Outdoor Entertaining: Tips to Throw the Perfect Backyard Party
Throwing a great get-together this summer doesn't have to be complicated! There are 3 basic elements to outdoor entertaining: tasty food and drinks, a comfortable atmosphere, and good company. Follow these tips to coordinate the perfect backyard party and your house will be the go-to hangout spot for your friends and family before you know it!
Make sure there’s plenty to eat.
A happy guest is one who has a full belly! Grilling is always a hit when it comes to outdoor entertaining, so don’t shy away from classics like grilled chicken, hamburgers, and grilled vegetables. And not to worry if standing by the grill doesn’t sound appealing to you. Plan an offering of cold salads that can be prepared the day before–quinoa with avocado and cumin, mozzarella and tomato with couscous, and classic pasta salad with chickpeas and fresh herbs are a few of our favorites. If it’s a casual gathering, invite guests to bring along a dish to pass. And have a few extra snacks on hand in case the food goes faster than you anticipated–you can’t go wrong with a platter of cheese and crackers or fresh fruit!
Create a comfortable seating area for guests.
Be sure to have a spot for each of your guests to sit. You can make the space more inviting by adding outdoor throw pillows to each chair–not only will they ensure your guests are comfortable, but they’ll add some color and texture to the space. Even if you have an outdoor entertaining area set up with a table and chairs, you can enhance your yard or deck by having seating in other areas–a high bar table with a pair of chairs or a few Adirondack-style chairs give guests the opportunity to explore your outdoor living setup a little more instead of being boxed in just a small corner of your outdoor space.
Set up a drink station.
A dedicated drink station is smart even for the most casual of gatherings. It gives your guests the freedom to get a fresh drink at their own leisure and prevents you from having to go inside for refreshments every 10 minutes. And if you’re feeling creative, it is also a great opportunity to create an attractive visual point that your guests will admire! Make name cards for the drinks available or serve a themed mixed drink to enhance the festivities.
Outdoor entertaining is a lot of fun–especially once you get these few simple basics down! If you’re new to hosting guests, here’s a tip to kick things off: start small. Invite a group of just 4-6 of your closest friends and practice your hosting skills before planning a bigger summer bash. You’ll be ready for a yard-full of guests before you know it!