The warm days of spring and summer are often fleeting and we like to take advantage of every opportunity we can to enjoy our backyard space. However, time constraints due to our work schedules can make entertaining something that has to be done spontaneously.
Just because we have to do things quickly though doesn't mean I want to give up on creating an atmosphere that is pretty and pleasing to my guests.
With that in mind, I've put together a few ideas on how to keep things elegant but easy when entertaining outdoors.
First suggestion is to opt for buffet style for serving.
Whether you are having dinner or just drinks and snacks, buffet style is the easiest.
Putting the dishware on a separate table not only looks nicer but is actually easier than trying to fit it in beside the food. Guests have more room to help themselves to the items they need and you have more room to add décor - a win/win situation!
Stack the appropriate sized plates and place on the table so they are easily accessible.
Cloth napkins add a touch of elegance but if you have some pretty paper ones, those will work well as well.
It is simplest to serve only one or two types of beverages to minimize the amount of stemware you need to set out.
Any decorative container/vase/glass will make your flatware look more sophisticated.
And when you are looking for easy, you don't need separate containers - put it all in one.
Cut a few lilac branches or other flowers/greenery you have nearby and place in a vase or pitcher for a simple elegant centerpiece.
By adding even a few candles, your backyard will take on an enchanting glow as the sun goes down.
I've used some fancier crystal-look ones but anything that has a bit of a hurricane vase aspect to it will ensure the flames don't go out in a strong breeze.
When keeping things easy on yourself, it's best to set up the buffet where it is easily accessible to the kitchen and for us that is either on our sundeck...
...or even right in the kitchen with guests helping themselves and heading back outside.
No one seems to mind picking up a plate on their way to the food buffet and they can get their cutlery on the way back.
Of course, you know I love to set up a fancy tablescape for my guests to eat at but sometimes, it is just as nice to be casual and eat with the food in your lap while sitting on comfy chairs :)
The key to elegant but easy entertaining is to take the time to have things ready in advance so when the opportunity to entertain arises you are ready. That means having an extra table handy and table linens organized and ironed. Keep your dishes and glasses easily accessible as well.
Do you opt for buffet style for backyard entertaining?
Thanks for visiting!
I'll be linking this post to these wonderful blog parties:
Metamorphosis Monday at Between Naps on the Porch
Show & Share at Coastal Charm
Five Star Frugal at A Tray of Bliss