6 Tips for Your
Seaside Dining Party
You’re sitting on the beach with friends and loved ones, the delicate lights of candle flames or a small bonfire are glimmering on the water and you hear the soft sound of waves crashing on the beach. You’re hosting the party of the year, and it’s a seaside dining party. It doesn’t even matter if you’re really on the beach when you take the time to create a beautiful, beachy experience for your guests. Whether you live at the beach or want to bring the aura of the water to your backyard wherever you live, you can set the mood and serve up a beautiful night under the stars.
Invited (Human) Guests Only
Avoid unwanted guests (bugs) by setting out citronella torches, which also add to the ambience of a yard decorated with flickering light. Spray the area where you're holding the party ahead of time with a natural insect repellent and set out small containers of spray or wipes for your guests to use if needed. Spraying the repellent a half hour or so ahead of time gives it time to work and chase off those pesky pests before you set up your party area, and before your guests arrive.
Break Out the Beachy Decor
If you're serving dinner, take a moment to consider the best way to set up your dining area. Will you want to be facing the sunset? Should you set the food out on a folding table that’s sheltered from the wind? Spread a tablecloth on your table in a watery blue, sandy off-white or a punchy coral red. Add a beach-themed centerpiece, or several, such as large shells, some polished driftwood or a basket of coral and beach glass. Add some chunky pillar candles in clusters or in glass hurricanes or lanterns to better protect them from the wind. If you’re having the party in your backyard or on a patio, set out a potted palm tree or some dried beach grass in a tall vase to add to the beachy theme.
Blowing in the Breeze
For a daytime party, hang a colorful, beach-themed banner with sparkly fringe. At night, string up some party lights, like a strand of flip-flop lights, seashell luminaries or dangling tiki lights to add some soft, colorful lighting to your party. If there are no tall trees or poles to use when hanging up the banner or lights, use patio umbrellas or a couple of bamboo poles driven into the ground to suspend the decorations. You can also weave some battery-powered LED string lights into the centerpiece or use flameless candles to add a warm glow.
The Beat of the Background Music
Soft background music adds a pleasing touch to a party, so bring out the outdoor speakers. Put them near the chairs or accent tables and choose your favorite tunes to entertain your guests. If you prefer not to run electrical cords, use battery-operated speakers that are Bluetooth compatible to stream music from your smartphone. Keep the music low enough that people can talk at a natural volume. If you don’t live near the beach, you can play the sounds of waves crashing to transport your guests to a beachy location.
Sturdy, Worry-Free Outdoor Dinnerware
Set your dinner table with placemats and napkins that play up the beachy theme. There are great seasonal dinner ware options made of melamine or acrylic that looks beautiful and won’t shatter if it takes a tumble. Likewise, you can opt for clear acrylic glassware for serving beverages to your guests. The durable dinnerware and glassware are durable and family friendly.
Serving Up Summery Delights
Whether your menu is centered around seafood, surf-and-turf or a mix of vegetarian delicacies, you can make serving a breeze with the help of some great serveware. Pile generous helpings of charcuterie on platters and fill serving bowls with salads, fruit mixes and cool, dreamy desserts. Toss warm rolls in beautifully woven baskets, and arrange condiment bowls on shiny metal chargers that catch the light and add to the beauty of your seaside dining party.