How to Throw a Woodland-Inspired Friendsgiving

Cori George - discover, a blog by World Market

The definition of family is changing, and more and more often friends are gathering around the Thanksgiving table to celebrate Friendsgiving instead! Here’s how to throw a woodland-inspired Friendsgiving your besties won’t forget.


Start with two crossed table runners as the base of your table setting. Draped over the ends of the table, they make lovely placemats. Simple ivory dinnerware and wood chargers are casual yet elegant, without the preciousness of fine china. Then, add fun, rustic woodland elements, like carved mushrooms, wood slice coasters, and a moss-covered cornucopia.

Include natural components as well. I chose small artichokes, beautiful orange persimmons, and small white pumpkins. I scattered pinecones and seed pods around the table—I painted some orange and gold to pick up some of the other colors in the tablescape.

I wanted to personalize the table and make it welcoming and warm for my friends. Each friend got an adorable woodland animal on their plate (a fox, a raccoon, a hedgehog, or a bird) so they could have a little memento to take home. I added festive napkins and matching place cards, too.

Instead of a huge buffet spread, keep your food simple. A rich soup, served in this charming pumpkin baker is perfect for a fall day. Add a salad starter, delicious crusty bread, and classic pie a la mode for dessert—that’s all you really need. Or, you could opt to have everyone bring a classic Thanksgiving dish, saving yourself a lot of the work and time in the kitchen so you have more to give to your guests.

Of course, serve a deep red wine in casual stemless wine glasses. My absolutely favorites are the Zaco Tempranillo or the Punto Final Malbec Clasico; they pair perfectly with fall food.

If the weather cooperates, hold your Friendsgiving outside. Friendsgiving is more casual than Thanksgiving, and the crisp fall air and natural setting make for a beautiful evening with friends. I brought my dining table outside, underneath our redwoods, and it was simply idyllic. A picnic bench would also be a fun option to have when dining outdoors.

If it’s chilly, offer warm cable knit blankets to your guests. Wooden candlesticks and birch candles are perfect for when the sun goes down and you want to chat with your friends late into the autumn night.

Finally, have your friends write down things they are grateful for in this beautiful gratitude guest book. Do this every year, and you’ll have an incredible reminder of the things that make life beautiful, all throughout the year.


  • Jillene@inkhappi

    I love all the fun details. That centerpiece is amazing and I love the guestbook! Oh, and I call the raccoon! 😉

  • Rebecca

    I love the fresh centerpieces and the woodland creatures! Such a fun set up for a casual evening with friends!


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