When heading outdoors for a fest, there are certain factors to consider to insure things are comfortable and functional. Refer to my nine-point outdoor party checklist to make sure you covered all the bases.
Why is it that guests love partying in outdoor spaces so much? There is something about adding a touch of Mother Nature that puts everyone in a good mood, and you gain that extra level of excitement by providing access to a deck, patio, terrace, or rooftop. With that added space, though, are certain unpredictable factors that come into play. Consult this handy checklist to ensure the elements do not interfere with the festivities.
◊ Unbreakable Glasses: Ditch the idea of using disposables and go with sturdy unbreakables. Govino glasses are used by wineries for tastings, and come in the perfect shapes for drinking red or white wine or cocktails.
◊ Cooler: Choose the slick brand that fishermen used to preserve their catch. They are sturdy and come in refreshing white, to add longevity to your purchase. The Yeti Tundra 75 has extra-thick walls that hold two inches of commercial-grade polyurethane foam for unmatched ice retention.
◊ Ice Maker: At parties, you can never have enough ice, it seems. To maintain optimum levels, consider a portable ice maker. I purchased the CHARD Ice Maker for friends, which delivers the first batch in 6 minutes—and keeps on delivering. They love it.
◊ Shady Spot: If you know its going to be a scorcher, provide shady areas with umbrellas and awnings, and keep food in the these areas or just inside your space.
◊ Sunscreen: Have some sunscreen on hand, just in case you have sunburn-susceptible guests in attendance. This is your chance to display beautifully-packaged brands like Clinique, La-Roche Posay or Anthony Logistics for Men, as part of your decor. You will really shine as the neighborhood’s most thoughtful host.
◊ Portable speakers: Get your tunes out of doors with portable speakers. We love the look of Libratone, with their lovely felt covering, and they can really belt out the sound. But there is an assortment out there that can work for your scenario, depending on how much privacy you have. Some other favorites:
◊ Bug Spray: I am always the one getting eaten alive by bugs, so I’ve learned some bug-fighting tactics. Setting up a fan outside (preferably of the blade-less variety, like the Dyson Cool Tower Fan) not only provides a breeze, but keeps mosquitoes at bay. Provide natural and hard-core bug sprays (i.e. one with Deet) for guests who require that extra layer of protection. See a Consumer Report analysis of alternates to Deet: Sawyers Fisherman’s Formula, Repel Lemon Eucalyptus
◊ Solar Lighting: Properly placed lighting lends a magical quality to the night. Show the way, and accent your space, with the energy-friendly outdoor lights. Try solar strings, now available in all shapes and sizes, or cordless and rechargeable LED lamps (like the Smart and Green Big Flatball).
◊ Bonus weather considerations: In case of precipitation, have a Plan B in mind. You don’t want to get rained out! Also, you might want to consider wind protection. A light breeze is always welcome, but when you encounter winds of the gustier type, you need to take charge. Clamp or tape your tablecloth down or attach weights so they don’t blow the food and drink away. Or, in my opinion, get rid of tablecloths all together!
Below is a jpg of the checklist you can pull off and print to remind you of the nine essentials.