May 30, 2012

Outdoor entertaining ideas.

When you're having an outdoor gathering, making it festive is easy. Follow these tips to get started on creating a wonderful space with ambiance that will last all season.

1) String lanterns, hung in the trees, add sparkle to backyard gatherings. They work for every summer gathering, adding easy ambience that can stay outside all season.

2) Have music piped to your area.  You can use your home stereo and position the speakers out the windows or use your smartphone with your media library or on-line sites.

3) Use your unmatched dishes instead of paper plates.  You won't mind if they break and the meal will be more elegant. Using table linens adds an extra special touch.

4) Add fresh flowers to your tabletop or buffet. Even an interesting display of seashells, greens, or other 'found' items will create a wonderful vignette.

5) Make finger foods ahead of time and place them on easy-to replenish trays for carrying back and forth.

6) Create a goodie bag of take-home extras or favors as a special gift for your guests.

7) Use wicker baskets or other interesting container - lined with a napkin as needed - for serving breads, desserts and other foods.

8) Candles provide wonderful ambiance and in a glass hurricane provide a decorative element as well. Flameless candles are fabulous so consider them as well.