Round up your friends and enjoy the outdoors, with a party! In times of fair weather, nothing can beat a satisfying meal and cocktails in your backyard or any outdoor space. But before you invite anyone, let’s get you ready for your outdoor party.

Prepare well in advance

Wouldn’t it be great to have everybody, including you, the host, enjoy themselves in a relaxed, comfortable environment? Some extra hours of preparation the day before will mean you’re not always checking on things during the party. Better yet, why not have the entire party catered so you can enjoy the party with your guests?

Make your guests feel comfortable
Have enough comfortable seating for your guests. Re-purpose indoor furniture that’s not being used if needed. Benches, chairs, and small metal stools work well outside and are waterproof in case it rains. To make your space feel more homey, add cushions and throw pillows to chairs, add candles for lighting, and accessorise with accent pieces and colourful decorations. Fresh flowers inject instant elegance to any gathering. Don’t forget to provide adequate shelter from the sun by installing outdoor umbrellas.

If you’re having a pool party, table surfaces can be placed poolside to hold drinks.

Light Up
Choose lighting that suits the mood of your event- hurricanes, tea lights, torches, etc. Soft and ambient lighting is perfect for an intimate gathering while brighter lighting is better suited for lively parties. Consider using lanterns too, since they can be used for almost any outdoor setting.

Cool It Now
Don’t let your guests be baked in the intense heat of the sun. Don’t schedule a midday event, especially between noon and 3 p.m. Better go for brunch, a late afternoon mixer, or an evening dinner.

Flies Away
In case mosquitoes are a problem in your place, give your guests insect repellents once they arrive so they won’t have mosquito bites. Lighting citronella candles around your deck or yard will also help.

Kiddie Fun
Have plenty of outdoor games and entertainment ready for the little ones so they don’t get bored and act up. Hire a magician or bouncy castle to keep them occupied!

Food and Drinks
The simpler the menu the better. Combine prepared foods with made-from-scratch items. Prepare what you can ahead of time. For casual gatherings, stick to one-bite tapas-style foods for easier handling. Also good bets are veggies and dip, and food that can be cooked on the barbecue grill. For your drinks, pick one or two favourite beverages that can be mixed ahead, like mojitos, or Long Island iced teas. Have bottles of white and red wine ready, and offer bottled water or soda to non-drinkers.

Plan your outdoor party well so that you have plenty of time to have fun with friends during your party. Enjoy!

(Image via Elle Decoration)