When it comes to throwing outdoor parties, I am learning from the best outdoor party planners ever.
As you know, we are in the process of building a swimming pool and pool house in our backyard. There are so many things to consider when planning an outdoor space, many of which I will cover in a later post. For now, I am focusing on learning how best to entertain outdoors. No matter what the space looks like, big or small, there are key elements to consider when planning an outdoor party.
In thinking about planning an outdoor party, I turn to the experts. My good friends have mastered the art of outdoor entertaining. They have a magnificent backyard area full of fun things to do for everyone. Providing the proper layout of the land is key to throwing a successful party. No matter the size of the space, the flow of the area is very important.
Here are my tips for ensuring a successful backyard party everyone will enjoy and talk about for years to come.
Make Sure to Have Enough Seating
When planning an outdoor party, one should plan for the gathering to last around five to six hours. That is a long time to stand and guests will get tired, so it’s important to provide enough seating for everyone.
If you can cover that seating…you are the bomb! Many outdoor parties are during the summer when temperatures are in the 90’s, having umbrellas for guests to take shelter from the heat is key! These umbrellas have lighting in them too which creates a fun space for evening time.
The seating area should be inviting and well kept. One aspect to having an inviting seating area, is to have clean cushions. To keep outdoor cushions looking their best, check out these tips.
Providing a covered eating area is also important. We want our guests to feel comfortable and linger longer, so providing a comfortable space out of the sun will achieve this goal. Using these canopy tents makes it a “breeze” to provide a cool space for dining al fresco. The tents are adjustable in height and easy to put up and take down. To make moving a snap, the tents are stored in a roll away bag. How convenient is that?!
Outdoor Lighting is Important
Outdoor string lighting is functional, and creates a romantic mood. Adding these string lights to the tent canopies is a great way to create an elegant mood in the yard.
Whether it’s for dining or used to provide a lighted area for food set up, these lights create an inviting atmosphere especially at night.
Themed Party – Plan the Decor
If the party has a theme, like ours did, come up with decorative colors and ideas to incorporate into the event. Small flags lined both sides of the driveway for our July 4th celebration.
Red, white, and blue balloons welcome guests as they arrive to the entrance of the backyard.
Color themed balloons are used throughout the yard to create a festive July 4th atmosphere.
Balloons are also used on the sides of the tent near the entrance to the yard for additional decorative touches.
Red, white and blue…these colors warm my heart 🙂
Paper lanterns are always festive for any party environment.
Fresh flowers are a must in my book for every type of party, indoors or outdoors, summer or fall…fresh flowers are a must.
Choose colors in your theme and create a simple arrangement with flowers from the grocery store or cut flowers from your garden – so easy and so beautiful.
Long stemmed roses create a centerpiece on the serving table for the cocktails and appetizers.
Keep the Mosquitoes Away
Use Citronella candles on the dining tables and provide bug spray as an additional layer of protection from those pesky insects.
Plan the Music and Organize Outdoor Games
Every great party has music. Whether your speakers are hard wired and connected to the home or you use SONOS speakers, plan your playlist ahead of time so there won’t be any interruption in music.
Provide games for the adults with an outdoor ping pong table that can be used in a variety of fun ways 😉
This volleyball net has provided hours upon hours of fun times in the sun for our friends. As many as 16 people playing at a time, this addition to the yard has been a “game changer” that will give all summer long.
Cornhole is another backyard favorite for kids and adults alike. You can never go wrong with a fun game of cornhole to bring your guests together.
Plan Kids Activities
Our amazing host and hostess thought of everything. They set up a kids area near the side of the yard. This was the space where the kids and teens could hang out and stay cool..again with covered tents. A snow cone station was also set up for the kids where they enjoyed cool treats while their parents played games and sat poolside.
The swimming pool is also available to the kids for splashing around and a professional life guard was hired to keep the event safe for all families.
Our host provided sunscreen for adults and children that was located right next to the pool. Every aspect of the party was carefully planned and thought out, no detail overlooked.
Plan the Menu
When it comes to planning the menu for an outdoor party, keep it simple. Burgers and hot dogs are always a hit and add in pork sliders as an additional meat option. Don’t forget the carb, like mac and cheese or french fries. Serving guests in elegant chafing dishes is always a wow factor and a great way to keep bugs out of the food.
Adding friendly reminders to the serving table will ensure a safe and fun event for all without the worry of spreading viruses.
Throwing your party into high gear and kicking it up a knotch, hand made appetizer skewers made with fresh fruit was a huge hit!
Have Plenty of Cold Drinks on Hand
Beverages served in outdoor containers will keep drinks cold for hours. This cucumber flavored drink was a huge hit with the crowd, as it was consumed and replenished very quickly. It consists of cucumber vodka, St. Geramine liquor, mint leaves, club soda and lime.
Signature cocktails always take a party to the next level and creating a menu and framing it…WOW!
Setting up different serving stations for guests to serve themselves is an easy way to spread people out and keep the flow moving.
And of course have plenty of fresh water available to guests as it gets very hot during the summer months.
We had such an amazing time at the home of our friends who host a much anticipated July 4 party each year. This year the party was a lot smaller due to efforts to contain the spread of COVID -19 but so very enjoyable and as much fun as always. Our host and hostess have mastered the art of outdoor entertaining and I look forward to learning more from them as we plan to entertain in our new outdoor space….hopefully completed by the end of this summer 🤞
I hope you get to enjoy your backyard and plan a small gathering of friends to catch up and share some laughs. We love seeing our friends and missed them terribly, and getting together is so very needed as restrictions are easing a bit. We are all doing our part to keep everyone safe while continuing to go on with our lives the best we can. Stay safe my friends.
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