Throwing fancy outdoor dinner parties might be on your summer agenda this year (and we are so here to help with that), but let’s be real: when the weather is perfect and the pool is beckoning, sometimes the last thing you want to do is be in host mode. Sometimes you want to allow your guests to take care of themselves. This is where buffets, the one-stop-shop, save-the-day heroes of entertaining come into play. A few months back, we shared our tips for setting a typical indoor buffet. Assembling an outdoor buffet adheres to many of the same rules, but we’ve got a few extra tips to make yours perfect for summer soirees. Take a closer look below!


Protect your drinks!

Use covered pitchers and drink dispensers to keep bugs from flying into (and worse: floating) in your beverages.


No-break dinnerware

Protect your plates (and your bare feet!) by opting for reusable acrylic, melamine, or bamboo options for outdoor entertaining. We’re loving these colorful patterned bamboo options from designer Xenia Taler.


Keep summer amenities on-hand.

Don’t spend your party running back and forth to your bathroom’s medicine cabinet. Keep summer essentials at the ready—things like sunscreen, mosquito repellant, bandaids, and folding fans to keep cool. We corralled ours in a re-purposed drink caddy.


Windy? No problem!

Tablecloths and stacks of napkins can be an issue with outdoor entertaining if it’s a windy day. Here’s a simple (and colorful) solution: use acrylic paint to decorate stones in bright colors. Place them on the corners of your tablecloth and atop your napkins to prevent them from blowing in the wind.

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