Tips & Tricks

How-To: Al Fresco Entertaining

Posted on 07/07/21

How-To: Al Fresco Entertaining

Summer is officially here which means sunny days, long nights, and getting your friends and family together again. To help you prepare, we’ll be sharing fresh recipes, fun DIYs, and tips all summer long to help make your backyard the place to be!

To kick things off, we sat down with Sophia D’Angelo the CEO of Boston Experiential Group (BEG) to get her tips and answers to the most frequently asked event planning questions.

A guide to outdoor dining from CEO of BEG Events, Sophia D’Angelo

  • Pick your location: Whether It’s a park, beach, your back yard, or a shared roof deck, the outdoors provide a better backdrop than any venue ever could!
  • Solidify the guest list: This is always the hardest part for us! After a year of isolation, we are all about the bigger, the better but make sure not to over-commit and find yourself stressing through your entire dinner!
  • Create your menu: When creating a menu, always start by running through your guest list. Are there any allergies in the group? Is someone currently doing Whole 30 or eating Keto? We’re all for creating the perfect menu, but make sure It’s perfect for everyone. Substitute items where needed and just make sure you have options for all.
  • Create your tablescape: No matter what size budget you’re working with, there are so many great options when It comes to setting your table. Start on Pinterest If you don’t have an overall vision for the table in your head. Then purchase what you need with a few of our go-to strategies: 1. Check out local rental companies- this is beyond easy and the best part, no clean up 2. Hit up vintage and secondhand stores to find the best deals on unique glassware and plate ware 3. When all else fails, head online to find exactly what you need.
  • Make a List & Shop: Before heading into the grocery store, make sure you’ve created a food list based on your menu. This will ensure you don’t have to come back for forgotten items! We do this old school with a written list and cross out as we go!
  • Prep, prep, prep: The less work you have to do the night of your dinner, the better! Look at the menu and see what you can prep the day before. Can some sauces be made? Can some things be pre-chopped? Can you set the table for the morning of (making sure to check for any potential rain)? With more done ahead of time, you’ll have more time to enjoy when guests arrive!
  • Serve: Once the dinner has started, sit back, relax and be proud of bringing friends together around a table!


Dinner Party FAQs

    • How many drinks do I need to buy?
      • Our standard at BEG Is:
        • Number of people X 2 drinks per hour X number of hours of the event
          • This Is certainly on the high side, but better to overbuy than run out of drinks!
    • How much food should I buy?
      • For proteins, .5lb per person is the go-to! For sides, .5-1 cup per side, per person will never fail you! Always remember, It’s better to overbuy than who doesn’t love leftovers?
    • Florals are so expensive. What else can I use to decorate my table?
      • Two options here! If you have your heart set on florals, DIY bouquets are the best! To keep costs down, head over to Trader Joes or Whole Foods and grab 1 type of flower. Supplement each arrangement with a ton of fresh (cheaper) greenery!
      • Get creative with what you have lying around. Wine bottles filled with mini LED twinkling lights, tea boxes with 1-2 rose heads peeking out of them, floating candles in vases you already own—all stunning table decor that won’t break the bank

For more tips and tricks, be sure to follow Sophia and BEG events on Instagram!


Dining Al Fresco with Gabriel-Glas and


For easy reference, download the checklist here.

Do you have an upcoming party and could use some advice? Sophia is giving away a 30-minute consultation to one lucky winner! Enter your email here for a chance to win!*

*A winner will be selected on or around 9/1/2021. By entering this Gabriel-Glas + BEG contest, you agree to be contacted by BEG events and added to their email marketing list for which you can unsubscribe at any time. Good luck!

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