09/24/2014 06:25 pm ET Updated Nov 24, 2014

10 Tips for Fall Entertaining

Fall is officially upon us, and it's not just the leaves that are turning. Our thoughts are also turning, from barbecues and pool parties to fall soirées and Thanksgiving Day feasts. Looking for some ways to spice up your fall fetes? Then feast your eyes on my 10 entertaining tips for fall. As we at The Salonniere like to say, "I feel a party coming on."

1. Choose a stellar date. 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 8 and November 6. If it's not too cool, serve cocktails or dinner outside. Drape 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 an 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, 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 sage is a classic autumnal touch that looks beautiful passed on trays. Garnish your dishes and serving trays with edible fall leaves.

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) 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 vegetables and herbs like chard, beets, purple artichokes, fennel blossoms, rosemary and purple basil.

7. Sprinkle seasonal touches into your décor. Serve your nibbles on leaf-shaped serving platters and choose linens in autumnal shades like gold, rust and pumpkin.

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 the party, thank them for coming and send them home with a warm hug and a thermos filled with cider or a classic caramel apple. Nostalgic touches always make people smile.

10. Chill. Remember to relax and have fun. If you don't have a good time at your autumn fête, your guests won't either.

For more fall entertaining inspiration and tips, visit The Salonniere at