Throwing an outdoor party is an amazing way to celebrate, whether the occasion is a birthday, anniversary, wedding, graduation or just because! While outdoor parties are unrivalled when it comes to atmosphere and memorability, they do take a little more preparation to make sure everything goes to plan.
Factors such as location, power sources and catering can be a little more complicated than usual, so it’s necessary to give yourself enough time to effectively plan. If you’re planning an outdoor party for the first time, take a look at these tips to making it absolute success.
Love Your Location
Finding the perfect location for an outdoor party can be a little tricky, unless you happen to know someone with a backyard big enough to host everyone. Often public areas, such as the beach, park, lake or forest, seem like great places to have a party, but you need to make sure that you won’t get in trouble with the local authorities. Before deciding to host a big party at the beach, contact the relevant authority to make sure it’s okay. Some local areas don’t allow parties over a certain size, while some won’t allow you to drink alcohol in public. Make finding a suitable location one of your first tasks, as it may take a little while to find the perfect place.
Another factor to consider when choosing your location is safety. Of course, parties are meant to be all about fun, but it’s important to ensure that all of your guests will be safe at your chosen venue. Any location with water carries a risk, especially if alcohol is involved, so try to minimise this risk as much as you possibly can. Setting up your party away from the water is one option, or you might designate a few responsible friends to keep a lookout for the other guests. Safety first!
Once the practicalities of finding your venue are sorted, you can start to plan the more fun aspects of your party. Lighting is a very important issue to consider, unless your party is going to take place during the day. You don’t want your guests to be left in the dark, so you’ll need to think about what light sources are the best option for you. Whether you prefer atmospheric fairy lights or professional outdoor lights, your lighting choices will have a big impact on your guests, so choose carefully.
In order to provide lighting in a more remote outdoor area, you may need a generator to provide power. Generators come in a wide range of sizes and types, and are perfect for providing power to your party. They can also be used to power sound systems, speakers and any other electrical equipment you might need. If your party is taking place during the colder months, this might include outdoor heaters, as it’s essential that your guests don’t get too chilly.
Get a Backup
Even the best planned parties can fall foul to bad weather or unforeseen circumstances, so it’s essential to have a backup plan in case things don’t turn out as planned. If it’s at all likely to rain, consider a backup venue that has an indoor space, or play it safe and get a canopy for your guests to shelter under. Having a backup plan is also a good idea if you’re hiring a caterer, just in case anything goes wrong. Backups do take more planning, but you’ll be grateful that you took the extra time if your original choice falls through at the last minute.
As outdoor parties require a great deal of practical planning, it’s a good idea to keep your decorations simple and easy. Opt for bold colours that you can use in a few choice places to make an impact. Colourful lamps, tablecloths and balloons will make quite an impression, and won’t take very long to set up. No need to spend hours hand-crafting personalised favours or pinning photographs to trees; keep it simple and avoid the stress that usually comes with party decorations.
If you really want to go for it with your decorations, ask a few friends to help out by bringing some decorations with them. When it comes to decorating, more hands is definitely better, so don’t be afraid to ask for help. If you want homemade decorations, you could have a group crafting session the week before the party, which will take some of the pressure off and mean you can get a lot done in a short time. Don’t be afraid to designate tasks if it feels like you’re taking on too much, as the party is meant to be fun for you too!