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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
Photography by Maria Ciszek
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!
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.