The holidays are fast approaching, and the time to host friends and family for seasonal feasts and celebrations is near. If you are tired of using the same-old pieces to set your fall table year after year, we give you permission to try something new. Consider this: Blue isn’t a color we often think of when it comes to holiday decor, but it can look fresh and festive on your table this Thanksgiving. You can never go wrong with traditional, but something neutral and simple can be just as lovely. The kids’ table can easily be the coolest seat in the house, and the drinks and desserts are as important as the main meal.

Cristin Cooper collaborated with Mary Huddleston of Please Be Seated to create four holiday tablescapes, plus a drinks-and-dessert table fit for a fall fête. And they are teaching us a few lessons along the way! Thanks to their detailed directions and helpful tips, you can easily recreate each look at home — or, you can reuse and restyle the items in different ways throughout the fall season.

“We want entertaining to be as stress-free as possible but also as beautiful as possible,” Mary explains. “We hope our sources and custom-creations help you this year as you entertain for your own family and friends!”

Fall tablescapes- Cristin Cooper and Mary Huddleston

Cristin Cooper and Mary Huddleston of Please Be Seated are the masterminds behind the tablescapes featured below. Fret not! With their help, you can easily recreate these looks on your own fall table.

Tablescape 1: Do something unexpected.

This blue-and-white tablescape gives us the much-needed nudge to forgo the traditional in favor of something unexpected for this year’s holiday get-together. Cristin and Mary let hand-painted pumpkins become the inspiration for this tablescape, which comes alive with layers of additional details. “We wanted to style tables that were versatile enough to be used throughout the fall, and not just for Thanksgiving,” Cristin shares.

If you can’t wait until Thanksgiving to try this tablescape, host an outdoor dinner party while the weather is cool and crisp. Take note of the entertaining experts’ tip to mix the pumpkins in various sizes and designs, and add a touch of orange to the table with flowers and mini pumpkins. These thoughtful details will wow your guests with a gathering they will absolutely love.

Blue and white pumpkin tablescape- fall table

This fall table is set with blue and white pumpkins and mini ceramic pumpkins from For Pete’s Sake Pottery, plates by Spode, monogrammed napkins from The Pretty Stitch, jar foldover place cards from WH Hostess, and chairs, linen, flatware and glassware from Please Be Seated.

Orange flower stems in a bud vase- fall table

Single orange stems break up the all-blue look and tie in the traditional fall colors.

A blue and white color palette -fall table

Cristin puts final fall touches on the table, which can be set for Thanksgiving dinner or a party with friends. “Reusing decor saves both time and money, and these pumpkins will be the ‘gift that keeps on giving’ — whether you’re using them as a centerpiece or on your mantle,” she says.

Backayrd dinner party with a fall tablescape

Before the weather turns wet and miserably cold, host a fall dinner party in the backyard.

Tablescape 2: Embrace the traditional.

“We liked the idea of creating one table that would feel warm and inviting, and that you might expect to see at Thanksgiving with family and friends. However, this table also offers many layers of wonderful items that can be restyled and used throughout the fall season,” Mary tells us. The colors of the throw used in place of a traditional tablecloth are reiterated in the flowers and dishware. When it comes to setting your Thanksgiving table, classic fall and autumn hues lend themselves to a festive (and more formal) display.

One easy way to avoid additional stress during the holidays is to order flower arrangements for your dining table. “It takes the pressure off you to make something yourself and assures you will end up with something beautiful,” says Mary. Mary and Cristin also suggest a custom-designed paper suite to really impress your guests. Here, menu cards and place cards by Tenn Hens Design play up the formality of the tablescape.

Caramel color palette- fall table

This formal fall table comes together with a table throw, wood-finished faux pumpkins, caramel-color taper candles, wood-handled flatware, napkins by the Preppy Stitch, pumpkin salad plates and dinner plates, charger plates and glassware rented from Please Be Seated.

Floral centerpiece- fall table

A stunning fall centerpiece by White Blooms Floral is the main attraction.

Seasonal table- fall

Now, this table is ready for friends and family to enjoy a seasonal feast.

Tablescape 3: Keep things neutral.

Sometimes, simply going neutral is underrated. Here, Cristin and Mary prove it has a place in everyone’s home this holiday season. Browns, creams and grays come together with touches of green for a simple, neutral holiday dining table. According to Cristin, “This neutral tablescape is incredibly versatile, can be set up indoors or outdoors, and is full of items that you’ll use over and over again, whether it be for a holiday gathering or just for a standard dinner party with friends.”

Cristin and Mary went all-in with customized paper goods — place cards, menu cards, and even invitations and wine bottle gift tags — on this tablespace, as well. When hosting an event, it is the smallest details that make the most significant impact, and your nearest and dearest deserve only the best.

Green Color scheme with wood- fall table

Copy this color scheme and look with galvanized vases, wooden lanterns, table linens, napkins  and flatware.

Natural elements- fall table

Find your seat at the table and soak in all the beautiful details before filling your plate with Thanksgiving favorites.

floral centerpiece- fall table

Again, White Blooms Floral delivered eye-catching arrangements that fit the feel of the overall look.

paper invitations- fall table

Go old-school with paper invitations and create coordinating menu cards to be used on the day of the event.

Tablescape 4: Create a space for the kiddos.

Kids appreciate a good tablescape just as much as the adults do. “If you’re planning an elaborate dinner, the last thing you need is to worry about your kids knocking over the fine China while you’re dressing the turkey. Keeping little ones occupied in their own space is key, and this table is set up to do just that,” Mary advises. The opportunity to color on the tablecloth will keep the young ones entertained before and after dinner. Plus, it makes clean-up easy. With a playful look like this, everyone will be requesting a seat at the kids’ table.

“Instead of trying to keep the kids from messing with the centerpieces, we suggest creating a tablescape that is as kid-friendly as it is cute,” suggests Mary. “We finished the arrangement by anchoring the colorful runner of pumpkins and crayons with a sentimental statement centerpiece from Turkey on the Table. It’s a creative way to help your kids practice thankfulness and giving back during the holidays.”

Kid-friendly fall table

Kid-friendly fall table decorations include a tablecloth with crayons, paper plates, plastic cups, disposable flatware, faux pumpkins we found at Hot Pink Gifts, and a centerpiece from Turkey on the Table.

Ombre look- fall table

The pumpkins are arranged to create an ombre look, which elevates the kid-approved tablescape. Just imagine how colorful the table will be once the kids get their hands on those crayons.

Fall tablescape for kids

Save us a seat at the kids’ table, please!

BONUS: Pair fun drinks, appetizers and desserts with family recipes.

From the biscuits to the stuffing, Thanksgiving recipes tend to hold a special place in our hearts. Many times, these recipes have been passed through generations and are enjoyed annually alongside our loved ones. And who are we to mess with tradition?

Revisit the classics for dinner, but introduce something new before and after the meal. Mary and Cristin suggest Trisha Yearwood’s Autumn in a Cup as a pre-dinner drink served with a show-stopping cheese board. For dessert, only a pumpkin pie. You can order from Southern Baked Pie Company (SBPC) and have it shipped in time for the holiday, or you can use SBPC founder Amanda Wilbanks’ recipe and make your own.

Autumn punch

Your guests will never guess that the punch isn’t homemade if you serve Trisha Yearwood’s Autumn in a Cup. For extra credit, serve the cider in a pumpkin punch bowl and glasses.

Beautiful Cheese board

The Nashville Cheese Gal has done it again with this cheeseboard. Of course, you can attempt your own, but we will be trusting the expert on this one.

RELATED: Calling All Cheese Lovers!

Pumpkin pie- fall table

This year, follow The Southern Baked Pie Company’s recipe for your homemade pumpkin pie!

Southern Baked Pie Dough

Use this recipe for the perfect buttery and flaky pie crust!
5 from 1 vote
Course Dessert
Cuisine Southern


  • 8 tablespoons 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 11/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water


  • Cut the butter into small cubes. Combine butter and flour in a mixing bowl. Using a pastry blender, work the butter into the flour. Add the salt and sugar. Continue to work the butter into the flour until the mixture has a consistency of course-ground cornmeal. The cubes of butter should now be smaller than the size of a green pea.
  • Add the water, all at once. Continue to work the dough until the dough begins to come together. Form the dough into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and press into the shape of a disk. Place in the refrigerator for 2 hours to chill.
  • Remove dough from refrigerator and roll out to desired size on a lightly floured surface.

Tip: The trick to making delicious pie dough is using cold ingredients. You can even chill your flour, salt, and sugar. Starting with very cold butter and ice-cold water will make a world of difference when it comes to the texture of the dough.

    Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!


    Amanda's Pumpkin Pie Recipe

    Amanda Wilbanks
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    • 1 recipe SB Pie Dough
    • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt
    • 2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
    • 2 large eggs
    • 15 oz pure pumpkin
    • 12 oz evaporated milk


    • Preheat oven to 425. Combine sugar, salt and pumpkin pie spice in small bowl. Beat eggs in large bowl. Stir in pumpkin and sugar-spice mixture. Gradually stir in evaporated milk.
    • Pour mixture into pie shell. Bake for 15 minutes. Reduce temperature to 350°. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted near center comes out clean.
    Tried this recipe?Rate it above to let us know how it was!


    Festive fall table

    Cheers to the season of entertaining!

    As a final piece of advice, Mary suggests renting items you don’t have on hand. “You don’t have to purchase all new pieces for every holiday. Rather, select a few new items to keep while using rentals for everything else,” she advises. “Plus, you don’t have to store or clean rental pieces.”

    Cheers to stress-free holiday entertaining!


    Event Designer: Mary Huddleston 
    Event Styling: Cristin Cooper 
    Photography: Evin Photography 
    Location: Nashville Farm of Sue Joyce (Founder of Turkish T)
    Flowers: White Blooms Floral Co./Carre Phillips 
    Table, Chairs, Linen, Flatware & Glassware: Please Be Seated Rentals
    Paper goods: Tenn Hens Design 
    Pie: Southern Baked Pie Company 
    Cheeseboard: The Nashville Cheese Gal 


    Find more recipes and entertaining tips here!