As the evenings grow longer in the warmer months, so too grows our desires to spend more time outside. There’s something about taking advantage of the natural beauty and accommodating elements of the outdoors that keeps us hanging out for the next summer soiree. Hosting an outdoor event is something we all take turns in doing, but that’s not to say that each event is the same. To deliver a great outdoor event, follow these 6 tips for hosting a comfortable outdoor event that will have your guests lingering long into the evening.
- Account for the weather
With the right set-up, you don’t need to fear the unpredictability of the weather. Exploring marquee hire options will give you protection from sun and rain, and it adds a sense of occasion to any outdoor event. It is wise to opt for tasteful plastic furniture where possible, as the rain will not soak into the foundations as you see with wood and some stones. It’s also a good idea to choose fabric materials (for napkins and tablecloths) instead of paper-based so that you can prepare for all scenarios.
2. Stick with a clear dining concept
No one heads to an event with the menu in mind, but it’s always something your guests remember most. Given you are having an outdoor event, opt for warm weather food that can keep its form in a range of elements for a long period of time. Creamy desserts and chilled dips will not go the distance, whereas fruit, biscuits and pastries will not let you down on the day. Apply the same considerations to your drinks, and see if you can take advantage of some reliable eskies or portable fridges.
3. Private vs public
The best part about hosting an outdoor event is that you get free reign over where to pitch a marquee. This opens up many options to you, private or public. The benefit of choosing a private site (like your property or the property of a loved one) is that you can stick to your own schedule, and won’t need to adhere to noise restrictions like you would a public space. You can also offer ample parking, and bathroom facilities are only a short distance away from your event area. For some, all of these practicalities mean nothing when they lock eyes on a beautiful open site that boasts river, ocean or vineyard views. Understand what’s most important and then narrow in on which option you prefer.
4. Get your timing right
It’s understandable that you want to spend the most amount of time outside in the warmer months, but that’s not to say that all hours of the day are optimal for entertaining. The middle of the day will not accommodate the most comfortable environment, so try and push your outdoor entertaining until later in the afternoon or early evening. If it’s a daytime event, go for a morning start time so that you skip the impending heat.
5. Prepare for the incidentals
One would say that preparing for the worst is a bad omen. Others would say it’s sensible. If you are throwing an outdoor event, you have to come to terms with the fact that insects will also be joining you, and so will the suns rays that you think are not there. Set up a little station that has insect repellent and sunscreen so that your guests can stay as comfortable as possible for the duration of the event.
6. Don’t underestimate great lighting
If you’re like most people, you play out the fun of your upcoming event as if it’s frozen at the start time. These early hours are always a great time, but you want to make sure you are prepared when the sun goes down and you don’t have access to those creature comforts that an inside event affords. Festoon lighting is a popular solution for outdoor lighting, and it gives any space a rustic feeling with the bulb shape lights glistening in the dark. You can also use lanterns for a subtle touch of light.
It’s easy to get hooked on entertaining outside, with Mother Nature always putting on a great show for you and your guest list. While your event will feel carefree, remember that this is achieved with all the planning that happens behind the scene. Get prepared for a season of entertaining with these 6 helpful tips.