10 May A Sensational Outdoor Party
With winter now fading away and spring in full swing, hosting a party in the outdoors may be the calling idea for everyone who wants to say goodbye to winter and welcome the shiny days. So, spring is the season when many of us are planning for our biggest and best outdoor events, and the great outdoors can create unique opportunities for events large and small.
Most parties nowadays are themed around some wild eureka moment or a vision of party planning poetry that beams down from heaven, neglecting the need for designing a party that really resonates in someone’s imagination and is its own reward. Creating a one-of-a-kind event; something that really lives up to the name event presents a whole new set of challenges and complications.
Here are 10 tips to ensure that you create a stunning outdoor party.
Instead of renting a fancy banquet hall and letting the opulence of the space show the magnitude of the event, scout an outdoor location that captures the unique character of the event and in these smaller gatherings in particular your guests can feel overwhelmed. If you really want people to experience the feeling of an occasion consider holding it in the great outdoors. The grandest celebrations can build their wow-factor out of the simplest, most everyday materials, so yours’ and these can be:
Events or parties that revolve around “love” work best (weddings, anniversaries, engagements etc.)
However, you can do the same for product launches, and have the same response from your audience.
Grandeur isn’t a problem; the old, towering trees that line most forests can serve as a natural metaphor for the scale of the occasion, the timelessness of love and the growth of things together.
Outdoors, lends itself to a rustic, elegant formal dining arrangement that blends perfectly with the scene and sentiment.
2- The Look
With a splendid, touchy and welcoming décor, you can always try to create a party décor for guests that is both fabulous and farmhouse, chic and spare likewise:
Flowerpots erupting with fresh herbs and orange zinnia can replace the usual vase of cut flowers and be placed on a large wooden table clothed in a mustard and rust-colored check pattern.
Mossy urns of rich, green foliage can perch on stone pedestals that blend seamlessly with a forest floor.
Dinner plates of the most extravagant onyx can dress up candles and glassware in mustard and amber hues to make the table glow with homely sophistication.
Most importantly of all, candles of deep yellow tones, set on iron candelabras and in tiny votives, can guide guests through different parts of a twinkling forest to drink and dine at nightfall.
Fusing the rustic with the formal may seem like a troublesome contradiction or a décor disaster waiting to happen, however, it is precisely at the intersection of two seemingly unrelated ideas where you are made to believe that you thrived creatively and with this in mind, you can set your guests on a journey as romantic and mysterious as love itself.
For one thing, adding a casual, rustic element to a formal party – potted herbs at a sit-down dinner or Spanish moss on antique candelabras – invites guests to relax into the formality rather than merely feeling impressed (or oppressed) by it.
At the same time, setting a silk-laid table and velvet-upholstered chairs in the middle of a forest nook invites guests to step up to the significance and formality of the event rather than feeling like they are attending one more event or party that has been done before.
3- The Invitation
An engraved invitation can be a nice touch, and allow an outdoor party to look appealing, so here what you can do:
Rim the invitation with boxwood hedge leaves to set the tone when it arrives at the guests’ homes in an ecru-colored silk box.
.It will give the smallest hint of what is yet to come.
4- The Impressions
First impressions last, so for an outdoor party to look appealing:
Try and create a simple grassy pathway to a cocktail reception – like a red carpet – waymarked with bold, yellow sunflower heads.
Choose bright yellow tapered candles, small orange and yellow votive candles, and the odd zinnia blossom to bring a flame of color to any wooded area.
Individual candlesticks at a cocktail party can become massive iron candelabras dripping with Spanish moss.
The hints of a sun kissed color palette can have the ability to blaze brighter with a golden-hued silk-checked tablecloth, bold yellow and rust-colored napkins, amber glasses, flax colored place and menu cards, and copper colored votives dipped in turmeric, paprika, and dried mustard for extra fiery tones.
Instead of scattered pots of herbs and leafy greens, a naturally regal centerpiece of plentiful fresh herbs, electric-orange zinnia, moss, ferns and glossy galax leaves can rise from an ornate urn beneath tall, tapered candles with mica shades.
For the final touch, pristine silver flatware, brought “down to earth” by handles carved into the shape of snapped twigs, and surrounded with plates of pure onyx.
5- The Candle Holders
After choosing the votive candles that will bring a flame of color to your wooded area, it’s now time for votive holders that will add an appealing look to your outdoor party. So here is how to make spice-rolled votive holders:
Paint simple glass votives candle holders with glass paint, making sure to paint in uneven strokes so that the candlelight can shine through
Dip the top in regular white glue – about 1/2 inch will do.
Dip glue covered edge into dried spices (turmeric, dried mustard, paprika etc.)
Allow the spice-covered glue to dry
Add a tea light when ready to use
6- The Scent
In the process of planning and celebrating a special occasion, marriage and coupling is like a garden; you have got to weed out the problems, protect it from environmental hazards and nurture it every single day in order to make it last. So, for an outdoor party to look appealing induce sent likewise:
Instead of the heavy perfume of roses – an old standby of most outdoor parties and events – limit the flowers in the centerpiece to scent free zinnia and let the natural fragrance of fresh potted herbs fill the air with invigorating aromas.
The aromas of vibrant mint and basil carry the memories of loving toasts when champagne and fresh herb cocktails were in hand.
These outdoor events work well with product launches for perfumes; you can trust that as more of these have been done than outdoor weddings.
7- The Touch
Who amongst us has not returned from a picnic to find a grass stain or a sandy shoe, but when entertaining outdoors in high style, the textures of nature must be perceived visually, not underfoot (or tush). So, for an outdoor party to look appealing induce changes likewise:
In order for your guests to be inclined to just sit down, take it all in and always swept away by the moment whenever in a beautiful natural spot, try to work with two textures the rough-hewn to behold and the refined touch and never make them think about whether the grass is damp, the sand soggy, or the rocks a little too abrasive for their mohair suits.
Cover most surfaces with raw natural textures, like rugged sheet moss, nubby Spanish moss, uneven stone urns, coarse ferns, and leafy zinnia, all of which can be purchased at any garden store.
In contrast, the seats, glasses, plates, knives, forks and napkins – anything in short, which the guests will come in contact with – are of the smoothest finish.
Velvet cushions soften the chairs, while slick onyx plates, amber goblets of fine glass, and pure silk linens add a luxurious touch to the table.
In an ideal marriage of nature and nurture, guests can experience delicate comfort even as they perceive the unpolished edges of nature’s own striking décor, proving that dining “in the rough” does not have to feel that way.
8- The Taste
For any large group where the age and tastes are diverse, like all events, the menu needs to be as user-friendly as possible and, if you are dining in a neutral setting, you will want to avoid the ungainly presentations and baroque pairings of nouvelle cuisine. So, for an outdoor party to look appealing induce changes likewise:
For this, we will need to return to the classics, flavors that are simple, memorable, and as striking as the setting.
Take for instance the herbed champagne cocktails; a simple leaf of basil or mint floating in each glass of grappa and herb-spiked Moet & Chandon, offering guests the kind of delicacy that awakens the taste buds in high style and, moreover, with a literal taste of their natural surroundings.
The dinner menu itself can present a similar experience of subtly transformed standard, try to always feature fresh earthy ingredients. Perhaps a prawn salad brightened with cucumber, garlic, and lemon-grass echoes to contrast with the sweetness and quiet zip of the champagne, while juicy melon dashed with orange and Grand Marnier can add more robust flavors to the mix.
A Sample Menu can be:
o First course:
▪ Prawn Salad with Cucumber Garlic, and Lemongrass
o Second course:
▪ Melon with Orange and Grand Marnier
o Third course:
▪ Filet of Lamb Wellington with Madeira sauce
▪ Potato Purée with Garlic and Sage
▪ Pan Seared Asparagus with Lemon Citrus Sauce
o Fourth course:
▪ Chocolate Raspberry Wine Cake.
9- The Sound
Unlike the staggered arrivals of a typical dinner party, events of this nature often assemble together as they approach a wooded dinner setting. When this rare opportunity presents itself, everybody loves to cue sweeping emotions. So for an outdoor party to look appealing induce changes likewise:
Andrea Bocelli’s voice lifting in the trees seems to beckon guests towards the music and the event itself.
The seemingly untouched forest suddenly becomes a Metropolitan Opera. This is the power of sound in entertaining: a short nature walk turns into loving theater.
But a peak is a peak; big effects depend on brevity. So, as the party gets under way, everybody suggests you shift gears from divine romance to earthly romance: from Bocelli to Dinah Washington and Sonny and Cher.
Here are my MUST HAVE musical selections:
o Dinah Washington: Unforgettable
o Shania Twain: Come on Over
o Chantal Kreviazuk: How to lose a guy in 10 days OST
o Sonny and Cher: Look at us
o Barry White: The Ultimate Collection
o Ani DiFranco: Wishin’ and Hopin
o Diana King: I say a little prayer
o Wicked: For Good OST of the musical Wicked
10- The Finishing
To finish with adornments and to make an outdoor party look stunning follow these other top tips:
Nobody likes to dine with mosquitoes and flies so when hosting an outdoor dinner party keep a less-imposing insect repellent like Skin-So-Soft.
Leave the cut flowers inside. Potted plants accented with orange or yellow buds make an easy, economical and appropriate centerpiece for an outdoor dinner table. You can either give the buds as gifts or blend them into your garden when the party’s over.
Flowers are not just for the table. Line the path with pots of dripping shrubs and blooms for a cheerful “map” to the party.
Love is a many-splendored thing. Bring a little of it to the heart of each guest at an anniversary party by writing different cherished loved poems in calligraphy on individual paper fans. Just secure a twig “handle” between two sturdy sheets of paper that match the menus and place cards, then fasten them together with rubber cement. Punch a hole on either side of the twig and then tie a sheer white ribbon around it. Leave one fan on each seat.
Hanging lights from trees is another great way to create a spectacle, for this is often done with pearls and brightly colored origami of sparrows in flight.
Do not always rely on nature to produce that “natural” look, specially where moss and leaves are concerned. Use only the store-bought kind on surfaces that your guests will touch, as the “real deal” often holds small (but hungry) bugs.
Take advantage of the inter-web! Although you should always have alternate plans to bring an outdoor party in, the extended forecasts available online can help you track how likely that scenario is and plan accordingly.
Take advantage of feedback that your guests share about the party inducing their personalities, their dreams, their happiness with the party itself, and try in return to share yours with them. It is about learning about what works and making it your own. It’s about introducing the tried, the true, and the traditional into your own life to make it new again.
The party itself is only a percentage of the party plan – you should enjoy every step of the way. With this in mind try to follow tips and instructions for how to fashion the details of every party in books and equally spend time trying to evoke the sensations and the meanings they generate.
At Stage Gorillaz we believe that planning a wedding should be an enjoyable experience for everyone involved, but most importantly for you. Why don’t you as an event manager implement these best practices and plan engaging, memorable events that achieve your event goals with Stage Gorillaz.
Stage Gorillaz is a Dubai-based event management company that offers fully-fledged events services in the UAE. We specialize in producing innovative, sophisticated and cutting-edge events that tell your brand’s story and deliver your message through thoughtful purpose-driven engagement.