Food & Entertaining - Party Planner

How to: Plan an outdoor party

Enjoy the good weather with an outdoor party that’s stylish yet relaxed.

Being in the throes of summer, it’s party season; more specifically, it’s outdoor party season. It’s the time to gather with friends and enjoy the warmer temperatures while they last. And nothing beats having a good meal and cocktails on a patio or in your backyard. But before you send out invitations to your friends and family, get prepped for your outdoor party with tips and advice from Kirsten Korhani, the creative director of Korhani Home.

“The ideal outdoor party is a comfortable, relaxed environment,” explains Korhani. “Everybody is enjoying themselves without the host constantly being involved.” Which means the host can enjoy the party, too!

Think of your outdoor space like your indoor space
When you’re having a party indoors, one of the first things you want to do is make your guests feel comfortable. Cosy chairs, ample seating and a warm and inviting atmosphere usually do the trick. Take that same concept and bring it to your outdoor entertaining space.

“Outdoor is the new indoor; make sure your space is as inviting and stylish as your inside,” says Korhani. “Be sure to have enough comfy seating for your guests. To make your space feel more homey, add cushions and throw pillows to chairs, add candles for lighting, have blankets on hand if it gets chilly and be sure to accessorize with accent pieces (centrepieces on the table, for example).”

Prep well in advance

The key to a great dinner party or any get-together is simple – the host needs to be enjoying his or her time as well. The best way to make this happen? “Prepare food and drinks in advance so you are able to relax and enjoy as the host,” suggests Korhani. “A few hours of extra prep the day before or morning of will mean you’re not always checking on the oven, making sure the wine is chilled or rushing around from indoors to outdoors.”

For more outdoor party planning tips keep reading on the next page.
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