SOURCE: Sequoia Productions

June 20, 2005 11:10 ET

Outdoor Entertaining Tips From Sequoia Productions

Unique Ideas to Make Your Summer Bash a Blast

LOS ANGELES, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- June 20, 2005 -- Although best-known for their Oscar and Emmy Governors Balls and other lavish events, the event planners from Sequoia Productions also have great ideas for outdoor entertaining on any scale.

Picnics, barbeques and pool-side parties are all a part of summer entertaining. Here are Sequoia's tips for planning outdoor soirées with ease and creativity.

If possible, plan your party around existing outdoor elements including trees, statuary, birdbaths, gazebos, trellises, fountains and even kiddie pools. Maximize Mother Nature and incorporate fresh flowers, leaves, branches and sand into the decor by placing them directly on tables and buffets. Use fabric, tea towels and/or beach towels as unique tablecloths accented with tea lights. To add more light and ward off insects, don't forget to use citronella candles and torches and, where possible, lanterns hung from trees.

Come up with a theme; this not only helps to create atmosphere but also gives planning direction. A backyard barbeque becomes a Country Western Hoedown by adding cowboy boots, hats and lassoes to the tabletops. Play country western music. Have your wait staff (if applicable) serve in cowboy costumes complete with bandanas and chaps, and bring in some authentic haystacks. Project silent Western movies along the back drop of a tent, and don't forget the marshmallow roasting over the open grill.

How about a Mediterranean theme? Place bunches of fresh herbs in small ceramic pots on the tables to be handed out as farewell gifts at the end of the evening. Use empty Chianti bottles stuffed with candles and circulate Italian phrase cards. Table centerpiece ideas include bottles of oils or vinegars set amid a handful of scattered seashells. If you plan on using wait staff, consider having them use phrases in Italian. String outdoor lights through trees or place them in potted plants while the sounds of romantic Italian music drift through the air.

If you need inspiration for a theme, rent your favorite movies or watch reruns of shows like Gilligan's Island. Go through art books and look at paintings by Paul Gauguin or look at a children's book, such as, "Where the Wild Things Are." Catalogs from Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel or those that feature camping gear and pool supplies can be just as inspirational.

Rental companies can provide everything from decorative linens and chairs to heat lamps and serving platters. Prop houses and furniture rental companies can provide the finishing details, including fake cacti or an extra bar.

You may want to incorporate a theme into your invitation as well with something as simple as a seashell motif or fresh herbs enclosed in the envelope. Remind your guests to bring an extra jacket if the event will take place in the evening or a hat if it is during the day. Your guests' comfort should always be a priority. Keep bug repellant and sunscreen on hand at all times.

Finally the goal for your next outdoor party should be to have fun, relax and enjoy the great outdoors!


"Watermelon Margarita"

1 1/2 oz. "Patron" Silver Tequila
3/4 oz. Citronage
Juice of one small lime hand extracted (1 oz.)
1 oz. fresh lemon sour
2 oz. Fresh pressed watermelon juice
Method: In an ice-filled mixed glass add above ingredients; shake until well blended. Strain into an ice-filled 14-oz. goblet. Garnish with a spear of watermelon.

For more information on Sequoia Productions, visit or call 310-397-1477.

Contact Information

    Lisa Elia
    Phone: 310-393-9547
    Fax: 310-393-7918
    e-mail: Email Contact