Are you throwing a fall soiree or just planning on inviting a few people over for some bites and cocktails? Would you like to have a little autumn-themed dinner party on a whim? Check out my Fall Entertaining JustHaves…you’ll find a few bites, drinks, décor ideas and handy items to elevate any autumn event – with ease.

Fall Entertaining JustHave #1: Leaf Rubber Stamp – You can use a stamp like this one – preferably with a ruddy autumnal or metallic ink pad color – to decorate everything from plain paper napkins and place cards to paper invitations and even inflated balloons! It adds such a lovely and whimsical thematic touch to your décor without being too pricey or stuffy.

Fall Entertaining JustHave #2: Autumnal/Rustic Serving Pieces – You can go with something quite literally fall themed like this gorgeous Gourd Tureen, or you can choose to go a bit more rustic and/or reclaimed. For example, you can repurpose a wood red wine crate by flipping it upside down and using it as a dessert station or other elevated serving display.

Fall Entertaining JustHave #3: Fall Themed Dishes – What’s better than a hearty, homemade pumpkin soup? Why, one that’s served in a hollowed out mini pumpkin, of course! You could also just use a large pumpkin as your soup tureen – add a ladle, and voila! Guests can serve themselves. Thinking of making cookies? Why not add a little maple brown butter glaze to your favorite sugar cookie recipe – made with these adorable cutters?

Fall Entertaining JustHave #4: Fall Aromas – Put a stick of cinnamon and a clove into a pot of simmering water to fill your home with the aroma of autumn. Scented apple-themed candles are also nice, but I actually prefer to brew up some mulled cider for guests in a crock pot. All it takes is a few jugs of cider – locally sourced from an orchard, if you’re lucky! – and some mulling spices tied in cheesecloth. You can do the same thing with red wine in the crock pot as well…it’s divine.

Fall Entertaining JustHave #5: Cozy Creature Comforts – Fall and comfort go hand in hand. It’s the time of year when we naturally crave warmth, hearty foods and cozy sweaters. So, consider ways to indulge guests in that drive. Light a fire in the fireplace. Add a few more throw pillows and blankets. Serve warm and soothing foods and beverages. Heck, even give a few extra hugs. And, if yours is a “no shoes” house, why not offer up some complimentary fuzzy socks or slippers as “party favors? Curl up and relax with your favorite people. I can’t think of a better way to welcome Fall, can you?

Do you have any Fall Entertaining #JustHaves? Tweet/Post/Comment your ideas with the tag #FallEntertainingJustHaves on your favorite social media outlet:, @JustineSantaniello on Instagram and @JNSantaniello on Twitter.

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