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Outdoor Entertaining Essentials

Outdoor entertaining is one of the most enjoyable ways to relax with friends and family during the warm months of Summer. From grilling up delectable meals to whipping up a batch of tasty cocktails, outdoor entertaining should not only encourage your guests to sit back and relax, it should also be relatively simple and stress-free for you, as the hostess, to organize. The key to efficiently and methodically planning a fabulous outdoor dinner party is to have the basic outdoor entertaining essentials that will help you get the job done right. Featured here are 12 top entertaining items to have on hand when planning an outdoor party.

12 Outdoor Entertaining Essentials

Water Dispenser: Why opt for plastic water bottles or basic water pitches when you can fill a party-sized glass urn instead?! Inspired by a vintage cocktail shaker, this type of water dispenser features a handy metal spigot that lets guests serve themselves.

Drink Dispensers: For backyard gatherings and beyond, a break-resistant dispenser serves your thirsty crowd and tempts guests with a clear view of your lemonade, sangria, or tropical punch.

Patterned Table Runners: A multi-colored, striped table runner is a versatile choice that layers beautifully with many other linens. A mixture of earth tones and warm hues make this type of table runner the perfect pick for year-round outdoor entertaining occasions.

Outdoor Drink Ware: Outdoor drink ware offers all the lively color and classic style of Mexican glass, yet is durable and impact-resistant. Having everything on hand, from tumblers to Margarita glasses, makes it stress-free to serve your guests their beverage of choice, without worrying that they might break a glass on your patio.

Solid Colored Plates: With the same beauty, dimension and saturated color of vintage earthenware, but made of shatterproof melamine, durable plates (in a variety of solid colors) are the perfect choice for outdoor and casual meals.

Coordinating Napkins: Multi-colored stripes are a versatile choice for the table, layering beautifully with patterned or solid linens, and coordinating perfectly with a striped table runner. Patterned napkins are an affordable and easy way to add vibrant color and visual intrigue to your table setting.

Casual Flat Ware: Shatterproof flat ware brings a beachside look to summer meals, indoors and out. Instead of opting for disposable, plastic flat ware (which is best suited for beach barbecues and picnics), casual flat ware is the best way to add an element of elegance to your outdoor dining table, without bringing out your sterling silver.

Rugged Place Mats: A rugged-looking, textured place mat (woven by hand of pure, natural fibers) not only adds to the visual ambiance of your table, it also ensures your guests’ plates and flat ware don’t touch the surface of your table (which helps keep things sanitary and clean).

Condiment Bowls: Lavishly decorated in a design inspired by Spanish tiles, and crafted to be virtually unbreakable, a condiment set (featuring bowls and trays) lets you set a table that’s as bright and fun as the outdoors itself. Display a variety of condiments and side dishes without making your table look cluttered.

Serving Platters: Vivid, painterly designs make specialty serving platters look like real earthenware. As a centerpiece, a decorative serving platter brings a festive vibe to outdoor gatherings.

Display & Serving Trays: With their traditional riveted construction and utilitarian origin, handcrafted galvanized steel trays are perfect for outdoor entertaining. You can feature everything from fresh flowers to beverage pitchers on these durable, industrial-strength trays. And the galvanized steel adds a decorative vintage touch.

Beverage Coolers: Filled with food and drink, a compact cart instantly becomes its own traveling party. Remove the galvanized bucket and tray from the metal frame for easy cleaning and ultimate portability. Detailed with fun, stylish touches – like a wagon-pull handle and stylized wheels – for loads of character, the perfect beverage cooler can be used inside your home, as well as for outdoor entertaining.

[Image Credits: Pottery Barn]

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