Today’s post takes a look at the Friendsgiving decor I created for YOUR Inspiration!
Friendsgiving is something that came to my home with my oldest daughter. No surprise, as my girl (aka, bySophiaLee) is the “Martha Stewart of the Millenials”! This new-fangled event continues in her friend group and is now also shared by my youngest daughter, Stella.
I think it’s actually really sweet. Friends coming together to focus on making dinner together, decorating, and enjoying their common bonds.
I’m putting this out early in hopes that you will share this with your friends, family – and if you’re parents – with your kids too!
If you want to replicate the fall table decor exactly, then you can jump over to the DIY that breaks it down, step-by-step, and product-by-product.
All of the products are shown at the bottom of the post. Click HERE to jump to them now!
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.
decorating always means clearing out!
Whenever I start decorating, the first thing I like to do is clean and clear! After I did this in our dining room, three (maybe four) surfaces became available for me to conceive my decorating plan.
Here you see we have a dry bar on the left, the main dining table, and a console table. This room is open to the kitchen so I like to coordinate it to have a touch of something too! That’s the “maybe four” I mentioned.
For those of you who are new to the way I decorate, I like it to be pretty simple (Christmas aside) and NOT over-the-top. That said, I want this Friendsgiving inspiration to really get you excited so I went just a touch overboard. Just a bit!
Let’s start with the dry bar
The dry bar has a function, so the counter needs to remain clear. This is where I like to place dessert trays and extra place setting supplies.
Using the cake stand and lantern I already own, I layered on fun fall pumpkins and garland with (my signature) candles.
I absolutely LOVE remote battery-operated candles. Most of the ones I have I either get at Costco or from Michaels. By using the remote, I never have to disrupt the displays! Winner!
The pumpkins are faux but in the best possible way. I’ve found Michaels to have the best faux pumpkins without spending an arm and a leg. They can get really expensive. Remember coupons! Always use coupons at Michaels! (Click HERE to see the ones I use.)
The cake stand gives a really nice height BUT it might need to be used for desserts. If that happens, I’ll just find a new home for our three pumpkins nesting there for now.
I’m in love with the garland, btw. It’s very neutral (point) and it has extremely subtle bits of gold in the “berries”. Point. Point.
Moving on to the console, a pure staging area
Okay, I confess that I’m writing this before Halloween. Why do I need to confess? Because I’ve placed one of my favorite new decorations on the console and it doesn’t fit Friendsgiving at all.
But come on! Who doesn’t love a giant cast iron black spider! Eek! lol. (Seriously, I think he’s so cute in a kinda gross sort of way.)
Two surfaces done, now the elephant in the room! The coup de … well, something. I don’t remember a lot of French. (comment below if you know … Leigh, you probably remember haha)
The Main Event – Dining for Eight
A quick note before going into the next section. If you see these pics and think, “Absolutely NO WAY can I pull that off!” Then think again. I’ve put together an entire step-by-step DIY tutorial on each little bit to make this Friendsgiving Table Decor. You can do it! Click HERE to take a peek. It’s in our DIY Library.
The color scheme for the table continues in neutrals. I love it to look like I was just strolling around my 100-acre estate when I picked up some pine cones and field flowers to casually decorate for you, my friends!
It’s enough for all of your Friendsgiving guests to pause as they enter and gasp, yet it looks almost effortless.
Having name cards is a great way to break up the girls and boys, who even as adults often tend to group together. It also keeps tabs on any frenemies who happen to be invited. Let’s keep everyone happy and have a “no-drama, mamma” Friendsgiving.
The tall taper candles are a favorite of mine. I love the height they give to the centerpiece, yet they aren’t an obstruction. It’s easy to talk right across them. And the ambiance they provide … ahhh! Nothing against the battery-candles, which I do truly LOVE, yet there is nothing better than a true flame.
Suggestions for a great Friendsgiving
Having been present for several Friendsgivings, I have made some useful observations. Regardless of age, these are some best practices you may want to employ.
Send a Paper Invitation 3-Weeks in Advance
This implies the importance of the event so it is made a priority on the guests’ calendars. 3-weeks gives enough time to clear their schedule.
On the invitation, include an R.s.v.p. date 10 days prior to the event. That will leave you enough time to check in with anyone who hasn’t responded and rearrange the menu (see below).
INclude a Note Regarding ATtire
Be clear with the dress code. Keep it dressy-casual or semi-casual. Dressing well elevates both the behavior and conversation.
Assign Food & Beverage to Guests
One of the best parts of Friendsgiving is that each of the guests brings a dish or beverage to share. As the host, however, you need to think this through. Consider each guest and what they can be relied upon for bringing.
Let’s face it, we all have friends who we love but are a little less than reliable. Don’t assign something major to these people. A side dish or appetizer is a good option 😉 . Never the gravy or mashed potatoes!
As host, you will be responsible for the main entre, such as a turkey if that’s what you’re serving. You’re also going to take care of the place settings, serving utensils, and buffet tools (e.g., chafing dishes).
Great items to assign include:
- Side Courses
Be a bit specific with the beverages, salads, and side courses so you don’t have repeats. And let the guests know what the main course is so their contribution compliments the main course.
The rest – people bringing, apps, and desserts – can bring their favorites. Anything not assigned, you’ll need to handle yourself.
A nice extra touch is to have a name tag stand for each item the guests are bringing. That way, compliments can be directed to the right people. This is a great way to create positive energy among your guests!
Make a Day of It
If you have a couple of besties, invite them over for the entire day. Start with a light brunch to catch up. Then prepare the main entry item, table, buffet, and yourselves! It makes the entire event so much more special when you start with your closest pals and then open up to your larger group of peers.
Be Clear on the Beverages
Be upfront on the invitation what beverages will be served at the Friendsgiving.
- Wine & Beer will be served.
- No alcohol will be served.
- Cocktails will be served until 7:00 pm.
- BYO is requested.
Have a Momento for Each Guest
Provide something that will be memorable for each gift. This doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are some ideas to get you thinking:
- A 4×6 framed group photo
- A seasonal candle
- A holiday plant
- An autograph book to pass
- A mason jar filled with ingredients for a seasonal drink
- A commemorative coaster or wine glass
Prepare for an Extra Guest or Two
It seems that every Friendsgiving, there is a surprise guest. Instead of letting this throw off all your planning, simply assume this will happen. Have a little extra of everything and you won’t miss a beat!
Leave Your Calendar Empty
Block off a full 3 days, if you can. The day before, the day of, and the day after (for recovery). While you’re striving to make the event look effortless, the truth is that there is A LOT of work involved in hosting a Friendsgiving. Give yourself grace!
Send Thank YOu Notes
What? Why should the host send thank you notes? Isn’t that backward?? Yes, and that’s the point!
Friendsgiving is often an annual event. In today’s world, simple manners and proper etiquette are often forgotten, ignored, or just not taught! So the idea is that if you send a nice “Thank You!” then your guests will (hopefully) realize that they should do the same. Include a nice comment about what they brought and how nice it was to see them and you’re good to go.
No show, No Invitation
Travel back in time with me a bit. When I was in high school, the Women’s Junior League of Syracuse hosted an annual semi-formal dinner dance. The women of this group would invite their children, their children’s friends, and siblings of prior guests. It was all VERY proper.
Being proper, there were certain expectations. First, a formally written R.s.v.p. and thank you note were required. If a guest failed in either, they weren’t invited back. Further, nobody in their family was invited back!
This may sound very snobby and pretentious BUT the hosts put A LOT of resources into organizing this event. The food, location, and atmosphere were really nice, especially for high school-age kids. It was an opportunity to get a new semi-formal outfit, there was no stress about dates (unlike proms), and kids from other schools in the area were there too. Who didn’t want to check out the cute boys from other districts? AND it was really FUN!!
For this reason, almost everyone did write a formal response to the invitation and thank you note following the event. I had a few livid friends who were never invited because their older brothers didn’t bother writing a thank you note. Not cool, bro! These poor girls stayed home alone that night not talking to their brothers but they knew to expect it. Those were the expectations and EVERYONE knew it.
So, I suggest to you … with all the work you are doing to host your Friendsgiving, if a guest isn’t appropriately appreciative then don’t invite them next year. Yup, I said it! If all you’re expecting is some simple manners, then I think you should keep your standards set.
on to christmas
With Friendsgiving taken care of, you’re now ready to start thinking about Christmas. We have a lot of content planned so be sure to subscribe so you get everything sent to your email. Add your name and email below to subscribe.
Remember to take a look at the DIY Tutorial on exactly how to create the Fall Table Decor shown in the photos above.
I hope you enjoyed this Friendsgiving inspiration tour. If you have any questions or ideas, send me an email! I’d love to hear from you.
Namaste my friend,
Here are the items we used in this Friendsgiving post:
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