Spring has well and truly started, and what better way to celebrate the arrival of longer evenings and warmer temperatures than a party outside? We’ve prepared a helpful list of things to consider when planning your first outdoor party of the year.
So, you’ve decided you’d like to host an outdoor party. Logically, the first thing to consider is the space – what are you working with? Is your yard well-kept and aesthetically pleasing? Do you have a wet-weather fallback plan? How is the lighting? These are just some of the questions you need to ask yourself before you send out the invitations.
Hiring a landscaper can be a cost-effective way to ensure your yard is ready in time for the party, without having to get your hands dirty. They may even have some ideas for how you can decorate the space for the event.
Rugs, throw cushions, and outdoor furniture can make your space a more attractive party zone. You also don’t have to spend a fortune - thrift stores often have cheap, retro items that can give your party a comfortable vintage theme. When it comes to lighting, lanterns, tea lights, and even citronella candles are popular choices for outdoor parties, although they can be a fire hazard.
Do you have a patio? If not, you may consider adding one. If you’re going to be hosting a few outdoor events this season, it could be worth it. A patio will increase the value of your home and will certainly help in the event of wet weather. Speaking of rain, it’s a good idea to prepare the inside of your home in case poor weather drives your guests indoors.
Think carefully about who you’re inviting to your party, as the final list of guests will help you make other decisions such as what food and drink to provide, what the theme should be, how to decorate the space etc.
It’s also a good idea to inform your neighbors you’re hosting an event. It’s not essential to invite them, but a warning in advance goes a long way to ensuring the party doesn’t disrupt your relationship with your neighbors. They’ll still live nearby long after your guests have left.
The food you serve can make or break your party, so it’s important to think carefully about what your guests may like to eat. Nostalgic hors d’oeuvres like cheese and mini-quiches are coming back in style, and finger food in general is a very popular choice when it comes to outdoor events. Just make sure you have plenty to go around – it’s hard to have fun when you’re hungry.
Hiring a professional caterer will save you lots of time and stress through all stages of the event, but there’s no need to fear if this is not in your budget. For a simple get together, using a grill can be easy and cost-effective.
Remember to lay out napkins, wet wipes, and plenty of trash receptacles so that your guests can clean their hands after eating and dispose of their leftovers easily. Food waste that is not disposed of correctly may cause some uninvited guests to crash the party and stay long after it's over.
The Dry Run
A week or so before the event, it’s wise to test your planning with a dry run. Spend time outside to make sure the weather is comfortable, or if you will need some windbreaks or even a fire. Is the lighting you’ve prepared adequate after dark? How easy is it to find your way to the restroom? A dry run is a great way to reassure yourself you’ve done everything in your power to make the event a success. And if you haven’t, it provides an opportunity to remedy any mistakes before it’s too late.
The EZBZ app is a great tool for planning parties. Simply type in what you need – whether it’s a caterer, landscaper, or some wood for a fire – and we’ll connect you with local businesses that can help, who will reply to you directly through the app. It’s a fast, easy way to find the things you need.