I love entertaining in the warmer weather because I have so much more room for guests. When having a summer party that is sure to please, there are a few things you need to consider. First, start with the guest list. Plan and invite early because so many people make summer plans in advance. Notify people by Evite or create an event on Facebook. Pray they don’t all come.
Next, think about your layout, keeping your back deck or yard area in mind. Depending on how many you are having, create your zones for people to gather. If it’s a big group it’s best to try and spread things out and use your entire space, rather than just one area. For example, the dining table would be one zone. The gazebo lounge area another, a bar area or a folding chair circle in another. Use your grass…don’t limit it to just the deck.
You don’t have to have enough seating for everyone. People can stand, sit on blankets or take turns. Be ready for them to move stuff around from your perfectly created zones. As much as I move things back, they always do what they want. If you need chairs don’t be shy to ask company to bring some along.
Think of lighting the space elegantly using candles, fire bowls and string lights. Using mason jars filled with sand and votives works anywhere, even in your planters. Instead of using a chandelier in my gazebo I hang an industrial work light with a yellow bug light in it. It’s just like going camping.
Since there is a good chance it will be hot make sure you have plenty of water, lemonade or iced tea on hand to counter alcoholic drinks and dehydration. Always remember people have to drive and we should be accommodating the dd’s as well.
When guests enter your backyard have a bug spraying station if your party is in the evening. Use shells and rocks or water fountains to accessorize any table. Display beverages like beer and pop in ice filled wheelbarrows or galvanized pails. It makes it easy for people to grab and less serving for the host.
If you can stay away from bbqing it will give you more time with your guests. If it’s too warm why not think about setting up the food table of veggie trays and dips, etc…indoors so guests can take a break from the heat and move around. Stay away from things that don’t do well if you leave them sitting out. Keep the AC on. This also helps at clean up time and you don’t have to carry things in and out. Whew!
If you have lots of space outside you could even designate a game area. This is a great time to bring out the bocce balls, the badminton rackets or the set that have been sitting in your shed or basement for years. If you have a pool, set out some towels.
Last but not least, be sure to invite or let your neighbours know what’s happening so you don’t get a surprise visit about a noise complaint. Keep the music at an acceptable volume if you live in a residential area.
Summer entertaining is a lot of fun, especially when you’re well organized. Don’t forget to pour yourself a drink, sit back and breathe. Happy entertaining!
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