6 Essentials for Throwing an Alfresco Dinner Party

It’s about that time–summer is right around the corner! If you have an awesome backyard space, you might as well show it off with an alfresco dinner party for family and friends. To nail this event, make sure to read through the following tips to kick off summer with a bang. 

1. Choose a Theme

When you’re ready to start planning your outdoor dinner party, the first thing you’ll need to do is land on a theme for the party. This can apply to the food you serve, the decorations you adorn your space with, and even the attire that people wear. 

Make sure the theme is something that’s fun and exciting but doesn’t overcomplicate your work too much, either. 

Once you’ve selected the theme, pick out the decorations and let all attendees know what it is so they can start planning accordingly. 

2. Plan out Your Menu

Next, you need to plan out the menu that you will serve. By doing so, you can make a grocery list for all the items you’ll need, and see what food items need to be prepped beforehand to limit your work during the actual dinner party. 

If you plan on going potluck style, make sure you assign everyone a dish to bring and confirm that they’re comfortable with preparing it. 

This can even include any wine pairings or beverages you plan on including in the dinner party so you can make sure you have it all on hand and ready to go. 

3. Finalize the Headcount

Part of planning an alfresco dinner party is gathering your RSVPs and knowing how many people plan on attending. In this count, make sure you’re aware of any children you’ll need to accommodate for as well. 

This will ensure that you’ll have enough seating for everyone who will be attending, and there won’t be any awkward situations with people having to stand and eat or double up on chairs. 

If you need to set up another table or rent or purchase additional chairs or benches, this gives you enough time to do so ahead of time. 

4. Keep it Cozy and Comfortable

Depending on your region, summer nights can stay warm and humid, or chill off once the sun sets. So, consider what the circumstances are where you live so you can plan accordingly. 

If you live in a hotter climate, make sure you have enough shade and fans going to keep everyone comfortable throughout the night. 

On the other hand, if you live in an area that is milder and cools off in the evening, make sure to have blankets or heating lamps ready to go once the sun goes down. 

5. Prep and Clean the Area

If you haven’t used your outdoor patio or dining area in a while, or even since last season, chances are it could use a good cleaning to get it in working order for your dinner party. 

So, take the day before your party to hose down the area and deep clean any spaces that require it. 

You can also take this time to set up any decorations, extra tables and seating, and table settings that you plan on using for the party to minimize your work on the day of. This will give you the opportunity to make a last-minute check that you have everything you need. 

6. Decide How to Serve Food

Lastly, once you have all the food prepared and everything set and ready to go, you can decide how you’ll serve the food. You can serve family style, with all the dishes out on the dining table, or you can do a self-serve buffet. 

With all these details put in place, you’re ready to throw an alfresco dinner party that no one will ever forget!