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7 Easy Steps to Romantic Outdoor Entertaining


Garden parties are a light, casual affair, but just because your guests will be enjoying themselves outside doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your style. With a few choice details, you can translate elements of your romantic home decor into an unforgettable outdoor affair for your guests.

Romantic Outdoor Decor

Bring the indoors out: quilts and pillows add a homey feel to this garden bench.


1.   Personal Touches. Hang a wreath or a bundle of lavender on your gate to welcome guests as they arrive. Add a few battery-operated candles to bring a charming glow to your entrance.


2.   Think Outside the Box. Place objects that you don’t expect outside for a visual punch: a vintage dresser to serve drinks on, a beautiful antique statue on your table surrounded by flowers as a centerpiece, antique pillows on the chairs or a luxurious throw placed on a bench.


3.   Add Romance. Turn your garden into an instant party by stringing lights from tree to tree. Nothing brings romance and magic like candlelight. Scatter pretty votives, hang a chandelier over your table or from a tree, and enjoy. Cover your garden chairs with washable, ruffled seat covers.


4.   Stunning Centerpiece. Flowers gathered from your garden or from a farmer’s market are a great choice for your table. Keep the arrangements casual. Instead of vases use what you have, like Mason jars, antique French bottles or small pitchers. No flowers? No problem. Pile fresh lemons, oranges or other fruit into a bowl for an edible centerpiece.


5.   Elegant Tablescape. Let every guest know this time is special by setting a beautiful, romantic table. Real silverware, your best porcelain plates, and antique linen napkins all bring luxury to any garden gathering. It doesn’t have to be perfect—just thoughtfully set with love.


6.   Food for Thought. Summer is barbeque season, so have guests choose from several meats and take turns at the barbeque. If you don’t love cooking, buy a delicious salad, sandwiches, and offer many store-bought desserts, which will save you time. Concentrate on making things pretty, and buy desserts and appetizers instead of making everything yourself.


7.   Rest and Relaxation. Take the time to rest before your guests come. Then dress, put on the music, and relax! If you are too tired to enjoy your guests, what’s the point of entertaining? Simplify where you can, so that you will be a happy, loving host. Guests won’t remember if your silver was perfectly polished, but they will remember the laughter and love you shared.


By Lidy Baars

Photography by Mark Tanner

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