Party Planner
Sep 7, 2016

5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party

By: Amanda Etty
5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party

Follow these tips for hosting the perfect outdoor party.

Author: Angus Fergusson

Party Planner
Sep 7, 2016

5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party

By: Amanda Etty

Consider this your go-to source for hosting warm-weather soirees with ease and flair.

It’s summer, and you want to be outside, hanging around with friends, eating garden-fresh fare and sipping refreshing drinks. Let our guide be your go-to for hosting warm-weather get-togethers with simplicity and style.

 

5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party

1 Ambient lighting: To keep the party going beyond sunset, simply hang strings of lights along the fence and among tree branches. Make sure to also include lights above your entertaining zones (lounging and eating areas, for example) to create an intimate atmosphere. We recommend café-style string lights with elegant rounded bulbs that give off a warm glow and lend a casual bistro vibe. As for running cords throughout the yard, be strategic: Choose strands that can plug into one another so only one extension cord is needed; don’t run the cord across high-traffic areas (tuck it along the fence line instead); and select a cord that coordinates with your surroundings (white to match your trim, for example).

Task lighting: Illuminate sitting and dining areas with pillar candles set in glass lanterns. In spots where more light is required (such as the drinks station or buffet table), include a grouping of three or more lanterns. Keep mosquitoes at bay by using citronella candles in lounging zones (but never place scented candles on the dinner table). Be sure to light up stairways and footpaths for safe movement throughout the backyard. 

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Outdoor decor: String lights

String lights

GlucksteinHome Edison Bulb string lights, 11', Hudson's Bay, $30.

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: String lights

String lights

Metalic Dipped string lights, 9', Pottery Barn, $79 US. 

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: String lights

String lights

Canvas Montmarte string lights, 34', Canadian Tire, $90.

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: String lights

String lights

Clear cafe string lights, 10', The Home Depot, $20. 

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

 

5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party

 

2 Drinks station: A general rule of thumb when serving drinks: Unless you’re a pro mixologist, keep cocktails simple. Always have chilled beer and wine at the ready and master one or two refreshing mixed bevvies that are easy to put together.

Bar cart must haves: 

1 Outdoor-safe glasses: Choose shatterproof ones for barefoot-friendly entertaining

2 Spirits and garden-fresh garnishes: Bring out everything you need to make your signature cocktails.

3 Ice bucket: Keep chilled wine and beer close at hand. 

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Outdoor decor: Plastic glasses

Plastic glasses

Marilla goblet in Blush, Anthropologie, $6 US.

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: Plastic glasses

Plastic glasses

GlucksteinHome Tritan martini glass, Hudson's Bay, $5. 

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: Plastic glasses

Plastic glasses

Stemless wineglass, Crate and Barrel, $6.

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: Plastic glasses

Plastic glasses

Hobnail wineglass, West Elm, $9.

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

Outdoor decor: Plastic glasses

Plastic glasses

Chenco Edge cocktail glass, Wayfair.ca, $44 per set of 4. 

By: Amanda Etty Credits: Style at Home

 

5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party

 

3 Party prep: If it can be done ahead of time, do it. Do you have enough plates and cutlery? Bags of ice? Do you need to dig out a few platters from the backs of your cupboards? Have you calculated how many drinks you’ll need? Here’s some handy party math: assume each guest will have at least one drink per hour (10 guests over two hours equals 20 drinks); there are approximately five glasses of wine per bottle; a 750 ml bottle of liquor contains enough for 24 mixed drinks.

5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party

4 Bottle service: Eliminate the flow of guests moving in and out of the house by keeping refreshments near the action. With two sturdy galvanized iron tubs, this stand keeps alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks separate and allows partygoers to help themselves (so the host can sit back and enjoy the festivities). Double beverage tub with stand, Pottery Barn, $159 US.

 

5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party

5 Lawn games: So adult guests can kick back with a mojito, have some distractions for the little ones: plenty of lawn games (and ice pops, of course).

Must-try summer lawn games:

1 Badminton Set, Crate and Barrel, $200.

2 Bocce Set, Lee Valley, $159 

3 Wooden 6-player croquet set, Lee Valley, $239.

4 Sterling Games Lawn Bowling Set, Wayfair.ca, $49.

5 Sunnylife Play on Ping Pong Set with portable net in Pineapple, Indigo, $52.

6 Yard dice, Snake Eyes Yard Games, $50 US per set of 6. 

 

 

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5 helpful tips to hosting an effortless outdoor party