Shoreline’s Guide to Outdoor Entertaining

September 13, 2019


Entertaining family and friends is always a good time. However, without proper preparation and the right considerations, it can become stressful and more work than you anticipated. With our guide to outdoor entertaining, you can leave your stress at the door and find that enjoying a fun day with family and friends is easier than you thought.

The Importance of a RSVP

The best way to make sure nothing goes awry during the activities is to simply plan. Instead of telling friends and family to “stop by if they can” have as many as possible provide a firm RSVP so you don’t make too many or too little accommodations. This will also help you determine how much entertainment, seating, and food is needed, saving you time and money so you don’t over-prepare.

Master the Ambiance

The atmosphere can make or break an outdoor party. Make sure your outdoor area is properly lit with hanging lights or lanterns, and candles on the table. To keep bugs away from the festivities, use quick hacks like cloves on lemon wedges around the table, or bamboo torches that repel bugs. Finally, make sure your space is warm and inviting with cushions and pillows to make everything comfortable. Bonus Tip: If buying new outdoor cushions isn’t in the budget, simply borrow some from indoors! We promise, your living room won’t mind.

Mobile Stations

Using carts to bring out food or drinks is not only a chic décor feature, but easy on the chef. For drinks, stock a bar cart with cups, cocktail supplies, napkins and small plates. For food, keep your sides, hor d’oeuvres or desserts on table or cart with wheels. When supplies run low, simply wheel it back into the kitchen for a reload. Extra Tip: Make sure whatever cart you use has wheels that lock or have stoppers ready, so your food doesn’t roll away!

Encourage Mingling

Often, there might be guests at your party that don’t know everyone. By getting creative with the layout of your outdoor space, you can encourage mingling and conversation. Set up tables in separate areas such as drinks in one spot, and dessert in another. If guests must roam across the backyard to grab a drink or dessert, they’re likely to make conversation along the way.

Prepare for Clean-up

Successful outdoor gathering might mean your guests stay longer than anticipated, often long after the sun goes down. This means when everyone does go home, clean-up is probably the last thing you want to do. Get creative before your guest arrive and cover your tabletops with brown craft paper. Not only is it a clean, casual look for dining, but kids can color on the paper while dinner’s getting ready, and clean up can be as simple as rolling up the paper and tossing it in the trash.

If outdoor entertaining is your favorite way to soak up the final days of summer, a Shoreline home might be perfect for you. With spacious patios and gorgeous views of the Jordanelle Reservoir, you’ll easily have an environment your guests won’t want to leave. To learn more about our communities, reach out to a representative at

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