I used to be stressed about having an outdoor party in our home. I would spend days on each detail and, on the day of my party, spend hours on preparation. By the time guests arrived, I would be a frazzled mess. I realized the best parties I had attended included a few key components, so I created a formula to create a beautiful outdoor party without stress. These five tips will help you create a memorable outdoor party, whether serving beer and barbecue or a multi-course dinner.
You can treat your outdoor table just like your indoor dining table.
I’m a firm believer in the fact that any tableware you use for your indoor dining area can be used outdoors. Chairs, linens, and decor are included—glassware, dishes, and glasses. You can easily set the mood for your party by adding “indoor chairs” to your outdoor area or using beautiful linen. You can also use fine china or silver candelabras. It isn’t easy to feel formal when using indoor items outdoors.
Add fresh Flowers
Fresh flowers can transform any area, even an outdoor party. This doesn’t require a florist to do the job; just a trip to your local nursery or market will suffice.
Choose a unique container. Feel free to use a water pitcher or container that is not a glass vase. I used two ceramic wine coolers to hold the roses and a zinc bucket for the peonies. I used a champagne container filled with peonies and ranunculus on another table. All of these flowers were purchased at my local market.
Keep it small. Consider using several smaller containers in a group if you feel intimidated about creating a centerpiece. The look is stunning, especially when you add votive candles.
Herbs and potted flowers are great alternatives to cut flowers. Potted flowers and herbs have been used on many of my tablescapes. These potted flowers and herbs are a great way to add color while maintaining a garden-like feel (or, in the case of herbs, adding fragrance).
Lighting, Lighting, Lighting!
Lighting is crucial for creating the mood and ambiance you want at an evening party. It could be more pleasant to eat a meal or sit outside in bright light. Candlelight is the best solution.
Sitting at a table as the sun sets and watching the candlelight flicker all around is magical. You don’t have to use it at the dining table. You can use lanterns or hurricane vases to highlight an area or light up a path to the front door. You can use LED candles in glass containers or battery-operated wire lights to create a warm glow. I’ve even taken my indoor floor lamp outside to light up a dessert bar or table. Think outside the box and be creative when it comes time to light!
Music is important.
Add background music to your event to create the right mood. It’s okay to have an outdoor sound system. A strategically placed small speaker and your favorite playlist on repeat can do the trick. Consider the type of music you’d like to play and the mood you want to create.
Special touches for your guests
Do you enjoy it when the host makes a special effort to make you feel welcome? Perhaps they’ve got your favorite dessert or drink. They will notice if you add a few simple touches to your guests’ experience.
Stormy weather will ruin an outdoor event. Be sure to provide your guests with blankets, jackets, or wraps if the weather gets more relaxed in the evenings. A few strategically placed pillows will also make your guests feel more comfortable and encourage them to stay longer.