Outdoor dining set with tableware and decorations.

How to Host the Ultimate Outdoor Party

Written by: Chelsea Jobe



Time to read 4 min

Never hosted an outdoor party before? We've got the best tips and tricks!

With the May Bank Holidays and Coronation celebrations fast approaching, we have only one thing on our minds: outdoor living. From casual get-togethers to street parties, make the most of the bank holiday weekend festivities. Why not brush up on your hosting skills and organise your very own outdoor party? 

Here are a few things to consider before planning an outdoor party:

  • The type of outdoor gathering (BBQ, formal dinner party, birthday celebration)
  • Number of guests
  • Theme (rustic, coastal, bright floral)
  • Layout of the outdoor space

Once you have made a decision on the fundamental basics of an outdoor gathering, have fun organising every detail from the decor to food and drink. Discover our tips and tricks on how to throw the ultimate outdoor party, no matter the occasion. 

Take a seat and join the party

Outdoor dining and outdoor lounging exude different vibes, with the latter being less formal and best suited for evening drinks and snacks. If you want the best of both worlds, designate separate areas for dining and relaxing for people to wander and socialise between the two. An open space not only encourages interaction but allows you to provide ample seating to accommodate the number of guests you have.

Take advantage of every minute of sunshine and enjoy dining outdoors this season. Your outdoor space can be the perfect setting to host a dinner party. The star feature of our most recent photoshoot was the Lyon 6 Seater Rectangle Dining Set, the latest addition to our outdoor living collection. The dining chairs are crafted from rope fabric, the upcoming trend in outdoor furniture, and the table offers plenty of room for a family style banquet.

If you are hosting a get-together for a birthday or to celebrate the bank holiday weekend, a sofa set is a staple for casual seating. Sofa sets, such as corner sofas, are multifunctional and can be used for all occasions. The Oslo Corner Sofa Group with Rectangular Gas Fire Pit Coffee Table is a modern outdoor furniture set made from maintenance-free aluminium. The fire pit table is a great addition and provides warmth throughout the evening, so you don’t need to worry about cutting your party short.

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Set the scene

Outdoor dining set up with tableware, cutlery and accessories.

Whether you are hosting a themed dinner party or a relaxed brunch with friends, dressing your table will define the atmosphere for an enjoyable dining experience. Master the art of tablescaping in time for your next outdoor gathering with these garden party decor ideas. 

The starting point for creating a beautiful tablescape are tablecloths and table runners. Linen or cotton table coverings are the most common, particularly neutral tones, for a fresh and clean look. Layering is a key part of designing to give depth to your table set-up. Use placemats made from textured materials such as jute and stack your dinner plates and bowls on top, finishing with a napkin that can be tied or accented with a napkin ring. 

@atmlivingdotcom Bank Holiday Ready🥂 Here we have created the perfect set up for the bank holiday weekend celebrations😍 Adding one of our aluminium pergolas onto your outdoor dining set-up allows you to stay covered no matter the weather🌦️ Shop on atmliving.com #pergola #outdoorspace #outdoorliving #atmliving #gardenfurniture #gardeninspo #gardentransformation #gardendecorationideas #gardendesignideas #outdoorfurniture #bankholidayweekend ♬ this is the life - leticia

The centrepiece for the dining table can make or break the overall appearance, so it is crucial to choose a small selection of decorative elements to reduce the risk of overpowering the table. Green foliage such as eucalyptus leaves can be draped across the middle of the table as an elegant feature, emphasising the beauty of the outdoors. Other accessories like glass jars, vases and candles are where creativity comes into play. An arrangement of pillar candles and candelabras adds charm and welcomes your guests to join the table.

Now you are ready to design a dreamy al fresco dining space that is ‘Instagrammable’ worthy. 

Shelter from the elements

British weather is temperamental, and we have to have faith and trust in the weather forecast when organising an outdoor party. Unfortunate weather should never dampen the vibe and ruin your weekend, stay covered under a premium pergola. Made from high-grade powder-coated aluminium, pergolas are durable and designed to last for many years - meaning you can use it for future parties and general outdoor use.

The Neptune Deluxe LED Pergola features a manual louvred roof with a crank handle to tilt the louvres open or closed shut, protecting you from the elements all year round.

If you have a larger outdoor space, the Zeus Deluxe Fully Motorised Pergola with 6 Privacy Screens - 3m x 6m is the best fit to create a spacious entertaining area. The motorised roof and privacy screens are operated via an easy-to-use remote control, so you can spend more time making memories and less fussing with the pergola. Once the sun goes down, switch on the LED lights and continue the weekend celebrations without retreating indoors. The white glow will dazzle against the midnight sky and mesmerise your guests.

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Taste of Summer

Aside from good company, good food matters when hosting an outdoor event. When the weather perks up and the sun appears, BBQ and finger food feasts are the go-to choices because who doesn’t love a spread? Freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam are a decadent mid-afternoon snack whereas a cheese and cracker charcuterie board can be great to nibble on an evening while chatting with friends. 

To celebrate the bank holiday festivities, our team made these sweet yet refreshing fruit skewers. Add sliced strawberries, blueberries and mini marshmallows to wooden skewers and enjoy a delightful treat in the sunshine. 

Fancy a tipple? Set-up a drinks station near your seating or dining area for guests to quench their thirst. Serve a British Summer classic, such as Pimm’s, in a glass drinks dispenser at your next gathering and be the host with the most. If you prefer drinks chilled but hate leaving your party to go to the fridge, the Monte Carlo Bar Set with Ice Bucket would be perfect for your outdoor seating area. The handy ice bucket feature can hold bottles and cans of your favourite beverages, making outdoor entertaining simple.