I read a fun little article in the star recently about Garden Parties. I LOVE LOVE LOVE outdoor entertaining! Well i can not say that i have tried my hand at too many "fancy garden parties" but i have thrown a few girls dinner outdoors and they have all been a success.
1. Have a 10 foot x 10 foot tent, they are easy, relatively cheap and portable (We just got one but have not used it yet)
2. Keep a basket of cutlery in the cabinets ( We would just use our regular silverware... we need not go too fancy here people!)
3. Stock up on fun plastic plates, bowl and glasses. I am sure at the end of the season you can find cheapies at wal-mart, target or a party warehouse type store. Fun, brightly colored are always great for a summer get together. I would say to just pick up paper plates, but the green in me says reduce, reuse recycle! So with the plastic you can rinse and reuse! Perfect and cheap, that's the way I roll!
4. Have some summery pillows/cushions for patio furniture (if you have any. Which we got very lucky and got some for cheap last year... This is very similar ours except we also have ottomans that go with the chairs....)
Now with that being said, half of the time we have people over very spur of the moment, our back yard has not been mowed, grill has not been cleaned and the furniture has not been wiped down but it does not matter we have a grand old time.
Here is the article if you want to take a gander....