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04 March

Backyard Entertaining Tips From The Experts

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Warmer weather makes people want to go outside. Wide-open spaces can provide more space to maneuver around and reduce the potential for damage to the interior of your home.  We have been victims of outside get-togethers gone awry, but now we vow to throw the perfect gathering on the patio or deck — free of incident.

Fortunately, we are not left to our own devices to see this through. Local entertaining specialists have been kind enough to share their words of wisdom and instruct us how to throw the patio parties (or bashes) this season. Bid farewell to flies, hello to fresh flowers, and master your table setting by following the excellent advice of master entertainers, local caterers, florists, event planners, and business owners.

To provide an excellent patio party experience, you will want to create a fun and inviting environment. Here's what you will need to create the sort of space that neighbors will not want to leave.

Outdoor Entertaining Tips From Pros That Know

1. Add Extra Seating Areas

The mark of a pleasant summer evening? Nobody is in any hurry, and everyone wants to enjoy outdoors late into the night. Take out the sturdy wicker furniture, ideal for lounging in on a lazy summer evening. Or take out reclining lounge chairs or trendy beach chairs so your loved ones and friends can lie back and enjoy the evening.

2. Let The Weather To Inspire Menu

Allow the weather to influence the menu. Hazy night? Keep guests equipped with simple fares like sparkling beverages and savory bites. Go for cooling foods on a particularly hot day, or choose more vibrant foods on a chilly end-of-summer evening.

3. Borrow From Your Garden

Fill colorful pails from the garden sunflowers. If you don't have a garden to get flowers, consider letting branches or leaves stand in as easy table decor.

4. Create A Faux Glow

Electric flameless candles provide the same tender glow like conventional candles, with no fear of fire hazard, wind, or spilled wax. If you want to have a lot of pets or children running around the yard, this is a great option.

5. Set The Mood

Paper lanterns lined from tree limbs are beautifully pleasant (use dark extension cords that blend in). Repurposed Christmas lights also provide a magical twinkle effect. Even cheap tea lights set in clear glass jam containers can help set the ambiance. Careful, using a scene this magical, your guests will want to stick around late into the night.

6. Create A Simple Menu

Serve seasonal classics for a backyard picnic: Fresh fruit, salads, and cold drinks will suit the audience, and you won't have to stand in a hot stove for hours. Alternately, grilling up a delicious dinner will let you enjoy with your guests while you prepare the food, so you won't feel alone in the kitchen.

7. Define Your Outdoor Space

An umbrella not only has the apparent task of providing shade but also, it will help define your outdoor area. If you have a garden that gets full sun, set up various umbrellas and mini seating spaces around the patio or backyard. These tiny shaded retreats will promote mingling at a party, as guests will congregate at the various seating areas.

8. Allow Guests To Serve Themselves

Set up a lemonade stand so that the guests stay hydrated on hot afternoons. Put glasses within easy reach on a dessert stand. This way, everyone can catch what they need, and also, you won't have to play bartender all day long.

9. Encourage Mingling

Set up tables in separate areas --say, dessert in one spot, drinks in another--to encourage guests to ramble. If guests have to cross the backyard to take a drink, they're more expected to strike up a conversation along the way.

10. Find New Uses For Existing Things

Use a wire-mesh colander to keep insects away from food. You'll have the ability to buy less and save yourself a trip to the shop by getting creative with the supplies you already have in your home.

11. Focus Comfy Seating

Thick, comfortable cushions on the seats will inspire guests to linger at the table. If you do not already have cushioned chairs, consider investing in some replacement cushions in a weatherproof material, like these Sunbrella cushions.

12. Interesting Fuss Free Dessert

When you're hosting a family celebration on a hot summer day, pick up a dessert that helps you keep your cool. Dessert cups come with layers of peach pie filling, pie crust pieces, and vanilla ice cream for that fresh-baked fruit pie flavor --without ever needing to switch on your oven.

13. Get Creative Disposables

Lay brown craft paper across a desk for a casually finished appearance --and super-easy clean up. If the kids are searching for an activity, set up some crayons on the craft-paper-covered kids' table, and they can doodle on the tablecloth till the dinner is prepared.

14. Have Separate Drink Station

Stock a bar cart with essentials: plates, glasses, a cocktail shaker, ice, and sticks. Simply wheel it back to the kitchen if supplies run short, then slide it back outside to keep the get-together going.

15. Keep Bugs Away

Embrace your party area with incense sticks or citronella candles to light after near the time of sunset. The odor will help keep insects away. Also, set up a bottle or two of insect spray on the perimeter of the party that guests can use if they wish.

16. Keep Cold Food Cold

To keep dairy-based dips and other perishable meals chilled, fill a big bowl with ice and then spray it with kosher salt. Put the dish on top, and it'll stay colder for longer. Just make sure to keep an eye on those dishes, and be sure to replace the ice-water bath and dip as needed.

17. No Worries About Matching

Don't get overly particular with dinnerware—a diverse mix feels more laid-back anyway. Don't be afraid to pair your white plates with contemporary stripes and classic florals for a relaxed vibe.

18. Repurpose Indoor Furniture

When covered with pillows, a cot turns into an outdoor settee. Take out your indoor chairs for additional seating, or if the weather forecast looks favorable, recruit some indoor throw pillows as other outdoor accessories. When the party is over, just make sure you pull everything inside.

19. Sit Around The Fire

A fire pit is vital for s’mores and stories. Get a fire pit, and your loved ones are likely to use it many times during the summer and fall.

20. Use Simple Decorations

Floating gardenias and peonies create a lovely centerpiece. Just put water into a big serving dish, and trim off the stalks of each flower--no floral design skills necessary.

21. Use Nature For Supplies

Not enough seating to go around? Tree stumps will do just fine. Let flower cuttings from your lawn double as table decoration, and if you have an herb garden, use basil or rosemary as a garnish on cocktails and dishes.

22. Use Location Or Season For Inspiration

Embrace a seasonally-appropriate motif, like a seashore theme. Seashells tie a starfish into a simple napkin ring for a beach feel and lend a seaside vibe.

23. Use Overhead Lightening

Cover an old chandelier with fairy lights for creating a romantic vibe. You can string fairy lights along with a table or in a nearby tree or bush.

24. Check The Weather

Deal with the wind by hopping a tablecloth altogether. Or, if you need to have a tablecloth, consider ordering a pair of tablecloth weights that will make it stay in place through every gust of wind. Weight dishes and greet guests with small bowls of fresh fruit.


The arrival of summer gets us excited to start planning a patio party. After many months of being stuck indoors, we cannot wait to start grilling and enjoying warmer days and nights with friends and family.

There's an ease of patio entertaining that makes it so much fun. Outdoor entertaining is not too difficult, and some little preparation goes a long way! So go ahead… make it simple or wild… just get outdoors and party!


Read 84 times Last modified on Wednesday, 04 March 2020 21:32
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