We started off with the invitation. As much as I love paper invitations, this was a quickly-planned get-together, and we needed to let people know fast. Paperless Post is my favorite stop for online invitations that are design-worthy and unique, plus they have a new printing feature and a lot of the "cards" are by independent designers. (And you get more RSVPs when it's as easy as a quick click.)
Next, was the menu. A rich, venison chili (check out the recipe here) that we slow-cooked all day in preparation for the evening was in the spotlight, with sweet cornbread, apple cider and a homemade amuse-bouche of garlicky beef and goat cheese dip. Cocktails included an array of warming whiskeys (delightful in cider!) or St. Germain-Champagne cocktails, and of course, red wine.
The intimate number of guests arrived around 6:30pm, where we toasted next to an open fire, ate around a colorful fall table, including painted pumpkins, and outdoor foliage from Fall itself. The party didn't take itself too seriously, obviously, with multi-colored, felted acorns scattered about, yummy peanut butter M&Ms and our little chihuahua who wore a very specific sign on her sweater for guests to heed (see photo). Combined with a cozy, autumnal playlist on the iPod, the evening was charming, warm and left everyone fed & happy.
Photos: Andie Powers