Whether your garden parties revolve around the barbecue, or it’s a family occasion around an open fire, or you’re organizing a more sophisticated affair, throwing a perfect garden party asks for some careful planning and organization.
From picking the table setting to keeping the bugs away from food and drinks, these are the best tips to bear in mind.
Make your guests comfortable
Any experienced party planner will tell you that the comfort of your guests is among the top priorities. If you’re getting together during the day, make sure you provided sunscreen and shaded spots. If it’s an evening bash, citronella candles, and bug repellents are a must because no one wants insects in their drinks!
Depending on the weather, you could consider providing umbrellas, handheld fans, shawls, or even heating lamps. Your guests should feel completely relaxed and comfortable with both the setting and the climate. Another important factor is ensuring easy access to water, restrooms, and other essentials.
Pick easy to eat food
No good party goes without great food, but this doesn’t mean you should go overboard. Keep it simple and choose food that is tasty and easy to eat. This is not usually a big issue if you’re hosting a sit-down dinner, but when you have guests mingling around a buffet, it’s better if the food is simple, served practically, and easy to enjoy.
Use summer fruits and make an impressive statement dessert on display. Consider serving fruits in a champagne jelly or make a delicious summer tart decorated with edible flowers and fresh berries. Your guests will be blown away and certainly won’t leave in haste if they know what’s other delicacies are yet to come!
Excel at ‘tablescaping’
When it comes to decorating, a beautifully designed table in an outdoor setting is all you need. There’s rarely a need for heavy decoration when you’re out in nature – nature itself is the most beautiful host you can have. Plus, the food served on your table creates a unique kaleidoscope of patterns and colours and set on a crisp white tablecloth, the effect will be mesmerizing.
If you want to dress it up a bit, a great idea is to use flowers and foliage as decoration. You only need to ensure they can withstand the weather – opt for dahlias, garden spray roses, or anything tropical. If you add pebbles or sparkly marbles to the bottom of the vases, you’ll ensure they stay put.
As for the plates and utensils, experts advise using melamine, cloth napkins and glass cups, especially if you have miss-matched vintage cups that will add a ton of charm to your setting. Garden design favours the mix of old and new, rustic and modern, so don’t be afraid to experiment with what you’ve already got.
Also, make use of the trees in your garden to hold your fairy lights and garlands. These will add a touch of nostalgia and continue your decor beyond just the table settings – the rest of your garden will be included as well and no single area will seem neglected.
Use magical lighting
In addition to string lights, consider incorporating more light sources to achieve a layered effect. Use some strategically placed scented candles. Scatter some tea lights around the lawn and place torches along paths. This will create a magical and warm ambience, while a couple of large candle lanterns in key areas will keep the garden well lit.
Include fun games
A garden party is an ideal time to have fun and release your inner child! Even if it’s an adult affair, set out some bubble machines and balloons – you might get surprised by who joins in. Lawn games are always popular – bocce ball, corn hole and croquet are just some of the classics.
If there’s enough space in your garden, you can just get some balls out and people can play catch without any fear they might knock over some glasses.
With kids in the game, get some chalks and let them decorate your concrete sidewalks. Or get both the kids and adults playing hopscotch!
Let the music play
If anything can create a good atmosphere, that’s music! Get a couple of portable Bluetooth speakers out, and you can easily play your favourite songs right from your cell phone. It’s a good idea to have at least two playlists ready in advance – one for the daytime party and one for the evening. Include happy, upbeat songs and add your favourites – it’s your party, don’t forget to enjoy it yourself!
Have a backup plan
Everyone certainly hopes for a bright, cloud-free sky for their garden party, but things don’t always go as planned, so it’s best to have some kind of backup. You can’t ever be fully prepared for rain, but do have some umbrellas around, maybe a tent or an alternative indoor location available.
Lovely warm days and pleasant evenings make the end of summer the perfect time to take your parties outdoors. Whatever the occasion may be, for a fabulous garden party, being imaginative and creative definitely pays off and the gorgeous backdrop of your garden will only enhance the event!