The following fall festival took place at our church in celebration of our 10th Annivesary. And I’m not joking, the actual date was Oct. 10, making the theme 10-10-10. We were blessed to have Matthew West lead in us worship that morning before celebrating with an outdoor lunch, planned by yours truly and a few other gals from the church. I was able to snap these photos minutes before everything let loose.
I designed invitations with matching posters and had an RSVP system of taking a ticket from a table in the foyer, and we kept count of how many were taken.
The table was decorated with actual decor we’d be using at the party, including mini bales of straw, split green peas, galvanized tins, ball jars with votives, sunflowers with pear picks, and burlap. Very country and rustic, right?
This system worked pretty well – we had almost 150 tickets taken, but we served lunch to around 200 that day. I think some people invited family members at the last second when they heard Matthew West would be singing!
We set up a tent right outside the church front doors, and spilled the party out onto the patio. We were lucky because most items were borrowed or donated, including the tent, tables, chairs, linens, vases, galvinized tins, pumpkins, bales of straw, and corn stalks. Everyone just kind of came together with the items we needed for the decor!
We kept the drinks simple, serving iced tea and lemonade from pretty drink dispensers and offered bottles of water in a large galvanized tin.
There was a buffet-style serving line featuring BBQ from a local favorite, T.C. Memphis BBQ. Even though his storefront shut down, most don’t know he still caters. And when he does, people go crazy! He still has so many fans of his menu–surely he’ll reopen someday! The line started with plates held upright by an old crate and plasticware wrapped in yellow napkins and finished with a bow of twine.
Of course we offered PBJs for the pickier eaters.
There was a carmel apple bar, with dipping carmel kept warm in crockpots and a few choices of toppings to sprinkle.
And then the beautiful dessert bar, filled with crunchy pumpkin bars and brownies from scratch that several ladies made for the festival.
I made all the food labels and tags the morning of (eek!). There weren’t that many so I handcut them all the secured them with double-sided tape to ribbons.
We created the centerpieces using a bulk order of sunflowers from Sam’s Club combined with greenery from my backyard, including fresh sage and evergreen arranged in floral foam. We also had some artificial pear picks that really helped fill in holes! Everything was accented with burlap, mini-pumpkins, and ball jars holding split peas and tealights.
There were some other fun features at the party, like this couch and chair we built from bales of straw. I threw a quilt on top with some toss pillows.
We also set up a photo booth by stapling a vintage sheet background to an outdoor wall, defined the space with some bales of straw, and set up a camera and remote with easy instructions. I also bought a few frames from Goodwill and spray painted them orange and green. We handwrote some signs and made mustaches to complete the ensemble.
Some of the photos:
Me and my hubby.
The event couldn’t have gone better. We even had enough food for everyone! This would make such a cute Thankgiving tablesetting as well. I attribute the success to the many loving volunteers who worked their tails off setting up the event and to be well organized. I had created a large packet of setup instructions, complete with diagrams, layouts, and photo mock-ups. I’m so glad I did because my partner in crime with 37 weeks pregnant and went into labor the night before setup. It pays to be organized! I love fall festivals, and this one was my favorite.
For more Thanksgiving ideas and to see where I partied: