Birthdays, anniversaries, baby and wedding showers or my favourite reason to celebrate –- great summer weather — are all great reasons to get together with friends and family. An outdoor party is the perfect way to celebrate life’s everyday special occasions.
When you’re starting to plan for your party, the task can seem daunting if you don’t have a clear direction or theme to work with. The theme can be as simple or as complicated as you’d like, but will help you decide on refreshments, decorations and invitations for your party.
Here are a few ideas:
- Gold and Glamour
- Summer Sunshine
- Fiesta or Mexican
- Beach or Hawaii
An outdoor party in your own backyard is ideal, but if you don’t have one, see about renting tables at a public park, instead.
Decorations and party supplies
Though it often seems like most invitations are sent via text message or social network event pages, paper invitations are still a popular way to get the word out about your party. Working around your theme, create invitations online and print them yourself, or order them online. Those paper invitations will really set the mood, getting your guests excited about your sure-to-be-amazing outdoor party.
For the sake of the environment and to keep get-togethers classy, I prefer to use reusable glassware and tableware, over disposable products. Hit up your favourite thrift store to take advantage of inexpensive glasses, plates and utensils. No one will care that everything doesn’t match. If you’re throwing a party at a park, bring a few empty bins with lids to put dirty dishes in.
Food and drinks
Celebrations always centre around food. Even the most casual party or one centred around a specific theme — like a Game of Thrones party (if you’re throwing one this summer, don’t forget to send my invitation!) perhaps — needs food and drinks to keep guests around.
If you’re working around a theme, think of ways that you can use that theme to select the foods and drinks you plan on serving. For instance, a Summer Sunshine (always a great thing to celebrate) theme might have you serving Tangy Lemon Cake, as pictured below.
A fiesta theme could include a taco station, mojitos, chips and salsa, stuffed jalapeño peppers and churros to go along with plenty of bright colours for table decorations.
Fun and games
The food and drinks you serve may be awesome, but guests will be sure to remember your outdoor party much more if they’ve played a few games. Based on the theme you’ve chosen, choose games that are uncomplicated and fun for people of all ages. You don’t need to spend a lot of money to put together games for your party. Classic party games, like limbo or tug-of-war may not work with your theme. A Clue-like game would be fun for a Sherlock Holmes theme, or sword-fighting for that Game of Thrones party that you’re going to invite me to.
Things to keep in mind
People are there to see you. While having a fun party that people will remember is important, remember that they are there to spend time with you. Don’t spend too much time running around being host/hostess and forget to connect with your guests.
Guests will need access to washroom facilities. If you’re throwing a party in your backyard, designate one of your washrooms for party use, with clear signs as to how to get to it. It’s also a good idea to have a hand wash station. You can rent portable sinks (like the kind used by food vendors at festivals) to make things easier. If you’ve planned your party at a public park, ensure washroom facilities are nearby.
People will need to take a break from the sun. Set up some outdoor umbrellas or rent a tent so that your guests can step into the shade during your party. Supply fun hats that work with your theme for extra shade from the sun, or purchase some inexpensive sunglasses to keep on hand.
Are you planning any outdoor summer parties this year? Do you have a theme that you’re planning around? I’d love to hear your tips and ideas!
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Disclosure: This post was brought to you by Skinnygirl Cocktails via Glam Media Canada. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Beam Canada Inc.