With warm afternoons and evenings very much within our sight, that can only mean one thing – it’s time to kick your outdoor entertaining up a gear! Though with all the things you need to take care of to make your event a success, things can get pretty stressful for even the most seasoned of hosts. Here are 7 of our top tips to follow to ensure that your outdoor entertainment goes off without a hitch!
When entertaining, it’s vital that your guests are kept comfortable and happy. This means that it’s important to ensure that there’s plenty of seating for everyone, enough food and drink, and that it’s not too hot or too cold. Aussie spring weather is unpredictable at the best of times, so it’s best to be fully prepared with fans, shade, sunscreen, and indoor options if necessary. If you’re running a bit later on into the night, make sure you’re prepared for the drop in temperature with soft, warm seating, a few blankets floating about, and a heater to switch on after the sun sets!
Don’t let warm weather pests like flies and mosquitos wreak havoc on your outdoor gathering! There are a number of preventative measures you can take to keep the bugs away. Grab some citronella candles to create an insect barrier, and remove any standing water (a mozzie’s favourite place to hangout) from the area. For a more long-term solution, you could install screening around your entertaining area. Not only will it be great at keeping bugs out as you entertain, it’ll also provide some extra shade on the hot and sunny days.
It’s always smart to have a backup plan in the event of bad weather! If it gets too cold, too windy, or starts raining, you may have to take the party indoors. At the very least, this could mean making sure to tidy up your living and dining rooms before the party, and rushing some chairs indoors at the first sign of rain. Even in bad weather, if you’ve got an outdoor area that’s undercover, nicely heated and comfortable, just direct all your guests over to that area and keep the party going!
A great way to add to the atmosphere of your outdoor area and really capture the essence of spring is to make use of elements of nature in your décor selections. Why not try choosing raw or natural materials for your furniture to enhance the space, or add a number of potted plants or greenery to really unite the indoor and outdoor areas!
Entertaining can be hard work. After all the time you put into preparing the get-together, you just want to enjoy yourself when your guests arrive, without thinking about cleaning up after they leave! You can avoid the dreaded pile of dirty dishes by using disposable plates and cutlery, and minimise the amount of rubbish lying about by placing clearly-visible bins around your entertainment area. You can also reduce your work by sending leftovers home with guests, being minimal with decoration, and making sure the house is nice and clean before guests even arrive.
Just because you’re the host, shouldn’t mean that you have to do all of the work! Your guests will probably want to bring something anyway, so why not make it easy for everyone and let them know that they can bring a side dish or dessert.
As the weather warms up, the longer into the evenings we tend to stay outside. When entertaining past sunset, just like indoors, your lighting choice can make or break an outdoor area. Try to include at least three light sources in order to properly illuminate the outside dining and cooking areas, and keep walkways and paths safe. Be creative with alternative light sources by using candles of differing sizes and shapes around your area, or a fire pit to sit around. You can also consider using light sources like lanterns and fairy lights to create a special ambient atmosphere.
What’s your favourite part of outdoor entertaining season? Is it the food, the sun, or the company? Let us know in the comments!