It is finally nice out and you want to get out and enjoy your backyard, outdoor space or rooftop. I get it! Just avoid these mistakes and everyone will walk away from your party feeling like the guest of honor.
1.) Not Having Enough Food and Beverages
It can be challenging to know how much food to prepare for any party. This is why it’s important to have a head count of how many to expect. Then you may want to make a little extra, to keep people from going away hungry. It’s also nice to have more food in case someone else shows up unexpectedly.
You don’t want your guests to be thirsty, so make sure you have plenty for them to drink. If you serve alcoholic beverages, also provide plenty of nonalcoholic beverages.
I love beverage dispensers that you can keep on filling. Water is always a good thing to have out but I also love a lemon aid for ice tea. These bad boys on Amazon even have ice cones so you can keep your beverages cold longer.
2) Not Providing Insect Repellent
True story: I hate mosquitoes. I feel phantom mosquitoes all the time. Putting on bug spray puts my mind at ease and lets me enjoy the party. Your guests will thank you for thinking of this little detail.
Sunscreen. Guys this is 2019. Put sunscreen on. No one likes to leave a party looking like a lobster.
3) Not Having Enough Seating
You need enough places for all of your guests to sit. This can be a mix of table seating, patio furniture, and blankets on the lawn if the ground is dry (or have some outdoor blankets in your supply closet). Place the furniture in conversational groupings so your guests can enjoy each other’s company. Ikea has affordable floor cushions you can also place around to make sitting that much more comfortable.
4) Not Planning for Rain
As you plan your outdoor party, you have probably checked and rechecked the weather report. However, even if the forecaster calls for clear skies, you know anything can happen. It’s essential to have a backup plan in case it rains or the wind starts to blow everything around.
5.) Not Being Prepared for Accidents
One thing you don’t want to happen is for someone to have an accident and get hurt. But it can occur when you least expect it. I have little kids and they trip, fall and slip ALL THE TIME. Have a first aid kit nearby, in case you need it and hope that you don’t. This kit should include items for cuts, scrapes, burns, and bug bites.
6.) Forgetting to Be a Good Neighbor
An outdoor party can be a double-edged sword. You want your guests to have a good time, and this often involves music, loud conversation, and people milling about the property. However, it can get chaotic, and things can get out of hand very quickly.
Remember that your neighbors deserve respect. One of the things that can prevent problems is to invite your neighbors to your event. However, if you’re unable to do that, at least inform them that you’re having some people over and ask them to let you know if they’re being bothered.
As you determine the size of your guest list, you need to consider how much parking is available. Your neighbors may be generous and offer their driveways, but don’t expect them to. Whatever you do, make sure your guests don’t block your neighbors’ driveways.
7.) Refusing to Ask Others to Bring Food
Rather than provide all of the food for your guests, cut yourself some slack and ask everyone to bring a dish to share. You can provide the meat for the grill and the drinks.
Having a potluck will give the guests more options to choose from, and everyone will have a vested interest in the party. Very few people object to being asked to bring something to share with others.
Don’t wait until the last minute to buy refreshments, set up the outdoor space, and start getting ready for the party. Although it’s easy to procrastinate, make a list of things you need to do a week before the event, a few days ahead of the party, the day before you entertain, and the day your guests will come together.
Spreading out your tasks will take a lot of pressure off and enable you to feel as though you’ve accomplished something with each step. You’ll also have a much better time at the party since you didn’t have to rush at the last minute.
9.) Not Planning Enough Activities
I love games- yard games, board games and word games (come on, who doesn’t love Never Have I Ever?) Games are a great way to have people get to know each other. I also try and have kid activities. Bubbles, finger paint, play dough, sprinkler and coloring are all good options. That way the parents can hang out, get a drink, talk to friends and the kids are occupied- for a bit.
Happy outdoor partying! As always, if you want to have an outdoor gathering but don’t want to do the work, give The Effortless Affair a call and we can plan everything for you- from invitations to food and activities to breakdown. You enjoy the party- let us make it Effortless.