But creating a flawless patio party is a little more complicated than just ushering your guests outside onto the patio.
With just a little creativity and planning, you can successfully bring the party outside and throw a patio party that your guests will recall fondly long after. Use our patio party planning tips to help you entertain family and friends effortlessly, so you can be the hottest hit of the summer:
Clean Up Your Outdoor Space
Just as you would with the inside of your home, make sure your backyard is in prime shape for entertaining. This can include cutting the grass, cleaning any outdoor furniture cushions or tables, pool maintenance and getting the grill ready. Make sure your guests are able to navigate the area safely and avoid any possible tripping hazards. A liability claim could be made against you if someone gets hurt on your property.
Have a Backup Plan if it Rains
Rain, rain, go away. Come again another day – just not on the day of your patio party!
While hoping for sunshine, rain might dampen your spirits. Create a backup plan in case it does rain when you plan to have your outdoor party. Be prepared to use your indoor space. Most guests will generally be understanding and appreciate your efforts in helping them stay dry.
Keep Everyone Cool
Sweltering temperatures can be a potential buzzkill. Help guests beat the heat by providing enough shade and offering frozen fruit and refreshing drinks, especially water. Alcohol can lead to dehydration so make sure guests have access to water if they need to cool down. Have a designated area as the beverage station and include a pail or cooler for ice cubes for guests to add into their drinks.
Provide Baskets of Essentials
Instead of loading up guests’ party favours bags with more sweets and knick-knacks, why not give them something they can put to good use right away? Preparing a little basket or bag of patio party essentials – such as mini sunscreen, bug spray, and drink labels – for each guest will ensure that everyone is prepared for the festivities ahead, with no need for last-minute drug store trips. Your little basket of essential will make for a cute way to provide guests with everything they need for the day, while making for nice party favour, too.
Amp Up Your Ambient Lighting
When it comes to outdoor party planning, one thing you definitely want to avoid is leaving your guests in the dark once the sun goes down. That’s why it's important to set up adequate lighting before your guests begin to arrive. You don’t need anything too fancy, but some ambient lighting can make a world of difference come nighttime. Hanging strings of lights on the deck, fence, and even in tree branches, makes for a charming yet effective way to light up your party at night. Add some tea lights, hurricane lanterns also known as kerosene lanterns, and globe string lights for an extra special glow.
Have Plenty of (Comfy) Seating
You wouldn’t want a guest to be left seat-less in your home – the same goes for outside, too. Make sure you prepare enough seating for each guest so that they have a place to relax and enjoy their meal when dinnertime rolls around.
Simple folding chairs work wonders for this type of party – if you want to get a little bit fancier, opt for wicker chairs or cushioned chairs. You can even add cushions to your cushion-less chairs as well.
Opt for a Simple, Buffet-Style Menu
When choosing the menu for your patio party, it’s best to keep it simple. Opt for a menu that’s easy and breezy, full of summer backyard favourites like fresh fruit, salads, and grilled meat and vegetables. Serve your food buffet-style, so that each guest can take as much or as little as they like, and you’re not left with the hassle of serving each person one by one. You can even set up a cold drinks station, with plenty of ice. Top off your meal with an unfussy dessert, like ice cream – to keep it from melting, simply pre-scoop your ice cream into bowls, and store on a cookie sheet in the freezer until ready to serve.
Keep Bugs at Bay
The last thing your guests want to be doing is swatting away mosquitoes all night long! Keep these unwanted guests at bay by circling your party area with citronella candles and incense sticks. If any mosquitos make their way through the perimeter, encourage your guests to use their mini bug sprays as well.
Happy patio party planning!