get the word on hosting a Colorado backyard soiree

This season is the time of year every Coloradoan wishes for in the depths of winter. Warm weather, gentle breezes and endless days of sunshine inspire residents to take their activities outdoors, including gathering with friends, family and colleagues. From casual backyard picnics to al fresco cocktail parties, Colorado backyards offer an excellent venue for festivities. For those seeking to turn their backyard into an outdoor party venue, we have created the below guide to creating the perfect backyard soiree.

the backdrop

No matter the size of the party, no festivity is complete without a décor that inspires guest photography. As summer brings an abundance of flowers, floral arrangements are always an appropriate choice for outdoor gatherings. Pickletown Flower Co. offers arrangements that range from soft and sweet bouquets to dramatic, Instagram-worthy installations. As an added bonus, home entertainers may book the Flower Truck to create an interactive floral experience.

However, no matter how stunning the centerpieces are, the party won’t last very long without comfortable furnishings. In Colorado, homeowners and entertainers must be diligent in choosing the right outdoor furnishings considering the sunny, yet harsh climate. By curating furnishings that can withstand heatwaves, hail or both in the same day, hosts can ensure that guests feel comfortable throughout the night without the worry of splinters, sunbaked metal or weather-worn cushions.

the bites

Now that the décor is accounted for, it’s time to set the table. At any outdoor party, food can be the centerpiece — think, farm-to-table dinners and seafood boils — or an accent, such as a charcuterie board or crudité. Those with kitchen skills may opt to create the spread themselves; and if that’s the case, why not choose to support local? Farm to Fork Colorado connects farms across the state to home chefs by curating in-season produce for delivery right to your door. To supplement the season’s harvest with grass-fed, pasture-raised protein, look no further than Western Daughters. The heritage butchery offers a convenient Meat Club subscription available for pickup at their retail location in LoHi.

In hotter temperatures, even the most experienced home chefs may instead choose to have the soiree catered. No judgement, considering that Denver and Boulder are home to some of the finest catering options in Colorado. Below is a list of our local favorites, plus recommendations for what to order.

Postino Wine Café // Denver + Coming Soon to Boulder

We recommend: the crowd-pleasing bruschetta platter

Blackbelly // Boulder

We recommend: the casual buffet Taco Bar or passed hors d’oeuvres

Watercourse Foods – vegan + vegetarian // Denver

We recommend: the cauliflower or seitan buffalo wings


the beverages

If food is not the center of the celebration, allow the beverages to shine. Nothing says summertime quite like a cold beverage in the hot sun, even if it’s something as simple as a batch cocktail or lightly essenced sparkling water. For larger backyard soirees, a full bar with options for every taste is a host’s best bet. A casual, yet oh-so-cool option is a bar cart from Sugarmoon Mobile Bar. Simply rent one of their two adorable bar carts, supply the alcohol (plus a bartender for the “Betty” cart) and enjoy the many event photos guests are sure to snap.

Hosts of intimate gatherings that do not require a full-service bar may instead offer a variety of local sips. Discover a new favorite beverage below and stock the bar prior to sending out the invitations.

Bigsby’s Folly Craft Winery // Denver

We recommend: the Everyday Porch Pounder — but do not let the name fool you; this selection deserves attention to every sip

Upstart Kombucha // Boulder

We recommend: the refreshing Lemon Lavender — a perfect organic, non-alcoholic option

Sanitas Brewing Company // Boulder

We recommend: the Lime Lager for crisp, easy drinking

the bonuses

Despite the occasional early summer snowstorm, summertime in Colorado is typically hot, dry and beaming with sunshine. The key to keeping guests happy outdoors is to provide shade and plenty of opportunities to hydrate. Tall, mature trees create the ideal shady backdrop for outdoor soirees, but if the setting is more urban or located in an area without mature landscaping, opt for a shade sail or several wide cantilever umbrellas. Alternatively, a gathering scheduled later in the evening guarantees cooler temperatures.

With Colorado’s generous sunshine comes many opportunities for sunburn. A small basket of travel-sized sunscreen at the entryway or in the powder rooms will offer relief to guests with sun sensitivity. In a similar vein, beverage dispensers of ice water or buckets filled with bottled water may be conveniently placed across the venue so that guests do not have to wait in line at the bar to rehydrate.

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