Fall BBQ Decoration & Menu Ideas

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Make the most of hot autumn nights and the fading light with a warm and welcoming fall BBQ with family and friends. Play off the cozy colors of falling leaves and decorate with autumn authentic décor like hay bales, boxes and mason jars. Keep the food simple and the atmosphere light while you enjoy throwing a great fall barbeque.


The menu at a fall barbecue should capitalize on the effortless nature of the season, and stick to the basics. Provide guests with several options, including vegetarian dishes to ensure everyone is accommodated. Because the party will be outside, even the designated chef can enjoy time with party guests while grilling some of autumn's best dishes, so keep in mind the meal should be as fun as it is delectable. For your fall BBQ grill menu, consider including:

Finished Product

For appetizers and salads, keep the options simple, and offer best-loved basics. Providing light snacks throughout the barbecue will give guests a taste of the delicious meal to come, and make sure everyone is full and happy throughout the night. Try serving some of these great appetizers and salads:

Ready for Planting

For drinks and desserts, serve up some refreshing classics, and tap into the comfort foods of fall. Try serving some of these fun autumn recipes to keep guests asking for more:




Decorating for your fall barbecue is the best time to incorporate outdoor accessories, landscaping and antiques into your table, seating and décor designs. Blending the bright colors of autumn with the shabby chic accents of worn boxes, old ice chests and shabby chic accessories is the best way to celebrate the season in your design. While you want to keep the atmosphere relaxed, don't forget to provide enough lighting for guests to view and enjoy their food.

Hay Seating: If you have access to hay bales, these barnyard staples are the perfect way to add extra seating around your party, or even at the dinner table. Simply cover them with blankets, sheets or cloth in warm or neutral shades like yellow, orange, rust or red to complement the rest of your décor, while adding a touch of autumn.

Alternative Tables: The laid-back nature of an autumn barbeque is the perfect place to experiment with alternative table set-ups using items you already own.

  • Try covering a large metal basin or trough with a wooden tabletop for a rustic backyard dining area.
  • Wrap the base or legs of an existing table with fall leaf garlands until it is completely covered. Top with a tablecloth in a neutral hue to create a dining table blended perfectly with your landscaping.
  • Use large wooden crates for seating for an added rustic touch; just be sure to cover them for comfort and support. Use pillows or blankets to top the crates with a pop of color and coziness.
  • If you already have a wooden picnic table in your backyard, use this for your dining area as opposed to a more traditional or formal set up. The relaxed tone set by a classic picnic table paired with the natural feel of wooden furniture perfectly demonstrates the attitude of a fall barbeque.

Tableware: Keep your tableware simple and fall themed by blending in shades of gold, rust, bronze, green and yellow with autumn leaf inspired designs. Use your most basic set of utensils and dishware, or even use disposable options for quick cleanup and unlimited plates for guests' appetizers, entrees and desserts.

  • Wrap autumn colored ribbons, pieces of straw and even small flowers around napkins and set on each guest's plate.
  • If your plates are white, glasses are a great way to add color. Use golden, red or green toned glasses to incorporate fall colors into an otherwise neutral table arrangement.
  • Set mini pumpkins or gourds on top of or next to each plate.
  • Slide a small stalk of wheat beneath ribbons wrapped around napkins.
  • Use glass mason jars to hold utensils, straws and napkins.

Autumn Accessories

While you may not want to paint, replace or otherwise alter dining accessories, you can instantly transform your barbeque set up into the perfect harvest display. Use autumn accessories to add the colors, images and themes of fall around your party.

Food Bowls: Easily convert regular serving bowls, ice buckets and dip holders into autumn themed tableware by adding or switching them with fall accessories. Wrap berries, twine, cloth or leaf garlands around bowls, or carve out a pumpkin to serve bottles or ice.

Branches: Branches are a beautiful way to add rugged elegance to a fall barbeque, and can take the place of flowers, or simply be added to other colorful arrangements. Purchase some from a craft store or gather them from your yard, and arrange in vases, buckets or freestanding against a wall.

Corn stalks: The epitome of autumn décor, tall corn stalks in doorways, archways and along walls are a great way to signify fall has arrived, and add fun decorations to your barbeque.

Last Updated: August 9, 2012
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About Alexandra Kerr Through Ideal Home Garden, Alexandra covers topics ranging from interior design to home improvement, gardening and cuisine. Having a passion for cooking and entertaining in her own life, she hopes to communicate her love of home design and decorating with her readers. 

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