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Entertaining, Everyday Entertaining

The 3 Most Important Elements of Outdoor Entertaining

One of the best parts of summer is spending as much time as possible outside enjoying the fresh air and sunshine; dining al fresco is a major perk!

During the summer I don’t think we eat inside more than a handful of times. There’s just something so lovely about being under the shade of a tall tree, sipping a glass of rose and watching the chickens roam around the yard.

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Being able to use our patio and yard as added square footage allows us to invite over all of our friends and come together as a community. Here are my best tips for summer entertaining made easy!

Menu Planning

Plan a seasonal menu that features the freshest produce you can find! With farmer’s markets and delicious, ripe fruits & veggies, it’s easy to put together a colorful menu that shines!

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Additionally, it’s always nice to plan recipes that fare well at room temperature. Summer entertaining almost certainly means dining al fresco where food cools down quickly or rises to room temperature quickly.

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A meat and cheese platter with pickled veggies is a great appetizer, served with a yummy dip and fresh cut fruit!

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Tip: use a large bowl full of ice as an unexpected ice bucket for beverages!

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Table Setting

When you start dreaming of your summer tablescape, pick a color palette that you can reference for piecing together a beautiful table.

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This is helpful when blending different plates or glassware. You don’t need to have a perfectly matching set to create a beautiful table, in fact, I think the prettiest tables have a mix of collected items!

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Over the years I have started collecting vintage flatware and linens. Mixing and matching is a laid back way to set your table!

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One of the easiest ways to instantly dress up a table is to add greenery from around your yard! I love to line a table with fresh branches for a quick and inexpensive centerpiece. This allows you to still place platters of food on top, and adds color and texture to the table!

After working with wedding planners and watching them put together stunning tables, I learned one of their secrets: layering. Some of the most beautiful tables appear to be simple, but are actually quite detailed! This is achieved by layering your table with like items.

I love the look of organic elements like ceramics, natural metals, neutral colors, linen, and greenery. Since these are all cohesive, they flow well together and make it easy to mix and match!

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Timeframe

When planning a summer get together, think about lighting and timing.

There are few worse things than enduring the heat of the sun while trying to enjoy a nice meal. Always make sure there is shade available, but opt for dining after the sun has peaked.

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With longer days, you can plan for a later meal to be enjoyed right before dusk. Afterwards, sitting around a firepit is the perfect way to end the evening!

As the sun sets, placing out blankets, lanterns with candles, or a firepit is a nice added touch! Citronella candles are a great option to help ward off mosquitoes.

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Speaking of mosquitoes, putting out bug spray or repellent will be appreciated by your guests! It’s these intentionally thought of elements that will make your summer get-togethers all the better!

RELATED: Easygoing Entertaining Essentials for the Perfect Backyard Get Together

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