sweet end to a fabulous party!

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma Blog

Courtesy of Williams Sonoma Blog

Inspiring Venues 

Surroundings are always the biggest source of inspiration for us at Estate Weddings and Events. When thinking about a fall event we can't help but think about some of favorite venues that exhibit the spirit of Autumn!

Twin Farms in Barnard, Vermont is known for its fall foliage, warm amenities, and rustic charm characteristic of the Green Mountain State. Boasting 10 free-standing cottages complete with screened porches and stoned fireplaces, this venue is made for crisp fall nights with cider and blankets.

twinfarms-estateweddingsandevents

While Twin Farms has certainly catered its interior to the fall pallet, its ambience is never drab. This is accomplished by important contrasts to bright colors and the integration of lighter hues into the decoration. We are inspired by their stunning living room, which incorporates antique details such as a radio horn contrasted with turquoise paintings.

twinfarms-estateweddingsandevents

For a taste of fall on the West Coast, Sunstone Winery in Santa Ynez, California emphasizes the harvest in a warm and inviting atmosphere. The Villa at Sunstone is particularly alluring because it was built using limestone imported from France and wood beams from a 19th century lavender plantation owned by Queen Victoria. Again we see a stunning contrast between cool tones, such as limestone, and the warm dominance of wooden beams.

http://venuelust.com/venue/sunstone-winery-estate/

Because fall is all about harvest, we love the idea of integrating a rustic tasting table during events. Wine tasting is a lovely way to taste the unique flavors of fall and also provide a fun pre-dinner activity. Sunstone Winery offers exclusive wedding and special event hosting packages that include private tastings, formal dinners, and even causal luncheons.

http://venuelust.com/venue/sunstone-winery-estate/

Putting It All Together 

Hosting a fall get together is fun no matter how large or small you intend the event to be. Remembering to keep an open mind about how to integrate fall staples, such as pumpkins, is the key to making your event unique. While there are tons of recipes perfect for fall, remember to keep the food warm and rich to provide a nice contrast to the crisp weather. And of course, remember to be find inspiration wherever you go... especially from stunning estates! We guarantee it will all fall into place!

Your Turn.... 

What are some other sources of inspiration you would like to see for a fall event?