All you need for a fun backyard gathering is a lovely space and plenty of food and drinks. But, because it is outside, there are several ways that the party can be ruined or end up causing discomfort for your guests.
You must provide shade in the form of tents or parasols so people can enjoy the shade and avoid sunburn. Have tick and mosquito control services clear the yard so that no one has to worry about getting eaten alive. Provide plenty of seating as not everyone enjoys standing. It will also make it easier to eat the food without spillage.
Consider making a list of everything you have enjoyed about previous backyard parties you have attended. Use this list to help plan your gathering so you can be sure to cater to people’s comfort and enjoyment.
Social Media Invitations
Now that you can invite anyone anywhere with social media, you no longer need to worry about fitting enough information on invitation cards. Set up a Facebook page for the event and add everyone you want to attend. Use this opportunity to tell them precisely what they need to know so that everyone is on the same page.
This is where you can tell people the food you will provide and the time you expect to serve it. This will allow everyone to coordinate any food and snacks they bring and avoid arriving too late to eat.
Provide information about the weather and the shade situation so that people know what to wear. People need to know if you intend for this to be very casual with shorts and shirts, or if you want something slightly fancier with sundresses and khaki pants. Do you have a pool? Will you be allowing people to swim? Are there lawn games? All these must be taken into account when people plan their wardrobe, so take the opportunity to make their clothing options clear.
People often underestimate how much seating you will need for your parties. How many people will bring their children? Are you providing tables for people to down their plates? Where will people put their purses, handbags, and containers? The seats you provide will need to accommodate all this. Even if you intend for people to sit on the grass, you must take into account that many people would not appreciate doing so.
Provide multiple seating options so that everyone can be comfortable. You can include lawn chair seating on the porch or veranda for older folks to relax and chat. Place picnic blankets around the lawn for younger adults to sit on and gather. Folding chairs and tables to one side allow people to sit down and eat together and keeps all the main food waste in one area. This makes it easier to clean up as well.
Light Up the Space
You may be planning for the party to happen on a clear sunny day, but you cannot anticipate how long the party will run. Unless you have a set-in-stone end time that you have communicated to the guests, there is a strong likelihood that people will stay and relax long into the evening.
Thus, you must provide enough lighting to make your backyard feel well-lit and welcoming. This is not the time for fluorescent lights, which will be very harsh and uncomfortable. It is also essential you get enough lights. Plenty of people can have falls and spills in a garden if they cannot see where they are going.
Use multiple types of lighting to keep the light level from being harsh while being practical. Hang fairy lights from the trees for a way to light up the space without compromising on aesthetics. It is best to arrange them in lines extending from the edge of the deck to each tree for maximum coverage.
Put large outdoor lamps around the edges of the lawn. Use warm light bulbs so that the glow is inviting and easy on the eyes. Hang lanterns off the lines created by the fairy lights to give added lighting coverage. The combination of all this should create a well-lit yet warm glow that makes your backyard feel welcoming and safe.
Rent Some Fans
See if you can rent fans from the same place you rent your folding chairs. This is highly recommended as it will streamline the setting up and return of these items. Ask for their recommendation of the type of fans that would be best for your backyard.
You could get large blade fans at either end, but these can create a strong breeze which may not be very soothing. Small bladed fans will require more units in more places. Box fans are necessary near the food just in case you have to keep away any stray flies. Misting fans are great for sweltering days when you need to keep people cool. Provide paper fans as party favors as guests enter the backyard. This will help them to stay cool and makes for a fun keepsake for after the event.
You do not need a band at a casual backyard party, but you will need some music to set the mood. Allow guests to bring their instruments and provide them a mini-stage to perform on, but make sure they know it will be entirely acoustic. This will ensure that there are fewer electrical wiring and plug issues you have to deal with.
The music does not have to be loud and can be confined to one area. This will allow people who enjoy the music to congregate nearby and prefer to chat quietly to move away. Golden oldies and classical music are best for a casual get-together. Everyone will know the songs and will enjoy singing along or talking about them.