5 Tips for Outdoor Entertaining
Posted: August 07, 2018 by Honor Rudd
Here in Southeastern North Carolina, we are blessed with a mild climate that lets us enjoy the great outdoors just about all year round. But nothing quite matches a true summer soirée in the South, so pull out your seersucker suit and read on for tips to make this your best outdoor bash yet.
Bugs are a much-reviled inevitability of summertime in the south, and the ubiquitous dousing of bug spray would be sure to compete with the sites and smells of your carefully-planned event. Instead, use a few well-placed fans to make the area less hospitable to winged critters. Fans along the ground help keep mosquitoes at bay, and an oscillating fan by food tables will help deter flies.
The elements can really put the brakes on your fun hosting a summertime shindig if you don’t plan ahead. Prepare for a hot one and select snacks that don’t need to be kept cold (swap that mayo-based pasta salad for an oil-and-vinegar version). Stay away from foods and décor that could blow away (save the cream puffs for your next indoor fête and either anchor your tablecloths with clips or go rustic and skip the linens all together). And, of course, just in case of rain on your parade, an awning, a well-placed sail shade and some big umbrellas should do the trick. Extra points if you’re lucky enough to have one of those perfect, southern, wrap-around porches to shield you from whatever Mother Nature might throw your way.
Define your space
Regardless of whether the gathering will ramble over your acreage or you’re hosting a patio party, defining the space is a sure way to make the event feel put together and ensure great photos. Establish shape and flow with fairy lights, bunting, and other simple decorative touches around the party perimeter.
Keep it Seasonal
Nothing feels fresher than a seasonal focus in your food and your décor. Scour your local farmer’s market for flowers and produce at their peak to wow your guests and pay homage to summertime.
Go with the Flow
Fiestas flow best when there are multiple focal points around the area. Put your drink cart and hors d’oeuvres table on opposite sides of the space and far from the entrance to discourage people posting up in one spot and inspire mingling. Extra points for separating eats onto a few little tables strewn about to encourage even more movement.
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