Outdoor Entertaining Mistakes to Avoid This Summer

Written by Megan Gerdes

mcdermott remodeling outdoor entertaining no nosThere is nothing better than a day spent out in the sun, barbecuing with friends, or a warm summer evening filled with drinks, laughter, and reminiscing. We love the hot weather and the good times that come with them, but planning an outdoor do is not always easy-breezy. 

Sometimes, a backyard bash can go south. Here is our list of top outdoor entertaining mistakes. Read on and learn how to avoid these classic no-no’s, and make sure that your alfresco shindig is a raging success!

Avoid These Outdoor Dining Mistakes

1. Enough to Go Around 

Not having enough to go around is the ultimate sin of hosting. This applies to food, beverages, and chairs. In these situations, it helps to over-prepare. Delish has an excellent guide for estimating food and drink quantities needed at your party. It includes hors d’oeuvres for cocktail-style get-togethers, and dishes for sit-down meals. Remember, it’s always better to have too much than not enough. Even if you overshoot, you’ll have leftovers that you can keep or send home with your guests. As for seating, some younger guests might be okay sitting on the ground, but it’s not a given. Asking guests to RSVP can give you a good idea of the approximate number of people you can expect so you can prepare accordingly.

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2. Drinking It In

If you’re having an adult-only gathering, don’t assume that everyone drinks alcohol. Make sure you have non-alcoholic options available. If everyone else is having fancy cocktails or sangria, try brewing up a batch of non-alcoholic sangria, or have ingredients on hand to mix up a virgin alternative. This is ideal for non-drinkers as well as any designated drivers that may be attending. It’s better to have the options handy; that way, no one will have to ask outright or feel embarrassed about not partaking. Keep in mind that heat can make the effects of alcohol more potent, so be wary of how much your guests are imbibing. Keep your pre-mixed adult beverages relatively light.

3. Whatever the Weather

We get it. Bad weather can strike at the most inconvenient times! That’s why it helps to be prepared for any occasion. If there’s any inkling that there might be rain on the day of your get-together, considering renting a temporary pavilion to protect your guests from precipitation. A structure like this is also handy for staying out of the scorching midday sun. At the very least, umbrellas are a good alternative to protect from sun and rain. If there’s going to be wind, forgo paper plates and flimsy napkins instead of heftier dishware and fabric napkins that won’t fly away. If the day takes on a chill, strew a few blankets around your seating area so that guests can cozy up.

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4. Keeping Up with the Joneses

Be a good neighbor! Backyard parties can sometimes get loud, so it’s considerate to let your neighbors know what you have planned. Inviting the family next door is a polite way of informing them that you’re throwing a party, while also being respectful of their space. Plus, they’ll appreciate being thought of, and they might even make an appearance. If you’re not close with your neighbors, being considerate of their feelings will put you in their good books for the future.

5. Don’t Be Trashy

If you’re having a get-together, make sure that you have a plan for what to do with trash. It doesn’t matter if you have a handful of friends or the entire extended family over, there’s going to end up being trash one way or another. A good rule of thumb is to have one large trash bag for every ten guests. If you’re concerned about the appearance of black garbage bags blowing loose in the wind, there are plenty of appealing options that you can use to disguise unsightly trash bins from view. 

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6. Sharing is Caring

When it comes to having guests over, most will be focused on getting themselves to the party, and they might neglect to equip themselves with backyard BBQ essentials. That’s why it’s handy to keep a station stocked with a few necessities, like sunscreen, bug spray, wet-wipes, and hand sanitizer. These items are sure to come in handy, and wet-wipes are especially useful if you’re serving messy food like ribs or if there are children present. 

Now that you know these etiquette and preparation tips for hosting your very best backyard bash, go forth and enjoy summer to the max! And if you need more tips and suggestions for how to enhance your outdoor living, give us a call. We’d love to show you how we can help. 

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