Tips for outdoor entertaining

Last year, just before Alexander was born, Stu and I excitedly bought a shiny new barbeque from Barbeques Galore, in anticipation of lots of family friendly outdoor entertaining that summer. But alas! We were both so tired and run down from looking after bub that we only managed to use it just once so far. Whoops.
But that's about to change as the warmer months are upon us once again. Stu and I love entertaining and we both feel no summer is complete without the smell of meat sizzling on the Barbie, music, vibrant colours and delicious food enjoyed with good company. Here are some of our tips for a successful outdoor party:

Easy barbeque food, side dishes and drinks. As hosts, Stu and I want to have fun with our friends instead of slaving away in the kitchen, so we always opt for easy food that can be cooked on the barbie such as rissoles, sausages, chicken wings, corn cobs, mushrooms and my favourite - haloumi cheese. We also like to serve side dishes that can be prepared in advance, such as pasta salads, potato salads and coleslaw. As for drinks, I like to whip up my signature party drink - lychee and mint muddle, which you can make with sparkling wine for adults or substitute with lemonade for kids. It really is the perfect drink for a summer outdoor party.

Wet weather contingency. it's not much fun eating soggy breadrolls in the rain, so we always make sure we have a contingency plan for bad weather. When Stu rebuilt our back deck last year he made sure to add an awning for this very purpose. On rainy days, we entertain under cover but if it's absolutely storming, we bring the party indoors.

Sun sense. Sometimes though, it can get too hot in the sun and the last thing I want for my guests to get a sunburn. We have a giant tree in the backyard that provides ample shade so under that tree is where we set the table on sunny days. I also find it handy to have a big bottle of sunscreen out so guests can feel free to use some, if needed.

DIY decor. There's no need to spend a heap of money on decorations; I just mix and match garden flowers in old jam jars for an eclectic look. I've also been able to use home made decorations, for example, for my baby shower, I made this doily table runner and pom poms. Also check out my DIY flower garland post and DIY flower napkin rings for more inspiration.

Entertainment for kids. Kids are not made to sit still for hours at a table and we are very lucky to have a big backyard for the little ones to roam and run around. Our furbaby Frankie also provides a ton of entertainment for children who love playing fetch with her. If you don't have a backyard or a pet dog, think about providing some simple entertainment for children such as water balloons, bubbles, backyard twister or hopscotch.

Do you have any tips of your own to share?

24 Responses to Tips for outdoor entertaining

kidgranny said...

Great tips! I love that you make your own signature drinks for your guests.

Niken said...

now i reeeaaallyyy want a bbq party after reading your post. that table setting is so pretty

Catherine said...

What a beautiful table setting. This is welcoming and comforting. Blessings, Catherine

My Garden Diaries said...

Such awesome practical and smart ideas!! Love that you have a backup plan for bad weather and that you make sides that all can be made in advance! You have given me many ideas with this post!! Happy day friend!! Nicole xo

Sharon D said...

Great tips, Trishie. I'd hate to be slaving in the kitchen when friends are around. I'm with you on having food that's easy to make!

Ananka said...

Great set up! And nice tips. We didn't get the chance for any BBQs this year despite having some good weather - maybe next year! Now the weather is getting colder in Scotland *brrrr*! :-)

Kati said...

Thanks so much for your sweet words, they made my day!
That table decor is really pretty! I also like barbecues, but until I have my own garden, I have to go to parks! :-)

Have a great day,
-Kati

lisacng @ expandng.com said...

Hope you get to use that outdoor area alot!!! We actually just bought out first set of furniture and a canopy (for shade!) this year. We've really enjoyed having people over and enjoying the space. Definitely keeping it simple is key!

Jessica said...

Barbecues are so much fun. I host/attend them so often in the warmer months.

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

The last is a total must. Especially with kiddos between 2-4. Great ideas.

Briseidy said...

love to hang outdoors, nice post!

Michelle {Jarrah Jungle} said...

I love BBQ weather, although the rain keeps interupting the sunshine over here in Perth! I hope you get to entertain a bit more now that bub is older :)

azurachan said...

I love your doily table runner. It looks so vintage. And the empty jar for flowers. Lovely!

burntfeather said...

I love BBQs, I think they can be a great collaboration too if you asks your guests to bring food to share, ultimately making it less stressful and fun :) Bring on Summer! Love the idea of having a sunscreen bottle out too.

Rowena @ rolala loves said...

Sounds like you and Stu have a lot of fun entertaining outdoors. We have a terrace but our building doesn't allow cooking on it.

Rowena @ rolala loves

Tallia said...

aww that is a cute table setting

♡Tallia
Trending In Fashion

Rose said...

When move to my new house I done a couple of entertaining. Bbq and potluck. But when I were pregnant with Jamie I were to lazy to do much. Haha.

Lovely tips. I also like having the table move to outdoor under awning.

Shirley Tay said...

Oh yes, I remember that fabulous work of you, Trishie! Great sharing! Happy weekend, dear! xoxo

trishie said...

@Nicole glad you found this to be helpful! Hope you're enjoying the weekend

Kelsea Echo said...

This was fun to read - thanks for the tips! :)

Pamela RG said...

Enjoy your BBQ. Outdoor entertaining is always fun even if it just the three of you.

Midnight Cowgirl said...

A weather contingency plan is so important!

Anouka said...

Great ideas. I don't like cooking so when I hosted a month ago, I got all the food from a caterer. Another minor but very important element for me is the music! There has to be the right background music with a playlist composed by no one other but me :)

Enara Girl said...

I hope that you enjoy a lot BBQ this years. I don't have one, neither place to put one, but I would love to do BBQ sometimes. xoxo