Five Tips to Plan the Perfect Outdoor Party
Are you going to throw an outdoor party this year? Well, you’re probably envisaging a backyard full of your best friends and family members, laughing and joking together, enjoying the food you’re serving and thanking you for such a great time when the time comes for them to head home.
But do you know how to pull it off? Here’s how to plan the perfect outdoor party with five straightforward tips…
1. Plan your eating area and furniture
If your backyard is large enough, you might like to divide up your eating area and your relaxing areas. Of course, these two areas are likely to blur into one as the party goes on, but it’s a good idea to lay out the food and drink on your patio as the ground will be even here. Make sure your patio is up to scratch before arranging your furniture, but remember you can use your indoor furniture outside if you need to. Consider renting furniture too if you need more tables and chairs, and you could always ask your guests to bring fold down chairs with them.
2. Plan your lighting and music
The best parties always have a great atmosphere, don’t they? To make sure your party is remembered for the right reasons, make sorting out your lighting and music a priority. Ambient lighting will make it feels really cozy as the evening goes on, so consider hanging a string of lights with round bulbs (like the kind you see all over Pinterest), as well as lighting tea lanterns and other softly flickering candles. Music will add to the overall effect too, so hook up your speakers and create a great party playlist. Keep it upbeat and throw in some new tunes alongside lots of classics. Choose songs that just feel good to listen to, whether that’s Stevie Wonder, Elvis or whatever you love best!
3. Plan a fun, easy menu
The food and drink you serve is one of the most important aspects of the party, and it’s nice to be remembered for cooking a great array of dishes. Opt for things that are easy to cook in large quantities ahead of time, such as chili con carne and nachos. Serve some delicious salads too, and be sure to buy lots of fresh bread, meat and dips. You can ask your guests to bring a dish along too or, if you’re happy to man the grill, you could serve sizzling steaks and burgers. There are lots of cocktail recipes here if you need some inspiration for the drinks you’re going serve, too.
4. Keep mosquitos away
You don’t want your guests to take a little gift with home with them – at least, not if that gift is in the shape of a mosquito bite. To reduce the likelihood of mosquitos bites happening, empty flower pots and gutters of standing water. Mosquitos breed in standing water, so you need to get rid of it! Stock up on mosquito-repellent candles, as well as bug wipes. You can even buy repellent sprays, simply attaching a bottle of something like Backyard Pretreat to a hose. Spray down the backyard 24 hours in advance of the party.
5. Appoint people to help you clear up as you go
Of course, you don’t want to ask your guests to tidy up during the party (or even after it!), but if you can rely on one or two friends or family members to help keep things tidy as the party is happening, you’ll be able to relax a lot more. Ask your partner, children, siblings or best friend to collect empty bottles, dispose of empty plates and food scraps and generally just keep picking things up as the party is happening. Keep refuse sacks handy, but tuck them out of sight, and try not to give the impression that guests aren’t allowed to make a mess. Tidy stealthily so it’s not obvious!