Since spring is in full swing now, I have been sharing a lot of tips and ideas for outdoor decorating since so many people spend this season outdoors after being stuck inside for the winter. So far, I’ve shared how you can spruce up your outdoor space with posts on how to bring elegance to your outdoor space and how to create ambiance with stylish outdoor lighting. Of course, the best part of having an outdoor space is having somewhere to throw an outdoor party for your friends and family. Hosting an outdoor party can be a lot of fun with good planning and execution, so I’ve compiled a list of 14 essential tips that will help you out as you plan it and host it.
CLEAN UP YOUR YARD; make sure it is free of clutter such as tools, toys and dog items, mow the grass, and rake any stray leaves.
CHOOSE A THEME to pull it all together, even if it’s just a color or pair of colors. Even the simplest idea helps create a more delightful atmosphere for you and your guests.
CREATE ATMOSPHERE with temporary, festive lighting such as hanging paper lanterns, torches, citronella candles, incense sticks, or string lights.
FIRE PITS are a fun feature to offer conversation areas for guests to gather around and can be used for activities like toasting s’mores. If it gets cooler in the evening, they will also appreciate the warmth!
POTTED PLANTS are a nice way to add extra color and atmosphere to your party’s decor.
COMFORTABLE SEATING is a must. Add some cushions to non-padded chairs to ensure your guests are comfortable. (You can purchase these anywhere outdoor furniture is sold or you can make your own.) If you run out of seating, put out some blankets in grassy areas with some pillows.
RE-PURPOSE indoor furniture for extra “lounge” seating, as well as indoor accessories to bring color and elegance to the decor.
PREPARE FOOD AHEAD OF TIME that you can refrigerate the day before. This will lighten your load for the day of the party.
SET UP STATIONS with different types of food on separate tables (i.e. dessert table, appetizers, drinks) to encourage guests to mingle. This also makes for better organization.
PLACE LARGE TRASH CANS around in convenient spots. You should have at least two, but if you are expecting a large amount of guests consider putting out three.
KEEP FOOD COVERED so it is out of the reach of insects. Try upended wire-mesh colanders or upended flower pots to cover the platters.
BUG REPELLENTS in attractive and unintrusive forms such as torches, citronella candles and lanterns are great for keeping your guests from being bitten. You can find these specially designed insect repellents at hardware stores and superstores.
KEEP IT COOL by offering shade to your guests in the seating areas using large umbrellas and canopies. If it’s really hot, consider putting out some portable oscillating fans, as well.
FOR EASY CLEAN-UP use large rolls of paper to cover tables where your guests are dining so you can simply throw it away at the end of the party. Disposable table cloths work well too.
Hope you find these tips helpful for the next outdoor party you host and remember to leave time for you to enjoy yourself! The party you host should be fun for both you and your guests, so give yourself time to breathe and enjoy it. :)