This post is in partnership with Bed Bath & Beyond. All opinions are my own.
I absolutely love to entertain in my backyard. We’re pretty lucky here in Southern California and have a long season where we can comfortably host a backyard dinner party without worrying about the weather. I jump at every chance to set a table outdoors and invite friends and family over for a laid-back evening of food, wine, and good company. Are you wondering how to host a backyard dinner party? I’m sharing some of my simple tips with you!
Although it just might seem easier to host your group indoors, I encourage you to consider dining alfresco next time. I’ll show you how to host a backyard dinner party that is simple but feels really thought out. Here are the main steps.
- Purchase and gather a few outdoor entertaining essentials
- Stage your area by setting up the table and place settings ahead of time
- Layer on any flowers or other decorations
- Turn on a good dinner party playlist
- When guests arrive, pour drinks and set out food
Here’s a glimpse at our set up from the other evening. It all really starts with getting a few essentials for entertaining outdoors. Bed Bath & Beyond is a great place to head if you’re looking for outdoor entertaining essentials like tablecloths, cups, plates, and serving pieces. I recently partnered with them to highlight some of their great finds for outdoor entertaining. Here’s a look at some of the items that set the stage for our recent dinner party.
I just fell in love with this palm leaf tablecloth. It’s stain and water resistant which means it’s perfect for dining outdoors. It just screamed “summer” to me and knew it would make a great base for our palm leaf tablescape.
I wanted to mix patterns and textures to keep it interesting but not too matchy-matchy. I grabbed some melamine serving pieces that had a wood and marble look to them. Melamine pieces are great for dining outdoors–you won’t be afraid to break them. I also layered melamine plates on square natural woven jute placemats. These brought a nice earthy feel to our outdoor table. I also love how versatile they are. We use them regularly.
Next, I layered on some place cards, glasses, stemware, and bowls. I highlight recommend setting up everything you can ahead of time. It gives you time to enjoy setting the table without feeling rushed. You can do this hours ahead of when you expect your guests to arrive.
About 30 minutes before guests arrive, I bring out an arrangement for the table. Flowers tend to wilt fast in the heat so I don’t bring them out too early. I always combine fresh blooms from my yard (in this case roses) with a few store-bought blooms (like the hydrangeas and greenery). A small arrangement just makes your table feel pulled together and adds such a thoughtful touch.
About 15 minutes before guests arrive, I bring out the chilled rosé (though, rosé spritzers would have also been a great choice). I recently got this copper plated ice bucket and am mildly obsessed with it! It’s going to match everything on my bar cart and get used so often. I just love discovering unexpected and unique items like this and Bed, Bath & Beyond never disappoints on that front.
Speaking of cute finds, these pineapple dip bowls were the perfect vessel for our grilled pineapple salsa appetizer! When I’m entertaining outdoors, I like to keep the menu really fresh and simple. Nothing too fussy and nothing that takes too long to prepare. For this dinner party I served grilled pineapple salsa appetizers and then we enjoyed seasonal flatbread using herbs from my garden. I prefer keeping a simple menu so that I can focus on enjoying company and hanging out with them around the table.
You don’t need a lot of new things (or a complicated menu) to host a dinner party in your backyard. I love to pick up a couple new items in the summer for entertaining and Bed Bath & Beyond makes refreshing your outdoor space for the summer easy.
Okay, so who’s no longer wondering how to host a backyard dinner party and is now ready to send invite guests over? I hope you are! Enjoy your summer dinner parties friends.
Sources: pink outdoor wine glasses :: copper flatware :: coral napkins :: pineapple dip bowls :: copper plated ice bucket :: woven jute placemats :: melamine serving pieces :: palm leaf tablecloth :: white melamine plates
If you’re looking for more inspiration like this palm leaf tabescape, I found this DIY palm leaf table runner and DIY these palm frond balloons that would really take this theme to the next level.