Outdoor Party Planning: A Quick & Easy Step-by-Step Guide

Want to throw a party everyone will be talking about?

How about throwing your next party outdoors. Planning an outdoor party can harness all the natural wonders to bring some magic to an event that can be hard to replicate indoors.

But, with all the natural benefits of outdoor party planning comes some extra logistical considerations to pull it off.

While unpredictable weather may make it tricky, outdoor party planning can be a breeze. 

As Spring and Summer approach, there’s nothing nicer than having fun in the backyard with your favourite people.

So whether you’re planning a backyard birthday party, a Summer BBQ or family reunion, check out our simple guide to make it a success.


Always have a Plan B for Bad Weather when Planning a Backyard Party

It’s a good idea to have a backup plan for if the weather turns while planning your outdoor party. 

Have a fire pit and blankets if there’s a chance you might be in for a cold night. 

In case of rain, prepare space inside your home or an outdoor marquee for shelter. You want everyone to be comfy, so always prepare for the unexpected.

No matter what, planning an outdoor or backyard party is a lot of fun. They’re perfect for inviting families and kids and pets to make it a full family affair.


Outdoor Party Planning Checklist 

The first thing you need to do is make a list when planning a backyard birthday party or outdoor party. 

Include everything you can think of on it so you don’t forget anything:

  • Guest list
  • Food
  • Drinks
  • Invitations
  • Games
  • Music

Although you may not remember everything all at once, make it a list that is easy to add to. And don’t forget to check things off as you go including when guests accept or decline. 

Check out our full resources on party planning checklists for your event. You can also find the 5 crucial ingredients for the ultimate shindig right here.


Send out your Invitations for your Outdoor Birthday Party

You may not think it necessary to send out invitations for a casual affair. 

But it’s a good idea to help your outdoor party planning if you know how many to cater for. It doesn’t matter whether you send an email, a text or a formal invite through snail mail. 

Make sure to include the time, date, address and ask people to RSVP by a certain date. Let your guests know what to expect so they know how to dress. 

For example, remind them to bring their swimmers if you want to get wet or dress casual in shorts and flip flops. 

Invitations can set the tone of your event and if you want people to get really excited and prepare properly consider getting unique designer invitations for your event.

Find all the best invitation designers near you right here.


What to Eat

Planning what to eat for an outdoor party doesn’t have to be complex. Throw a few snags or prawns on the barbie. Or, make up some delicious salads and desserts, along with a grazing table and you have food sorted. 

Or maybe you want to plan something more complex. When you want to be more inventive, think about bringing in a food truck to cater the event. 

There are so many different food trucks available all over Australia run by some of the country’s finest chef’s. Give your guests a treat.

And don’t forget to cater to people who are vegans or those who can only eat gluten free. You don’t want anyone missing out on a feed.

For all the best catering options near your checkout out catering directory. 


Something to Drink

It’s not a party without something to drink. Of course there could be alcohol, but don’t forget those who don’t drink and the kids too. 

Catering to everyone will keep your guests happy.

Set up a bar area away from the food. You don’t want people falling over each other trying to get something to eat and drink at the same time

And don’t forget to supply enough ice. You can set this up in a cooler nearby for easy access. 

Even hire a bartender to serve your guests drinks. This will bring a classy touch to your event, and allow you to mingle knowing your guests are satisfied.


Let there be Light and Shade

When hosting an outdoor party, make sure there is plenty of shade. If you don’t have some nice shady trees or a covered patio, set up a marquee for people to get relief from the sun.

And when partying at night, set up lights to make an impact. Use strings of lights in trees, candles in strategic places and lanterns to light your guests’ way. 

Using lights creatively is one of the simplest ways to create an amazing atmosphere.

Find the best and most stylish lighting options near you today.


Set up enough Seats

There is nothing more frustrating than having nowhere to sit to eat. Make sure there are enough seats for those attending when outdoor party planning. 

Bring out the patio furniture, folding and dining chairs. Even hire chairs cheaply when you do not have enough.

Set out blankets on the grass for the kids to have a picnic if it’s dry. Using rugs and cushions can create a Boho vibe for an outdoor picnic that’s extra special.

Check out furniture hire options to supply your net event here.


Pump up the Music

It wouldn’t be a party without playing some tunes. Plan the music playlist to suit all party guest ages. 

Create an atmosphere appropriate for your party. For afternoons this might be a chill and casual vibe. For evenings you might want to make it more upbeat and create a dance floor for guests. 

Outdoor parties can get quite noisy with all the chatter, kids running around and the music. Head off any noise complaints by inviting your neighbours.

Or, let them know your plans and assure them you’ll take it inside after a certain time.

You can find the best local musicians to create any mood, from folksy bohemian acoustics to rock and roll here.


Keep Pests at Bay

Prepare for an invasion of flies or mosquitos, day or night. These pests can be a huge annoyance for guests, so plan ahead. 

Make sure you have food covers to keep them from getting into the food. 

Have bug spray and wipes available for people to ward off any pests annoying them.


Play some Games

Organise some games. While this is not for everyone, or for every event, it is a nice touch for more casual or family events where there are kids to be entertained.

Consider the type of activities they might enjoy, especially if there are kids attending.

You can set up games under a hose or next to a paddling pool during the warmer weather. Ensure there are adults supervising to keep everyone safe. 

Other fun games are:

  • Glow in the dark painting
  • Hide and seek
  • Treasure hunt by torchlight
  • Torchlight tag

And if you have a fire pit, toasting marshmallows over the flames is always a hit. 

For the adults, here’s 8 drinking games you can play at your next dinner party or outdoor party.

You can find a whole range of games and amusements for parties on Party Project in your area too.


Conclusion … It’s all About Having Fun

With your outdoor party planning done, it’s time to have fun. There’s no reason to stress out when you make plan

Chat to your guests, share a joke, enjoy the food you worked hard to prepare. When planning a party it’s always best to get the help you need to avoid stress, and to ensure you can enjoy your event as much as everyone else.

When your guests see you having fun, they’re bound to join in too.

And if in doubt, check out our Ultimate Guide to throwing amazing parties for more ideas to make your party extra special.