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As the summer months approach, you might be considering planning an outdoor party to celebrate a birthday, a holiday, or simply the beautiful, warm weather. To ensure things go as smooth as possible, it’s important to create a plan and stick to it.

If you’re planning to host your party during daylight hours, consider renting a tent so your guests can avoid being out in the sun for too long—no one wants to keep applying sunscreen when they’re having fun.

You can also bring inside furniture outdoors, especially if it’s protected from the elements while under the tent.

Consider the type of seating, and if you’ll have enough. Don’t be afraid to use the ground for seating, too, by placing blankets, rugs, and pillows around.

What about the food? Will you be cooking, grilling, hiring a caterer, or perhaps hosting a pitch in? If you plan on doing the cooking or grilling, plan a menu and make sure you have all of the necessary ingredients and supplies, including plates and cutlery.

If you’re planning to host your party in the evening, outdoor lighting can create a festive mood for your party. Consider using torches, candelarias, candles in hurricane jars, or even strings of light bulbs.

As for the entertainment, will you have music for dancing or music to create the atmosphere? Consider having games at the party to get everyone involved, or hiring entertainers, such as face painters or fortune tellers—depending on the type of party you’re hosting.

Another good party tip is to find a way to make it all your own. Offer your guests a signature cocktail, or have the entire party themed, right down to the invitation.

When the party is over, send your guests home with a gift bag or a memento of some sort, such as candy, homemade jam, flowers, fortune cookies, a picture frame, or a candle.