Summer’s quickly coming to an end, and the crisp fall temperatures are just a month or so away. It can be depressing knowing that the good weather and good times shared with friends and family is short-lived, but you can say goodbye to the summer weather in style.

If you have a backyard and patio, you have one of the best party hosting places one could find without having to pay for the location. You can host an incredible party with some planning, a hint of creativity and some well-organized thought.

If you have a backyard and patio, you have one of the best party hosting places one could find without having to pay for the location. Whether you’re looking to have one last hurrah before getting back to school, or want to have that last epic barbeque, you can host an incredible party with some planning, a hint of creativity and some well-organized thought.

Think of other parties you’ve attended that you really enjoyed. Chances are they were fun and festive, and provided you and the other guests with a nice and relaxing atmosphere to catch up and enjoy the heat. Your outdoor patio works wonders for hosting small or large parties, thanks to the abundance of space you can use to allow your friends and family to not only mingle, but get around to talk with everyone. So, if you’re ready to end the summer on a high note, here are some ways you can make your patio party-ready.

Yard Maintenance

Whether you have a beautiful flower garden, grow veggies in your yard, or have a standard grass-covered lawn, you want to make sure your yard is pristine for your guests. Take the time to mow your yard and trim any flowers or bushes you have in the backyard a few days before your party. Then, walk around your property line and simply look around. Is there anything out of place? Are there unsightly weeds sprouting up in your lawn? You’re bound to find a few things that you’d like to fix.

Lastly, if you notice your yard doesn’t have much character, adding some colorful flowers is a great way to breathe some life back into it. African daisies, petunias, delphiniums and Black-eyed-Susans are all vibrant and have the ability to grow back for a longer growing season if trimmed properly.

Let the Music Take You Over

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Can you remember the last party you attended that didn’t have music playing in the background? Whether you were at a block party or a formal soiree, you most likely heard some beats in the area. If you don’t have a great sound system that can provide the right atmosphere for your party, take a look into renting sound equipment. It’s usually far less expensive than you might anticipate. However you choose to play music, make sure it’s in line with your party’s theme. If you’re having a good old-fashioned American barbecue, play some classic rock. Hawaiian music – and one of my favorite artists, Israel Kamakawiwo’ole – is great to help get your guests in the mood for your Tiki party and luau. As long as your music is party-appropriate, you’re sure to keep the vibe alive.

Seating Options

One of the most important elements of your party is your outdoor patio furniture. Some homeowners decide to go with bar-height patio chairs and tables, while others choose to go with weather-resistant chairs and sofas with outdoor cushions. If you’re throwing a really relaxed and laid back party, choosing some deep-seating chairs will help create a lounge ambiance. Regardless of your furniture preference, you want to provide your party guests with a relaxing area where they can eat, drink and mingle with one another in a comfortable setting.

Let There Be Light!

There are plenty of ways you can add light to your patio to keep the party going after the sun sets. Whether you have some Christmas lights in the garage you can hang along your fence – I’ve found icicle lights work wonders and add a nice touch to your yard – or have some old oil lamps, take some time to figure out the best way to keep your yard illuminated. While some homeowners go above and beyond, renting extravagant lighting systems and fixtures, you can often  create the same effect using things around your home. If you don’t really care about illuminating the patio too much, a fire pit or fire bowl is a wonderful addition to the patio that is great for creating a somber mood as your party comes to an end, and are great for making s’mores for dessert.

Have a Backup Plan

While it would be wonderful if you experienced nothing but clear blue skies the day of your party, there’s no telling if an unexpected storm will arrive. Because weather patterns are random and sporadic, we need to have a plan B just in case. Try to prepare your living or family room in advance so your party guests can congregate inside in the event of bad weather. If you have an open kitchen, you can use your living room / kitchen combo as a great entertaining space that gives your guests multiple rooms to mingle and hang out. Just make sure your backup plan accounts for the number of guests you’re inviting.

No matter what theme you choose, you can’t be too prepared for your summer patio party. If you take the time to properly prepare, you’re sure to throw the party that will stick in everyone’s mind once the beautiful weather leaves us behind and the leaves start changing color. Just go with the flow, have fun, and you’re sure to show your friends and family the time of their lives.

Rachael Jones is a blogger for DIYMother, where women aren’t afraid to use power tools in a dress.

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