A Quick Guide to Outdoor Party Planning
Having a plan is vital whether you’re looking to throw a casual backyard BBQ or an extravagant outdoor wedding. It can be easy to overlook something important with so many things to keep track of. This checklist will help you ensure your outdoor party goes off without a hitch!
The first thing to consider is the occasion being commemorated by the event. Make sure that the theme you choose is appropriate for the people attending the party and will be well received. Avoid controversial or amusing topics at corporate events where the goal is to make business connections or if there will be children among the attendees. It is best to select a naturally related theme to the occasion.
Before you send out invitations, determine how many people you can comfortably entertain based on the size of your venue and your food and beverage budget. Keep in mind that a certain percentage of your guests will be unable to attend (planning for a 20 percent decline rate is a good rule of thumb).
Do not over-invite, but plan to comfortably fill the space you’ve designated for the event, whether it’s your dining room table or your entire house. Nothing is more depressing than a party in a mostly empty room.
Food and drinks
You don’t want the food to run out, leaving you with hungry guests, but you also don’t want your fridge to be bursting at the seams with leftovers. Here’s an estimate of how much you should budget for food and beverages.
Each adult normally consumes 1 pound of food in total, while children will consume approximately 1/2 pound (227 grams).
If you prepared more options, you need less of each; reduce main course portion sizes by 1 to 2 ounces if serving on a buffet (29 to 58 grams).
Guests will always consume more food and beverages at night than during the day.
You need some music to set the tone! Make sure to test your sound system (if you have outdoor speakers, they haven’t been used in a long time) and prepare your playlist or streaming channel ahead of time. In general, five hours of music will be more than enough — by the time the playlist resumes, your guests will have had too many cocktails to notice! Remember to start playing your party playlist before guests arrive so that even the early birds can enjoy a festive atmosphere.
Also, consider stocking your entertaining outdoor space with games and activities. You could purchase a bean bag toss game, bocce balls, or even a croquet set. Alternatively, keep a simple deck of cards on hand for after-dinner games. It will keep guests entertained all night, and it will keep the kids entertained!
Choosing the right outdoor decorations could be tricky, but here are five things to consider when looking for decors:
- Sturdy: Nobody wants the food canopy to blow over due to a strong gust of wind – that would be a disaster! Keeping all décor elements sturdy and firmly planted will save you from potential disasters.
- Coverage: Just as the wind can wreak havoc on your event setup, the rain can make your guests miserable. Always leave an option for coverage or moving indoors. Nobody wants to be caught in the rain while trying to look their best!
- Water Resistant: Even if it doesn’t rain on the day of the event, there may be some lingering moisture in the air or on the ground that you’ll have to contend with. A few days before an event, rain can cause soggy or slippery soil, which can seep into seating and other décors.
- Check the ground: Before signing any contracts, inspect the ground for your outdoor event venue. If you look at a venue on a beautiful sunny day, you might be fooled into seeing well-kept grass and overlooking the softness of the ground. Grass is an excellent choice for outdoor events, but it can be disastrous when it rains.
- Lights: Ensure your backyard is adequately lit to keep the party going long after dark. Paper lanterns are ideal for outdoor lighting with their relaxed appearance and soft glow. String them together or arrange them on the ground for fun party decor. Candles are also excellent lighting options, but they can be quickly extinguished. To keep your candles burning all night, place them in metal lanterns. Most event planners are aware of the importance of lighting in creating the ideal atmosphere at events.
You do not need to complete the cleaning in one fell swoop. As long as you know what to work on first, cleaning will be easier.
Same-Day Post-Party Cleaning
- Put away food, drinks, and empty plates and glasses to avoid attracting insects and creating a nasty odour.
- Soak dishes and serving ware in bus tubs or your kitchen sink overnight.
- Begin spot treatment for linen, tables, and other surfaces.
- Remove crumbs and debris on your floors.
Next-Day Post-Party Cleaning
- Put away unused and cleaned dishes or glasses.
- Examine the area for any spills or crumbs that you missed the night before.
- Remove fingerprints from windows, mirrors, and doors.
- Using a disinfectant cleaner, wipe down door handles and light switches.
- Sort recyclables and place them in the proper bins.
- Clean the barbecue grill or an outdoor kitchen you used during the party.
Let us Help you Realize your Outdoor Party Plan
Throwing an outdoor party can be fun, but it can also be a lot of work. If you’re feeling overwhelmed and need some help pulling everything together, don’t worry – we’ve got you covered. Our experts are here to take the hassle out of party planning and make your event one that everyone will remember. Give us a call today at 416 317 4495 or contact us through our website, kmpartyrental.com, and let us help you complete that outdoor party you want!