Outdoor Entertaining: How to Throw the Perfect Party
Outdoor entertaining can be great or it can be bad, depending upon the quality of the host at hand. Make sure your entertaining ideas are up to speed and throw the best outdoor party ever!
We’ve all been to a number of good and bad outdoor parties— although what makes one party stand out as a bummer while the other was fun, can sometimes become clouded. In order for your outdoor party to go as smoothly as the peach smoothies you plan to serve, there are a number of obstacles you must get just right!
Learning how to entertain outdoors is a life-long process, one full of failed parties along with the triumph successes; in order to avoid any big blunders at your next outdoor party I have collected the best bits of entertaining advice spoken directly from experience.
When it comes to outdoor entertaining, lighting is very important, when the sun goes down make sure you have enough lighting available for your guests to see. Paper lanterns are an affordable way to add unique pops of color that can be used one time, and then put away for another party. Candles are another decorative source of lighting; just make sure there is adequate visibility around steps or bumpy terrain.
If the sun is lighting your outdoor entertaining area, make sure your guests are provided with ample shade. Supply the appropriate umbrellas and if it’s hot, I advise using extension cords to bring some fans outside.
Just because you are entertaining outdoors doesn’t mean that you can slack off on the decorations! While the trees and flowers do a lot of the work themselves, make sure there are other décor elements that spruce up appearance and make the lives of your guests less complex.
I can’t stand going to an outdoor party that lacks proper seating, especially when food is involved. If there are not enough places for your party to sit things can get awkward— people start wandering off in small side groups to find seating, separating your party. Make sure there is plenty of furniture, even if that means dragging some pieces from inside outdoors for the event.
Even on the tightest of budgets you can offer enough chairs, so long as you have access to tree trunks, after sanding these big blocks of wood down they make a great decorative seat. If you do have some money to spend, a few log benches might add flair but after a short while people just want to sit somewhere comfortable. Offer them the best with a piece of Kingsley Bate outdoor furniture; their premium sofa chairs offer elegance and comfort.
Park outdoor trashcans on all corners of your party and enjoy easy clean up and far less mess. At parties, people fly through plates and napkins, silverware and cups—with multiple places to drop trash off at, guests are less likely to litter. If your outdoor entertaining ideas don’t include paper plates and plastic cups, place multiple bins out beside the trashcans where guests can set their used china.
After the party you can quickly sweep through and take them all inside for washing. This prevents you from cleaning while your guests are still visiting and the kitchen will appear spotless until everyone is gone. Regular outdoor party thrower, Rieger, speaks from experience when she advises, “There’s nothing more disruptive to a party than shuttling back and forth with dirty dishes.” You can sure say that again!
More Quick Outdoor Entertaining Tips
As you plan the perfect outdoor party, keep these additional outdoor entertaining tips in mind!
- Spread the food around, putting all the food in one place does not encourage guests to move around.
- Think of everything your guests will need and have more than enough of it set out. Like napkins, knifes, bottle openers, and a variety of beverages.
- Just because the party is outside does not mean guests won’t be coming in to use the restroom. Make sure your guest bathroom is as prepared as your yard.
- No one likes to eat food they have seen bugs landing all over, keep the pesky flies and bugs off of food with an upended wire-mesh colander.
- One of my favorite tips from Real Simple Magazine:
- “Use Popsicle sticks to distinguish the rare burgers from the well-done.”
- Keep food simple, and make sure it doesn’t have to be really hot to eat because it will quickly cool down once outside.
If your outdoor party includes a BBQ, check out this list of can’t forget items, here.