We are right in the middle of the sizzling summer season, so it’s the perfect time to throw an outdoor party. Successful outdoor entertaining doesn’t have to be elaborate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dazzle guests with an elegant event they will be sure to enjoy.
1. Make sure your guests are comfortable enough to stay awhile. Adirondack chairs, wooden benches and wrought iron furniture can create a stylish look for your outdoor dining area, but they can sometimes leave guests shifting in their seats. Provide plenty of cushioning with plush, comfy, colorful pillows.
2. Ensure guests stay cool and fresh. Don’t let the heat of summer put a damper on your event. Excessively high temperatures and humidity can really suck the life out of a party. Create shade with large patio umbrellas or lawn tents. If it’s going to be a scorcher, provide fans and cooling mist.
3. Make the menu simple and light. Nobody wants to eat rich heavy food in the summertime. Grilled meat and vegetable skewers, fresh fruit and crisp salads, icy drinks, and cool desserts will please the crowd.
4. Use crisp whites and pops of color in your color scheme. White can seem stark if you’re not careful, but if done right, it appears cool and soothing. To add some energy, use bunches of colorful flowers, bright paper lanterns, or large glass vessels filled with limes, for example. Ethnic-inspired prints from hot climates look great, too – Morocco, India, etc. Get creative.
5. Keep the bugs at bay. Nothing can spoil a summer party faster than pesky insects. Who wants to swat flies for hours and go home dotted in mosquito bites? Not me! Don’t forget the citronella candles and tiki torches, cover food with mesh tents, and use oscillating fans to blow those little suckers into somebody else’s yard.
6. Keep the refreshments flowing. Allow guests to stay hydrated with a self-serve drink stand with chilled glasses and plenty of ice. Fresh lemonade and iced tea in a variety of flavors – mint, raspberry, and peach – are summer favorites. Pass me a frozen cocktail. Cheers!
7. Save room for dessert. What’s party without sweet treats? Summer crowd pleasers include fruity tarts, chilled key lime pie, or creamy sorbet.
Whether entertaining poolside, at the beach or lake, or on your back patio, these tips will help you throw a fantastic outdoor party.