Break out the tiki torches and fairy lights — summer is the perfect time for planning and hosting various events.
While the weather might cooperate and offer the best outdoor settings, it can work against you as those temperatures creep up. Your guests’ comfort should be top of mind, so use these tips and tricks during the planning process to beat the heat and host the best outdoor events possible.
Try something different with beverages
Make the drinks part of heat relief and a focal point for the party. There are so many fun themes and beverage stations that can be created to make drinks not only a refreshment but part of the event aesthetic.
Bringing in a mobile bar truck with champagne or craft cocktails on tap can make a splash for those with larger budgets. Or, with more limited budgets, just using some natural materials to display specialty glasses like mason jars or champagne coups can add a special touch.
Throw some shade
Summer events are a great way to spend time outdoors, but not all of your guests will want to gather in the heat and direct sunlight. Umbrellas and tented areas can elevate or even set the entire tone of an outdoor party. Create fun seating areas under these umbrellas or inside different-sized canopies or tents. Careful placement of pergolas, sail shades, outdoor curtains, fabrics, or even large potted plants can give you more options. This can give your guests the opportunity to relax and recharge away from the sun.
Provide plenty of seating
Adirondack chairs, folding chairs, benches, and deck furniture are a good start for outdoor event seating, but don’t stop there. Pillows, poufs, picnic blankets, and cushions on the lawn are all great options. Whatever you do, don’t skimp on seating. The heat can make your guests tired, and seating is an opportunity to add to the party theme.
Use lighting to create an evening atmosphere
As the sun goes down, lights, candles, and lanterns can add a whole new ambiance to the space. String lights have become an essential outdoor standard for good reason. They can illuminate walkways and dance floors without a harsh glow.
A fire pit can be a secondary source of light, as well as a gathering place for guests. You can opt for the traditional wood fire pit or try gas or propane. The gas and propane versions are also sold as tables with river rock, stones, ceramic, or glass at the center to add some modern design to your decor.
Include these extras
Often outdoor events have natural beauty built in and don’t require a lot of additional decor to dress up the space, but extra touches can go a long way. Displaying a basket of goodies like sunscreen and bug spray is a little thoughtful touch that can combat the outdoor elements your guests might have overlooked. Another idea is to have some useful outdoor items that double as party favors like hats, sunglasses, beach towels, metal water bottles, or even flip flops. As the temperatures drop, it’s nice to have wraps or blankets readily available.
Planning ahead makes your events memorable
There are endless possibilities depending on your setting and budget and plenty of room for creativity. No matter the outdoor environment you are working with — rooftop, waterfront, garden, or patio — you can incorporate these ideas to create an event that your guests won’t want to leave.
*Editors Note: This post originally appeared in Tripleseat’s Seated Magazine Summer 2022 edition.