yippie it’s spring! Spring has sprung!
There really is no other medicine like getting a group of friends together to eat good food, drink good beer, and catch up on a cool spring evening. I want to share with you some tips I’ve learned over the years on hosting a successful little shindig that’s not going to break the bank.
1. Getting guests involved – Invite your guest to bring their favorite dish, drink, or dessert. Potlucks create a sense of community; guests really get a chance be apart of the gathering and to share something they love. What better way than through food? Also, it’s alright to be specific when it comes to beverages or alcohol, most guests are more than happy to bring something to sip on or an ingredient for a cocktail if you just let them know what it is you are looking for.
2. Food and beverages – Finger foods and quick snacks are great so guests can enjoy conversation, and still grab a bite or two. This also takes the emphasis off of serving an entire meal. One one great way to promote conversation and get folks involved in the party through food is to set up little tasting areas all around the party space, instead of a one long table. This will encourage guest to move about and try different things as well as keep the traffic flowing and avoid everyone standing around in one place.
3. Bring in the indoors out – At the best back yard parties I’ve planned for we brought the furniture out and into the yard. Grab rugs, couches, chairs, even tables equipped with lamps, a few magazines, and collectables. It gives the party a light hearted feel, it’s a lot more comfortable than lawn chairs, and it is actually a lot fun to hang out in your living room furniture amongst the trees. Although, if you feel you might come up short on seating ask your guests to bring a chair or two.
4. Decorate with what you have – A great way to keep costs down on decorations is to repurpose and use every day items you have around the house. Grab a few interesting things, as well as extra curtains, sheets, a pieces of art work and place them around. You can really add color and interest by simply propping up a few household finds. Also, you can fill up baskets and vases with fresh fruits and veggies and picked flowers. Or try using lettuces instead of flowers. When the party is over you can toss them into a salad for the next days lunch. Flowers also usually last a few days, send them home with the guests as party favors. Super markets sell inexpensive flower bundles. You can buy a few different bouquets and take them home to make your own arrangements.
e5. Lighting – Mood lighting is going to be your best friend at an outdoor party and you want to make sure that your party can transition well from day to evening, meaning you will need some light sources if you want your guests to hang around. The cheapest way to add pretty and interesting lighting is to hang up old Christmas lights. Also having a few candles, and torches around can add to the mood and brighten things up.
6. Engage your guests – One of the best ways to engage your guests is a bonfire or fire pit. Guest can cozy up next to a warm fire, roast marshmallows, and tell stories. The warmth of a fire creates a relaxing and comforting vibe and over all good will throughout the party. It is perfect for those early spring nights that still get cool.
Last but not least!
7. Clean up – keep an eye out for garbage during the party. Instead of waiting till the end of a party to clean up, designate a few people to help keep an eye on trash and empty glasses. This cuts down on the work you all do later and keeps messes and accidents at bay.