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Photography by HIS POTION VIA BRIT + CO

With October behind us, it’s time to look forward to Thanksgiving and the holidays. This year, do something a bit unexpected—take your feast outside. It’s totally doable for those who live in warmer climates. And even on the East Coast, it’s sometimes unseasonably warm in November. With these tips and a bit of prep time, you can style a rustic outdoor supper your friends and family won’t soon forget. Plus, an outdoor Thanksgiving is more festive (and chic) than being cooped up inside with football on the television. 

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Photography by INDEED DECOR

Create a Walkway

Lead your guests to the dinner table with a pumpkin-lined path. It gives the space a special seasonal touch that makes friends and family forget that they’re dining in, well, your backyard.

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Photography by @EVAKOSMASFLORES

Go Natural with Place Settings

Create minimal, natural place settings using linen napkins and scavenged berries and branches. Simply tie your foliage and other finds to the napkins with a piece of string.

For more inspiration, explore Eva Kosmas Flores’s beautiful Instagram feed.

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Photography by STARSMASQUERADING.TUMBLR.COM

Style with Pillows and Blankets

If things get chilly when the sun goes down, make sure you’re prepared. Rich-hued pillows and wool tartan throws keep things casual, cozy, and, above all, autumnal.

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Photography by SHANNEN NATASHA PHOTOGRAPHY VIA 100 LAYER CAKE

Have Proper Coverings for Your Food

Serve your Thanksgiving spread on a separate table so you’ll have room for a centerpiece. Another must for outdoor entertaining: mesh food coverings. Nothing ruins ambiance quite like pets or outdoor pests trying a taste of the pecan pie.

Shop these mesh food tents via Party City.

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Photography by A COZY KITCHEN

Create a Weather-Appropriate Centerpiece

Your centerpiece should be styled with items that won’t blow away in the breeze. The obvious choice is pumpkins, which can hold other accessories like leaves and branches in place. Or try to create a chic planter with late-fall produce like lettuce or cabbage plants.

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Photography by LOCAL MILK BLOG

Lighting is Key

This time of year, it turns dark fairly early. String bistro lights or lanterns from surrounding trees to illuminate your dinner table and create an intimate setting.

View this entire outdoor entertaining story via Local Milk.

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Photography by @EVAKOSMASFLORES

Warm it Up

Prepare for cooler temperatures as the night wears on with firepits placed around the table. Marshmallow roasting is the perfect post-dinner activity.

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Photography by ALEXANDRADECOREDITOR VIA PROJECT WEDDING

Yard Games

And speaking of activities, provide yard games for your guests to play during pre-dinner cocktails or to work off that second helping of dessert. Corn hole, washers, and horseshoes are always a hit. Better yet, if your family has a yard game tradition, organize a game to conclude your outdoor gathering.