Summer is one of the busiest times for outdoor entertaining, and if you’re anything like me, you know planning ahead makes enjoying the party that much more enjoyable. So when it comes to celebrating weddings, graduation parties, birthdays and holidays out-of-doors, I suggest keeping these FIVE party planning tips in mind:
- Have plenty of TENTS! If you’re going to brave the elements by hosting your wedding or celebration outside, think BIG! Do it up big if you’re going to do it at all. Have plenty of tent backups for rain or shade, and make sure to keep the tent attendants on hand for the party to help with changes and fine tuning. Not having enough coverage means your guests will either invade your home when the weather gets ugly, or leave entirely. Either scenario is a no-win, no matter how you slice it;
- Don’t forget the importance of LIGHTING! Nothing makes a garden or location sing like dramatic lighting does! Just as you would light the interiors of your home, a hotel ballroom or historical building, your backyard, garden or field needs ambient and service lighting too. Pay particular attention to the landscape and trees for spatial drama, as well as walkways, entrance ways and footpaths for safety;
- Remember to bring in your PEST CONTROL company to spray the lawn and shrubs the week and morning of the party to keep mosquitos, bees and biting flies off your guests. Not to worry about the smell or chemicals used with such applications, they’re available in lavender and vanilla fragrance! You may also want to stock the restrooms or restroom trailers with bug repellent wipes and sprays (not to mention itch relief creams just in case one survives!);
- Double check your NOISE ordinances with your city, county or township long before hiring your 15-piece orchestra. A rockin’ band might be able to play until 9:00pm, but having to shut them down 3 hours early at the behest of uniformed officers would put a damper on the festivities for sure; and last
- Make sure you share fabulous DRIVING DIRECTIONS to (and from) the party in your invitation and on your personal wedding website (if you have one). Then, make sure those same directions are shared with your event vendors and professionals, as well as the bus and limo drivers. I’d even go so far as to say you should hand them to the bus and limo drivers on the day of the wedding to make sure they, not their sales or dispatch departments, get the information. Legible, signage with BIG LETTERS and BOLD arrows at key turns along the way makes it that much easier to find the party on the day too.
Whatever you do, whatever kind of party you throw, make sure you find some time to ENJOY IT! That’s the best tip of all, and one every party host needs to remember. Including me. If you have a good time, your guests will too! Warmly, Brian Kappra