table set for lunch outdoors in beautiful sunny autumn park. charcoal grill and picnic basket with baguette bread, sandwich, fruit and vegetables. cooking for bbq and grill party in fall.

Outdoor Parties: a Joy for Any Season

Spring and summer are the obvious times for outdoor parties, since the days are long and warm. However, you don’t have to pack up and head indoors just because the trees are changing color. Outdoor parties continue to have a lot of benefits over indoor ones, no matter what the season.

More People

There are only so many people you can comfortably fit inside your house, especially since people are going to be moving regularly to get food and drink or to start new conversations. Backyards, even modest ones, generally hold many more people.

Of course, it can get nippy in autumn, and the closer you get to winter, the more likely you’re going to encounter bad weather. But autumn parties can be held well into October, at least. Everyone just needs to remember to dress appropriately, which they need to do no matter what season it is. Sure, October is chilly, but remember when July was scorching!

Minimal Clean Up

Indoor parties require your house to be spotless with every object in its place. That level of meticulousness is unneeded when your guests are going to be outside.

Moreover, it’s much easier to clean up an outdoor party. Everything is likely disposable, so it can all be swept into trash bags. And if there have been spills, they are unlikely to cause damage, having simply hit the ground, a plastic table cloth or a picnic table which is used to such abuses.

Happy child having fun with autumn leaves

Separation of Kids and Adults

Kids are adorable, but you don’t need them hanging on you every second. Likewise, kids get bored if they have to hang out with grownups all day. Outdoor parties have the space to segregate kids from adults. Toys and games can be provided in one area to entertain children, leaving the adults to their own conversations.

Benefit of an Autumn Party: A Fire Pit

Fire pits are a wonderful addition to an autumn party that runs into the evening. They provide warmth and light, and food can be cooked over it. Kids, with supervision, often enjoy them, especially if they can cook hot dogs or make s’mores over them.

Remember Lighting in the Autumn!

The sun is setting earlier and earlier every fall day. In the summer, the northern American states see the sun until about 9pm. In October, it’s closer to 6pm.

Many homes have backyard floodlights for safety reasons, and these can certainly contribute to the lighting issue. However, the light is glaringly bright to anyone having to face it.

Consider stringing lights across the area. These can be attached to the house, trees, and poles erected for this purpose. This lighting is much more soft and even, setting the right tone while keeping things safe.

Just because we’re going into fall doesn’t mean we have to move indoors. Every season has its challenges. Consider what you have to work with to make sure your parties can extend well past the summer season.

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Table setting with evergreen sprigs, pinecones and ribbon on a white wood background

Color Themes for Every Season

Color themes are a basic part of event planning. Repeating a limited number of colors across napkins, invitations, tablecloths, centerpieces and more creates an inviting sense of uniformity and sophistication, even for casual events.

If your party has a theme, color selection is often easy. Independence Day parties obviously call for red, white and blue. Graduation parties use school colors. Decorations for children’s parties are generally bold, while other parties often use more complex and subtle tones.

If a party does not have a theme, it might be more difficult to come up with a color scheme. One approach is to choose a single color, then choose one or two additional colors which work well with it. It’s best not to use all three colors equally. Choose one dominant color and use the others to lesser degrees.

If you’re having difficulty even choosing a primary color, consider taking suggestions from the seasons.

Spring

Spring is the season of returning life, and seasonal colors take their cue from fresh blooms. You might consider choosing a plant for decoration first and then working off of its colors for your color scheme.

Spring colors are bright and rich. You can include pastels, but don’t lose the brightness, and certainly stay away from muted colors that have been mixed with gray.

Summer

Summer is perhaps the most diverse in its color schemes. Like spring, it skews toward bright colors, although summer emphasizes pastels more. Summer colors often reflect warmth with shades of yellow, orange and red, but they don’t have to avoid cooler, refreshing colors either.

 autumn decor with candle, sunflower and pumpkin

Autumn

Autumn colors take their cue from the changing leaves. Golds, oranges, reds and browns are the base colors for this season, and mixing them often produces the best results. The oranges should bear hints of red or brown, for example, rather than being the bright color of the fruit.

Winter

Even people who enjoy the snow welcome returning to the cozy warmth of home. Therefore, winter colors are often deep and rich, while also being muted. Evergreen is a popular example. This deep green brings color to an often stark landscape – it’s the reason evergreens have been associated with the season for just about forever. However, it’s not a bright green like grass or summer leaves.

Stay away from stark whites. The snow already provides more than enough of it. Consider ivory, light gray and other off-whites instead.

However you choose your colors, do not feel compelled to follow strict rules. These ideas (and others found throughout the internet) are merely a starting point. Often, once a single color is chosen, it becomes much easier to find accent colors. Find a color scheme that is uniquely yours to help decorate all your events.

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