Essentials for perfect outdoor entertainment

Wednesday March 11 2020

A few colourful items such as a  table cloth or

A few colourful items such as a table cloth or centre piece create a festive atmosphere for your guests. Photo by Edgar R. Batte 

By ESTHER OLUKA

Have you ever held a function outdoors? There are a few basic things that will make or break an outdoor function. Even the most casual guests appreciate when someone takes an effort to create a beautiful space for them. You might not have to go full blast on decorations but you do need minimal decorations to enliven the space.

Careful placement of flowers on side tables and the buffet table will often do the trick. Once the sun sets, set the mood with candles, lanterns and lights strung across trees or the verandah. To keep mosquitos at bay, look for citronella-scented candles or tiki torches.
Shed, consider either an umbrella or tent
These are very important in today’s unpredictable weather. A sunny day can suddenly turn around and become rainy.

So, one needs to be prepared with either Umbrellas or tents. These are very helpful, especially in cases when you do not have enough space in your house.

Umbrellas cost Shs5,000 and above. Service providers on the other hand have different charges for hiring out tents. You could hire one at a price as low as Shs100,000.

Assess the furniture
Where will your guests sit? How you group your furniture will set the tone for your party.

Intimately placed furniture will encourage people to sit in small groups for quiet talks, while loungers encourage a more communal conversation.

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If you are planning a cocktail party, avail the appropriate tables and stools for when your guests want to rest their feet.

Consider supplementing your regular outdoor furniture with poufs and stools. If the weather stays clear, you can lay thick blankets in the grass and pepper them with oversize floor pillows. Be sure to clean first.

Outdoor party guests are comfortable turning almost anything into a seat and that includes your stairs, so make sure they are clean enough for your guests to sit on.

Provide food covers
If there is going to be food either displayed or laying around in the compound during the function, ensure you get some kind of food cover.

“There are some beautiful designs sold in supermarkets. They cost as low as Shs10,000,” Maria Kabasambu,” a wholesale dealer in kitchenware, says, adding: “If you have five of these covers during your outdoor function, you are sorted.”

Food covers are very helpful in keeping away flies and insects from contaminating your food. While at it, one can also consider the idea of lighting candles. The heat helps irritate flies, hence, keeping them away from your food and drinks.

Consider water and drink dispensers
Not everyone is an alcohol fan. So, at your function, always ensure there are a few other options. As the host, consider the idea of having water or homemade juice.

It is actually cheaper if you make it yourself rather than hiring other people to supply it.
So, once you are done making the juice, one of the best ways of displaying it is by using a dispenser (machine). Not only does it show off the attractiveness of the juice but it will keep the guests going back for more.

Set up an outdoor cleanup station
You will be surprised how much rubbish a few people can rack up. To prevent unnecessary littering give your guests a garbage can in the party area.

Barbeque grill
Now, this is the real deal if you love cooking outdoors.

“These grills are ideal for roasting any kind of meat including chicken and sausages,” says Joseph Obbo who owns one in his home.

Obbo says one of his favourite pastime activities is hosting friends over the weekend and roasting for them meat and sausages.

Opt for bright and colourful ensemble assortments. Holding events outdoor usually gives one the opportunity to try out a different way of doing things. One can opt for bright and colourful assortments to use in the function.

For instance, opt for blue or pink disposable cups. Or coloured disposable plates. Colours tend to add more life to parties and also, brighten up the event.

Host tips
If the day function is crossing into night hours, ensure that lighting outside the house is enough. In case not, think of getting either lamps or torches.
•Don’t be a lone ranger. Work with a team whom you will designate different responsibilities during the function.
•Be mindful of the location you are holding the event at. Is it the backyard or front yard? Certain locations are more suitable for holding events than others.

eoluka@ug.nationmedia.com

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