When it comes time to pick a spot for your party, indoors may seem like the obvious choice. However, don't forget to consider moving your gathering outside—your outdoor space is probably more spacious than your living room, and it gives guests the chance to enjoy some fresh air.
Decorating for an outdoor party can seem like a whole different ball game. But we've gathered a few of our favorite outdoor party decoration ideas, and there's bound to be one you can pull off. Keep reading to find your favorite.
To make your outdoor party pop, consider coordinating your table linens with other parts of your outdoor decor, like your umbrella or outdoor furniture upholstery. Different patterns can give your space a different feel too—blue stripes create a nautical vibe, while green palms give off a tropical feeling.
Go for Low-Key
For an intimate outdoor gathering between friends, decor can be pretty low-key. But low-key doesn't mean boring. Use one or two outdoor lights, add a few throw pillows, and break out the fancy dishware for a classy and easy outdoor gathering.
Make Details Count
Just because your party is outdoors doesn't mean decor guidelines are thrown out the window. Details matter, even outside. Add in the perfect accessories for an inviting outdoor feeling, like candles, bowls of fresh fruit, and comfortable seating. Little touches like these can really tie a space together.
Get a (Big) Tent
Want to throw the outdoor soirée of the season? Unless you live in a rain-free, temperate wonderland, a tent is probably a must. Tents protect against bad weather and heat, and they're fun to decorate too, Use string lights, garlands, and greenery to give your outdoor space a celebratory vibe.
Decorate Your Fence
Your fence is more than just a border between property lines—it's also an unexpected place to add some personal touches. Think of your fence more like a blank wall to accessorize, and you'll find it's a great space to add in decor, whether it's for a themed 30th birthday party, or everyday outdoor living.
Use Water Features
Have a hot tub or pool? Make it the focal point of your outdoor party. A hot tub is the ideal centerpiece for a small gathering between friends, while a pool is great for larger gatherings. Add in nearby seating for easy conversation and a few lights to set the mood, and you've got the perfect summer party spot.
Fall for a Fairytale
An outdoor space can feel practically magical with a few small additions: delicate, warm lighting, plants with petite blooms and plenty of cozy seating. Put these pieces together and you have a wonderful, fairytale-inspired, outdoor hangout.
Keep It Simple
Of course, you don't need to go all out on your outdoor party setup. You can just stick with the basics too. Use a few comfortable, stylish pieces and a string of lights for an inviting and classic vibe that's easy to put together.
Use Your Shade
If you're in an area that gets hot quickly, it's crucial to plan your outdoor party setup around any shade you may have. Not only will that centuries-old oak tree provide a gorgeous aesthetic, it will also keep your party guests cool and shaded.
Opt for an Umbrella
No natural shade? No problem. Use a large umbrella over your dinner table or seating area to provide some relief from the summer heat. If you don't have one yet, consider purchasing one that can be moved around (rather than one that attaches to a table), so that it can provide shade where needed throughout the day.
Purchase a Pergola
Another sun-relief option for your outdoor party? A pergola. Though pergolas aren't portable in the way an umbrella is, they're a great architectural feature to add to your backyard, and they can help better define a wide-open green space.
Live in Luxury
For an outdoor party fit for an A-lister, create a luxurious environment to pass the evening away in. Use lush, rippling fabric to surround a pergola or gazebo and add a few statement lights to set the mood. Finish with boldly-patterned, stylish outdoor furniture for a space that screams luxury.
Add n Appetizer Space
If your outdoor party is the multi-course kind, consider creating different areas for different parts of the meal. A small, casual seating area becomes a home for appetizers, while a longer, more formal dining table is the space for the main course.
For a unique seating experience, try placing pillows on an outdoor rug and pairing with a low table. It's a great way to shake things up for your party guests, and with coordinating pillows, it can look pretty cool too.
Perfect Your Picnic
Another small crowd idea: a picnic. For an outdoor gathering that's for just a few, bust out the picnic blankets. But this isn't the picnic of your childhood—use candles, elegant serveware, and plush cushions for an upscale vibe.
Create Multiple Spaces
Creating space for conversation at large parties can be tricky. When you want conversations to happen in more than just giant circles, create separate, small seating areas that are the perfect place for easier chats.
Neon lighting has come a long way since the classic 'open' sign. Now, you can use it just about anywhere—like your backyard. Not only will this bright light look much better outdoors than in, it also brings a fantastic party vibe to any outdoor space.
Bring in Flowers
If you grow flowers or other greenery in your backyard, incorporate them into your party decor. Place small blooms on place settings, or create a garland with extra greenery clippings.
Another way to take your outdoor party style from 0 to 100 is to bring in lots of texture. Pair wicker with cloth, or wood with a thick weave, for decor that's visually interesting and stylish.
Make Space for Kids
If you're throwing an outdoor party and families are attending, make sure there's spaces for kids to be too. A small tent, playset, swing, or an outdoor game can all the job nicely.