Throwing a fun, festive outdoor party full of food, drink, and conversation necessitates a few brilliant outdoor entertaining ideas that will make planning and prepping a breeze.
Whether you’re having family over for an unplanned patio day or planning a massive event for the entire neighborhood or friends, these recommendations are meant to make your life easier to relax and enjoy the event with your family and friends.
Go with finger foods.
Make a menu that emphasizes meals that you can eat with your hands (and possibly without a plate or dish). Consider hot dogs with corn on the cob and cupcakes or popsicles for dessert.
This will give you that laid-back party feel and help you reduce waste by lowering the number of plastic utensils or disposable plates you use. It also will reduce the dishwashing you must do, not to mention the utensils you must rent from caterers’ equipment rentals.
Define the outdoor space.
A great way to define your outdoor space is by using a party tent or umbrella. Your yard receives direct sunlight, try installing various patio umbrellas and mini-seating spots around the backyard or deck.
As guests cluster at the various seating spaces, these shaded retreats will also encourage mixing, which makes your event fun.
When your guests are in one place is easy to serve and entertain, making your work easy. It’s also easy to clean up once the guests are gone as you don’t have a large area to cover.
Of course, you can use your own umbrella or tent or rent it from your local rental company. Regardless of how you go about it, ensure that the supplies you choose are high quality and withstand the various weather elements.
Have a rain plan.
You should always prepare a “Plan B” in case it rains. Bring a tent and plan where the DJs, workstations, and food will be.
Portable pavilions can provide shade for guests as well as weather protection. Some of these pavilions even have attractive sidings that can be rolled down in the event of rain and input vents for portable air conditioners.
If you have a large event that necessitates finding an alternate venue, ensure that the venue you use has an extra house where your guests can hide if the weather worsens.
Keep the menu simple.
Salads, fresh fruit, and chilled drinks will satiate the guests at a backyard party, and you won’t have to stand over a hot stove for hours.
Alternatively, you can grill a beautiful meal that will allow you to interact with your visitors while you prepare the food, preventing you from feeling secluded in the kitchen.
Before the event starts, sit with your catering team and agree on the simple food options you can go with.
Work with the wind.
You can do several things to ensure that the weather isn’t a problem. For example, by omitting the tablecloth, you can reduce the effect of wind.
If you must have a tablecloth, consider purchasing a set of weights to keep it in place.
Even if you have a party tent, choose a location naturally protected from heavy winds. Look for sites bordered by trees, buildings, or natural windbreaks.
Ensure all event equipment, such as signage, decorations, and audiovisual equipment, is properly anchored to avoid blowing away or posing risks.
It’s also wise to arrange seating and event layout to consider wind direction. Plan seating places and communication direction so the wind does not hamper participants’ experiences.
Encourage the guests to serve themselves.
Allowing your guests to serve themselves at a party can help create a more relaxed and fun atmosphere while decreasing your workload. Here are some ideas for encouraging self-service at your next party.
Arrange the food and beverages in a buffet-style arrangement. Long tables or a dedicated space where guests can serve themselves are ideal. Of course, you should label the various food and place the utensils so they are easy to reach.
If having a large party, consider having a taco bar, spaghetti station, or a build-your-own-sandwich area. This allows guests to tailor their dishes to their preferences.
Make use of garden supplies.
Instead of using expensive decorations, you can always use garden supplies. When done right, garden-themed party decorations can create a pleasant and whimsical environment, ideal for an outdoor event.
A great way to incorporate garden items into your party is to create magnificent table centerpieces with vivid and brilliant flowers from your garden or a local florist. Put them in old-fashioned garden pots, watering cans, or buckets for a rustic look.
Remember to match your garden supplies and decorations to the party’s general theme and aesthetic. These will help you incorporate the beauty of nature into your event, whether it’s a simple garden gathering or an elaborate garden soirée.
Keep the bugs away.
When the sun sets, lighten your party area with citronella candles or incense sticks. Bugs will be kept at bay by the aroma. You also should consider placing a bottle (or two) of bug spray at the party’s perimeter for guests to utilize.
Have comfy seating
Thick, comfortable chair cushions will entice guests to stay at the table for a while. If you don’t already have some, you should consider renting them from party chair rentals Rockland.
To make it even more comfortable, consider having heating appliances to keep the space warm if temperatures drop.