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How to Celebrate the Autumn Equinox

There’s something about the lessening daylight hours that makes summer to fall feel like such a natural transition. While crisp weather might be months away here in Austin, that doesn’t stop me from embracing fall on my own terms. I love a good excuse to gather with friends, and if it happens to align with the changing seasons? Even better. This year the Autumn Equinox falls on September 22, but to be honest, I think this kind of outdoor dinner party could work any evening in September or October. Just add good drinks, a crowd-pleasing meal, and a folksy fall playlist.

 

Plaid tablecloth for an Autumn Equinox dinner partyTable lantern centerpieces for an Autumn Equinox dinner partyBrass pepper mill, Autumn Equinox dinner party

 

HOW TO CELEBRATE THE AUTUMN EQUINOX

 

My Design Playbook

 

As the first official day of fall, the Autumn Equinox is a great time of year to host a simple get-together. It’s early enough to avoid the scheduling chaos of the holidays and warm enough to enjoy a dinner set outdoors. If you’ve got a large backyard for hosting, I recommend setting up one long table a true family-style experience.

I think hosting an Autumn Equinox dinner is all about evoking a warm and inviting feeling. Think cozy, folksy, and camp-inspired. I fell in love with this chestnut-colored Glen Plaid Tablecloth by Heather Taylor Home, but there are so many similar pieces, like this dupe from Target. From there, I added vintage lanterns from a mix of antique stores, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace, and Vermont Lanterns. The idea was to curate a mismatched collection, so I opted for a variety of shapes, sizes, and finishes to get that perfectly imperfect look. Enameled dinner plates and mugs help keep things casual, and knit throw blankets add some texture to the mix. Natural fall foliage brought depth and color, while handkerchief-tied napkins and wood-handled flatware rounded out the details.

 

 

More to Read: 5 Steps to Plan a Styled Shoot

 

Outdoor fall dinner party ideas with a plaid tablecloth and lantern centerpiecesStacked baskets for a rustic fall dinner partyFall table setting with a brown handkerchief napkin

 

 

Autumn Equinox Dinner Party

SET THE TABLE

 

 

Plaid Tablecloth + similar

Plates

Mugs

Flatware

Glasses

Lanterns (vintage, various sources)

Handkerchiefs

Brass Pepper Mill

Dutch Oven (similar)

Dining Chairs (use code Anastasia15 to save)

 

 

Rustic fall table ideas for an Autumn Equinox dinner party

 

RECIPE IDEA

 

Simple Ribollita

 

It’s not an Autumn Equinox party without a steaming pot of soup, but finding a single recipe to please everyone is no easy task. Luckily, our whole team tested the best fall soups, and Ribollita was a fan favorite. It’s a very traditional Italian soup made with veggies, broth, beans, and bread. While it’s loaded with flavor, the ingredient list is really simple. It’s also vegetarian and dairy-free (if you omit the Parmesan), which helps immensely when you’re working around different dietary needs. Serve it along with a fall harvest salad and an extra loaf of crusty bread for dipping.

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 8 garlic cloves
  • 2 bunches Tuscan kale
  • 1 small wedge of Parmesan with rind
  • 1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
  • ½ loaf crusty country bread (about 10 oz.)
  • ⅓cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 14-oz. can cannellini beans
  • ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes

 

 

Directions:

Step-by-step visual instructions via Bon Appétit

 

Fall soup recipes from an Autumn Equinox dinner party

 

 

PRACTICAL TIPS

 

AND A COORDINATING PLAYLIST

 

  • Woven baskets are a clever way to transport plates, napkins, and extras to-and-from the house when entertaining outdoors.

 

  • If you’re serving dessert, try something that doesn’t need to be served warm. These apple blondies can easily be made ahead – just add the hot toddy glaze when you’re ready to serve.

 

  • Consider setting up a side table or drink station to act as a “drop zone” for overflow dishes that may not fit on the table. This will save lots of trips indoors throughout the evening.

 

  • Candles are pretty, but lanterns stand up better to wind. LED table lamps are another great outdoor lighting alternative—no drop cord required.

 

  • Don’t forget to create a vibe with a folksy fall playlist. I’ve curated one filled with 3+ hours of mellow music from top indie bands.

 

 

 

Shop the Look

 

 

 

Here’s some additional fall-inspired content we think you’ll love:

 

 

Table Design & Styling: The Identité Collective | Photography: Madeline Harper

 


 

IDCO Studio is a boutique creative agency specialized in beautiful and unique marketing solutions for interior designers. Focused on branding, web design and Instagram marketing, IDCO Studio is a woman owned and operated team of creatives based in Austin, Texas. The Identité Collective, which began as a business blog quickly grew into a collaborative community focused on providing business strategy and visual inspiration to the interior design community.

Now you can find our shop of resources, templates and custom branding and web design work over at IDCO Studio – leaving The Identité Collective as a permanent resource for our beloved design community.

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