5 Helpful Tips For Backyard Entertaining
Updated: Jan 13
So you're hosting a bunch of people over for a lively backyard party. Here's some great tips on reducing stress for "Easy, Effortless Entertaining" in your own backyard!
Don't let bugs bug you, or your guests!
Adding citronella candles or tiki torches to the perimeter of your party space will help keep bugs at bay. Do remember that citronella is not food friendly, so avoid putting it on tables where people are eating at, or anywhere near your buffet, grill, or food stations. The addition of a couple electronic pest zappers to the perimeter of your eating areas can be a huge help. Also think about calling your local pest control company to spray your yard for bugs a couple days prior to your event for added protection.
Plain tables are boring and uninviting! Opt for chic, but inexpensive centerpieces.
Centerpieces on tables add a touch of elegance and fun to any event. Something simple like a mason jar full of inexpensive seasonal flowers, or simple ivy vines, with an unscented pillar candle (always avoid scented candles!), even something as simple as a bowl of fresh citrus fruit with some lemon leaves inside to create a warm & casual accent to your table.
Don't run out of ice.. EVER!
There is nothing more annoying than having to run to the store in the middle of your event for more ice. Buy or rent a couple of large marine coolers from your local party rental place, and fill them with ice. Keep them hidden out of sight, in a cool spot like the garage, or under your shaded bar table for easy access. A good rule of thumb is a minimum of 2.5lbs of ice per guest when serving mixed drinks. If you're just serving beer & wine, then reduce to 1.75lbs of ice per guest as a minimum. Having an all day affair? Add an additional 1.5lbs per guest per 4 hours.
Not everyone likes to drink booze all day!
Always have non-alcoholic beverage options available. For more casual events, think of things like flavored sparkling waters (We love LaCroix Sparkling Water in Assorted Flavors!), served with fresh slices of fruit in them as garnish. For self service buffet style events, create a beverage station with a selection of flavor infused water, lemon lime, strawberry kiwi, mint & cucumber, etc.. Also a few bottles of sparkling juices, or sparkling non-alcoholic cider on ice is always a winner. If its summertime, and it's warm.. always have plenty of non-alcoholic beverages and bottled waters on hand, again with plenty of ice.
Have plenty of trash cans available!
No one likes to look at a half eaten plate of food with flies or bees swirling around it that's been baking in the hot summer sun. Having several garbage cans that are readily accessible to your guests will help keep things looking tidy. Also keep them emptied regularly and always have an ample supply of garbage bags available. Putting the trashcans on the perimeters of your party spaces will also help reduce bugs, ants, and bees as well.
Check out our other recipes, tips & tricks for Easy, Effortless, Entertaining from AWG Private Chefs!
About the Author: Certified Master Chef, Sommelier & Wine Educator, Sean Andrade is the executive chef/owner of AWG Private Chefs, named the #1 Private Chef company in California. Chef Sean has worked in the restaurant and hospitality industries worldwide for more than 25 years. His company AWG Private Chefs offers highly custom tailored, bespoke private chef dining experiences, and private event catering in over 30 countries around the globe.