10 Tips for Ensuring a Successful Outdoor Event
There is nothing as iconic as an outdoor party. Whether it’s an important anniversary or birthday, family reunion, neighborhood barbeque, or clambake, an outdoor event is always appealing because it connects guests to the natural world around them. But pulling off a successful, seamless backyard party takes more than just a simple phone call to us. Here are 10 tips to maximize your outdoor party’s potential.
Tip #1 — Plan Ahead
Your tent is your venue. You’ll want to plan ahead for the right tent size for your guest count and use (dining, dancing, band, etc.). If you wait until the last minute on a busy weekend, then you’ll likely find yourself scrambling and calling a variety of tent companies, settling for something that doesn’t truly fit your style.
Tip #2 — Get Personal
It’s always best to meet with a Sperry Tents representative in person at your event site to decide on the exact placement of tent(s). Level ground is key, not only for guests’ comfort but also for table and chair functionality. Our event coordinators can help address potential issues, such as a tight fit, tenting over small shrubs or trees, power access, delivery access, and more.
Tip #3 — Go Pro
When your budget allows, hire a caterer and/or bartending service. Trust us: you will enjoy the party so much more if you take the apron off, put the grill accessories down, and let the professionals take over. Think of all the hard work you’ll be missing: menu prep, shopping, cooking, party rental orders, cleanup, breakdown. Make your signature dish if you’d like, or perhaps a take-home favor, but don’t over-burden yourself.
Tip #4 — Weather Permitting
Don’t just assume that the weather will cooperate. Inclement weather can take many forms: blazing hot sun, powerful afternoon breeze, chilly night, or an unexpected thunder storm. Always make sure your estimate has tent sides to block out wind, call early for rental fans and heaters to combat extreme temps, and consider extra rain equipment like covered walkways and additional tents to keep everyone dry.
Tip #5 — Logistics
Hosting a party in your own backyard has many perks but also a couple drawbacks. Outdoor restrooms are a practical way to avoid unwanted traffic in your home and pressure on your septic. Talk to your team of vendors in advance about their power needs: catering equipment, live bands, and tent lighting are all big power drains. Sometimes an extra panel installed by an electrician or a small generator is required.
Tip #6 — Accessorize
Even with fully sided tents, your guests will still be privy to the great outdoors, so be a superlative host and provide vital accessories like suntan lotion, bug spray, parasols, flip-flops, wraps, bottled water, Band-Aids, and even care packages for overnight guests. This will keep everyone feeling supremely comfortable and right at home.
Tip #7 — Star Power
You’ve seen white and ivory tents before but have you ever seen a navy tent dotted with translucent white stars? Sperry’s signature blue star tent is the ultimate in rental tent whimsy; it’s a showstopper that always generates oohs and aahs.
Tip #8 — Embrace the Outdoors
You chose an outdoor event for a reason, so maximize its potential. Encourage guests to move beyond the confines of a tent with lawn games (croquet, anyone?), lawn furniture like Adirondack chairs or even hammocks, boat cruises, and golf cart rides. The more guests interact with the natural setting, the more memorable your event will be.
Tip #9 — Smile Pretty
Consider hiring a professional photographer to document the day. Yes, this means extra expense, but in our experience, the results are SO worth it. Just think: you can put down your iPhone, stop worrying about documenting every single moment, and just be in the moment, knowing that you will have beautiful, high-resolution shots to cherish for a lifetime.
Tip #10 — Theme Up
Pick a cohesive theme for your event, and then revel in it. Tie every aspect, from the invitations to the flowers to the linens to the food, together stylistically. Use Pinterest, Instagram, Style Me Pretty, and other event blogs for inspiration. For an anniversary party, have everyone dress in vintage attire; for a clambake, choose checkered tablecloths and plastic bibs; for a birthday party, pick a killer DJ and a fun photo booth. And don’t forget the custom #hashtag.