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Even a man who is pure in heart may become a wolf when the autumn moon is bright.

Howdy, pumpkin. Grab your Sazerac because we’re toasting the Autumnal Equinox, the day when the sun shines directly on the Earth’s equator and starts heading south. In other words, it’s the first day of the fall party season, doll, and we’re feeling tipsy. Want to spice up your autumn soirée? Then feast your eyes on our 10 best entertaining tips for fall.

1. Choose a stellar date. Let’s face it, there’s nothing more festive than an autumn moon, so hold your party on or around an evening when the moon is full and bright. Full moon dates this fall are October 8th and November 6th. If it’s not too cool, serve cocktails or dinner outside. You can always drape pretty throws in seasonal colors over the backs of the chairs for those who get chilly.

2. Harvest your guest list. Select your guest list carefully to ensure a fun, interesting and diverse mix of guests. Have a look through your social media feeds to see who had interesting experiences over the summer that you think others might enjoy hearing about.

3. Spice things up with a signature cocktail. Welcome your guests with a drink that puts them in the mood for the cool, crisp days of autumn. Try a Spiced Pear Collins, which is made with gin (you know we’re gin girls, darlin’), pear puree and rosemary.

4. Prepare a seasonal feast. Serve warm, earthy nibbles with squash, pears, fennel, figs, apples and other fall flavors. Butternut squash soup served in shot glasses and garnished with fried sage leaves is a classic autumnal touch that looks beautiful passed on trays. Garnish your dishes and serving trays with edible fall leaves.

Edible fall leaves and flowers

Salads with edible fall leaves and flowers make a delicious seasonal statement

5. Fill the air with the sounds of autumn. Create a playlist that reflects the sounds of the season. It’s a subtle – but instrumental (pun intended, darlin’) – touch. Songs to consider are “Autumn Leaves” by Nat King Cole, “September” by Earth, Wind and Fire and “Forever Autumn” by the Moody Blues.

6. Bring a taste of autumn to your flowers. Reflect the bounty of fall with floral arrangements that include seasonal fruits, vegetables and herbs like chard, beets, purple artichokes, fennel blossoms, rosemary and purple basil.

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Artichokes add wonderful texture to autumnal arrangements

7. Sprinkle seasonal touches into your décor. Serve your nibbles on leaf-shaped serving platters like those from Michael Aram and choose linens in autumnal shades like gold, rust and pumpkin. Sferra’s Festival collection offers an abundance of hues from which to choose.

Michael Aram

Serving pieces from the Michael Aram Botanical Collection

8. Stoke the embers of friendship. Use lots of candles to make everyone look and feel gorgeous. Place votives in groups on tables to draw people together as though they’re gathering around a hearth.

9. Gather the leaves. As each guest leaves your party, thank them for coming and send them home with a warm hug and an old-fashioned thermos filled with cider or a classic caramel apple – nostalgic touches always make people smile.

Caramel apples

10. Chill. Remember to relax and have fun. You know how it goes, sugar. If you don’t have a good time at your autumn fête, your guests won’t either.

For more fall entertaining ideas, have a look at our story about the 10 best new entertaining books.

Introductory image: Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart in Sabrina, 1954
Introductory quote: The Wolf Man, 1941

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