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Ten Tips for Outdoor Entertaining This Summer

Written by Savannah Marie, Community Blogger | May 19, 2014 11:03 AM

So you've decided to have a summer party, but you’re just not sure how to go about the details. The great thing about hosting a party in the summer is that a lot of the details take care of themselves. What’s greater than a day out in the sun with the people you love to hang out with the most? Keep it simple, but exciting, and the crowd will flock to your door. Here’s how:

1. Set a Date and Tell Everyone. Be selective when choosing a date. Avoid holiday weekends when everyone is likely to have plans. Put a couple feelers out to some of those whom you’ll be inviting to figure out which day may work best for them. Once you’ve decided on a date, send out those invites! For some great invite ideas, check out the creative ones put together by the staff at tinyprints.com.

 2. Tell People What to Expect. Have you ever shown up to a party and been the oddball-out because no one mentioned the dress code? Keep your guests from feeling panicked by giving them a heads up on what to wear. Say something like, “Wear your favorite Hawaiian shirt!”

 3. Investigate the Potential of the Space.Being outside can be a blast, but just like arranging a party room, you’ll need to figure out how to arrange everything so your guests aren’t crowded and can enjoy your party to the fullest. Be sure, for example, to have food in a place that is shaded, preferably near the kitchen door if the event is at your house. That way, you’ll be able to take in and replenish emptying foods, as well as remove anything that needs to remain cold.

4. Have Enough Seating. Once you've seen the space and know about how many guests to expect at your event, you’ll want to make sure you have enough places for them to sit and in various degrees of shade and sunshine. You may need to pull some of the chairs from the dining table or borrow a few from a close friend to ensure everyone has a place to sit when they need to.

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5. Control the Critters. Bugs and forest critters are sometimes unwelcome guests at an outdoor event. Plan ahead with critter prevention techniques, like citronella candles and bug spray for your guests.

6. Put on Some Tunes, and Plan What Will Play Ahead of Time. If you’re having families with kids present, be sure that the music is child-appropriate. Whatever genre you decide on, you’ll want to keep it at a volume that can be heard without drowning out your guests’ conversations.

7. Decorate on the Cheap. One of the best parts of planning an outside party is that the outdoors offers a really beautiful backdrop. Use that backdrop to your advantage and keep your party decorations to a minimum. Maybe add a few flower pots to some of the tables (if you’re having tables) and signage for where to find things, and you’ll be all set.

8. Plan Activities for Kids and Adults. Whoever said that kids were the only ones who needed something to do at a party? Though it’s nice to converse with one another, take the conversations to a whole new level by spicing things up with a little healthy competition. Put up a badminton net or throw together a simple game of baseball and you’ll have a day your guests will remember.

9. Light the Space. If your get-together will be going into the evening, plan accordingly with your lighting. You’ll want to make sure that you can still see one another at dusk. Add some lanterns or string strands of white lights, like these cute ones from Target, around the space to give your party some ambience.

10. Have a Rainy Day Backup Plan. Though the outdoors provides a great space, there is always the potential for the weather to be less than desirable. Plan ahead by having a backup plan. Give as much notice as possible if the event will be cancelled; if you’re determined to have it rain or shine, put that on the invite.

Follow these 10 tips for your outdoor entertaining this summer, and you’ll be sure to be the life of the party. 

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