Oct 15, 2019
Real Simple Tips

Tara_Real Simple July 2016 (1)

Today we’re sharing tips on perfecting your outdoor parties this summer (although many apply to year round entertaining). Real Simple Magazine rounded up several entertaining experts (including our friend, Matthew Robbins), who all offered ideas they’ve used over many years of hosting events.

outdoor lighting

photo by Liz Banfield

I can’t emphasize enough the importance of a dimmer on your lights… All of our lights in tents at weddings, outdoor string lights, etc. are always always on dimmers.

Citrus water

photo by Corbin Gurkin

While we definitely love our fair share of cocktails or speciality drinks at parties, in the summer, especially in the South, hydrating is the key to keeping your guests on pace and enjoying the party the entire evening. So, whether you have a variety of water in coolers or on ice, or serve it up with a slice of citrus (sometimes it’s the extra reminder people need to drink more water), making sure you have plenty of water on hand is important!


photo by Liz Banfield

Another idea for a larger gathering, if you don’t want the trouble and cost of having a tent raised in your yard, garden umbrellas are a great substitute. Less expensive and available at many rental companies, they can provide respite from the sun for guests and food and drink set ups.

shoe check

photo by Liz Banfield

If you’re hosting a more formal gathering and expect the women to come dressed in their finest, offering a shoe solution is something to surely impress. We often do “shoe checks” where guests can trade in their heels for flip flops we’ve provided in a variation of sizes. Or, even something as simple as “Heel Savers” will ensure your lawn won’t be irrigated by mistake.

cold cloths

This is probably one of our biggest hits or tricks.. But, for warmer months where you’re going to have guests dancing into the evening we roll up, wet, and ice down white washcloths (we keep them in coolers) and then pass them out on the dance floor. When we do this, you’d think we were passing out hundred dollar bills!!!!

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