3 Tips for Casual Safe Summer Outdoor Entertaining

Do summer entertaining tips feel silly at this juncture? Summer 2020 here feels slightly science fictiony and months away from “business as usual.” Yet some of us long to gather in small groups safely…which is where this post (sponsored by Wayfair) comes in. Sweet Cozy Moses, wait til you see what I snagged at Wayfair to keep a casual gathering safe and extra simple! 3 Tips for Casual Safe Summer Outdoor Entertaining spotlights a few basics to enjoy friendship and no-fuss food with more caution and less stress.

Simple sweet and savory appetizers served in our French inspired courtyard with pea gravel and stone walls. #hellolovelystudio #frenchcourtyard #outdoorentertaining #summerentertaining #appetizerideas #summerentertaining
3 Tips for Casual Safe Summer Outdoor Entertaining…in case you’re ready to gather.

Disclosure: All opinions expressed within this Wayfair sponsored post are strictly my own.

3 Tips for Casual Safe Summer Outdoor Entertaining

Rustic farmhouse wood stool in the garden with summer blooms - Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #gardenstool #rusticstool #summergarden #homedecor #outdoorstool
Crazy about these rustic wood farm stools that add charm inside the home or outdoors.

No. 1: Assess Your Space & Think Small

PLAN SEATING & KEEP THE GROUP SMALL. Instead of gathering around a dining table, plan for each guest or couple to have their own cocktail table. In my own courtyard space, I feel comfortable safely entertaining six guests with small tables and mindful distanced seating.

Pretty purple annuals perched on a rustic wood stool in my French country courtyard with pea gravel. #hellolovelystudio #frenchcountry #courtyard #summergarden #rusticstool
So many uses for my trusty stools…certainly versatile.

I love how little outdoor garden stools from Wayfair easily double as sweet little tables. Rather than fuss with making the chairs and tables look insta-worthy, prioritize safety and conversational ease. Keep the guest list limited according to your capacity.

Sweet and savory nibbles and mimosa served on a rustic stool doubling as a cocktail table in the garden - Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #outdoorentertaining #summerentertaining #appetizers #rusticstool #gardenparty
Sweet and savory grazeboards couldn’t be easier to assemble as well as safe fare!

Find a variety of outdoor dining pieces to suit your own outdoor space. Think small even if you have a sprawling deck or patio since you’ll also need a plan for guests to use the restroom. Smaller is safer.

Instead of sharing a big cheeseboard or sweets buffet, individual mini boards are a safe way to entertain during Covid-19. #hellolovelystudio #summerentertaining #easyentertaining #outdoorentertaining #minicheeseboard #appetizerideas

No. 2: Be Transparent With Guests

REASSURE GUESTS ABOUT HOW SAFETY WILL BE HONORED. The invitation should indicate masks are expected as a precautionary measure for infrequent moments of moving about. They can of course be removed when distancing, dining, and conversing. Let guests know there will be: hand sanitizer, no close contact, safe food prep, and also a mindful plan for distancing.

Hand sanitizer is essential at any safe outdoor summer gathering during pandemic season. #hellolovelystudio #summerentertaining #outdoorentertaining

No. 3: Modified Casual Dining

NO BUFFET OR FAMILY STYLE SERVICE. How many times have we hosted a backyard BBQ or party where guests serve themselves or pass around platters? Who can forget pre-2020 giant communal charcuterie boards of glory at cocktail parties? To keep each other healthy, we need easy alternatives.

For example, for a simple brunch or happy hour, assemble mini graze boards on disposable pretty plates just before guests arrive. (In the kitchen, wear gloves and a fresh mask and use tongs for the easy food and drink prep.)

These disposable plates made from palm leaves look like wood and are a perfect choice for summer outdoor entertaining. I used them as mini individual cheese boards and dessert boards - Hello Lovely Studio. #easyentertaining #palmplates #disposableplates #tabledecor #summerentertaining
I snapped this of the palm plates outside to snag a pretty photo; however, you’ll keep them inside since guests won’t be serving themselves.

These wonderful palm plates from Wayfair (above) are made from fallen palm leaves and resemble wood boards. Beautifully styled tablescapes and vintage china may be in our entertaining futures; yet for now, these tropical plates keep things safer and far prettier than standard paper plates.

Savory appetizers including brie pesto crostini and vegan bruschetta are a simple snack for easy summer entertaining outside. #hellolovelystudio #easyentertaining #appetizeridea #crostini #savory #appetizers
It doesn’t get much simpler than disposable utensils in a napkin tied with twine.

Sweet and savory grazeboards to nibble on are always great for cocktail parties. Serve a variety of snacks that remain delicious at room temperature.

These disposable plates made from palm leaves look like wood and are a perfect choice for summer outdoor entertaining. I used them as mini individual cheese boards and dessert boards - Hello Lovely Studio. #easyentertaining #palmplates #disposableplates #tabledecor #summerentertaining
3 Tips for Casual Safe Summer Outdoor Entertaining as well as no-cook menu and Quarantini Bellini recipe.

Skip the big community tubs of ice and drinks by letting friends know on the invitation you’ll serve a signature drink and they are free to bring their own cold drinks. (Omg, have you seen these cold bags/backpack/chair things?!?)

Savory snacks on a disposable plate made from palm leaves upon a rustic wood stool used as side table in our French inspired courtyard - Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #frenchcountry #courtyard #summergarden #rusticstool

Brunch or Happy Hour Idea

It doesn’t get much easier than my easy/easier/easiest Quarantini drink idea which is perfect for a safe summer outdoor brunch or happy hour.

PIN THIS POST to save for later!

The easy version is my Quarantini-Bellini which can include alcohol or not (recipe below).

Quarantini Bellini recipe by Hello Lovely Studio. #quarantinibellini #bellinirecipe #peachrecipe #peachcocktail #champagnecocktail #drinkrecipes
In a blender, combine 16 oz. frozen peaches with 1/4 cup honey (optional) and 3/4 cup Peach Schnapps until smooth. Fill champagne glasses half full with frozen mixture and top with champagne, sparkling wine, or ginger ale. Garnish with fresh peach slices.

An easier drink alternative is my Dose-of-Mimosa (orange juice plus champagne or ginger ale in a flute).

Instead of sharing a big cheeseboard or sweets buffet, individual mini boards are a safe way to entertain during Covid-19. #hellolovelystudio #summerentertaining #easyentertaining #outdoorentertaining #minicheeseboard #appetizerideas

The easiest and healthiest version is what we’ll cleverly call Vitamin C Shots (ice cold, fresh orange juice served straight up in pretty glassware).

Savory appetizers including brie pesto crostini and vegan bruschetta are a simple snack for easy summer entertaining outside. #hellolovelystudio #easyentertaining #appetizeridea #crostini #savory #appetizers
3 Tips for Casual Safe Summer Outdoor Entertaining as well as decor suggestions, menu ideas and a Quarantini Bellini recipe.

Grazeboard & Appetizer Ideas

You’ll find a variety of plants as well as low-fat choices on my grazeboards since my diet is restricted. No grilled steaks at this safe gathering since we also want to dispose of cutlery and plates for safety.

Additionally, this brunch and bubbles style of entertaining is just more “me,” and I would feel like an imposter promoting a grill and chill type of gathering.

These disposable plates made from palm leaves look like wood and are a perfect choice for summer outdoor entertaining. I used them as mini individual cheese boards and dessert boards - Hello Lovely Studio. #easyentertaining #palmplates #disposableplates #tabledecor #summerentertaining
These gorgeous plates are made from fallen palm leaves and are remarkably strong and disposable.

Savory Grazeboard Snacks

Above: the small plate is a mini grazeboard with savory nibbles.

You can serve wedges of cheese and meat, but I made a simple crostini duo. For Brie-Pesto Crostini, add to a small microwave-safe dish: diced chunks of brie (rind removed), an equal amount of low-fat diced cream cheese, plus one teaspoon of prepared pesto. Heat just until melted, then stir and top toasted slices of baguette or ciabatta. (Toast ciabatta slices in toaster so you won’t have to heat up the oven!)

Easy brie fondue topping for crostini. #briefondue #briecrostini #easyappetizer #hellolovelystudio
Brie, cream cheese, and pesto…in case you love a rich savory topping for toasted crostini.

I call the other crostini Vegan Bruschetta since it is missing mozzarella (no boconccini in the entire store…who is hoarding fresh mozz balls for corn’s sake!?!). Toast thick slices of bread in the toaster, drizzle with quality olive oil, then top with thin slices of tomato and a fresh basil leaf.

Savory appetizers including brie pesto crostini and vegan bruschetta are a simple snack for easy summer entertaining outside. #hellolovelystudio #easyentertaining #appetizeridea #crostini #savory #appetizers

Sweet Grazeboard Snacks

Above: I used the larger sized palm plate for a sweets grazeboard.

Riff on this sweets idea with: fresh strawberries, grapes, blueberries, almonds, dried cherries/cranberries/raisins, chocolate, a gluten-free cookie, and also sea-salt caramels.

Instead of sharing a big cheeseboard or sweets buffet, individual mini boards are a safe way to entertain during Covid-19. #hellolovelystudio #summerentertaining #easyentertaining #outdoorentertaining #minicheeseboard #appetizerideas

The beauty of these individual grazeboards is (1) the summer warmth means the brie stays gooey and when the chocolate melts on the palm plate? Instant fondue for fruit and nibbles (really!). (2) No cooking or baking (I baked cookies the day before, but you can shop a bakery). (3) No dishing up food or close contact required for guests. (4) These cocktail-friendly snacks are easy to nibble and nosh without a dining table. (5) No worries about keeping food hot or cold…the hostess gets to relax!

Airy and simple French inspired courtyard in summer with fern on a rustic wood farmhouse stool. #rusticstool #summergarden #hellolovelystudio
3 Tips for Casual Safe Summer Outdoor Entertaining as well as simple no cook recipes and drink ideas.

Disposables Keep it Safe

It sure aint pretty, but definitely have a receptacle for everyone to dispose of plates and utensils.

Garbage can in courtyard is not pretty but is essential!

When you aren’t entertaining, there are endless ways to enjoy your rustic wood table/seat/planter/stool.

Weathered wood bench in my French country courtyard with wood rustic stool used as planter stand. #hellolovelystudio #rusticstool #courtyard #frenchcountry

Shop the Post

Rustic farmhouse wood stool in the garden with summer blooms - Hello Lovely Studio. #hellolovelystudio #gardenstool #rusticstool #summergarden #homedecor #outdoorstool

Hope you are finding small ways to stay connected with loved ones and enjoy this very unusual summer.

Vintage bicycle with basket full of pink petunias and hand lettered sign: The Whole World Involved in a Conspiracy of Love. #hellolovelystudio #courtyard #summergarden #gardendecor

Here are two excellent posts from others with smart ideas for entertaining safely: Host a Safe Get Together and 10 Tips to Keep Summer Entertaining Safe.

3 Tips for Casual Safe Summer Entertaining from Hello Lovely Studio with Simple Recipes. #hellolovelystudio #outdoorentertaining #entertainingideas #safe #socialdistancing #casual #summerentertaining #menuideas
Pin this post to save for future reference!

I independently selected products in this post—if you buy from one of my links, I may earn a commission.

Peace to you right where you are.

-michele

Follow:

8 Comments

  1. Joanna
    June 24, 2020 / 9:57 am

    I’m hosting a happy hour this weekend. It is to be outside under the pergola with chairs for couples, set six feet apart from others. I found three couples, including us, was doable. I see no reason to not use plates and glasses that can easily go into the dishwasher though. With disposable gloves, you can pick up and put in dishwasher, then remove gloves before touching anything else. Thank you for the tip on little tables and individual servings. I planned on a big dish of fresh caught prawns for everyone to enjoy. I’ll plate them with seafood cocktail sauce before serving. One mustn’t let their guard down and it is too easy with good friends. I really miss hugging 😢

    • Michele
      Author
      June 24, 2020 / 4:16 pm

      It sounds wonderful, Joanna. Wish we didn’t have to jump through any of these hoops. When I research covid safe gatherings, the emphasis on disposable kept coming up pretty consistently (maybe it’s a psychological thing for guests to feel more relaxed?) so once I found these plates that look and live like wood plates, I thought they were a great compromise. I was definitely trying to make things easy on myself too with menu and cleanup since my energy is low. Let us all know how the happy hour turned out!

  2. June 29, 2020 / 8:46 am

    Michele,
    What great ideas for a small gathering. I love those plates and the recipe for the Bellini. I have to try that. That stool from Wayfair is adorable and can be used in so many ways.
    I hope you are feeling good.
    Hugs,
    Bev

    • Michele
      Author
      June 29, 2020 / 3:03 pm

      Thanks so much for taking this for a spin, Bev. I love the stools so much and will be styling them in more ways to show just how versatile they are! xox

  3. June 29, 2020 / 3:33 pm

    So many great ideas here! Loving the quarantini drink! Pinned! Thank you for sharing with Charming Homes and Gardens!

    • Michele
      Author
      June 29, 2020 / 5:23 pm

      Thanks so much for taking this for a spin – such a shame we even have to think about all these safety measures, but maybe they will become the new normal and feel comfy. 🙂

  4. July 2, 2020 / 9:31 am

    Michelle, you know I love love love everything you do. So much beauty and serenity here always! Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful peaceful blog and friendship. Featuring you today!!
    Theresa

    • Michele
      Author
      July 2, 2020 / 6:40 pm

      Thanks so much, Theresa! See you at the party!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let’s SHOP!

White Slipcovered Sofa
French Basket
Courtney Lamp Base
Antique Chinese Wood Rustic Round Stool
French Country Bed
Tuscan Terracotta Urn Vase
Round Farmhouse Table
Rustic Reclaimed Elm Cabinet
Deconstructed Wingback Bed
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Milagro Heart
Linen Slipcovered Chairs
Rustic Farmhouse Stool
Edgecombe End Table
Silver Rectangle Accent Table
Black Metal Accent Table
Galvanized Console Table
Gabriel Chevron Quilt Set
Metal Martini Table
Marble Subway Backsplash in My Kitchen
French Wire Laundry Basket
White Ruffle Bedding
White Linen Club Chair
Handmade Sunburst Mirror
Wide Pine Sideboard
Linen Napkin Set
French Country Lamp
Venetian Mirror
French Lidded Baskets
French Panel Mirror
Distressed White French Country Chandelier
Antique Chinese Weathered Bench
French Country Headboard
Oval Back Counter Stool, Set of 2
Antique Brass Pharmacy Floor Lamp
Linen & Burlap Tufted Ottoman
Gertrude Wood Bench
Italian Candelabra Chandelier
Colleen Slope Arm Linen Chair Set
White Ruffle Quilt Set
French Louis Style Arm Chair
Avignon Coat Rack With Hooks
Round Farmhouse Dining Table
Reclaimed Wood Dresser
Louis Upholstered Bench
French Accent Chair
Pamela Arm Chair
Sweater Weave Basket
French Wood Chandelier
Terracotta Pots & Basket
French Country Wood Chandelier
French Linen Dining Chair
Gustavian Cabinet
French Farmhouse Dining Table
Bar Stool
Beachy White Slipcovered Sofa
Rattan Armchair
Diptyque Oyedo Candle
Cross Back Dining Chair
French Country Candle Holder
French Industrial Metal Chairs (4)
Designer Favorite Wall Mirror
Holborn Lantern Pendant
French Country 6-Light Chandelier
Rustic End Table
French Country Upholstered Arm Chair
Cedar & Blossom Candle
French Ticking Stripe Pillow
Jute Area Rug
French Candle Style Chandelier
Rustic Industrial Farmhouse Shelves
Belgian Linen Sofa
White Ruffle Bedding
Rustic Wood Candlestick Set
French Market Basket
Linen Modern Wing Chair
French Country Farmhouse Baskets
Concrete Pillar Table Lamp
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Style Lamp
Modern Farmhouse Lamp
White Slipcovered Sofa
Scrubbed Wood 5-Light Chandelier
Arched Champagne Wall Mirror
Moravian Star 1-Light Pendant
Highback Armchair
Mini Pendant Light
White Vase Set
Round Woven Placemat Set
Fireclay Farm Sink (Reinhard, 30″)
Matelasse Coverlet
Quilted Coverlet
Boheme Madera Bench
Belgian Linen Duvet Set
Round Marble Side Table
Rustic Pedestal Farm Table
Teak Farmhouse Stool