Getting ready to host some amazing backyard get togethers this year? Or maybe you’re going all out and planning a major event like a wedding or family reunion? Either way, furnishing your backyard for an outdoor event is one of your most important tasks—and potentially one of the ways you can be most creative as you plan your bash. Here are some of our favorite tips for getting your backyard ready for any event.
Sit down and stay awhile
Make sure you’ve got adequate seating for all of your guests, and squeezing together on the edge of the planters doesn’t count. Refer to your final guest list and calculate how much seating you need. Then decide what kind of seating you want, and what will fit in the space.
If you don’t have enough seating, rent chairs. There are all kinds of options out there from streamlined folding chairs to full-sized cloth-upholstered dining room style chairs. Space, budget, and imagination are your only limits here, but be sure above all else that no one will end up standing around for hours.
Accent with color
An ordinary backyard can look extraordinary with the right additions of color. Paper lanterns in brilliant colors transform your yard into a party. Table linens in lovely shades draw your guests in and make them want to see what’s on the table.
Fresh or silk flowers in watering cans, painted crates, milk cans or bottles, stenciled jars, and other whimsical vessels can brighten up any space and lend the yard a more finished party atmosphere. If you can, add pillows or cushions to your chairs; comfortable guests stick around, and these accents are another great place to add color and texture.
Set a formal table
A backyard event can run the gamut from casual to formal. If you are going for a more formal evening event, rent real dining furniture to provide a stunning, over-the-top opulence. You will love how your china looks on a real table with linens in your yard under some fairy lights in the evening—a folding table makes no comparison.
Serve it up
If you’re throwing a larger event with a meal, you’re going to need large tables as well as chairs, and possibly food and beverage stations. Work from your guest list to be sure your seating is adequate. A bar works well for serving drinks, of course, and if you don’t have one you can often rent one. Any type of table can work in a pinch, so long as you’re sure there is enough space for serving.
As for food, if you want people to serve themselves, it’s usually better to have a surface that’s low enough to be reachable to all of your guests. If you’re using a caterer, ask them how much space is needed to set up the serving stations. If you’re doing it yourself, plan ahead so you’re positive you’ve got the right set up.
The kids area
If there are children coming to your event, create a space just for them. They’ll need places to sit and eat too, and ideally an area to play in where they won’t be disrupting any party business or getting in the way.
Plan out the space
As you consider which furnishings you need and want for your outdoor event, remember to consider not only the number of guests, but where you’ll want to be and what you’ll be doing. Your goal should be to create areas for guests to gather and mingle within those constraints.
For example, let’s say you’re having an all day/evening family reunion. You want people to be able to snack and eat anytime, but there’s no formal time to sit down and eat together. You want people to be able to play games in part of the yard. You also want an area for watching slides and old movies, and beyond that you just want people to be able to catch up. These activities will form the furniture “zones” in your yard.
As you choose furniture to rent for this example reunion event, think about your zones. You’ll want a buffet area with some tables and chairs in one part of the yard. You’ll want a games area in another, with at least some chairs, and maybe one table to hold drinks and other things. You’ll want a movie/slides space with comfortable seating surrounding a table or two, kind of like a living room space, only outside—and it will need to be convenient to an outlet. Finally, you’ll want one or more “conversation pits” with comfy seating and tables.
The bottom line
Furnishing your backyard the right way for your outdoor event can really make the difference, turning it into the success you’re hoping for. Especially for larger or more formal events, renting your furnishings so you’ve got exactly what you want and enough capacity for all of your guests makes your task far easier. If you’re looking for advice about renting furniture for an outdoor event, reach out to Fashion Furniture. We’re eager to help you with whatever you need—and we love parties!