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19 Sep

11 Tips for creating your next Outdoor Patio Party

Riedel PS The Letter

Fall into Autumn with my personal favorite tips and tricks for hosting the ultimate outdoor social.

Dining al fresco surrounded by close family and friends is the optimal way to welcome the beautiful fall weather that’s right around the corner here in Fort Worth.

And boy, I am really looking forward to the change of seasons in the Lone Star State! Don’t let the door kick you on the way out, 110-degree weather!

Outdoor social events and patio parties have been a staple in my family since I was a little girl. I watched my mom throw both elaborate and opulent events, to the more simple of gatherings.

In my eyes, she was and still is the ultimate queen bee of entertaining. I enjoy following in her footsteps while putting my own personal touches and a little flair to my parties.

1. Please, Don’t Come In!

In order to avoid the doorbell ringing a hundred times, I will put a sign near the front door to direct people around to the back of the house. Not having to answer the door multiple times allows you as the host to enjoy mingling with guests.

Porch Party
Patio Sign

2. Conversation Starters

When entertaining, I always have something humorous or a good conversation starter located at the bar. Usually, the napkins or Styrofoam cups do the talking, but I’ve been known to bust out a bowl of penis mints to get the ladies laughing.

Adding your own personal and/or humorous touch to parties helps create the belly-laughing moments that you and your friends will reminisce about for years to come. BTW, I always find lots of humorous goodies for entertaining at the Ft.Worth Junior Leagues’s Christmas in Cowtown Holiday Gift Market every October.

fun styrofoam cups
fun cocktail napkins

3. Garden Clippings

You can go hog wild with garden clippings when it comes to decorating your space for a patio party. Even if you don’t have blooming flowers on your property, different types of greenery make for a lovely botanical look.

Of course, you can always run to Central Market for some colorful stems to pair with your fresh cuttings. For this event, I actually did go to Central Market and I arranged the flowers the evening before.

garden flowers
Central Market flowers

4. Food for Thought

Sky’s the limit when it comes to feeding your guests, but when entertaining outside, be mindful of items melting or spoiling in direct sun.

Claudia Sheddy, the owner My Sweet Roots, has catered several gatherings for me, and I absolutely love her presentation of food. Every time I’ve used her, I receive calls the next day asking for her contact information.

My Sweet Roots
My Sweet Roots

5. The Bar Scene

Although I always have at least one server for parties, even patio parties, there are times when I love to set the bar up for self-service. There is always at least one invitee who takes the initiative to man the bar and pour the refills. It’s also the perfect way for guest to mingle with one another- especially if they have never met.

Patio Bar
Patio Bar
Patio Champagne

6. Stemware Don’t Care

Throughout the years, I’ve lost many Baccarat crystal glasses when I hosted parties. To minimize stress and broken stemware, I decided to keep my sanity and my crystal intact and invest in Riedel stemware from PS The Letter. If one of these glasses were to break, I’m not calculating additional cost in my budget for party planning. Phew.

Plus, there’s nothing better than enjoying a drink out of a Riedel wine glass. The impact you will experience from the shape and size of their grape varietal specific glasses brings out the true flavors of your wine grape.  Ahh…

Riedel PS The Letter
Riedel Wine Glass Patio Party

7. Always Overbuy

I always overbuy for an event to ensure I never run out- especially when it comes to the limes and alcohol. It is so much easier to return unused items than send someone to make another run right in the middle of your party. I also make sure everything I use for patio entertaining is disposable except for the serving pieces and stemware. This makes for easy cleanup and just an overall less stressful event.

Patio Liquor
Topo Chico Patio Party
Patio Party Limes
Plastic Flatware

8. For the Smoking Guests

Ashtrays are imperative. Although most of my friends don’t smoke, it never fails… a few cocktails in and a some of them will bust out the cancer sticks and get their social smoking game on. I can guarantee a few of your guests will be itching to light up a fresh stogie while enjoying the crisp fall evening at your party.

Crystal Ashtray

9. Let’s Get Comfortable

For this party, I set the bar up on the center table in the loggia, where people usually sit down to eat. Although there are plenty of fun places to serve drinks, being mindful of shade is crucial to keeping your ice from melting and glasses getting warm. Small details to consider such as making sure there are enough shady spots for guests to mingle around before the sun goes down. Keeping guests feeling comfortable and happy is imperative.  It will also make you look like a seasoned hostess!

Patio Seating
Patio Seating
Patio Party by the pool

10. Big Ass Balloons

And sometimes, you just need a few Big Ass Balloons as your statement pieces to tie in the full look. This Dallas-Houston company knows how to float a party when it comes to helium. Big air, don’t care!

Big Ass Balloons patio party
Big Ass Balloon party

11. Keep Them Entertained

I usually add a bit of entertainment when I host an event. If it’s not a strolling magician, it might be a balloon artist, lip reader or DJ. But for this occasion, I turned the satellite radio on and piped in through the outdoor speakers.

Alta Drive patio Party
Alta Drive Patio Party

Photography by Maria Ciszek

SoFortWorthIt GIVEAWAY

All in all, keeping your patio party fun, lighthearted, relaxing, and simple will make for a great time! Don’t stress about the small details and don’t be afraid to hire a few extra hands so that you can enjoy your own party. So, sit back, relax, grab yourself a chilled glass of Rose, and make sure those Texas mosquitos don’t bite as you host a beautiful patio party of your own!

PS The Letter
Central Market
Big Ass Balloons
Junior League Christmas in Cowtown

Now who’s ready to kick off these gorgeous temperatures with the perfect giveaway for your next gathering? One lucky hostess will win an entertainment spread to kickstart her next outdoor social.

– A Box of 4 Riedel Wine Glasses from PS The Letter $45

– Floral Arrangement from Fort Worth Central Market $35

– Big Ass Balloon gift certificate $50

– 2 Tickets for Christmas in Cowtown $25

Please read the OFFICIAL RULES & DISCLAIMERS located in the Rafflecopter link below.

3 Oct

Tablescape Tuesday: Celebrating the Last Day Of Summer

Celebrate the Last Day Of Summer

A celebration of the Last Day of Summer on the actual last day of Summer. I mean, who wouldn’t want to bust out the cocktails? If you know my mother Carol, then you know she loves any excuse to throw a fab dinner party. Kids are back in school! Check! Cooler temps are moving in! Check!

This seasonal table was designed around a coastal theme using various types of coral, starfish, sand dollars and Tridacna gigas clam shells.

Three crustaceous floral arrangements placed on glass risers were filled with 20 stems of white Hydrangea, 20 yellow and coral Roses, 2 stems of yellow Cymbidium and 40 stems of yellow Oncidium Orchids. The larger arrangement in the center of the table was topped off with a wooden sail boat.

Bright turquoise napkins and striped placemats symbolize blue Caribbean water. The flatware for this place setting was Laguiole and the vintage Stuart Crystal dessert compotes were topped off with antique David Andersen sterling silver guilloche enamel demitasse spoons.

Mom used silver starburst chargers, along with complimentary dinner and salad plates, all from Z Gallerie. She then paired standard Fleur dessert plates with the crystal dessert compotes. Color tinted stemware for water and wine tied it all together.

For the kitchen centerpiece, in addition to the flowers used in the giant clam shells, 1 bunch of Dianthus and 2 bunches of hanging Amaranthus were tightly packed into the large green urn.

Kitchen Centerpiece

As a gesture of thanks for attending dinner, these darling octopus kitchen towels and Stonewall Kitchen jams were the favors guests took home with them.

Summer Party Favors

Summer Tablescape RECAP!

Yup, I know what you’re thinking. Why in the world is Christy talking about a summer tablescape, when Central Market already has pumpkins spilling out their doors. Well, nothing like planning a photoshoot on Friday, September 22nd (the actual last day of Summer), waiting for the rushed images to be edited, all while October is coming in hot. Sometimes, it’s just the way the ball rolls. In the meantime, we are knocking out the punch list on this website and I’m still learning the back end of Word Press with all of its bells and whistles.

Tridacna gigas clam shells in  Large and Extra Large

Silver starburst chargers

Dinner and salad plates

Dessert plates

Napkins and placemats

Flatware

Kitchen towels and jams

Sail boat

I didn’t have links for the items below, but sourcing these with a simple website search should produce many options to help you achieve the perfect look.

Coral, starfish and sand dollars

Glass votive candles

Vintage Stuart Crystal dessert compotes.

David Andersen sterling silverware

Large ceramic green urn

Colored glass stemware

A special thank you to Jim Irwin Floral and talented photographer Jodie Miears with Reverie Photo Co.