exterior & outdoor living

Fall Patio Dinner Party

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com Since I have so much free time right now (joking!), I figured I’d go all out and host a fall dinner party. In all seriousness, Emmett and I have hosted a fall gathering every year since moving to Utah, and I couldn’t bear breaking tradition- especially since our patio is all set up. No excuses! I loaded the space with fall hues, plenty of candles, flowers, pumpkins, beautiful tableware, and a fun lantern installation. Click through to read all about it, get the DIY details, and see how it went…

*This post is sponsored by Walmart. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the brands that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we actually use & enjoy!

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com Given our friends have seen our patio multiple times over the summer (we host often- remember our 4th of July BBQ?), I wanted to switch things up in the backyard. I made some easy updates like swapping the rug, adding a tablecloth to our existing patio table, along with new napkins and chargers, and I also bought gorgeous brass and black flatware.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com Perhaps the most fun part of our fall patio is the lanterns and floral installation that hangs from our pergola. I went all out with this easy DIY! Thanks to Walmart Home, I was able to score a bunch of paper lanterns and faux wisteria for a budget-friendly project that makes a BIG impact. If you’re looking to update your outdoor space or patio as the weather changes, check out their DIY & Done page for fall inspiration indoors and out.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com I just used clear fishing line to string up the lanterns. The wisteria was even easier to install! I ended up weaving it through the pergola slats and since it has bendable wire inside, it stays really well and looks pretty natural.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com I also potted some GIANT mums. If you missed my fall window planter box tutorial- check that out here. They add one of my favorite fall colors, burnt sienna, plus plenty of texture to the patio.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com In addition to mums, I also put together a quick and easy floral arrangement for the bar cart. To make things feel a bit more formal, I used these gorgeous linen cocktail napkins. I bring them out for all of our “fancy” parties or special occasions because the stitching is so pretty.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com Believe it or not, it’s already getting pretty chilly here at night- to the point where we had to pull out our outdoor heater to be more comfortable. The evening started in the 60’s and dropped into the high 40’s by the end of the night, so blankets and throws were also necessary.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com Per usual, our outdoor parties are dog friendly- so I liked to keep the water bowl filled for our furry friends! I still love the dog vignette alongside the bar cart. Although, the dogs were disappointed I didn’t have the beverage bucket out this time around… they typically enjoy stealing ice cubes from it.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com To make the tablescape feel extra cozy, I did a lot of layering: lanterns, candles, small pumpkins, a table cloth, table runner, chargers, cloth napkins, brass flatware… the whole nine yards! I love the way it turned out.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com I’m also digging the way the geometric rug plays with the pergola slats. It feels like a nice balance that adds a modern touch to our traditional backyard.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com I still can’t believe this pretty pergola was here when we bought the house. We’ve taken advantage of this space so much since moving in. We’ve shared dinner more outside than we have inside. Maybe part of that is because we don’t have a finished dining space yet, but obviously we’re in no hurry thanks to this gorgeous spot. I’d rather dine al fresco anyway.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com Emmett and I have talked (more like dreamed) about adding an outdoor kitchen area to our patio someday. We have plenty on our plate for the time being, but maybe next summer or the following, we can try to make it happen. As much as we entertain, it would come in so handy… plus it would be a fun design challenge for me.

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com If you’re wondering what we served for dinner, since the forecast was cooler, I made my favorite chicken pot pie recipe with mashed potatoes. The pot pie is always a crowd comfort food favorite!

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com I also picked out some red wine because there’s nothing better for a romantic fall dinner party. One of my friends said she felt like she was in Europe on our patio- that’s such a wonderful compliment!

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com Later in the evening, I brought out dessert- cookie brownie bars! I cheated and bought them because I’ve had zero time since the One Room Challenge started, but I feel like arranging store or bakery-bought treats on a fun platter always makes them feel more special. It’s all about presentation!

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com I really wish I could leave our patio like this forever, but I know it’s not weatherproof or sustainable for the snowy Utah winter that will be here soon. However, we had the best time using this space for our fall party and I’m thinking we’ll keep it like this for a week before rain rolls in and enjoy it just a little bit longer before I take things down and pack it away for our next patio party in the spring!

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com If you’re interested in sources, click directly on the items below, or use the links at the bottom of the collage to be redirected… 

01: rattan chargers // 02: brass & black flatware // 03: paper lanterns… I bought two sets: this one and this one // 04: faux wisteria // 05: patio heater // 06: scalloped pie dishes // 07: linen cocktail napkins // 08: geometric outdoor rug // 09: napkins // 10: tablecloth

Fall Patio Dinner Party - roomfortuesday.com So, what do you think?! I hope my photos captured the magic of this dinner party. It is SO incredible in person and I tried my best to share it as accurately as I could through my camera lens, but it doesn’t do it justice. Is anyone else entertaining this fall before the holiday season arrives? What kind of weekend plans are on your agenda? We’ll be working on house projects. Happy Friday, friends!!

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  • Reply
    Peggi
    October 4, 2019 at 5:04 am

    Umm, I definitely squealed audibly when I saw your opening image! Magical! You certainly know how to hostess. I am actually planning a party for later in the month, so now I’m trying to figure out if I can make the lanterns work inside… So fun! Glad you took a little time for food and friends among all your hard work. Happy Friday! Cheers to a productive weekend!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 4, 2019 at 9:19 am

      Haha, YAY!! I love hearing that. Thanks so much Peggi! I bet you could definitely make the lanterns work inside. Hope you have an amazing weekend :) xo

  • Reply
    Linda
    October 4, 2019 at 6:31 am

    Absolutely gorgeous. Love how you are using inexpensive things from Walmart! I do have one crazy question…whenever I see beautiful table scapes like this, I wonder if the hostess leaves the tall decorations (in this case your lanterns) on the table during the actual meal? It would seem to block the view of the person directly across from you. Did you remove them for the actual dinner?

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 4, 2019 at 9:20 am

      Thank you Linda! Great question… I move the lanterns during dinner. I just sat them beside the mums (so they’re still pretty), and it made room for the food. I also like seeing everyone at the table, so it’s easier to chat :) xox

  • Reply
    Dotti
    October 4, 2019 at 9:31 am

    Gorgeous! I want to go to a party like yours! What a way to make everyone feel festive. And . . . I’m buying that rug 😉

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 4, 2019 at 9:31 am

      Thank you Dotti! We had such a fun time :)

  • Reply
    Mara
    October 6, 2019 at 10:58 am

    Sarah, I enjoy your site so much! I need to buy a white pergola–something like yours. What do you think–white cedar, vinyl, paint regular cedar, other options?

    Please help!

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 7, 2019 at 9:32 pm

      Hi Mara! Thank you so much! It totally depends on your personal preference, how much maintenance you want to tackle, your lifestyle, use for a pergola, etc. Good luck and happy shopping! xo

      • Reply
        Mara
        October 9, 2019 at 9:59 pm

        Can you share what yours is made of?

        • Reply
          Sarah
          October 10, 2019 at 11:15 am

          Absolutely! This is from the Pella AdvantagePlus line… the glass is tempered, the door is insulated, the exterior frame material is clad (painted black), and the interior frame material is wood. You can really customize the door to your liking. We wanted heavy, solid doors that will wear well!

  • Reply
    Tracy
    October 7, 2019 at 1:11 pm

    Looks so beautiful! This may be a dumb question, but did you have lights inside the paper lanterns, or just the string lights alongside them? (We only have one I convenient outlet around our outdoor table, but I wonder now if maybe the lanterns could give off pretty vibes even if they weren’t lit up.)

    • Reply
      Sarah
      October 7, 2019 at 9:38 pm

      Thank you Tracy! There are no dumb questions :) I bought little LED lights to put inside the lanterns, BUT didn’t use them. They looked to blue / cool. Therefore, the only thing lit up is my string lights- not the lanterns. I think they look just fine on their own (plus- wayyyy less work)! Still charming, in my opinion. Hope this helps! xo

  • Reply
    Tracy
    October 7, 2019 at 1:12 pm

    Oops, that’s one inconvenient (far away) outlet.

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