Before the weather starts to cool down, why not make the most of the warm nights one last time and host an outdoor dinner party for your family or friends.
The idea of planning a dinner party may seem like a daunting task, so we have compiled a list of things to consider for hosting the ultimate dinner party; one that will be remembered all the way through the cold, dreary winter months!
It’s best to begin your party planning by compiling a guest list. This is an important step because the number of guests you invite will effectively determine the style of dinner party you host; sit down or standing, cocktail or three-course meal.
Hosting a cocktail party you won’t need table space and seating for everyone, so you can therefore invite more people, whereas a sit-down meal will obviously limit the number of guests you can invite.
Once you have decided on your guests list, get them enthused early by sending out traditional invitations rather than just texting or emailing. We have found a great Pinterest board with an array of free and printable dinner party invitations. Make sure you give an RSVP date and follow-up anyone with a phone call who hasn’t responded.
Now the really fun part begins; you can start choosing your menu and decorations. Watch out for next blog article containing menu ideas and tips for cooking on the night. Whether you are hosting an informal or formal party, there’s no reason why you should skimp on presentation.
A beautifully decorated outdoor area will not only help set the mood but also leave lovely memories behind. Of course you don’t want to break the bank putting together your dinner party, so try and rustle up nice things you already have lying around at home.
As for how far you go with decorations, we recommend at least having a nice centrepiece for the table. To make this you could mix anything from flowers, candles, mason jars, vases, herb pots, lanterns or a tiered cake stand. Depending on your outdoor area and own décor style will of course determine how you beautify the table.
For a rustic/vintage feel, burlap and ribbon looks adorable wrapped around jars and vases. Seashells and star fish scattered around white lanterns are another great idea and will create a relaxed beach feel.
Hosting an alfresco party is a nice novelty, so when thinking about your lighting options you should try to achieve dim lighting. Avoid using your main lights and instead stick to an assortment of fairy lights, lanterns and candles.
Another thing to consider is whether you will have set seating, and if so, place cards. While it may seem more formal and structured, set seating can be great for guests who don’t know each other, not to mention the chance to decorate with some pretty place cards.
You should now be ready for the final touches. Have your music player set up so it can be heard on your outdoor area and your music options ready for the night. You should also place mosquito coils under the table, as well as having some fly spray on hand for guests.
Lastly, depending on how late you want the night to go on, you may also want to think of some after dinner activities, such as board games, charades or celebrity heads. It will be a great way to end the night on a high with some fun and laughs.
Check out our own Pinterest board for some more inspiration.