Catersource is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Your Checklist for Pulling Off the Perfect Fall Event

In recent years, the event industry has witnessed a pretty significant shift in popularity from the tried-and-true summer event to the eclectic, seasonal fall event. This transition has brought about a plethora of new trends, especially in the realm of weddings. But here’s the real question—how is a fall event different from a summer event in terms of logistics and your overall checklist for success?

Seasonal transformation

We don’t have to tell you twice that fall itself is one of the most beautiful times of the year, and wine country is no exception! Like most other landscapes, the vineyards take on a beautiful palette of gold, orange, and vibrant red. Because of this, we often see guests move toward the more formal event rather than the casual events that we typically see during the summer months.

Logistically, the planning process looks about the same, but play it safe when it comes to organizing timelines. The weather can be variable depending on where you are, of course, but keep in mind that the timing of the sunset can come into play if you’re opting for an afternoon event.

Strawberries are terrific in the spring and summer, but don’t expect that your caterer will have local berries in the fall. Photo courtesy Ken Kienow Photography

Menu & availability

Perhaps one of the most crucial factors to prioritize for your fall event is the menu. What’s in season? What will mesh well with the weather and the atmosphere of the event? For example, you might not want to suggest a caprese salad in October when local tomatoes are no longer in season and will not be flavorful. Work with ripe ingredients that will bring element of fall into the event.

Don’t be afraid to offer soups or pasta as a first course! If guests have been mingling outside for the cocktail hour or ceremony, they’ll welcome a warm, comforting dish.

Availability is also key. Fall is no longer considered ‘off-season’ when it comes to weddings, so don’t assume that your dream vendors or venue will be available. This is especially true based on region, as each region has its own busy season regardless of month.

Some aspects of your event can be planned for outside, but consider that as the night approaches, you may need to move inside. Photo courtesy Apollo Fotographie

Outdoor planning

Regardless of climate, outdoor events are still a popular option during the fall months. Often times, the fall temperature is mild enough for a cocktail reception or wedding ceremony, and couples will hold a portion of the event outdoors. To make the space more enjoyable on a cooler day, heaters can be added to the venue as well.

Remember to notify guests if you’re planning part of your event outdoors so that they can arrive prepared. Consider renting tents to create a wonderful space with lighting and draping for added comfort and décor.

Having this checklist under your belt will ensure that your event goes off without a hitch!

Want to orchestrate the perfect event? Catersource 2019 is where you will find all of the information you need. Click here for the latest information.

Heather Jones

Catering Sales Director

Heather Jones is the Catering Sales Director for Wente Vineyards, a family-owned property that is home to a winery and vineyards, a golf course, restaurant, and a handful of unique facilities for hosting weddings and special events.