How To Get the Look for an Outdoor Feast

When people imagine outdoor dinner parties they usually think about warm summer evening affairs. However, those who enjoy outdoor entertaining know you can hold events in any season, weather permitting. There are no established rules for throwing outdoor gatherings; in fact, given the right shelter, even an outdoor lunch in the rain can be exhilarating. However, if you are one who needs guidelines, here are some practical ideas for when you bring friends to the table under a setting summer sun, autumn twilight skies or spring stars.

Distribute Seating Zones

If your party is large and you have space, set out chairs and small tables in different areas of your yard in addition to the large, central dinner table. Guests like to move into different conversations, and you do want to make sure they have options to get off their feet during a long evening. If you can, include some lounge seating and soft cushions.

Create Personal Ambiance

Decide on the look you want to create. In particular, are you interested in presenting a unified theme or a more basic look? Themes can be fun, but you can also make your backyard feel like an extension of the whole house by laying out more subtle, architectural décor. Start by stringing lighting that gives a low glow to the area; if appropriate, place tablecloths that fit your taste, whether rustic or white; finish by setting out artistic decorations in strategic locations. For example, place burnished tri-fold table screens California and lanterns on tables, walls or lawn areas.

Adjust for Poor Condition

Plan for unexpected weather patterns or insect appearances. If your event starts in the late afternoon or if rain is in the forecast, provide umbrella or canopy shelters. When cooler air threatens to descend as the evening turns to night, turn on patio heaters and have a fire pit ready for everyone to gather around at some point. Also, help your guests fight off mosquitoes by stocking a table with insect repellent items and hand wipes.

In these outlined areas and beyond, you can add your own touch to how you want to stage an outdoor party. Of course, you should take into consideration how food and drink will fit into the overall picture. However you choose to arrange chairs and lay your tables, if you plan well, you can recreate the seating, lighting, decorations and other ambiance elements throughout the year.

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