A few tips to great outdoor entertaining:
Bring the inside out: Use furniture from your house such as dining chairs or even wing chairs for the head of the table. A chest or dresser an make great area for a buffet or bar.
No paper or plastic: Use your finest china and linens outside. Bonus... you're being green!
Set the mood with lighting: Use candles and string lights to create a laid back and relaxing atmosphere.
Cool nights: Have a basket of throws ready or pashminas draped over the back of chairs for guests as the temperature gets cooler at night.
Relax and enjoy: It will be more fun for you and your guests this way...no one enjoys an uptight host!
To get you started with a look....