How to throw a great backyard party

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Photo: sidarta, Bigstock

When it comes to parties, the humble suburban backyard has been a favourite venue for decades. With its easy to clean grass floor, open air environment and highly attractive booking fee, the backyard is set to remain a favourite party spot for a long time to come.

However, if you don’t have much party planning experience then you may feel a little stuck on where to get started. While you aren’t being tasked with organising the summer Olympics, you’re going to be responsible for ensuring the good time of a group of people and there are both right and wrong ways to go about doing this.

For example, you want to be conscious of what food your guests will enjoy and provide enough for everyone. A popular option that is made to feed large crowds is Spanish paella which you can have provided by caterers like Paella Amor.

Let’s look at a few things you need to get right to have a successful backyard shindig.

1. Get the guestlist right

The most important asset at any party are the guests themselves and the type of crowd you have is going to have one of the biggest impacts on how much fun everyone has. For example, if you want to have a relaxed occasion where families can enjoy themselves then you wouldn’t invite your group of high energy drinking buddies.

Similarly, in many friendship circles certain individuals have conflicts with one another that may prevent them from attending a social event together. This can create awkward situations where your party turns into a fight arena between two people with past grievances.

Make sure you squash any underlying issues between attendees so that you can ensure the night is pleasant for everyone. If people you don’t want to attend insist on asking to come, put your foot down and be assertive in reiterating your stance.

2. Make sure there’s plenty of seating and surface space

One of the biggest letdowns at any backyard party is when the host hasn’t provided enough seating for everyone and/or when they have a lack of surfaces to place things. People will quickly get uncomfortable if they must stand awkwardly by food tables carrying a bottle of liquor because there’s no space to put it down safely.

The good thing about backyard parties is that people normally won’t be too fussy about the seating options you provide them with. Even a milk crate or a log is more comfortable than the ground.

Also, it’s worthwhile to invest in collapsible tables you can set up to give people space to place their drinks, food and place an ash-tray if required. This will make clean up much easier as people won’t be tempted to litter when you have a table there.

3. Make it clear what areas are off limits

Obviously, your home is connected to your backyard and you need to be clear about what areas of your home (if any) are OK for people to enter. Normally you may only allow people to visit the bathroom and kitchen inside the house, putting up signage letting guests know where they can’t go.

If you can get the above 3 points right, your backyard party should work itself out just fine. If you remember to have fun and keep people safe, you will have done your job as a host.