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How to Host a Casual Outdoor Potluck Party

Heidi Samia | Eleanor Rose Home

Learn how to host a potluck party with easy ideas to help you create a memorable outdoor gathering that’s both effortless and enjoyable.

What is a potluck party?

For those that might be new to the concept of a a potluck party, it’s basically a social gathering where guests contribute to the meal by bringing their own dishes. 

Your Guide to Hosting the Perfect Casual Outdoor Potluck Party

Here’s my guide to planning and hosting the perfect casual outdoor potluck party that will leave your guests raving for weeks to come! 

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #1: Choose the Right Location

Since this is an outdoor potluck party, you will want to choose the right location to host your event. Your backyard or local park are great options.

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #2: Set the Theme of the Party

A potluck party doesn’t necessarily need a theme, however a themed party provides a clear direction to guests for what types of dishes to bring.

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #3: Deciding on Guest List & Sending Invites

When deciding on which guests to invite to your event. Make sure to send out invitations well in advance, giving your invitees ample time to plan and prepare their dishes.

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #4: Organizing the Potluck Meal

Let’s be honest, the heart of any potluck party is the food! Encourage guests to bring a variety of dishes, from appetizers and main dishes to sides and desserts.

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #5: Set the Potluck Table

Based on your theme set the potluck table with linens, a centerpiece, dinnerware, labels, drink station, and food.

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #6: Label Dishes

Creating and using labels to identify potluck food is a thoughtful touch that enhances both organization and guest experience.

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #7: Serving Food

Don’t forget to have serving utensils, platters, and trays on hand to present dishes attractively and encourage easy self service.

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #8: Outdoor Comfort & Convenience

Ensure your guests’ comfort by having ample seating options; including picnic blankets, cushions, and folding chairs. Make sure to have plenty of sunscreen and bug spray on hand for guests.

Hosting a Potluck Party Step #9: Entertainment & Activities

Keep the potluck atmosphere lively with engaging activities and entertainment, especially if kiddos are in attendance. Board games, a frisbee, or a deck of cards are great for impromptu fun.

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Hi, I'm Heidi!

I believe that if you fill your home with things you love, love will fill your home.