Hosting even a small backyard party requires a degree of planning and preparation. Larger events necessitate even more planning to ensure that everything goes smoothly and guests enjoy themselves at your home.
Many people choose to host events at home because parties are often more personable than at banquet halls or restaurants. However, they do entail lots of work for the event planners, especially if the celebrations require more elaborate preparations, as in the case of weddings or bridal showers. Regardless if you’re planning a wedding, graduation party, or holiday party, you can plan a backyard event that promises to be enjoyable for everyone—even you, the event pro! Use these tips to plan your backyard party or celebration.
The first step to planning your backyard party is to prepare your backyard. Carefully inspect it for any problems such as cracks in the pavement or patio or broken patio furniture. If you have a dog, you’ll naturally want to clean up after it, but also check your yard for where it may have dug holes so you can fill them in. Be sure to mow your lawn and perform any other landscape tasks needed to enhance the look of your setting. If you have potted plants, move your plants to the sides of the yard to make sure nobody steps on them.
If your event is likely to stretch into the evening, you’ll need to add some outdoor lighting. You can consider various options such as:
- String lights
- Outdoor lighting fixtures
- Tiki torches
- Battery-powered lights
Keep Bugs Away
Bugs like mosquitos can sabotage your outdoor event. You can do several things to keep mosquitoes and other insect pests from feeling welcome at your party. For instance:
- Spray your yard for mosquitoes the day before the event
- Place pots of lemongrass around your patio
- Plant other mosquito and insect-repelling plants such as lavender and marigolds
- Install a bug-zapping light on your patio
- Place citronella candles on patio tables
Before your event, be sure that you inspect your yard for wasp and hornet nests to deal with them accordingly.
What’s Your Plan B?
Weather doesn’t always comply with our outdoor party plans. So, be sure to have a plan B in case rain sends your guests in search of shelter. For instance, be sure that your interior can accommodate your guests. Many people host events in their garage, too, so you might empty it and clean it just if you need the additional space. You can also rent a party tent in the size you need; it will protect your guests in case of rain.
Protect Guests from Sun and Heat
If you’re hosting your event on a hot day, place some sun covers in your yard. You can also add some seating in shady areas that are protected by tree cover. Have handheld fans on hand and consider opening up at least part of your home to guests so they can get some air-conditioned relief if needed. If you’re hosting kids, you might feature a “misting station” or a small pool at your party.
Contending with Cold Weather
If you’re hosting a spring or fall event, you may have cold temperatures to deal with. Consider investing in an outdoor heater or two or installing a fire pit. Feature a stack of wool blankets so guests can wrap themselves while seated if they need to.
Naturally, guests will need the use of a restroom. While your home’s toilet (s) may suffice, that may not be the case for larger events. For bigger backyard parties, you might want to rent portable bathrooms; many are quite ‘glamorous’ these days and feature mirrors, sinks, and other amenities.
Planning Your Menu
Many backyard party planners choose to adopt a seasonal menu for their party. However, it’s entirely up to you. You might choose to have your event catered, or you may supply all the food and do the food preparation yourself. If you’re planning to grill, be sure you have plenty of gas for your grill. If you’re hosting an informal party, you can even ask each guest to bring a dish. Be sure you are organized to know if guests will need the use of an oven or electricity (for crockpot). Whether you choose potluck, catering, or home cooking, be sure that you have plenty of food and drink for all of your guests.
Don’t Forget Dessert!
Since most of your guests are sure to have a sweet tooth, plan a dessert table. Again, you can opt for something seasonal like taffy apples in the fall, but it’s always nice to give guests some choices when it comes to dessert. Be sure to have a few healthy options like fruit too.
Check Your Power Connections
If you intend to play music at your event, be sure that you have outdoor power. You may need more power cords to run things like large fans or lighting features, so check your wiring and connections to make sure you have enough to power all your outdoor devices.
It’s vital that your guests feel comfortable at your event. Be sure that you have plenty of seating for everyone invited to your home. If you don’t, you can rent chairs and tables or purchase inexpensive plastic patio chairs that you can stack and use as needed.
Select a Theme
Consider selecting a fun theme for your party or event. A theme can help you tie your decor and menu together. For instance, if you’re hosting a backyard party for a birthday, you might choose a beach or luau theme.
Set Your Tables
Even if you’re planning on a buffet, it’s a nice touch to adorn your tables with a centerpiece. Consider a floral display, lantern, or even a basket filled with condiments, napkins, and extra plasticware. For a more upscale look, add tablecloths to your tables.
Have Activities Prepared for Kids
If your outdoor party involves children, consider inviting a nanny or hiring some teens to provide care for kids so you and their parents can relax. Kids are more likely to behave and enjoy themselves when there are activities designed just for them. So, you might have games and craft supplies available for any adventurous kids who attend your party.
Plan In Advance
It takes a lot of planning to host a successful backyard party, but guests are sure to appreciate your hospitality. Consider investing in reusable supplies such as plastic tablecloths (easy to wipe down and store) and lawn chairs. You can use them again at future events and reduce your carbon footprint. Rely on these tips to plan your backyard celebration; the more you plan and prepare, the more likely you will enjoy yourself once the event takes place.
You keep track of the day’s details with ThymeBase event planning software. You can manage the day-of timeline, to-do list, and coordinate with vendors too.