When the weather’s nice throwing a party in your backyard instead of inside your home is a great way to hang out with loved ones and enjoy the season. How can you knock your guests’ socks off without going crazy? Rather than plan harder, plan smarter to turn a simple backyard party into an unforgettable event. Use these handy tips while creating the menu, choosing decorations, and thinking about a party theme.
1. Use Your Landscape As Part of Your Party Decor
If you have smart outdoor landscape lighting, let it become part of your party decorations. For instance, use colored lights to put on an impromptu light show, create your desired party mood, or let guests know which house is yours. Landscape lighting also makes for excellent music accompaniment, so consider which colors pair well with your party playlist. One great thing about smart landscape lighting is you can control the system with a phone app, making it easy to pass your device around to let friends and family take turns shifting the lights and colors.
If you don’t have landscape lighting, don’t fret. Classic landscape party decorations like paper lanterns, balloons, mason jars with tea lights, tiki lights, and fresh flowers turn your backyard into party central without breaking the bank.
2. Choose a Theme
Picking a theme for the festivities may feel like more trouble than it’s worth, but doing so could make planning easier. With a theme in mind, you have a specific focus for your party, which is great for deciding on minor details and getting creative. Another benefit of having a theme is streamlining your budget. Selecting a theme lets you know exactly what to purchase to evoke your desired ambiance, and prevents you from buying supplies you may not use.
3. Send Invitations
The simplest way to elevate an informal event is to extend invitations. Even something as simple as a text message or email invite can go a long way in making your guests feel special. On the invitation, include the gathering’s time, address, date, and theme. Let guests know whether they should eat before attending if you plan to serve small bites, or if they should bring big appetites if you have a full meal prepared. Other useful invitation details include whether you mind guests bringing their kids, if you plan to serve alcoholic beverages, and whether attendees should bring clothes for the pool.
4. Create a Menu
One great thing about throwing backyard parties in warmer months is guests likely want to eat light meals. That means you need not worry about going all out on the menu if you prefer to keep things simple. No matter what you plan to prepare, create a menu. Setting out an assortment of cold dishes or a buffet keeps you from spending more time in the kitchen than you do with your guests. Depending on everyone’s dietary restrictions, consider offering vegetarian and gluten-free options.
5. Create a Unique Beverage
Rather than offer an assortment of beverages, make your own special drink for the party. Concocting a unique beverage could help you save money on buying a lot of beer, soda, and juice. Keep your special beverage as simple or complex as you desire, such as spiked fruit punch or a mocktail.
No matter what signature beverage you come up with, consider setting up the beverage station separately from the food station. That way, you need not worry about everyone crowding around the same table, which can bring the festivities to a screeching halt.
6. Don’t Neglect Trash and Dirty Dishes
You could likely do without cleaning up after hosting a party. Still, don’t let that keep you from throwing a great shindig. Set aside at least one trash can for your guests, making sure you keep an eye on it so you know when to empty it. It’s also a great idea to have a place for everyone to put their glassware and dishes, such as a plastic bin or table. By planning for trash and dirty dishes, you may find it easier to clean up.
Backyard parties are the perfect way to meet old friends and make new memories. When you know the ins and outs of being a great host, it’s easy for you and your guests to have the time of your lives.