We all love a good patio party. However, planning an outdoor event takes a lot more consideration than an indoor one and might not always be as simple as you imagine it to be.
Putting together the perfect backyard bash is actually a lot of work — from figuring out who to invite, what dishes to prepare and what to do if Mother Nature doesn’t want to cooperate with our festivities. But to make sure your backyard bash is one to remember this summer, we’ve talked to a few experts and guarantee your party will go off without a hitch if you remember these key tips.
Fail #1: The sweltering soiree
Everyone loves the summer sun — but sometimes, it gets a little too hot. Make sure to set up your party in a shady area, otherwise your guests will end up drenched in sweat and, well, that’s just gross. And if shade doesn’t exist in your backyard, think about renting tents or canopies, or just borrow some umbrellas from neighbours, because the last thing you want is your guests to seek refuge in your air-conditioned living room. This was supposed to be an outdoor event, wasn’t it?
Fail #2: The drunken ruckus
Who doesn’t like to cool off on a hot summer night with an ice-cold alcoholic (or not) beverage? You just don’t want things to get too out of hand. Brittany Faure Booz, Briar Faure Mewbourne and Chef Blake Faure, owners of Golden Pheasant Inn, suggest that when planning for your party, plan on two drinks per guest during the first hour of your party and one each hour after that. If you plan on having an open bar set up, include some premixed cocktails, as people have a tendency to pour themselves more than if the drinks are made for them. Also, always remember to have some extra cash lying around for cab rides home for guests who can’t drive home safely.
Fail #3: The buggy bash
Pesky bees and mosquitoes are the worst kind of party crasher. Cheryl Najafi, party-planning expert, suggests that you prepare an outdoor survival station for guests, stocked with individually packaged sunscreen wipes, calamine lotion, antibacterial gel, Benadryl and insect spray. And don’t forget the citronella candles to keep the mosquitoes away once the sun sets.
Fail #4: The faulty food fiesta
Nothing is worse than soggy hamburger buns or warm beverages. So don’t set food out too early before your guests’ arrival. Make sure you have an accurate number of who’s coming and who they plan to bring, because the last thing you want to do is run out of food or drinks. Always have more than you expect, because it’s better to have too much than to run into the embarrassing situation of running out of food. And don’t forget to protect your food from bugs — no one wants to find a dead fly floating around in their beer cup.
Fail #5: The showered-out shindig
Even though your local weather station is calling for clear skies all weekend long, be prepared for the worst. Rain and high winds can ruin even the best of parties, so make sure you have plenty of rocks or paperweights available to hold down tablecloths, and have a backup location — such as a basement or living room — ready just in case Mother Nature decides to be a party pooper and dampens the party.