by Annette Naif
Here are some tips to make your next outdoor party exceptional.
- Don’t get bogged down in the kitchen during your party. Serve food that you can plan ahead so you can enjoy the party with your guests. Lasagna, baked ziti, stuffed shells, chicken divan, salads, deli platters – these can all be made a day ahead and reheated.
- Set the bar up on a portable appetizer cart with drinks and munchies that your guests can help themselves. This way you can move it around the party for easy access.
- Use decorative flowerpots as ice buckets.
- Always provide music for your guests; it sets a nice ambiance. Check out Big Jambox – it turns any phone, tablet or mobile device into a portable, hi-fi sound system. It even has a built-in microphone that lets you enjoy hands-free calls and video chats using Skype®, GoogleTalk® and FaceTime®.
- Use unique drink tags. You can use phrases to folllow the theme of your party or the names of your guests will add a nice touch.
- If you don’t have outdoor furniture, move your dining table out to the deck or under your favorite tree in the yard.
- Create centerpieces using fruit, flowers from your own garden or even branches from the trees. Add something whimsical to the branches like butterflies.
- Drape the backs of the chairs with beautiful cashmere shawls or blankets for guests to keep them warm into the night. This is another great way to add in more color. They can also be used as party favors for your guests – monogram them to add a personal touch.
- Provide an area with a canopy where your guests can relax in the shade. If your party is in the middle of the hot summer, your guests will thank you. A canopy is also good to have in case the weather does not cooperate.
- Hanging chandeliers from a tree and adding path lighting up to the party is a really fun way to add in lighting. Be sure to light steps and steep paths especially at night. Candles, torches, battery powered lights, and solar lights are other fun ways to light up your party.