How to Plan the Ultimate Outdoor Party

22/12/15, Losberger UK

 

Planning a party is a huge but fun undertaking and it forces you to get your creative juices flowing and come up with innovative decorations, themes, refreshments and activities to keep your guests entertained.

But everybody knows that there are parties and then there is “the party”, that one event that was so amazing people are going to compare it to every other party they go to from that moment on.

Want your party to be “the one” that everyone is referring to? Then plan an outdoor party that they will never forget.

 

Perks of an Outdoor Party

It’s nice to have all your friends over for dinner and games but it’s not exactly Coachella. Some of the best parties take place outdoors simply because of the endless possibilities that organizers have when they choose to plan an event outside. Firstly, outdoor parties don’t suffer from many of the restrictions that indoor parties do and the theme, organization, space and seating are not dictated by the venue’s limitations.

 

While many indoor locations come with certain rules and regulations, planning a party outside means that you choose what does and doesn’t work for you. Then there’s also the matter of the “wow factor” which can easily be achieved outside by simply choosing a stunning location and creating your own theme and decorum based on what’s already available to you.

 

If you’re only planning a barbecue in your backyard for five of your closest friends you don’t have to worry much about organization but if we’re talking about the ultimate outdoor party, that one event nobody will be able to forget, you’ll have to consider a few factors that can make or break your evening. Plan ahead, get your ideas and key elements organized and you’re bound to pull it off.

 

Ultimate outdoor party: Ingredients list

There are a few must-haves when you’re planning a party outdoors since the location itself probably isn’t going to provide you with everything you need. As long as you make sure that you cater to all of the needs your guests might have you should have no problem in organizing a great event so just make sure you take all the possibilities into account when drafting your to-do list and check the boxes.

 

The truth is you’re planning a party outside so you will need to cover your basics before you start picking out the napkins and balloons. You will need to think about ensuring sufficient seating arrangements, creating a warm and comfortable atmosphere and setting up a covered area in case of bad weather. Once you have these essential elements taken care of, you can focus on the rest of the details such as decorations, refreshments, music and activities.

 

Party tents: If not there, where to party?

Perhaps the best way to be sure that all of your primary needs are covered is to set up a party tent on location and organize the event around it. Party tents come in many shapes and sizes and help you cover all of your basics in one go as they provide shelter from bad weather, warmth for the evening when it gets chillier and enough space for ample and comfortable seating.

 

The main reason why it makes sense to consider party tent rental for an outdoor event is that it will enable you to get the best of both worlds when it comes to your special occasion: the stunning surroundings, versatility and freedom of an outdoor location and the convenience, comforts and benefits of an indoor venue.

 

You can opt for a simpler design to guard against bad weather and offer you shade during the day or set up a more intricate tent to ensure heating, seating and designated areas for certain features your event might include, like a buffet or dance floor.

 

Depending on the number of guests attending there are different sizes of party tents that you can choose from:

 

  • you can assemble smaller tents where activities can be organized or food can be served , or
  • you can choose a larger, main tent for your guests to gather and socialize in

 

If you want to plan an outdoor event but are afraid that it might not be formal enough, there are several high quality models that suppliers assemble on-site and feature cassette walls and glass elements, modern frames and flooring that will actually recreate the full experience of an indoor venue customized to fit your needs.

 

What is the obvious advantage to this type of tent? You still enjoy all the great features of the outdoor location of your choosing but also provide guests with an option for an indoor event once the activities outside have ended.

  

It may seem that it’s an extra cost but if you put it into perspective it’s well worth the investment. You can put endless hours of work into planning the greatest outdoor party and still have the evening ruined by external elements that you couldn’t have possibly prevented.

 

The truth is that not only does a party tent save you a lot of work because it ensures that your basics are covered, it’s also the only way to guarantee that, no matter what Mother Nature decides to throw at you, the party you’ve worked so hard on goes according to plan.

 

Choosing an unforgettable location

One of the best arguments for having an outdoor party is that you get to choose a stunning location that will leave your guests in awe of the natural beauty surrounding them. So don’t just choose the first patch of grass you find, put a bit of effort into researching some great places that will completely change the way your party looks and feels.

 

An outdoor venue can set the tone for the event and often inspire or at the very least compliment the theme that the organizer has in mind. You can start by looking for a place that will accommodate the number of guests you are expecting and that will fit your needs in terms of accessibility, space and activity options.

 

Make a list of what your requirements are and then look for venues that fit the criteria you have established. For instance if you’re expecting children to attend you might need a space where you can set up child-friendly activities.

 

Moreover, you need to make sure that it is safely enclosed and guarded so that none of your younger guests accidentally fall into a lily pond or get lost on trails. If you’re planning a more romantic setting, however, you can look into a lovely garden or a riverside glade instead. A beach-themed party will always work best on an actual beach.

The location that you end up choosing will more than likely inspire you to create decorations and activities that enhance and take advantage of its natural beauty. Make sure that the place where you plan to have the party can cater to your essential requirements and then plan the rest of the details according to its features.

 

The beauty of an outdoor location is that it adds natural beauty and great scenery to your event but it also allows you to create your own vision of the perfect surroundings for your ideal party by working with what you have at your disposal and building on that. It’s basically a beautiful, almost blank canvas that you can work with to bring your ideas to life so take advantage of the versatility it offers and find elements that you can incorporate in the venue to connect it to your chosen party theme.

 

Consider the weather

As it happens with any outdoor activity, the weather will play a big part in how things unfold during your party. It goes without saying that you should check the weather forecast in advance when you’re planning an event outside but the problem with Mother Nature is that the only thing predictable about her is how unpredictable she can be.

So try to make some extra preparations just in case the weather does change for the worse, otherwise you risk your party being ruined by anything from strong winds to rainfall, storms and even unbearable heat and scorching sun at the other end of the spectrum.

The first thing you need to consider is having a back-up plan for the actual venue. If you’re only having a small party in your back yard, make sure that your living room is well equipped to accommodate the number of guests attending in case the weather turns.

 

However if the party is at a different location rather than at your own home, have a safety net for bad weather just in case. Either book an alternative indoor location nearby or set up an event tent in the first place. I prefer having an outdoor party tent just because it takes a lot of the pressure off when planning anything outside and it ensures that no matter what the weather conditions actually are on the day of the event it can still take place with minimal setbacks.

 

I’ve mentioned before that you can find event tent rental services that can customize a tent for your budget and needs so you can make it as sophisticated and complex or as minimalistic as you choose, just look into setting one up just in case and make the most of it whether it rains or not since, in the end, it’s a great addition to the party regardless of the weather.

 

The other issue with planning any sort of outdoor event is that if your local meteorologist ends up being wrong about the weather, the fun activities that you’ve planned may become impossible to carry out and enjoy. So try to prepare some activities that can also take place indoors just in case you have to move the fun there.

 

Packing some versatile games for the kids with you is a great safety measure since they’re the first to get bored when it’s rainy and the last to be shy about letting you know exactly how they feel about it. So consider some child-friendly activities that can take place indoors if you’re expecting children to attend your party and designate an area for them from the very beginning.

 

Make sure that you have a covered space large enough to accommodate the number of guests you’re expecting and ideally see that it’s big enough to allow for some movement and interaction, even dancing if possible, so that you don’t have to crowd everybody under a tarp like sardines if it starts pouring.

 

The important thing to remember is that if you take the proper precautions there’s no reason why bad weather should ruin your party so don’t let bad forecasts discourage you, just plan accordingly and let your guests know that your shindig is happening no matter what nature throws at you.

 

Party Tent Decorations

Now that you’ve made sure that all your essential elements are set up it’s time for the real fun to begin and to start thinking about your decorations. Decorations can make or break an outdoor party, so ensure that you’ve done your research and know exactly what guests are going to attend. Then, tailor the decorations to their expectations. How exactly can you start working on your lovely decorations? You first choose the theme.

 

Choose a unique party theme

The theme you decide to go with will set the tone for your party and help immerse the guests in the atmosphere you want to create. Having an outdoor setting will immensely contribute to building the space according to this theme, so don’t hesitate to work with your surroundings rather than against them.

 

For instance if you’re having a garden party and want a setting that is relaxed but also elegant you can put together a tea party.

 

If you’re trying to achieve something that is both fresh and colourful but also lots of fun you can try a 60’s or 70’s inspired setting for your event, just watch a few episodes of Mad Men and you won’t be able to stop yourself from coming up with ideas for decorations, cocktails and songs.

 

If you’re having a bigger party, choose a theme that will make everyone feel at home despite it being in a massive gathering. The possibilities range from the county fair to a neighbourhood potluck or even, if your guests are young and want to spend the night dancing, a college party or a rave. If you need something more intimate, a dinner-style party, midsummer night’s dream inspired setting or a family-friendly fiesta might be the way to go.

 

Choose a unique party theme

The theme you decide to go with will set the tone for your party and help immerse the guests in the atmosphere you want to create. Having an outdoor setting will immensely contribute to building the space according to this theme, so don’t hesitate to work with your surroundings rather than against them.

 

For instance if you’re having a garden party and want a setting that is relaxed but also elegant you can put together a tea party.

 

If you’re trying to achieve something that is both fresh and colourful but also lots of fun you can try a 60’s or 70’s inspired setting for your event, just watch a few episodes of Mad Men and you won’t be able to stop yourself from coming up with ideas for decorations, cocktails and songs.

 

If you’re having a bigger party, choose a theme that will make everyone feel at home despite it being in a massive gathering. The possibilities range from the county fair to a neighbourhood potluck or even, if your guests are young and want to spend the night dancing, a college party or a rave. If you need something more intimate, a dinner-style party, midsummer night’s dream inspired setting or a family-friendly fiesta might be the way to go.

 

Outdoor Party Lighting

Considering that most parties extend into the evening hours you’ll have to make some arrangements in terms of the lighting since you don’t want your guests stumbling in the dark and tripping over the furniture. But outdoor party lights can bring a lot more to a party than just clearer vision for the guests: they can really change the atmosphere and make the venue look considerably more beautiful.

 

So try to make the most of your lights and come up with creative ways to incorporate them into your decorations. Use the tent’s ceiling to create the feeling of volume and space by hanging strings of LED lights on it and let them drape down the walls for more brightness.

  

But don’t stop there, incorporate these cheerful lights into the decorations by placing them into bottles or attaching jars to the strings and filling the respective jars with a few lights, it will make the venue feel warmer and more cosy.

 

Paper globes and Chinese lanterns will also brighten up the place and they come in all sorts of sizes and colours so feel free to adorn your location with those as well. If Chinese lanterns or paper decorations are not working for your particular theme adapt to it and use actual lanterns, wither electrical or with candles in them and place them in the darker corners of the tent and the venue to make it feel more lively.

 

Tiki torches are also a great option since they are easy to set up anywhere and are rather inexpensive. You can use them for anything to decorating the venue to marking the trails leading from one area to another or the exits and entries to certain places.

  

Try to think both big and small when it comes to the lighting at your party and create some smaller lighting sources that you can place anywhere.

 

This way you can bring some additional light to the tables and to the other areas you need to highlight. You can use LED lights and incorporate them into your theme in creative ways (like putting them in small recipients that fit your vision) or just light candles and design some simple candle stands that will contribute to the decorum.


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