Most Genius Outdoor Entertaining Ideas Inspired By Weddings

When it comes to the big picture on a wedding day, it’s up to the bride and groom to think through every. Little. Thing. After all, there will be pictures of this for all time, especially with the internet continuing to propagate those photos of you from 2006 (thanks, Photobucket). You have to make all aspects look aesthetically clean and cute in the age of the Perfect Wedding Day Album, including the table, the chairs, the serveware, by god, even the tree branches need a special touch. As stressful as this may be for the engaged couple working on these questions, the benefits of this leave-no-stone-unturned mentality go straight back to you, the wedding guest and/or internet wedding lurker, who gets to piggyback off of their special day decorations for your own outdoor entertaining ideas. Here we go straight to the source for a few genius setups that are guaranteed to make not only a wedding day go smoothly, but your own summer parties as well.

drink serving 

Weddings are the perfect occasion to think through easy serving options for guests—and the perfect place to start when snagging ideas.

serving station

A serving station with a few refreshing summer-y drinks is an easy way to keep guests hydrated and also provide for them without having to do any extra work. Dress up the station if you like with a few centerpieces, but the drinks themselves can act as a nice dose of color.

outdoor bar

Now, this is absolutely to the nines as far as outdoor bars go, but we think there are definitely some pointers that can be taken from this setup. Marquee lights look fantastic and will light up your outdoor space as the sun sets (plus, no one will be confused as to where the bar is). A few nice outdoor tables and some buckets do well for holding beers and other easy summer drinks—plants and other glassware are optional but obviously up the ante.

dinner serving

What would a wedding be without an elaborately- and expertly-executed table setup, featuring every kind of fork and serving spoon for each course more decadent than the last? Your outdoor dinner party may not look quite like a rehearsal dinner, but even a relaxed backyard BBQ can be made a little more special by pawning a few summer wedding table setting ideas.

backyard tablescape

Not one to go all-out with your centerpiece, especially for a simple outdoor party? You can make a beautiful runner with what you have in your backyard—simply go to your lemon, lime, or whatever kind of tree you may be growing back there and use the foliage to create a simple yet stunning table setting.

natural elements

A flowers from your garden and succlents from the hardware store can dress up clean, simple plates and silverware—even paper and plastic.

seating area decor

With the pre-wedding cocktail hour and reception dinner ideas deftly stolen, it’s time to take some notes on what’s happening decor-wise on all those tabletops and where people are going to be gathering. Giving these some TLC will provide your seating areas some nice extra ambience.


Adding a few arrangements here and there is always a nice touch. While at a wedding these are usually pretty elaborate, for an outdoor party they can be as simple as slicing those lemons from your backyard lemon tree and adding a few flowers from your garden to recreate something like this here, or even picking them up from your local grocery store after grabbing the BBQ supplies.

table flora

This is another place where your garden can come in handy—should you not want to make arrangements like the one above, a cascade of a few fallen tree branches and some flowers can really do the trick.

chair draping

Weddings (or at least internet weddings) are famous for elegant, beautifully-decorated chairs. That same set of fallen branches and flowers from your table can be gently tied to outdoor chairs for a festive look. Heck, this whole process of decorating for the party could even qualify yard cleanup at the same time.

outdoor decor

Now, weddings tend to be full-on blow outs, but that doesn’t mean your outdoor entertaining can’t be, too. For very special events, or if you want to be remembered for hosting the best parties of the summer, take your outdoor space to magical new heights with a few final, slightly over-the-top wedding decor ideas.


A few craft store or Etsy balloons add a pretty and festive appeal to an outdoor look.

tree branches

We did say even the tree branches get love at weddings—and we weren’t kidding. Should yours need a little love too, try this simple but pretty trick often used for the big day. Grab a few glass bottles and ties them to your tree branches, then throw in a few backyard flowers for an eye-catching look.

ribbon chandeliers

Giant lanterns, chandeliers, and suspended pieces of that ilk are requisite for a perfect wedding day. Find ones on Etsy you like, and perhaps they can stay up summer-round, or be swapped out from time to time for a different outdoor party look.

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