Easy Outdoor Entertaining

I looked at the calendar this weekend and realized… May is almost here! With a late Easter, the end of April has gone by in a flash. The first weeks of May always bring so much activity into the store with Mother’s Day, graduations, birthdays, and showers filling your calendars. The Wreath Stand and I, Rachel, both have May birthdays which only adds to the excitement and anticipation of this season of celebration for us. 

As I sat down to write today, I was feeling a little nostalgic and began thinking about all of the graduation parties, birthdays, and family celebrations that have taken place in the late spring. I realized so many of my favorite memories shared with friends and family have been outdoors – holiday weekends fishing from my uncle’s dock and grilling together as a family, a wedding shower for my brother and sister-in-law in Warner Park, and pool parties with Jay’s family all together. Of course there were a few less than perfect outdoor gatherings involving torrential downpours and winds that carried away half the paper plates, but those just made for even better memories and loads of laughter. 


 Little Rachel circa 1987... I'm a long time lover of a good outdoor party!

Life is full of seasons.  I know some of you have seniors in your families and are planning graduation parties. Others are welcoming new babies, celebrating weddings, or hosting the ball team for a cookout. Or maybe, like me and Jay, you’re in a less eventful season and you’re just enjoying the sunshine and longer days. Wherever you are, now is the perfect time to take the party outside – soak up a little sunshine, breathe in the fresh air, and make new memories.


So, “What makes a great outdoor gathering?” you might ask. “How can I create a special evening that will become a great memory?” Here are a few things I have to tell myself when it comes to hosting outdoors:

  • There’s beauty in simplicity.
  • I love a fancy, Pinterest worthy celebration just as much as anyone. And, I have been guilty of not inviting friends to dinner because I didn’t have time to create the beautifully put together dinner party of my dreams complete with custom calligraphy on every drinking glass, and embossed toilet paper in the bathroom.  It’s more important to be together and enjoy each other than have every detail in place for every occasion. Some of the best gatherings are impromptu – you come as you are, and all you need is a Sharpie and a stack of plastic cups. 

  • It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.
  • Sometimes the weather takes over and outside entertaining isn’t quite what you planned. The sunny and 72 degree garden party may turn out to be in the 60s with a drizzle or 85 with a pop-up thunderstorm. In Nashville you never know! Always have a backup plan to move the party inside if you need to. It may not be exactly what you envisioned but it can still be fabulous. 

  • Enjoy the process and the party.
  • I am a Martha and have to continually remind myself to be more like Mary – to stop working, take a moment to be present, and enjoy the people around me. (If you’re asking, Who are Mary & Martha? Take a look at the story in Luke 10:38-42) Do as much as you can ahead of time, ask people to bring a dish to share, and take the time to step out of the kitchen and enjoy time with your family and friends.

    This year as you're planning celebrations, or if you’re like me & Jay just a fun night at home, why not take the party outside!  Let’s not sweat the details this season.  Grab some paper plates, pick up some sides at the deli counter, throw a few burgers on the grill and really enjoy each other’s company. 

    We look forward to seeing you soon,


    Your home is the backdrop for your memories, thank you for letting us help you make that backdrop beautiful.

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