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REAL PARTIES: Fabulous Fall Get-Together

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fall party inspiration

We have a fabulous new real party to share with you today… just in time for your upcoming Thanksgiving & fall celebrations! This one comes from Courtney Toney of Joyful Weddings & Events, and it’s a whopper of a post with TONS of pictures – so get ready! Here goes with the details, as told by Courtney:

My husband and I decided to start the tradition of throwing a party on the first day of each new season. We love the change that the start of a new season brings: the freshness, the excitement, the inspiration! Although we do not really experience season changes much in Southern California, we still get excited for the things that each new season brings.

We kicked off our new tradition on September 21st: the first day of fall. My job was decor, favors & other fun touches; his job was the food, drinks and music.

fall party inspiration

My Cricut was my best friend for this party. Not only did I use it to cut out letters for my fall banner, it got more use than it ever has when it cut out hundreds of leaves!

I had been saving empty formula and rice cereal containers to reuse as vases (see upper left corner of top image). I just taped some fun paper on them using double sided tape, and ended up with super cute vases! My feeble attempt to make this party a little more green. :)

Pretty much all of the paper came from Paper Source but I also got some from the Target $1 section ($1 for 12  pieces of paper – you can’t beat that!). If you hit it at the right time, they have great seasonal paper.

fall party inspiration

The table setting:
The tree was my favorite decoration of all I used one of my recycled formula cans, wrapped in green mod paper (this one was from Target!) and then filled the can with rocks. I happened to be up in the mountains the day before the party, so I grabbed some great sticks & branches for decor. I used leaves cut out with my Cricut and hot glued them on. Super simple & super cute! This was by far the hit of the night! I plan on keeping it on my table all the way through thanksgiving.

fall party inspiration

The tree was placed on two really cool chargers from Target (on clearance too!). I made the votive candles by painting on modge podge (actually PVA from Paper Source) and then rolling the candles in brown glitter (also from Paper Source). The polka dot candles were made by sticking glue dots on the candles and then rolling them in the glitter.

The cute plates were from Target and I placed them on a piece of scrapbook paper as a place mat.

fall party inspiration

My second favorite element of the party was an “early trick or treating” station. Candy buffets are extremely popular for weddings, so I have accumulated a large number of vases and jars from my events over the years. I figured this was a good excuse to put them to use. These apothecary jars came from Linens & Things and Target – on clearance both at places!

fall party inspiration

The sign was made using letters cut out on the Cricut, hot glued to ribbon. Tip: To hide ugly push pins, simply glue a piece of matching paper onto the push pin.

We had several different types of candy: caramels, reese’s, mellowcreme pumpkins and pumpkin spice kisses. I used a large piece of paper from Paper Source as a runner on my vintage buffet.

fall party inspiration

I made these simple little bags for the candy:

fall party inspiration

The bags were purchased at target, then I hot glued a piece of ribbon & paper leaf silhouette on each.

Since we had about 20 guests, we set up the food buffet style on our island. For decor for this, I took vases full of sticks and placed them on scalloped scrapbook paper covered with leaves. To jazz up the vases, I used more scrapbook paper and double sided tape to give them a band.

fall party inspiration

Here is what was on the menu: My yummy cream cheese/brown sugar/vanilla apple dip as well as french ham, cheese and onion tarts as appetizers. A fall salad with cranberries and apples with red wine vinaigrette. Main course: My husband’s delicious risotto with chicken, porcini mushrooms and asparagus. We had lots of delicious desserts, including pecan pie and home made dutch apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

fall party inspiration

My go-to cups for drinks at parties are always mason jars. They are super cheap and can be purchased at any supermarket. Throw some festive ribbon on them and they are instantly cute and perfect for the theme. I have even used these for weddings. These were for hot apple cider.

fall party inspiration

Plates, glitter paper wrapped napkins, & utensils in mason jar were all held in a cute vintage shopping basket. I threw in a mason jar full of leaves and another paper wrapped formula can holding eucalyptus leaves & other greens.

fall party inspiration

For other decor, I threw apples in vases, on a runner with leaves on the coffee table, and used a simple arrangement of fall flowers. Add in some sticks, candle light, red fake leaves from Crate and Barrel (we don’t have many colored leaves here in san diego!) and a lot of cut out leaves and we were set!

fall party inspiration

The cute brown candles were from Cultural Intrigue, which can be purchased through me.

fall party inspiration

I came up with the idea to start a guest book, since this will be an annual event. Target, yet again, came to the rescue. I got a cute little book in the $1 section and added a leaf to the opening.  I asked guests to write us a little message about fall or the party.

fall party inspiration

A few of our pint-sized guests…

fall party inspiration

Overall, it was very easy to pull of this party on a limited budget. The biggest expense was the food, but we had people sign up to bring specific things, which helped a lot.”

Photo credit: Jenetta Penner


WOW!!! Many thanks to Courtney for the fabulous fall inspiration! For even more images, check out the party recap on her own blog – Joyful Weddings & Events.

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POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

21 responses to “REAL PARTIES: Fabulous Fall Get-Together”

  1. I’ve been wanting to throw a Fall Party for 2 years, but things keep getting in the way. Next year, I’m definitely coming back to this post for my inspiration. This looks like it was such a lovely party!

  2. Alieh says:

    Absolutely fabulous! One of the best fall parties I’ve ever seen!

  3. Janet says:

    The tree centerpiece is fantastic! I’m totally doing that for our Thanksgiving dinner this year!

    I love the “early trick or treating” buffet idea too. Maybe I’ll have a “late trick or treating” version myself :)

  4. EMTsweeetie says:

    WOW your party details are amazing. I love what you did with the leaves on the trees and the green apples around the house look fabulous!

  5. Lisa says:

    What a lovely idea!

  6. Lisa says:

    I just love how you used the scrapbook paper. I’ve been a bit afraid to use it thinking that others may think it is cheap. But Cheap it is not. Your stuff is beautiful and inspiring! Thanks for sharing.
    I’m off to start using that paper I’ve been holding on to.

  7. Michelle says:

    Love all the ideas, especially the idea of having a get together with friends on the first day of each season! How fun.

  8. Rachel says:

    This is GORGEOUS! So many wonderful ideas!

  9. What wonderful and creative ideas! She used so many things in ways I just wouldn’t think of! Fabulous inspiration. Now I’m really in the mood to get festive!

  10. Joanna ( says:

    Wow! This is beautiful!

  11. Loralee says:

    I love the adorable vintage basket and utensils in a mason jar. So easy and so cute.

  12. How do I get invited to a party like this? Absolutely beautiful. I just love your design aesthetic, Jenn. I’m hosting a a big holiday cocktail party with a retro theme (think Brat Pack/Mambo/Martinis and highballs type of gathering). I’m definitely going to leverage your scrapbook paper idea, but am a bit overwhelmed with what else to do. I hate rushing the holiday season along, but I can’t wait to see what kinds of holiday party ideas you have. Thanks for the continual inspiration.

  13. I love all of this. I really adore the leaves! This is all such great inspiration for having a party this time of year!

  14. bananapants says:

    This is genius! I think I’ll be stealing a couple of your ideas for our wedding. Thank You!

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  16. Cori says:

    I love all the details! Beautiful party! What circuit cartridge did you use for the leaves?

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  19. shauna connolly says:

    Hi there! I just happened to come across your party while searching for fall party ideas. I just wanted to say it is absolutely beautiful! I also wanted to ask what cricut cartridge cut those leaves for you?

    Im hosting a party in a couple weeks and want to use a few of your ideas.

    Such a great inspiration!


  20. […] Photo Credit: Jenetta Penner via HWTM […]