How to Host an Elegant Outdoor Party
How to host an elegant outdoor party
One of the loveliest things about hosting a catchup outside at your own house is the inherently laid-back nature of the event. Surely there’s no better place to feel right at home with friends and family than in your own back garden? At the same time, having all your favourite people over probably isn’t an everyday occurrence, and it will be the finishing touches that are remembered longest.
To help you step out of your comfort zone and take those touches – and your get-together - to the next level, we’ve collected some outstanding tips on how to host an elegant outdoor party using crystal glassware and crystal home decor.
Prepare your back garden
Start refreshing your outdoor space by planting some flowers, giving your outdoor furniture a good clean and placing some textured cushions and throws on seating for your guests.
Setting up a large main table with allocated seating is one of the more conventional ways to anchor your get-together, though it’s far from your only option. A more cocktail-style outdoor party is often a great alternative, with an open seating plan and flowing food so guests can get up and mingle instead of being confined to their set seat.
If the lawn is dry and the sun is out, laying down blankets and floor pillows will allow guests to spread out and move around. Set up a long bench or table as your food buffet and drinks station, or surprise everyone by making up individual picnic baskets that let everyone feast on the grass.
For during the day, remember to have some places with shade so your guests can get out of the direct sun. Use string lights, candles, and other soft lighting at night so they can see well enough to move about and have conversations with others.
Choose a theme
There is no age limit to having a theme for your party. And it’s not just because themes are loads of fun; they also give your planning a much clearer steer when it comes to choosing all your other elements.
Whether you’re bringing your nearest and dearest together to celebrate an engagement, a housewarming, a sip and see party, a cocktail party or a special age birthday, having a theme makes the food, drinks, decorations, music, games and dress code so much simpler to navigate for both you and your guests. A fun theme and its props help keep conversations flowing too.
Dress your outdoor space
A gorgeous spread of food and drinks plus a sunny outdoor backdrop are the ideal foundations for creating a fun, positive atmosphere - but why stop there?
Outdoor parties are rare opportunities to surprise and delight your friends and family, and going the extra mile with decorations is a great investment in memory-making. So realise the potential and dress up your outdoor space with bright tablecloths, colourful lanterns and elegant crystal candlesticks to transform your place settings into feasts for your guests’ eyes. Then use tableware and crystal glassware to elevate the entire food sharing experience so it’s much more elegant than a by-the-numbers back garden sitdown.
Seasonal flowers and foliage in dazzling crystal vases are an elegant way to mix and match textures and inject colour and fragrance to brighten up your dining table.
Keep the ambience flowing with a musical playlist suitable for the unique tastes of the group you’re inviting. If a variety of generations will be attending, choose tracks that span the decades. Keep the music upbeat,, and accessible to everyone, with enough tunes so there are no repeats or interruptions. Keep the volume at a level where everyone can chat from a distance without struggling to be heard.
Serve Spring-inspired cocktails
Need a list of zesty, sparkling, crowd-pleasing springtime cocktails? You’ll find them all here. Just be ready to do them justice by serving them in beautiful crystal champagne flutes and other crystal cocktail glasses. If you need to upgrade your drinks cart for the event, explore our guide on the 5 essentials for your outdoor bar cart.
Don’t forget the mocktails
Alcohol no longer needs to be the sole star of your drinks offerings. In fact, it’s very likely some of your guests will be choosing to not drink, so for them, mix up batches of delicious, alcohol-free cocktails, chilled and ready in beautiful crystal pitchers and jugs. Continue the sophisticated style by pouring these beverages into light-catching crystal tumblers which will elevate the moment at your next impromptu picnic in the park.
Provide some light bites
You’ll be busy enough on the day as it is, so try to cook – or at least do most of your prep - the day before your event. If you’ll be seating all your guests at the main table, consider having platters of easily self-served, family-style dishes so you won’t need to do any plating up. Alternatively, a steady stream of trayed light bites and appetisers is worth curating if you’re going for a more casual, cocktail-style event with a more flexible timetable.
Make sure all the effort you go to with your cooking and prep are showcased as feasts for the eyes too, by presenting them in elegant crystal serving bowls.
Don’t let your guests leave empty-handed
Depending on the reason for your party, it might be appropriate to give each guest a small gift as a memento of the day and as a symbol of your regard for them. If that’s the case for you and your nearest and dearest, peruse the range of exquisite gifts that are available from Waterford, to leave an impression that will never be forgotten.