Monday, August 22, 2011

Outdoor Entertaining: Part Deux

Outdoor Entertaining is a perfect way to enjoy beautiful weather, however, sometimes Mother Nature invites herself to the party in a not so beautiful way!  When harsh weather comes uninvited be prepared!  While planning your party, think about a rain date or indoor option “just in case”.  I do understand that it would be hard to not only plan an outdoor event as well as a possible indoor one too, but just remember not all the details of a party will be perfect (just keep your cool and don’t freak out!)

Even with a possibility of unpredictable weather, there are a few things that can be predicted.  These can be evaded by prior planning; such as:
1.  Beware of placing guests into the sun.  This will result in your guests either trying to politely squint their way though a meal and conversation or wear sunglasses though out the evening.  
2.  Don’t place a table under a tree that may drop leaves or seedlings.  With every soft wind these leaves and seedlings will fall into the food or hair of your guests.  

Hopefully though, just a “small” breeze might saunter through your party.  Even just a small burst of wind though might throw your matching paper plate and napkin set into the air with the greatest of ease!  Your tablecloth might float into the air like a magic carpet, however no one is taking a ride except for your guest’s glass; full of Lambrusco.    

If you have chosen to use a tablecloth, there a many ways to secure it to the table so it won’t fly off.  Two easy ideas are:
1. Table Cloth Clamps:  These cheap (plastic or metal) clamps securely hold your table cloth to the table.  However, they can stick out like a sore thumb on a perfectly set up tablescaping.  
2.  Double Stick Tape:  Sticking Double stick tape on both the table and the table cloth should keep it from blowing away and won’t be visible.  I suggest placing the tape on the edge of the table, so that it doesn’t create bumps under the tablecloth.

You don't want your paper plates and napkins flying away!  Here are some ideas to keep your napkins and paper plates on the table when wind picks up:
1. Themed Paper Weights:  Paper weights are meant to hold paper done, so why not napkins and plates too. You can even add a touch of decor if you can find a paper weight that goes along with a theme.  Such as large diamond ring napkin rings for an engagement party or sea shells for a beach picnic.
2. Binder Clips:  Binder clips can clip together napkins so they won’t run away.  The bad part is that each of your guests will have to unclip it to get their napkin!
3. Other Household Items:  You could double your battery operated flameless candles as light source, and a plate weight.  Another option is smooth stones (please wash!!) that would add yet another touch of outdoors to the table setting.       

What are your tricks for keeping Mother Nature on your side?  Please Share!!

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