How to Host the Perfect Outdoor Dinner Party

With the right weather conditions, an outdoor dinner party can be a special and very enjoyable experience. Far from being a picnic, barbeque or impromptu meal around a campfire, an outdoor dinner party can also be extremely stylish, and elegant.
When you are the host of an outdoor dinner party, it’s important to focus on a number of critical details that will help to ensure the success of your event.

Choose an appropriate time

While you may want your dinner party to take place at night time, remember that early evening is usually the very best time of day for an outdoor dinner party. In the early evening, the sun is still bright enough but is nowhere near as hot and bright as it is during the day. Early evening also offers the benefit of the night air not being too cold.

Find the ideal spot

Think carefully about where your outdoor dinner party should take place. If you need or would like a built structure, such as a patio or pergola, Additions Building has some great ideas on how to do it. However, when planning your outdoor party, be aware that setting up the dining table beneath a beautiful tree may not be so wise. If the tree drops leaves, nuts or fruit or if its blossoms overpower the food, the effect is lost and guests may feel quite uncomfortable.
A patio, deck or even an open yard is usually a much better option for an outdoor dinner party.

Light the setting beautifully

When hosting an outdoor dinner party, it is not necessary to rely on outdoor lighting, which is typically harsh and very bright. Instead, the use of hanging tea lights, lanterns and votive candles can create a beautifully soft, and subtle lighting scheme and a wonderful atmosphere. Be sure to light candles in advance of the sun setting and enjoy the soft, natural, and elegant effect.

Simple decorations work well

Very often, only simple decorations are needed for an outdoor dinner party. With the backdrop of a lawn that is well manicured and some lovely trees and plants, there is often no great need for elaborate or complicated decorations.
The dining table can be enhanced with simple leaves, petals and small arrangements of cut flowers can work very well as centrepieces.

An outdoor bar

Make things easy for your guests and ensure that an outdoor bar is available. The bar should be well stocked with refreshments, and if the weather is particularly hot, drinks made using fruits including, apples, peaches, passionfruit, watermelon, and lemons can be perfect for an outdoor dinner party.
When deciding on the drinks that you will offer, remember to provide a range of non-alcoholic beverage options, including virgin versions of any cocktails that may be served to guests.


Above all else, the key to a great outdoor dinner party is preparation. Even more than in an indoor situation, you need to have back-up plans in place for what you will do if something goes wrong or the weather is bad.
Outdoor dinner parties can be very atmospheric and enjoyable. When you invest thought, care and close attention to detail, your outdoor dinner party is all the more likely to be a resounding success.