As the temperatures drop, we are moving most of our gatherings indoors. Us SoCal people have very low tolerance for the cold, and even with outdoor heaters, we prefer to be away from the wind. This is why for my birthday party, I decided on the theme “Cozy Autumn.” I attached my main planning page below.

You can see there are three main sections: Vibe, Food, and Drinks. I have to admit that for me, the main event of a gathering is the food, but the whole thing is an experience. From the moment guests walk through the door, they have to feel the vibe that you want them to feel. Are you going for classy? boujee? rustic? Victorian? Everything ties to the vibe. If you know your vibe, you’ll know everything else. Let’s break down each section.

Vibe. Once you have decided on a vibe, think about the factors that will help you accomplish setting the atmosphere of your party. Think about the senses: sight, smell, hearing, etc. Since my vibe was “Cozy Autumn,” I listed the fireplace, fire pit, autumn inspired scented candles, blankets, pumpkins, oak leaves, and cozy acoustic music. I also left out a polaroid camera and film to let the guests take pictures they can take home as mementos.

It was raining that day so I needed to create guest-friendly spaces in our living area, away from the downpour.. Kind of short notice to buy furniture, so I had to get creative. For the fireplace area, I permanently “borrowed” a coffee table from my dad and arranged throw pillows around it to create a boho grazing area. I took the bench from my home office and put it in this corner along with a bedside table to create a nook for taking pictures and general lounging. I think these fixtures are staying for now as they make my space more inviting.

Food. There’s appetizers, mains, and dessert. It doesn’t have to be a crazy complicated menu, but I like to follow the 1, 3, 2 rule: 1 appetizer, 3 mains, and 2 desserts. To add to the vibe, I also prepared a s’mores station by the fireplace. 

Drinks. Prepare alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks plus those tiny water bottles. For this party, I chose Abuelita hot chocolate (with a Kahlua option) and apple cider in a crockpot with apples and oranges + spices (cardamom, fennel, cinnamon sticks, star anise, nutmeg).

Et voila! You have a cozy autumn gathering.



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