The time for outdoor parties is now upon us. The beautiful blue skies and cool, summer nights are calling for dinners under the stars and pool parties to escape the afternoon heat. However, outdoor entertaining comes with its own set of challenges. From bugs to the weather, there are a lot of things you will need to consider. You want to make sure your guests are comfortable and have everything they need to have a great experience. If you’re planning on hosting an outdoor party this summer, we’ve compiled this helpful list of ways to optimize your outdoor space for parties.
Give your guests a place to sit.
The struggle of trying to balance your drink and plate of food all while carrying on a conversation is one we all know too well. Avoid putting your guests through this painful ordeal by ensuring there are plenty of comfy places to sit and plenty of tables to set drinks and food on.
If you’re short on outdoor furniture, add some of your indoor furniture to the mix. Utilize your dining room chairs and side tables. Don’t worry if all your pieces don’t match—the eclectic look creates a casual environment.
You could also go the family-style route and line up a few folding tables so they make up one, long table. This ensures that everyone has a place to sit and keeps the conversation flowing.
Beat the heat or provide ample shade.
If you live in Alabama, you know the state often experiences record-breaking temperatures during the summer months. To avoid the heat, don’t plan an outdoor party mid-day, between noon and 3:00 p.m., unless the party revolves around swimming in a pool. This still gives you plenty of party options—host a mid-morning brunch or an evening grill-out.
If you must plan your outdoor party in the middle of the day, ensure you provide ample shade for your guests with patio umbrellas or create a beautiful canopy with linens to block the harsh sunlight. Bring fans from inside to create a refreshing, but not too powerful, breeze.
Beware of bugs.
Summertime in Alabama is prime time for mosquitoes. They’re especially active right around dawn and dusk, so in order to keep your guests comfortable and bite-free during your outdoor party, you’ll want to take measures to ward against these pests. Burn decorative citronella candles to minimize the presence of mosquitos or have bug spray readily available for your guests.
Some more nontraditional ways to get rid of pesky bugs include taping dryer sheets under tables, spraying a mixture of garlic powder and water on your lawn before the party, or making your own repellent! You can find a variety of fragrant homemade mosquito repellent recipes online.
Set up games for kids (or kids at heart).
If your party is multi-generational, have some entertaining games ready for the kids so the adults can sit relax, hold conversations, and savor the evening. Set up lawn games such as horseshoes, croquet, or cornhole. If throwing an evening party, have mason jars with lids available for the timeless thrill of catching lightning bugs. Have flashlights handy for a game of nighttime tag and provide the ingredients for s’mores over the fire pit. These activities are also great for those adult guests who are really kids at heart.
Set the mood with lighting.
Lighting is a very important aspect of your outdoor party, especially if it’s taking place when the sun goes down. Twinkling string lights strung across the space or above the table create a magical atmosphere. String them across the ceiling of your patio, hang them across the yard from the corner of your house, or even drape them across plants or a wall to create a subtle yet lovely background. Utilize the existing trees in your outdoor space and wrap string lights around the branches and trunk to make them shimmer. Mix up all sizes and shapes of candles and spread them on tables throughout your space to illuminate the night. The opportunities are endless! Learn more about different types of lighting here.
Update your outdoor space.
If you’re itching to bring the party outside this summer but aren’t confident in your outdoor space, now is the time to give it a much-needed update. Here at DSLD, we offer exemplary landscape design and construction services. We’ll work with you to create a space that is the perfect venue for all your summer get-togethers. Contact us today to get started.