10 Outdoor Dining Tips You Must Know About
Dining outdoors is a great way to enjoy the beautiful weather in the summer months and lends itself to entertaining at home in a very casual and relaxed way.
Having said that, some planning is needed to provide your guests with a comfortable dining experience.
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1. Comfortable Seating
I have to confess – I really hate going somewhere and not having a comfortable place to sit. If I’m not comfortable, I can’t relax, and if I can’t relax I won’t be having a good time. Gosh that sounds grumpy doesn’t it? Must be my age!
Having nice thick cushions on your patio furniture can make for a warm and inviting and comfortable space for your guests. And you can change up your look on the patio by using different cushions for different occasions.
I love these Pillow Perfect Outdoor Cushions on Amazon. The colors are cool and pretty and remind me of the beach (which by the way I don’t get to visit often enough).
2. Placement of the Grill
You need to place the grill close enough to the dining area so you grill master is away from the festivities but not too close so your guests aren’t bothered by the smoke. Always place your grill upwind from where you guests will be gathering.
3. Skip the Tablecloth
If the day is breezy (which we all love the breeze when it hot out) it can cause havoc on your table settings and tablecloths. Keep things casual and skip the table coverings. Or if you like having something on your table to pretty things up a bit us a table runner and place your center pieces on top. This beachy stripe outdoor table runner from Design Imports is pretty and will brighten up any patio table. It’s machine washable too!
4. Stock a Bar Cart with All Your Drink Essentials
Having enough beverages is important to keep your guests happy and tipsy! Wait, I meant to say hydrated…yes, that’s it…hydrated.
Anyway, you want to make it easy for your guests to grab drinks or play bar tender if they like. You can read my post about the 7 must haves for your bar cart to get an idea of what to include.
Using a bar cart makes it easy to roll it back to the house for restocking too. Something similar to the Bennet Outdoor Wicker Bar Cart is elegant and casual at the same time.
5. Let Guests Know the Grilling Preference of The Entree
Let me just say here and now that I am a well done steak girl. Any pink and I run for the hills. So knowing which items are medium rare or well done is a big thing with me. Meat grilling temperature markers take the guess work out of choosing which burger will suit your guests tastes. These cute little markers will get the job done and will stop guests like me from running and screaming if they happen to choose the medium rare steak.
Make sure you have enough lighting if your picnic lasts until dark. Citronella candles help with the lighting and also keep the mosquitoes away.
7. Yard Games
It’s important to have yard games ready to go if you are going to have kids in attendance. Oh hell, let’s be honest. At all the picnics I attend the adults are the ones out there playing the lawn darts and other games. All the while the kids are begging for their turn. Having plenty of games should keep the kids (and adults) entertained.
8. Caddy Sets are a life saver!
Having plenty of condiments available to your guests will allow everyone to pile their burgers with all their favorite toppings. DEI has the cutest Picnic Table Shaped Condiement Set I’ve ever seen. It’s super cute and affordable enough to pick up more than one so you can scatter them around the patio.
Don’t forget about the silverware. Having the silverware in an easy to reach spot is necessary or you will spend your day running back and forth from the kitchen to fetch more for those guests who are a bit more clumsy. Plastic cups can be used to hold your forks, spoons, and knives. Or you can get a bit more decorative and use this Galvanized Metal Bucket Tray Set for your flatware.
9. Keep Your Centerpieces simple
Pretty wildflowers in clear vases will add a touch of soft fragrance and casual elegance to your table.
10. Have Fun!
Now that all the planning is done, sit back and relax. Enjoy yourself. Enjoy your guests. Sip your favorite cocktail and make some memories and laugh…always laugh. It’s the key to being happy!
What are your favorite outdoor party planning tips? Let me know in the comments!
Until Next Time,