The summertime is no stranger to outdoor parties, but what separates the great ones from the not-so-great ones? Read these tips for hosting outdoor parties to ensure your next one is a success.
6. Have a Seasonal Menu
Having an outdoor party in the summer is great because so many fruits and vegetables are in season. One of my favorite tips for hosting outdoor parties is to base your menu around your ingredients. If tomatoes are really in season around the time of your party consider making tomato flatbreads or even just caprese as an appetizer. For low-effort desserts you could do a blueberry or strawberry gallete, they are so easy to make and look beautiful.
5. Make Sure You Have Shade
One of the most essential tips for hosting outdoor parties is to make sure you have shade. Having some seats in the sun is okay, but most people won’t want to eat in direct sunlight. If you have a covered patio this would be a great place to serve dinner, but if not umbrellas are a great option. Consider putting up big umbrellas in the center of your table to provide shade to all your guests as they eat.
If it is a super hot day out your guests are not going to want to be in the sun even after the meal so having some shaded area where they can sit other than the table would be nice.
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4. Have a Signature Cocktail
Making a signature cocktail is one of my favorite tips for hosting outdoor parties. Signature cocktails are always fun and if you hosting a themed party a themed cocktail can be the perfect way to get your guests engaged. I suggest making this cocktail in a big drink dispenser like this gorgeous Hatch Drink Dispenser from Crate and Barrel. This drink on display is amazing because it serves as decoration for your party but also serves all of your guests.
If you are serving your food buffet style make sure that your drinks table is separate. If you have both food and drinks on the same table there is sure to be a traffic jam.
3. Citronella Candles
When it comes to hosting outdoor parties there is one thing that can be a real nuisance: mosquitoes. A great party with a ton of mosquitos is suddenly a horrible party, so how do you avoid them? First, make sure your yard or hosting area has no still-standing water. Standing water is a mosquito’s best friend and will attract all kinds of flies. Next is to purchase a big citronella candle.
When you burn a citronella candle the scent repels flies. I could not believe how well these candles worked the first time I used them and now I could not imagine throwing a party outdoors without them. One of the best tips for hosting outdoor parties is to stock up on citronella. This citronella candle from Amazon is budget-friendly and adorable.
2. Plan for all weather
When you host an outdoor party you cross your fingers that you will have the perfect weather. Clear skies, light breeze, 70 degrees and sunny is all you can hope for. Unfortunately, this is not always going to happen. If you are going to pay attention to any of the tips for hosting outdoor parties this is the one to listen to. If you are outside and it begins to rain heavily and you have no plan on how the party will move inside, the party is going to end.
Nobody wants the party to end do you have to plan accordingly. As a plan B you should make sure that your home or apartment is suited to have however many people you invited inside. Have chairs set up and a backup dining table just in case. You may not use it, but if the weather gets bad you will be so grateful to your past self for setting it up.
1. Make a Playlist
Number one on the list of tips for hosting outdoor parties is make a playlist. A party is not a party without a killer playlist and when you host a party it is your responsibility to make sure you play music everyone will want to listen to. Making a playlist is not just about throwing together your favorite songs. You have to carefully curate a playlist that you know your guests will enjoy. Put in a little something for everyone, but nothing too out there that will put off some of the other guests. My go-to for dinner parties is late 90’s alt rock. Some John Mayer, Ray LaMontagne, and Dave Matthews Band, these are all mellow crowd-pleasers.