When entertaining outside, keep it simple. If possible, try to use melamine plates and glassware. These plates are more elevated than paper plates and will keep you at ease in case guests drop their plates when enjoying dinner. Use items you already have such as a potted herb plant and gardening boots for decor. Outdoor rugs are a great way to cozy up the space and make the dinner party feel chicer.
Have a beverage dispenser filled with water ready to go since guests will be outside. I like to add a few lemon slices for a citrus flavor. This handy bar cart doubles as an ice bucket, which keeps drinks cool even in the summer heat. I like to keep a few bar towels close by for easy clean up for spills.
For the menu, add items that you can quickly prep ahead so you can enjoy your time with guests. I love to serve fresh fruit, cheese tray, boozy ice cream cake, pre-mixed cocktails, etc. If you are serving items that require garnishes such as burgers, pre-slice and have ready to go. S’mores is always a favorite summer treat, I put together a tray with the ingredients ahead of time so it is ready to go once everyone is ready for the fire pit.
Please sip responsibly. All images Christy Wilson Photography. You can shop this post below. Special thanks to South of Libbie, Ruthie and Oliver Letterpress, and Nora Fleming for partnering with us on this post.