Tips for Outdoor Entertaining

Garden party

Do you have plans to host a large crowd for a special event? You’re either quite nervous at the prospect of entertaining a big group, or you welcome the opportunity to open your home for a special occasion.  If you have a large outdoor space, consider this as a setting for the event. Outdoor entertaining is generally a much more casual event and the guests, and hosts, often find themselves more relaxed. If you do plan to hold your event outside, make sure you have a secondary plan should the weather not cooperative. The last thing you need is a throng of guests huddling under a few sparse umbrellas. Follow these recommendations from the professional party planner to ensure your event is a huge hit. The key to a successful event is thorough advanced planning.

The first step is to determine a budget and set a date. Gather your guest list and estimate the number that will be attending. Send out save the date cards or electronic invitations.  Begin planning your menu and decorations. Take advantage of the awesome deals offered by Groupon coupons and make your selection from the fun outdoor entertaining items for decoration and tabletops available from Pier 1.  The most casual way to entertain outdoors is with recipes that can be prepared on the grilled and served buffet style. Keep the menu simple and comprised of items that can be prepared well in advance. You certainly don’t want to be stuck in the kitchen chopping vegetables and preparing food when you’re outdoor space is filling up with guests.

Outdoor tipsIf space allows, set up separate tables for the buffet and bar. On the bar table, have plenty of ice on hand, mixers as well as noon-alcoholic selections. For the buffet table, select fresh flowers from the garden or even a smaller planter for the centerpiece. Roll flatware in advance for easy carrying for guests. Place half of the plates at each end of the buffet so guests can help themselves from either side. Set up your outdoor speakers and select beach music to welcome your guests and set the tone for the event.

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