How to Prepare Your Yard for Outdoor Entertaining

Outdoor entertaining is a great option for hosting a social gathering during the warmer months. It's easy and flexible enough for a casual BBQ with a few friends, but can also be suitable for a large, formal wedding. No matter the occasion, it's important to create a unique outdoor atmosphere that friends can enjoy with some food and refreshments on a nice summer evening.

But before you start organizing the details of your next alfresco event, you should first tidy up your yard to make sure it's properly prepared and presentable when guests arrive. Here are five outdoor party tips to help you turn your backyard into the best spot in the neighborhood.

  1. Make sure the space looks great. You would never have a party in a room with ripped carpets and peeling wallpaper, which is why you shouldn't host an outdoor party with a landscape consisting of dead grass and unruly scrubs or flowers. Spend some time doing a little maintenance around the yard to give it a refreshed, tidy look before the party ' mowing the lawn, edging walkways, trimming trees and shrubs, and weeding the garden.
  2. Divide your space. Just because you are in an open space doesn't mean you can't create separate areas within your yard for different activities. Use existing spaces like your patio or deck to do this, but don't forget you can also rearrange potted plants or group furniture together as a way to break up larger events into more intimate areas.
  3. Come up with a service plan for food and drink. Outdoor entertaining means you have to have an established system in place for preparing and serving food and beverages. Plus, between the heat and the bugs, a lot can go wrong. Come up with a detailed plan that entails when and where food will be served so you are not scrambling at the last minute.
  4. Ensure everyone is comfortable and safe. Creating an enjoyable, comfortable environment is key to any party, so make sure there's enough seating and table space for all guests. If you're short on outdoor furniture, consider renting some from a rental service. It is also important to keep guests safe by adequately lighting pathways and areas of your yard ' like swimming pools and steps ' that are seen as potentially hazardous areas when it gets dark outside.
  5. Have a plan for foul weather. Weather can change at any moment, which is why a backup plan for inclement weather is important. To prepare for such circumstances, either rent or identify services that provide large party tents, or simply move the party indoors.