Let’s get started. First and foremost, we have found that if you are entertaining for 6, it is just as easy to expand your guest list to 10 or 12.
Also, think about a double night of entertaining. My in-laws have an annual cocktail party for 20 on Friday night because of limited space followed by another cocktail party with a different group on Saturday. Or, if you have two clearly defined groups of friends, my sister has a “work” party followed by a “friend” party. You’ve done the prep work and this way you can maximize your time and effort.
Take Time to Prep Your Outdoor Area
- Clean your grill.
- Take care of patio furniture. Best to wash with a solution of ½ cup dish soap, 1 cup vinegar and 2 gallons water. Take a gentle, non-abrasive sponge and lightly clean. Let it sit for 5 – 10 minutes before rinsing.
- Clean teak furniture. Use a soft bristle brush and warm soapy water along with a general teak cleaner. We recently did this with our teak furniture and it was amazing how the grime and lichen disappeared.
- Clean glass table with solution of 50% vinegar and 50% distilled water and newspapers.
- If bugs are an issue, buy organic mosquito fogger to pre-treat your lawn and shrubs around the perimeter of your entertaining area. Our favorite is EcoSmart Organic insecticide. Do this well before set up.
Beyond the Food….Add to Your Shopping List
- Citronella or torches to add ambience. Or consider miniature white lights to string.
- Buy or cut fresh flowers for centerpieces. Coordinate color scheme with your plates and tablecloths.
- Paper or plastic plates and utensils, paper napkins. Who wants to bring their good china out to the deck or patio?
- Charcoal if needed.
- Bug spray in case needed.
- Skewers for smores if you are doing a fire pit.
- Sometimes, the best presentations can be with items you already have. More