Now that summer’s in full swing, it’s time to take advantage of the weather and plan on making your next dinner party, wedding reception or get-together an outdoor event. 

Everyone loves a good backyard or patio party, but planning them requires a little more prep and planning than your typical house party. 

When hosting a party inside your home, you can do a quick clean-up before guests arrive. With an outdoor party, your lawn, garden, deck and walkways need to look their best, which could mean starting the process weeks in advance. You also need to be prepared in case the weather doesn’t cooperate on the big day. 

Below are a few of the things to keep in mind when getting ready to host an outdoor party.


If your party is starting during the day, you might want to have one or two areas of your backyard or deck covered for sun and rain protection. If you don’t already have an awning or a pergola covering your deck, you can use umbrellas on your deck or patio and set up small tents in the yard.

It’s also a good idea to have some outdoor heating solutions on standby in case you get unseasonably cold weather on the day of your party. You’ll also want to keep your outdoor heating appliances handy after the sun sets to ensure your guests are comfortable if the temperature drops.


If you’re planning for your party to continue on into the night, you’ll need to have lighting in place and ready to go. Good lighting options include lanterns, torches and string lights. Make sure your stairs and walkways are properly lit and, when setting up your lighting, ensure that your lights will stay up and that the ends are near an electrical outlet. 

Sprucing up Your Lawn and Garden

You want your lawn and garden looking their best which, depending on their current state, could require time and lots of yard work. If your lawn isn’t as green and healthy-looking as you’d like it to be, you can try overseeding, planting seed with soil or laying sod. 

As for your garden, when pruning trees and shrubs, the basic rule is that less is more – the idea is to remove problem branches and potential problem branches. 

Start with removing dead, dying and broken branches. This helps prevent disease from spreading to other parts of the plant and helps the tree or shrub focus on producing new, healthy growth. Next, remove branches that cross or grow inward or downward. These branches have the potential to become infected with funguses, diseases and insects as they make contact with other parts of the plant.

Finally, if you don’t already have flowerboxes, consider placing a few around your deck and yard to add some color to the party. 

Powerwash Your Driveway and Walkways

Powerwashing your driveway and walkways not only cleans them, but it also reveals cracked and crumbling stone, concrete or asphalt so you can repair and patch as needed so that your guests can park on a fresh-looking space.

Inspect Your Deck

While you’ve got the powerwasher out, it’s a good idea to give your deck a once-over as well and inspect the planks.