Garden Party with Sam Moore of Jenni Kayne

There is something extra special about entertaining outdoors.

We can’t think of anything better than the feeling of a gentle evening breeze in the garden and the warmth of the setting sun on your shoulders while sipping a crisp glass of wine and digging into a beautiful meal shared with friends. Garden parties are the perfect end of summer event because they are casual, accessible, and easier to pull off than your average dinner party. Using the natural backdrop of a lush, abundant garden landscape, these gatherings can come together effortlessly in just a short amount of time. We reached out to some of our biggest inspirations for outdoor entertaining to get their best tips on how to throw the perfect garden party.

Jenni Kayne is a California lifestyle brand that inspires women to live well every day. From wardrobe essentials to all the things that make a house a home, they create effortless staples without sacrificing style or comfort. 

They are *literally* professional Garden Party creators and we love collaborating with them. Sam Moore, the President of Home and Brand at Jenni Kayne, answered questions about herself and gave her tips on creating the perfect outdoor gathering.


Tell us a little bit about yourself and where your love for entertaining stems from.

I’m originally from Laguna Beach, California and grew up spending a lot of time outdoors enjoying weekly family BBQs at the beach. Pretty much the whole neighborhood was invited, and everyone would bring a favorite dish to share. I think this is where my love for casual gatherings and entertaining began. My idea of the perfect night is a long dinner with close friends and delicious food versus a night on the town. I recently moved into a 1920s cottage in Venice Beach, and I’m so grateful to finally have a small outdoor space to host gatherings of my own!

What are your top five tips for hosting an outdoor gathering?

  1. Get organized ahead of time! It’s no fun when you’re stuck in the kitchen and not able to interact with your guests during an event. Whether I’m cooking or ordering in, I try to have as much prepared as possible before guests arrive so the gathering feels relaxed.
  2. Keep it casual — the beauty of hosting outdoors is that things don’t need to be perfect. Let nature do most of the work, and avoid making the event too fussy.
  3. Depending on when you’re hosting, be sure to keep your guests’ comfort in mind. If it’s a summer day, make sure to provide shade or fans. If it’s a chilly evening, perhaps offer guests blankets.
  4. An easy way to elevate any table is by adding votive tea candles or pillars.
  5. Don’t forget music! Have a few go-to playlists on hand that you can throw on for last minute entertaining.

What essentials are always on your table for any outdoor party?

I love an abundant table so I always try to incorporate beautiful flowers or greenery, lots of dishes and sides, and plenty of natural wine!

Do you prefer serving plated, family style, or buffet style for your al fresco meals?

I tend to keep entertaining super casual and serve meals family style or buffet style, depending on how many guests I have. I love the communal feeling that a family style meal invokes and think sharing food is a fun and natural way for guests to interact.

What are some entertaining staples you always have on hand for easy, impromptu gatherings?

Nice disposables like bamboo plates and cocktail napkins, votive tea lights, an assortment of ceramic serving dishes, and a great playlist!

How can someone new to entertaining find confidence in hosting a gathering?

Start small. Invite over a few close friends or family members (read: people you trust), and serve something you’ve made before. If you’re not trying to cook for a group, grab takeout from one of your favorite restaurants and re-plate the food in serving pieces to create more of an experience. And keep in mind that your guests are going to remember the company and conversation, not what kind of napkins you set the table with. Don’t sweat the small details!

What’s your favorite part of planning an outdoor gathering?

My favorite part of planning any gathering is about mid-meal when guests are happy, enjoying amazing food, and the conversation is lively! The best nights are the ones that stretch out and no one wants to leave.


Now it’s your turn!

Time to stock up on your favorite clean wine. 🥂 We can’t wait to see what you create, make sure to tag us @Avaline

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