There’s nothing like kicking it back in your backyard, a cocktail in one hand and another one in the other. Whether it’s a barbecue or a bachelorette, there’s something about outdoor parties that’s truly special. The outdoors provides a venue for a variety of casual activities that you could never do indoors, such as splashing in the pool or using a party popper.
Party planning can seem stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to plan an outdoor party that won’t go wrong:
Your party-planning process should start with choosing a theme. That way, you can ensure that the rest of the planning will be smooth-sailing. Your chosen theme will determine your dress code, decorations, and so on. For instance, if your chosen theme is Christmas-related, you wouldn’t put up tropical decor, would you? Your theme can be whatever it is you want it to be, such as a pirate party, garden party, or murder-mystery party. Just be sure to keep it kid-friendly if you plan on inviting families to your outdoor event.
You don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on fancy-schmancy invites that your guests will throw away once the event is over. You can even send digital invitations if you want to be eco-friendly. Instead, focus on making an informative invite that provides your guests with everything they need to know, like what to wear and whether or not they should bring anything. Give them an idea of what’s going to happen at the event.
If you have outdoor activities planned, make sure to let your guest know in advance. That way, they’ll know what kind of shoes to wear. Furthermore, inform them of the food you’ll be serving so they can decide if they need to eat beforehand.
There’s no need to spell it all out. Make the design do the talking. If you’re throwing a kid’s birthday party, choose colorful or cartoon-like patterns. If your theme is “Old Hollywood”, put a picture of a red carpet on the invite’s cover. If your invitation is too wordy, there’s a good chance that your guests will end up ignoring the important details.
Do you need to ask for RSVPs?
You don’t need to, but you should seriously consider it. By asking for RSVPs, you can get an accurate headcount and make sure that everyone has a seat at the table.
Keep in mind that some locations need work. If your venue is designed for outdoor events, you won’t have to do much because the venue’s staff will be able to assist you. They’ll probably be able to supply you with tables, chairs, etc. as well. However, if you want to throw a party in a natural area, you’ll have your work cut out for you.
Here are some considerations for throwing a party at a “raw” location:
- How will you get power and water?
- Will your guests have access to a restroom?
- Is the location accessible? How will your guests get there?
- Is it safe to serve food? Are there pests in the area?
- Where will guests, vendors, and crew park?
Wherever you decide to throw your outdoor party, be sure to see it in person. That way, you can see what you can do with it. Does the venue have a view of the sunset? If so, your decorations shouldn’t obstruct it. Are there trees around the venue? You could hang up lights to create a magical vibe.
Aside from the aesthetics, confirm if it can accommodate all of your guests. If you’re inviting 30 people, ensure that you can actually provide seating for 30 people.
What’s the most embarrassing thing that can happen at your outdoor party? The answer: the cops showing up to shut it down. Save yourself from the shame of having to tell your guests to go home by getting the “go signal” to hold an outdoor party. Depending on where you live, you may have to get a permit to prove that your event is lawful. For instance, you may have to get an alcohol license to serve alcoholic beverages at your event.
Local ordinances can also tell you what you can and can’t do at your outdoor party. Your city’s noise ordinance, for instance, allows you to determine when you should wrap the party up. Keep in mind that if you don’t take the ordinances seriously, you could face a hefty fine.
Unless you’re in the party-planning industry, you’ll probably need to purchase or rent decorations. It’s unlikely for one store to sell all of the decorations you’re looking for (if they do, it’s likely out of stock, especially if you’re buying in bulk), so be sure to start shopping early.
Don’t forget to buy the decorations that go with your theme. If your theme is “Wild Wild West”, cowboy boots, bandanas, and straw would be great choices. If you’re turning your venue into a fantasy land fit for fairies, decor ideas include butterfly wings, flowers, and hanging lights.
Understandably, you’d want to spend as little as possible on decor. After all, it’s not every day that you throw an outdoor event. That’s why you should consider hiring a professional party decorating company. They can use the decor that they already have, saving you thousands of dollars on decor that you’ll never use again. So, if you’re hosting a holiday party, hire a holiday decor service in South Florida so you don’t need to buy holiday-themed decor that’ll only rot in your garage.
Expect the unexpected and make a backup plan in case things don’t go as planned. A lot of things can go wrong with an outdoor party, including rain, snow, and no-shows. To ensure that you can handle whatever the weather throws at you, prepare umbrellas and tents. Additionally, have vendors on call in the event that your current vendor decides to cancel at the last minute. Remember, if it can go wrong, it will go wrong, so it’s best to be prepared.
As you can see, planning an outdoor party isn’t as daunting as it seems. All you need is time and attention to detail. By following the advice outlined above, you can hold an outdoor event that your guests will remember for the rest of their lives.