Spring will soon be upon us here in the Crescent City. The azaleas and dogwoods will be in bloom. Courtyard dining in the French Quarter will be in full swing, and tourists and residents alike will go are window shopping up and down Magazine Street to enjoy the fresh, spring air. It’s also festival and graduation season, so celebrations are happening all over town. Warmer temperatures and ample sunshine also bring with them the chance to take your next catered event into the great outdoor events. Here are some ways to step outside the walls of the ballroom without sacrificing any of the creature comforts you enjoy inside.
Provide a mix of furniture for outdoor events.
Whether guests want to lounge, network, or socialize, the furniture should accommodate all those activities. Mix up the seating and dining areas with bar tables and dining tables where guests can dine and drink comfortably. Modular furniture can adapt to just about any outdoor space. You want to avoid having guests wander about looking for a place to settle down to enjoy all the fine food and drink on your catering menu.
Bring the inside outside.
Don’t be shy about pulling that comfy armchair out or putting rugs under dining tables. Wooden coffee and side tables are a nice, warm touch, and give any party a home-like feel. Don’t forget to place some blankets around your décor as well to help guests fend off a slight chill in a spring breeze. Most importantly, make sure you have a “Plan B” in case the weather decides not to fully cooperate on your special day. You’ll also want to provide more shade than you might think you’ll need. Place large umbrellas over seating areas if you’re hosting outdoor events during the daytime.
Go green, both in event planning and in your décor.
Floral arrangements go a long way in sprucing up and outdoor space and fuse any event with nature. Likewise for potted plants and other greenery. Consider decorating dining tables with floral runners instead of typical arrangements. Substitute boxwood, silver dollar eucalyptus or baby’s breath in some table arrangements. Do some homework on what greenery is in season to help keep costs down and stay in keeping with a spring or summer theme. In New Orleans, spring is a great time to decorate with magnolia flowers, birds of paradise, and Louisiana phlox.
Give your catering menu a ‘Nawlins accent.
The oysters are at their freshest in New Orleans in the spring time. The waters are still cool and weather is gentle, making harvesting these gems of the Gulf easier than at other times of the year. In the summer time, red fish and grouper come closer to shore as the water warms, while crawfish, shrimp and alligator flourish in our nutrient-rich bays and bayous. New Orleans caterers like Messina’s Catering and Events often include these “fresh catches” on their catering menus in dishes like shrimp remoulade and cocktail shooters, crawfish zydeco pasta, and even a roasted whole alligator display.
Shed some light on the ambiance.
Strung Edison-style bistro lamps are really popular right now and for good reason. They cast a soft golden glow and help light up areas without blinding your guests. Also consider putting citronella candles on all the tables to keep mosquitos at bay. Scatter battery- and solar-powered candles and lanterns throughout the event space to lend some twinkling assets that can be used again and again. Plus, LED candles can be placed safely throughout the room where lit wax candles wouldn’t be safe to display, such as on food stations and bars.
Take your next New Orleans catered event outside.
Embrace all the beauty spring and summer in New Orleans has to offer. A full-service caterer like Messina’s can help you plan the perfect catering menu for any spring or summer outdoor catered event – just like they’ve been doing since 1961. Learn more by visiting MessinasCatering.com.