Now that the weather has warmed up, you’re probably wanting to spend more time outside. Whether you’re planning weekend trips to go hiking or you want to attend a local outdoor event, there are lots of ways to have fun outside during the summer. Much of the summer activity that goes on each year is dedicated to food. People coming together to eat something delicious is one of the best ways to spend time, so why not do the same in your own backyard and have an outdoor summer soiree?
Throwing an outdoor summer soiree could be the highlight of your year. It’s not hard to get one going! Read up on some tips that will help you get your party started so you’re bound for success. Your friends will love being invited over to have some fun, and you’ll love enjoying the best food with your best friends and family.
What you can do at your soiree is depending on how much space you have and how you use it. Smaller yards might not have the space for much more than a grill, so the meal can happen inside a screen in porch. Larger yards could accommodate entertainment like a bean bag toss, so it’ll look strange if people are standing around in a large yard with nothing to do. Think about things like how music will fill your yard and what you normally do in it that others could enjoy with you, like sitting in your garden.
Not every party has to be entirely dependent on the host! Your guests will be able to contribute more than their company once they arrive. If everyone brings a covered dish, the food for the event will be set, plus any extra food you choose to make. You can plan a picnic potluck so your friends and family can bring something they’ll all love without you having to stress about making something for everyone.
The weather is unpredictable, even if you’re checking the forecast on the morning of your soiree. Always have a backup plan if the weather changes its mind. Have your indoor space cleaned up and ready for everyone to come inside if it starts raining and look for small weights you can use to keep down napkins and plates if it starts to get windy.
Anyone leaving a party knows that what makes it a hit is the food that’s offered. Even if everyone is bringing their own dish, you’ll still oversee things like appetizers and drinks. Ask around to see what your guests enjoy before the big day, so you’re prepared. It’s also smart to have backups for people with food allergies who might end up getting stuck with only being able to eat the dish they bring.
People are going to want to take pictures of your big party, and what’s going to be the main event? The food. How you serve it will affect how people approach the food and if they take pictures of it. Make sure to read up on how to get your dishes Instagram ready before everyone comes so the food ends up looking as great as it’s going to taste.
Decorating for an outdoor event means that you need a theme. Some summer themes people tend to go with are sailing, the beach or the Fourth of July. Whatever strikes you as summer can be a theme and the décor can be simple. Lay out shells between food dishes for a beach theme or put red, white and blue flowers in a vase to celebrate the Fourth of July. Get creative but don’t feel like you have to go over the top.
Another thing that’s nice about summer is that the sun sets much later than in the winter. You can enjoy being outside for a few more hours before worrying about turning on the lights. If you only have floodlights illuminating your yard, it could ruin the party mood. Instead, learn about how to get creative with outdoor lighting to set the right mood when the stars start to come out so the party doesn’t have to stop.
If you don’t have a space like a screened in porch where you can have a speaker set play music or a TV broadcast a sports game, you’ll want to have some kind of entertainment ready for people to engage with before and after the food is ready. Think about classic games like bean bag toss that are easy to set up in the grass and even easier to clean up when you’re done. You can even find a rental spot, so you don’t have to give up storage space in the garage in the long term.
It’s all too easy to let yourself get caught up in the planning of an event. As the host, there’s a lot you have to think about before everyone starts coming over. There’s cleaning, prepping and set up to take care of and then the clean up afterwards. Don’t feel pressured to throw the perfect party and be the perfect host. Just be yourself around your loved ones and they’ll have a great time.
You might not initially think that throwing an outdoor summer soiree is very different from having an indoor party at any other time of the year, but that’s not true. Certain elements are very specific to summertime, like depending more on the weather and dealing with bugs. As long as you think ahead, your friends and family will love coming over for your outdoor summer soiree!