With our new outdoor table, I am thinking we may forget what our dining room even looks like. Bring on the backyard bbq and some margaritas! It’s going to be a spectacular summer!
My sweet husband set up this pretty table for me and a few friends to celebrate a girl’s night out for Mother’s Day although we got together a different day that week. Anyways, I thought I would use this setup to share some tips for glamming up girl’s night or your next backyard bbq with friends. I entertain a lot so I have learned a thing or two over the years about hosting. Also, if you haven’t seen how we transformed our outdoor table from a $65 thrift store find, you should also check that out.
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The table is a great place for conversion, at least until the food arrives. Then it usually get pretty quiet for a few around the table. However, uncomfortable chairs can make everything awkward. Easy care cushions and lumbar pillows are a great way to keep the vibe relaxing. Outdoor chairs are mostly standard size, but replacement cushions have measurements to make sure you have the right size. I replaced the cushions on these chairs with these budget friendly cushions and added a tropical palm leaf pillow and accent lumbar pillow.
*Tip: We covered our bar stools and outdoor cushions with this waterproofing spray to make cleaning up spills and stains a breeze.
Grocery store flowers are a wonderful budget friendly option to glam up a table centerpiece without costing a fortune. Trader Joes and Wegmans have beautiful, affordable selections around here. However, if the selection at your grocery store is always lacking, I have a tip for using florists. I usually go to our local florist and ask what they have in-stock and in-season (ahem, cheap). I have my own vases so I buy by the stem. These lily bunches cost $18 for each bouquet. Ok, I did splurge a little since lilies are one of my all-time faves. However, I can usually can get a nice bouquet of for around $10-15.
Don’t be afraid to get out the Good Stuff
While I wouldn’t recommend BBQ and cloth napkins together, there are lots of ways to glam up the tableware. Stock up on party napkins or after holidays for great sales. I am also not above pairing sturdy paper plates with my copper chargers either.
Keeping a good stock of various beverage glasses is also a good idea. I have a stock of wine glasses, with and without stems, as well as margarita glasses, and rocks glasses. Six of each is usually good depending on how often you to entertain.
Bug bites are the worst, aren’t they? I like to create an easy ambiance with some citronella votive candles or tiki torches to keep the critters at bay so the fete can last past sunset. On the deck, we used pipe hangers to hold the tiki torches against the railing. We also bought our table umbrella with LED lights which seem to attract bugs less. I adore the magic of those outdoor twinkle lights, but here in the south, they seem to attract bugs like crazy.
Set out A Few Easy Snacks
Timing the food is always a hard decision. Some guests arrive expecting the food to be ready while others are fine for a few hours. Set out some light nibbles like chips and dips, crackers, and fruit. And a little spread feels so chic. In our spread, we used them as part of the centerpieces.
Make a Really Great Drink
Signature drinks are a great way to glam up a girl’s night or bbq. One of my best budget tips is that I often ask guests to bring their favorite budget friendly wine and specify red or white. When guests arrive, I pour all the bottles together, and mix in some muddled fruit and simple syrup. Then you have instant Sangria! One of my personal favorites is this blackberry sangria. Other ideas include mimosas, margaritas, and yummy daiquiris. Setting up a small table so that guests can serve themselves makes hosting easy too!
Bonus: If you make an amazing drink, and someone accidentally burns the food- no one cares! haha, I’m just kidding… mostly.
I am thinking that this may just be the best summer yet and I won’t even miss eating in the dining room at all. Cheers!
Looking for More Entertaining Ideas? Here are some of our best tips and tricks:
- Kid’s Entertainment Table
- Tips for Stress Free Hosting During the Holidays
- No Prep Wine and Cheese Party in Under 2 Hours
- Or Check Out All of Our Themed Parties!