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October 1, 2019

The Art of Celebration | Fall Dinner Party Inspiration

Junior year of college my housemates and I had the fun idea to host “An Art of Celebration” dinner party, inspired by Rend Collective’s video. We proceeded to host another one our senior year. Last year Drew and I decided to pick the tradition back up and hosted 15 friends, new and old, during our first year in Indy. This is year two so we decided its officially a tradition now! We doubled the size with about 30 friends from college, high school, and Indy + I took more pictures to actually document it which felt like a huge feat!

The inspiration

From “The Art of Celebration Story” by Rend Collective: “Life has a way of draining our child-like wonder from us. Whether it’s through our own failures or disappointments, whether its suffering or betrayal, or even just familiarity- that’s why we put up our defenses isn’t it? That’s why we become numb, we pull back from life & become spectators because we’re afraid of being hurt again. But the GOOD news is, Jesus is always doing a new thing! He’s not finished with us yet! We may doubt, we may feel like we’re broken beyond repair but He is the peace in our troubled sea, He is the healer of the broken hearted.

Seriousness is not a fruit of the spirit, but JOY is! There is an irrepressible laughter in the heart of God and the whole universe cannot contain it. He is the one who invented celebrations, and feasting, and holidays. He is the one who sings & dances over us. When He suffered the cross He did it for the joy set before Him, and that joy was knowing that you and I would be fully free, no longer captive to our sin. Our God is the ultimate artist of celebration- the inventor of the party and the healer of the broken. We need to get down to the serious business of joy because the joy of the Lord is our strength and after all, Heaven is going to be the greatest party of all time – so we need to start practicing now. So don’t get caught up in your guilt of failure, you are forgiven, you are free and you are worth more to God than you could ever imagine. Let’s rediscover the art of celebration.”

So with that, we were inspired to host a FUN fall party that was full of joy, laughter, good food, games, and intentionality. For us, this is how it looked this year:

  • Mingle for a bit + eat hors d’oeuvre (6-6:30)
  • Gather people to eat @ 6:30pm 
  • Pray
  • EAT
  • Explain thankful for placemats
  • Everyone share their name, what they do, how they know us, then their 3 things
  • Piñata
  • Dance party or games (last year it rained so we did fish bowl & the game of sounds)
  • Bon fire, smore’s, polaroid backdrop
As crazy as it sounds, I did handwrite all of these placemats. Drew timed me and it took about 30 minutes total. This is one of my favorite things because after dinner, everyone goes around and shares what they wrote! We have SO MUCH to be thankful for but often don’t verbalize it so I love the opportunity to do so!
You can slightly see the hanging taco piñata in the background! We ended up doing that when it was pitch black and I think the 4th person broke it all open. I’m still finding candy in the yard haha

And now for all phone pictures….

I went to Jo Ann Fabrics and bought a $7 roll of extra fabric strips- these are what we tied around the string lights to add some extra fall flare.
I was inspired by Shauna Niequist’s book “Bread and Wine” (one of my very favorite books!) as she talked about using different rooms of their home when hosting. We applied the concept in hopes to make things feel a little more spacious. My office space was used for all things food (dinner on our dining table+ dessert on my desk), all beverages were in the kitchen, horderves went on a folding table by the backdrop in the main foot traffic area! Tables were on our back porch outside. I really loved the flow it made + we’ll definitely keep that in mind for future gatherings! Maybe next year I’ll try to grab a picture with food actually on the tables haha.
I’ve used these props and polaroid camera for a lot of parties at this point and it’s always a crowd pleaser! For the backdrop I used: a stick from our backyard, twine, these leaves, and a hot glue gun. Since I had a lot of leaves to spare, we glued 2 together so it’d stick on the twine + still look good if it twisted at any point. Drew assembled most of this!
We had a bon fire + smore’s and an impromptu dance party after dinner and I LOVED every second of it!!

The goods:

Polaroid camera: Amazon / Backdrop leaves: Amazon/ Fabric strips on string lights: Jo Ann Fabrics/ Gold silverware & twine: Walmart/ Pencils: Amazon/ Placemat card stock: Michael’s/ Table Cloths: Target/ Pumpkins, gourds, and eucalyptus: Trader Joe’s/ Misc. candle holders: Goodwill + some spray painted/ Taco piñata: Walmart/ Napkins + plates: TJ Maxx

Hope you enjoyed + feel inspired to host your own intentional fall party! Until next time friends!



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