Throw an autumn bash for every occasionCelebrate the new season (in style, of course) with these fun party themes. We tell you who to invite (and who to leave off the guest list), as well as what to serve and how to decorate.
Your VIP List: Invite the coworkers you've been wanting to get to know better, or that other couple from your supper club -- drinks and appetizers are a light commitment; you won’t be stuck with multiple courses if the conversation stalls.
Party Poopers: You know that clingy co-worker? Now is not the time to give in and invite her. Same goes for your uptight boss. And do you really want that friend who can’t handle her booze at your place? Leave her off the guest list, too.
The Set-Up: A chill lounge outdoors, with some comfy sofas, lots of throw pillows and hanging mason jar lanterns.
Signature Drink: Black and tan, anyone? Break out the beer mugs-- chilled, of course.
Nibbles: Quick and easy nibbles that your friends can enjoy all night. Think plates of meats and cheeses, mini quiches (hit up the frozen food section at your market), crab dip and salsa and chips.
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Harvest Dinner Party
Your VIP List: A few couples that you absolutely love hanging out with—this kind of dinner party calls for a major spread and you’ll want to savor dinner (and good conversation) for hours.
Party Poopers: Picky eaters (sorry, but this is one time where you want to be free to cook up a feast without having to worry about people who will only eat three things).
The Set-Up: An inviting table with lots of candles and different textures—woven placemats, runners in rich autumnal hues, mirrors and centerpieces with branches and orange, gold and red blooms.
Signature Drink: Wine—selected for each course. As a general rule, we like something sparkling for your appetizer course (try a cava) and then a Viognier and a Zinfandel for your main course. Serve an ice wine or tawny Port for dessert.
Nibbles: Think roasted root veggies with maple-glazed salmon and steak. For dessert, an apple pie with cinnamon ice cream.
Your VIP List: Invite over your camping buddies (bonus points if you grew up with them), or those cool neighbors you’ve been wanting to get to know.
Party Poopers: High-maintenance friend on a sugar-free diet—or anyone else who might talk about how she never eats this kind of thing all night long.
The Set-Up: Your back yard, with bales of hay and tartan blankets.
Signature Drink: Hot Toddies to beat the cold and Garancha, which makes a blissful match with chocolate.
Nibbles: Go with the classic (graham crackers, chocolate bars and marshmallows), and throw in some fresh twists, like chocolate-peanut butter cups and chocolate-caramel squares.
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