Tips for Outdoor Entertaining
17 Tips for Outdoor Entertaining
1. Keep it Simple and when we say that we mean food, drinks, and the décor. Outside is pretty good décor to start with don’t try and compete with it, enhance it.
2. If you forego the tablecloth, it can’t drive you crazy every time the wind blows.
3. Don’t get too fussy with the dishes. Bamboo biodegradable plates/cups/utinsels can ease the burden on both you and the environment. If you opt for real remember eclectic is in. Everything doesn’t have to match, many times it looks much better if things don’t.
4. Remember trash cans and recycling bins. Help guests help you save the world, one bottle at a time.
5. If your soiree is during the day, be sure and have sunscreen on hand for those guests who may not have come prepared. Make sure there are both shady and sunny areas for people to congregate.
6. Tired of burgers and dogs? Try pizza on the grill. See Jerry’s recipe here.
7. The right lighting can transform any space into a party Hang paper lanterns, chandeliers, or twinkly lights and you’ll have a festive scene in no time. Use dark colored extension cords or try out some solar options. (and low wattage bulbs where you get a chance)
8. Everyone looks better in candlelight. The battery operated kind take away any worries.
9. If your guests will be eating and drinking (and that’s kind of what entertaining is about) then people will need places to put things. Make sure you arrange for seating for a good portion of your guests. Take the time to arrange outdoor furniture into intimate groupings.
10. Games like cornhole, horse shoes, flashlight tag for the kids after it gets dark are all great low key outdoor activities.
11. Self serve is the name of the game when it comes to beverages. Stock a beverage cart and let guests help themselves. Signature cocktails are always a nice touch. Stock buckets and coolers with drinks. Don’t forget the opener!
12. Don’t forget places like your garage and front porch. Both of these areas are covered for that rare rainy day in Southern California and can be a lifesaver when plans need to change at the “drop” of a hat.
13. Hang curtains or drape fabrics to create warmth, intimacy, or an unexpected pizzazz to an outdoor area.
14. Assuming the weather is cooperating, go ahead and haul your inside furniture outdoors for the evening. A couple of upholstered accent chairs in the grass bring a graciousness to your backyard.
15. When people say, what can I bring? TELL THEM SOMETHING. You don’t have to carry the full load alone. Let someone else bake dessert.
16. Make it easy on yourself. Serve food buffet style and depending on your layout don’t be afraid to leave the food inside while the party is happening outside. It will stay cooler that way, and there’s less opportunity for pesky bugs to show up uninvited.
17. Music – every party has to have it. A plethora of wireless speaker options now make it easy to bring music to the outdoors. Use your tunes to set the mood. Maybe start out with a smooth jazz feel and end the evening with some dance tunes. Your party won’t have the same type of energy throughout – match the music to the mood you’re trying to set. You may be amazed at the results.