Fall may strike some people as a season unsuited to an engagement party. For the resourceful, this only brings in different, maybe even better options. You switch your mojitos to wine, put on your scarves, and do all the things that turn your fall-centric party into the stuff of multi-generational legends. Here, few things matter as much as the cuisine you pick, which is why we have put together a food-and-cocktail guide to point you towards what works best.
A Warm Welcome
No guest wants to feel ignored when they arrive unless they are extremely introverted and would not rather be at the party either. The point is that you need to make people feel welcome with something delicious and warm, such as spiked cider or some other greeter cocktail.
Underscore your Region
Choose food options to remind people that you are proud of where you are from. If you are from the South, for instance, throw in as much of the regional charm as you can comfortably afford to. Get a food truck to come service the guests, serve lobster salad, fried chicken, etc. and see how people throw themselves into the festive mood you want them in.
Add Detail to you Fall-Based Tablescape
To make everything look cohesive, complement your autumn table display with a charcuterie board and serve the local cheese on these. Add some tasty fruits too, so that people can balance the taste without having to take a drink.
Set Up Cheerful-Looking Seasonal Garnishes
For an autumn engagement party, drinks go exceedingly well with herbs and garnishes that spruce up the cocktails. Consider including ‘The Bonfire’ on the menu – a drink combining apple cider, bourbon, sugar cube, soda, and bitters. You could also have fresh cinnamon sticks served out as garnishes, or even apple slices.
Bring Out your Garden Produce
Munching on fresh harvest veggies is not something you cannot do after summer is up. At a fall party, you could serve an assortment of veggie crudités, and watch in satisfaction because the crowd is bound to lap it up.
Make Room for Comfort Foods
Plenty of naysayers would call a return to comfort foods bad form, but considering these are people you know, and not the President and First Lady visiting you like you probably dream about, getting the guests to chill out is among your main goals. Serve tomato soup canapé, so that people can go back to that time in memory where they used to be young, happy, and cozy.
Go in for Traditional Fall Favorites
Cold weather months get harder the more you slip into a sulky way of approaching them. Stay lively and get cozy with some apple cider straight out of the press. Maybe even have people press out their own cider, and let them have a bottle they can take home. If you are the first one to use this idea, it is sure to leave a mark.
Prefer Healthy and Sustainable Foods
Locally sourced ingredients, an eco-friendly list of items, and the right setting can make many guests more receptive towards the food served at the tables. While it is not that people absolutely require this aspect to come in play where dining is concerned, many would have hang-ups about overindulging. To assuage the health conscious portion of your guest list, serve a salad of grains and seeds along with fresh fruit.
Place the Squash Front and Center
Barring pumpkin, nothing says fall as effectively as squash at a party. It makes for a down-to-earth entrée, appetizer, or dessert, and adjusting your menu to fit it can be a great way to celebrate the season. You may want to consider a squash salad decorated with roasted acorn rings. Throw in some mixed field greens, shaved yellow squash, and toasted seeds for uniqueness.
If your event is scheduled for before sunset, you may want to try out alternatives to the traditional dinner entrée. Serve a miniature avocado toast to make it easy for our guests to binge later, so that you have a unique take on breakfast.
Make the Pairings Stand Out
This is a smart way to turn the dessert station into the proverbial honey pot. If you are serving cider doughnuts, for example, pair them with a cocktail mixed out of cider. Throw in toppings, glazes and such, so that even the more shy guests can go have a look-see without feeling embarrassed.
Don’t Do Heavy
Heavier foods are not a menu requirement for parties held in colder months. Instead, go for small sweets, like little cheesecakes that melt in the mouth, with nuts that offer a gratifying crunch. For the perfect bit of fall, add Douglas fir.
These are some ideas you can use for a fall engagement party. Of course, this is not exhaustive, but if you have ideas of your own, it would be good to run them by your event planner first.