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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
I made these simple little bags for the candy:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The cute brown candles were from Cultural Intrigue, which can be purchased through me.
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.
A few of our pint-sized guests…
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