Outdoor entertaining often takes places during warmer months and can involve a variety of people from young to old. Rather than having your guests going in and out of your home during an outdoor affair to retrieve things, it’s much more efficient to plan ahead and have your party organized and well-stocked outdoors. A little forethought will go a long way in accommodating your guests.
Use your creativity in your seating arrangements. Just because you don’t have chairs for everyone doesn’t mean that you can’t fashion makeshift seating or bring indoor furniture outdoors for party guests. If you have an old, unattractive bench, cover it with a striped bed sheet tied with rope around the feet of the bench or some chair cushions.
Stock a basket with bug spray, sunscreen, hand sanitizer or wipes and paper towels for guests who may need these items. Include a few personal fans labeled with your last name so they won’t disappear.
Create an extra drink station in an area away from the food table to minimize traffic in one area. Include alcoholic offerings and all the related supplies as well as non-alcoholic beverages such as regular and diet sodas and bottled water. Fill a clean ice chest full of ice and place a bowl on the table or next to the chest to act as a holder for the scoop.
Plates and Utensils
Use bio-degradeable plates and bowls to serve your guests. Wrap utensils in paper napkins and secure with a rubber band for easy retrieval. Place them in a basket at the end of the serving table.
Candles and Lighting
Light citronella candles and torches to deter flying insects. Place lanterns on the serving table and drink station for lighting when the sun goes down.
Check the food table to ensure that there is plenty of everything available for guests. Remove any perishable foods after approximately 1 hour and replace with a fresh batch to avoid health issues. Replenish ice as needed.