37 Fall Dinner Party Ideas for a Beautiful Harvest Celebration

Fall is my absolute favourite time of year. While most people are mourning the end of summer, I’m revelling in the thoughts of warm apple cider, crisp fall weather and cozy nights snuggled up with blankets and candles. Another big part of autumn that I love is the food. Hearty lasagna, sweet potato chilli, mac and cheese, butter tarts, apple crisp, the list goes on! I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling inspired to throw a fall dinner party, with all the food, cocktails and good company the best dinner parties have. Feeling inspired too? Here are 7 fall dinner party ideas and 30 fall recipes to help you throw the most magical fall dinner party! 

1. Keep It Seasonal and Head to the Market 

Nothing says autumn like the local farmers market. Locally grown produce, artisanal prepared foods, and homemade sweets like butter tarts and jams give me all the fall feels! I love the idea of shopping from local vendors rather than big box grocery stores, and when you want to serve your guests the best of the best, market finds are the way to go. 

Keep your recipes seasonal and you’ll easily be able to find the freshest ingredients for whatever recipes you plan to make. Fresh fruit and veggies are the cheapest and tastiest when they’re in season and everything tastes better when it’s homemade.

fall dinner party ideas

Once you’ve chosen the recipes you’re going to make for your fall dinner party, create a list to bring to the market. Most local markets have vendors that carry everything from fruit and veggies, to meat, to cheese, spreads, dips and sweets. You’re sure to find everything you need for any appetizers, mains and desserts you’re making.

Plus, if you plan on setting out a cheese or charcuterie board, you can find most (if not all) of the fixings there too! 

2. Set a Simple Harvest Tablescape 

Make your fall dinner party stun with a simple, yet gorgeous, harvest tablescape. A tartan linen runner or a strip of burlap is the perfect way to set the stage. 

Add a few small to medium sized pumpkins, 8 to 10 small gourds and squash, and candles in glass jars or mason jars, and that’s pretty much all your need for harvest table decor. 

Keep the dinner settings simple, with plates, bowls and linen napkins in a muted fall colour scheme. Gold or vintage cutlery is a nice touch, as are white and gold place cards! 

fall dinner party ideas

3. Background Noise and Lighting 

Music and lighting are two things that never go unnoticed. Have some feel-good music like Leon Bridges or Bruno Mars playing in the background, and make sure your lighting is somewhere between bright and dimly lit. 

Too bright and it will be hard for people to relax, and too dark and it will make people sleepy and not able to see their dinner. 

Related Post: How to Throw a Memorable Friendsgiving Party

4. DIY Fall Cocktail Bar 

You shouldn’t be serving cocktails all night at your own dinner party. Set up a DIY cocktail bar and allow your guests to serve themselves! You can provide the fixings for some fun fall cocktails, and let your guests choose what they want to make. 

Keep it simple by creating cocktails that use some of the same ingredients. If you’re on a budget, instead of offering a number of cocktails, have one signature cocktail for the night and have guests bring whatever other alcohol they want! 

fall dinner party ideas

5. Host Outside If You Can 

Fall is your final chance to host an outdoor dinner party until spring. If the day of your dinner party is calling for nice, warm weather, bring your party outside! 

Hang up string lights and have throws available if it cools down. 

Always have an indoor back up plan in case bad weather hits, but if you can swing it, an outdoor fall dinner party is as magical as it gets. 

6. Fall Florals 

Nothing’s prettier than fall florals. Visit your local flower boutique and grab a gorgeous bouquet of fall flowers you can use as either part of your tablescape or elsewhere in your home, such as the living room coffee table. 

Once you’re finished dinner, you may want to head over to the living room for a change of scenery. People can eat dessert, drink wine or coffee and relax in a more comfortable setting. 

7. Serve a White, Red and Rosé

Having wine options at dinner is always recommended! Your guests will definitely appreciate it as some prefer white over red, or the opposite. Rosé is also a favourite for a lot of people right now, and fall is a great time to serve a nice, dry rosé! 

fall dinner party ideas

Harvest Menu: 30 Fall Dinner Party Recipes

Last but certainly not least, a good fall dinner party needs a harvest menu filled with delicious fall dinner party recipes. Here are some of our favourite fall recipes you can serve for your dinner party!

5 Fall Appetizers

1. Roasted Butternut Squash Hummus via Plays Well With Butter
2. Cranberry Meatballs via Dinner at the Zoo
3. Beet Crostini via Woman’s Day
4. Mac and Cheese Bites via Chef in Training
5. Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese via Ciao Florentina

5 Fall Salad Recipes

1. Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad via Country Living
2. Cranberry and Sweet Potato Salad via Delish
3. Kale Salad with Root Vegetables and Apple via Food and Wine
4. Smoky Pumpkin, Spelt Pomegranate and Feta Salad via Epicurious
5. Butternut Squash Panzanella Salad via Taste of Home

5 Fall Cocktail Recipes

1. Hot Spiced Apple Cider via the Home Cook’s Kitchen
2. Autumn Moscow Mule via Broma Bakery
3. Pear Nectar and Thyme Mimosa via The Glitter Guide
4. Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate via Minimalist Baker
5. Autumn Harvest Fall Sangria via Inspired by Charm

5 Fall Dinner Ideas

1. Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Walnut Pesto via Downshiftology
2. French Short Ribs Braised in Red Wine via Just a Little Bit of Bacon
3. Mushroom Pasta with Goat Cheese and Spinach via Pinch of Yum
4. One Pan Autumn Chicken Dinner via Cooking Classy
5. Butternut Lasagna with Mushrooms and Sage via Feasting at Home

fall dinner party ideas

5 Fall Side Dishes

1. Creamy Mashed Potatoes via Natasha’s Kitchen
2. Oven Roasted Parmesan Brussels Sprouts via Together as Family
3. Roasted Mixed Potatoes with Herbs and Burrata via Trusted Food Recipes
4. Cauliflower Steaks and Puree with Walnut-Caper Salsa via Bon Appetit
5. Creamy Scalloped Potatoes via MidWest Living 

5 Fall Dessert Recipes

1. Apple Spice Cake via Country Living
2. Caramel Pecan Cheesecake Pie via Taste of Home
3. Pumpkin Chocolate Brownies via Southern Living
4. Apple Cider Doughnut Holes via Pure Wow
5. Snickerdoodle Blondies via Brown Eyed Baker

If you’re feeling the urge to host a fall dinner party, these fall dinner party ideas and recipes will help throw a beautiful harvest celebration!

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fall dinner party ideas

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