Quick Guide to Outdoor Entertaining

Throwing an outdoor party that’s fun, festive, and filled with food, drink, and conversation isn’t quite as simple as hosting an indoor party. When you’re hosting an outdoor party, the weather can definitely complicate things. It’s important then to plan your party with the seasonal elements in mind and work with them, rather than fight against them.

Whether you’re having family & friends over for an impromptu patio party or are prepping for a neighborhood Fourth of July bash, we have a few tips to help make your life easier, so you can kick back and enjoy the summer with your family and friends.

Create an ‘outdoor room’

An umbrella not only has the obvious task of providing shade, but it also helps define your outdoor space. If you have a yard that gets full sun, consider setting up multiple umbrellas and mini seating areas around the backyard or patio. These little shaded retreats will also encourage mingling at a larger party, as guests will gather at the various seating areas.

Set the mood

Setting the mood for outdoor entertaining with lighting.

Paper lanterns, draped from tree limbs, are charmingly festive, or repurpose a vintage chandelier to add a cozy feel to your outdoor soirée. Even simple white Christmas lights provide a magical twinkle effect. Add tea lights set in clean glass jars or battery-operated flameless candles to enhance the ambience … and dazzle your guests! 

Plan the menu

Keep it simple and prepare as much as possible before your guests arrive so that you can spend your time outside enjoying yourself rather than in the kitchen. Work with the weather, if it’s especially hot, keep that in mind with finger foods and light bites. Consider “serve yourself” style food and drinks and make everything easy to carry and leave the messy stuff off the menu!

Be Prepared

Unless it’s a huge event that you would not be able to accommodate indoors should it rain, consider your event rain or shine and make sure your guests know that. Chances are it’ll all work out, but just in case, you may want to make sure your basement or family room are picked up and neat in case you need to move the party inside.

Consider the Neighbors

If you live in a community where houses are rather close together, it might not hurt to give your neighbors a heads up that you’ll be hosting a party (that is, if they aren’t invited!). Be mindful of the volume of the noise, but if given prior notice most neighbors understand that you may be slightly louder than usual.

Have fun!

There’s really nothing better than a casual outdoor get together under the summer night sky. The most important thing that you can do is to just be okay with whatever Mother Nature throws at you and enjoy the time with friends and family. If that means having an indoor game night while it pours rain outside, at least you are all together! 

Stay tuned to the Compass Homes blog for more tips on designing, decorating, and entertaining at home. Contact us today if we can help, or to learn about our More Thought Per Square Foot philosophy. 


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