There are different venues that you can rent out for your get-together, reunion, weddings, birthdays, and other special occasions. Garden venue for your party is another that stands out and is a hit to those who love celebrating outdoors.
With a garden party, you have the option on what to decorate, and how you want to design it. Designs will depend on what theme you are going for.
How to prepare the perfect garden party and everything that goes with it.
It is easy to prepare as long as you know what occasion or what celebration is it for. Is it just a get-together? Is it a wedding, or a birthday?
It can be an outrageously extravagant celebration or just an inexpensive affair with overflowing BBQs and drinks.
It can even be just a simple dinner. With the garden surrounded by fairy lights, there is cool music plus unlimited booze after.
The ideas are just endless, but the trick is in making it a very memorable and successful garden party.
Here are some important things to consider when you want a garden party
How much is your budget for the party?
Before you can plan a party, you need to know how much you can only afford to spend. If you want an extravagant garden party with all the frills, you will shell out an enormous amount just to make it possible. There will be the decors will it just be DIY decors or you will hire someone to take care of the decorating, the food will also depend on how much you can spend so, if you have a big room, you can also hire a catering service to take care of this aspect which includes the drinks as well.
The guests will also depend on your budget, more budget means more guests on the list.
What is your theme?
So you also have to decide on what theme you want. If this is a garden party for a child, then it is going to be a simple blue or pink theme, and everyone has to dress up for a child’s birthday party.
If it is for an adult, then there are also numerous choices ready for the picking such as Casino and Vegas Theme, Arabian Nights Theme, the 1980s, Superheroes, Beach Party, just to name a few.
How many guests are you planning to invite?
The most important aspect of throwing a party is knowing how many guests will come over. You don’t want to be left hanging with just a bottle of wine at the ready, or your guest will just be standing near the potted plants, cause there’s no more chair for them.
To avoid this, know beforehand by sending in your invites to these people and getting their nods so you have an estimate of how many will attend the party.
Ask yourself if you want a big party or you only like a party with just a few people.
Also, you don’t want to have a table full of food and no visitors in sight.
If it is just a casual garden party, then you can text or call the people you are going to invite. If it is a much bigger party, you are planning, it is ideal to send an actual invitation with the date, time, location, and if children are alright to be around. Also, inform them of the attire, so your guest will not be coming over wearing gowns, and cocktail dresses for a simple barbecue get-together.
Ask them beforehand to confirm their attendance so you can add them to your list of attendees.
It is also best to know what you are planning to serve and take note of the people you know who may be allergic to certain foods, and inform them as well that you have included a menu for them.
Ease up on the attire
If you want many people to attend your garden party, it is a must that your party is something that they want to go to. It is not ideal to require your guests to wear too formal clothes when it is supposed to be a relaxing and fun garden party. You should also not expect your guests to arrive wearing their long gown on a summer day garden party. Ease up on the required get up so that your guests will surely enjoy throughout. Lightweight fabrics, something that is breathable and comfortable, or florals are more like it.
So you are expecting sunny weather or a dinner under the moonlight, but then again, as we know, weather can be tricky. One minute it is sunny, and it is raining the next. You cannot be sure about these things, so you have to be prepared.
If in case the rain pours, you should have a place to move your guest indoors. You may also have a large garden parasol ready, just in case the inevitable happens.
Another item you got to have in store are extra seatings cause sometimes even if you already have the number of guests, more turns up.
Other what-ifs to consider when having a garden party are the extra guests that would turn up, and there should be enough food for everyone. Make sure you have something in store or an easy to prepare food just in case something like this came up.
Activities during the party
This is another consideration you have to plan so your party will not be boring, and there is something else to do besides eating and go home after.
Set the mood for some dancing as well and pair it with comforting music. Guests will surely have a fun time swaying to the tune. You can even have a ready playlist so your guest can pick one they like and to which they can dance.
Prepare a stage or an area where there can be programs or performers you have invited so your guest can get entertained.
For a children’s party, there are so many activities to choose from such as a photo booth set up in a designated area, bubble show is also something to consider as this will occupy the kids for hours, yard games should not be off the list and this is applicable even for kids or adults.
Campfire storytime is not far off as children will love to hear weird stories or scary stuff, they will surely have such fun time with such activity.
A small parting gift can be added when you are planning your garden party. Just before your guest leaves the party, you can have something for them to take home. For an extravagant party, you can have a basket of simple luxuries, and for smaller affairs, some handmade and inexpensive items can be your best choice.
Just insert a thank you note, and it is going to be something simple yet memorable that your guests will appreciate.
Choosing the right music, decoration for the party.
If you are to create a wonderful garden party, think of the decors and designs. Pair that with the right music that is pleasing to the ears.
What party are you having? If you are to have an elegant dinner party with guests that are not so young, it is not appropriate to have loud music that can be heard a couple of meters away. Make sure that you have pleasant music playing in the background, and you have to check your local ordinances for music/sound that is only allowed and what is the time frame for such.
Decorations should also be suitable for the party you are having, for general decors, florals are always the go-to decor for garden party set-up, or perhaps some green and white plants paired with some fairy lights if it is nighttime.
For daytime decor, floral is still the in-thing. Using peonies, cypress trees, pergolas, lavender, even white roses with some terracotta pots will surely look magical.
What’s more, flower decors can be given out to guests if they like to take it home with them.
Balloons are the next option as long as it is done tastefully and with just the right colors.
Colored vases are another idea for decor. If you have some paint in the store, you may paint the vases any color you wish. These can then be placed on the table with some pieces of a flower.
As long as it is a garden party, there is no need to be too fancy with the decors, and if your guests are quite comfortable and having fun and there are enough food and drinks to go around, it will surely be a garden party to remember.
What foods to offer the guest?
Food doesn’t have to be too expensive or fancy as long as it is prepared meticulously, and just as tasteful, your guest will surely love what you have to offer.
A buffet-style table with finger foods, plus two or three main dishes is alright. Simple buffet lists may include
- Classic baked macaroni and cheese.
- Some pan-fried chicken or classic fried chicken
- Baked pastry,
- Some garden salad,
- Stuffed eggplants, blue cheese, and
- Bacon pizza
- Desserts such as peach cobblers, and fruits in season.
If you have the budget, you can splurge and add fancy menus to the meal such as roasted shrimps, oven-fried crispy chicken, smoked salmon, slow-cooked beef Bourguignon, among others.
How to create pleasant lighting for the party.
Lighting is essential in every garden party. It gives just the right glow and effect when there is still sunlight and pleasurable decor to see when the sun goes down. If the party started mid-afternoon and is still going on till the wee hours, you must have ready lighting to cover the celebration for the whole hours.
This can be very crucial, especially if you want the party to go on till midnight. It can turn guests off if there is just a dim light working and two candles on the table where the food is being served that they cannot even recognize the food. It is not at all pleasing to the guest.
If you are planning a nighttime garden party, you must also have a perfect lighting plan along with it.
Here are some samples of lighting ideas for a garden party.
Candles and Torches
The flickering light of the candle plus the torches that you lined up in your garden will create a romantic and wonderful atmosphere. Safely installing the torches in the area where people will walk on is a great idea. You may also place hanging candles on the trees as long as it up to safety.
Rustic Rope Lighting
If you are gunning for a rustic feel and something that is organic for your garden party, placing rope lightings will be a great idea. It is not just ideal during nighttime, but also in the daytime. It is best wrapped in tree trunks, or just hanging on the leaves or place them on the fence, and it is also wall-mountable.
Floating Sphere Lights
This is an advanced lighting system that your guests will surely be in awe of. This is managed using a remote control so it can change its colors and the mood of the occasion. It is not just one you can use, but you can use as many as you want to make a statement.
Multiple colored paper lanterns are just magical. There are unique designs of the paper lantern, and if you are using it for your garden, you can opt for a paper lantern with flower decor on top.
Paper lanterns are also paired with fairy lights, often with garden parties.
Hang them in your garden, and every guest will surely have something to look at and talk about.
Twinkle lights, Fairy lights
Fairy lights are that beautiful, small lights that are so charming and bring about fantasy, and magic to any place you hang it in.
Fairy lights can be placed inside mason jars also and hanged in trees or on the walls, others just let it hang from the ceiling as if there are small lights flickering above you.
The good thing about fairy lights is that they are even powered by a battery. If you are not up to using cords and switches, this can be your option. The way you hang these lights is also up to your creativity.
These may be high-tech lights that automatically switch on during night time. If you have these around your garden, then best to utilize it during the celebration.
Pot plants that are glow in the dark
We can paint pots with fluorescent dyes and then placed on pathways or near areas where people will converge during the party. You can also have some suitable objects to use besides plant pots.
Wrap the top part of the jars in wire so you can hang them on tree branches with just the chandelier effect, or you can also have a thicker wire to hang them in the garden. You can also place Mason jars on each table for special effects.
You can use the mason jars as oil lamps, or you can use citronella oil to ward off mosquitoes at the same time.
Outdoor string lights
Yellow bulbs that can be wrapped around a tree for an impressive effect. Choose bulbs that are water and heat resistant. These rope lights have many uses cause you can place it near the buffer area, around the garden, if there is a stage, you can line your pathways or walkways with it.
How to keep insects away?
As much as you decorate, you should keep in mind that when you are outside the garden, there are also pesky pests that are also partying with you.
To keep these insects and pests away, you can use some
bug-repelling items such as;
- Placing bug-repelling floating candles around the garden
- Hanging fresh rosemary leaves in a strategic location around the garden
- For anti wasps trick, vinegar, sugar, and salt is a great homemade trap that you can use to keep these insects away from your garden.
- For flies, as long as there are candles around, they are not too keen to get close to the buffet table, so you are warding off mosquitoes and flies at the same time.
- Just have a place to burn small pieces of mint, sage, and lavender all throughout the party to deter bugs, mosquitoes, and other insects.
- Have an area to hang the anti-mosquito and bug spray so guests can have easy access to it.
- Mosquito killer lamp is another option cause you can buy this in-store and have heavy-duty types for outdoor use. Have these mosquito lamps in a different location in your garden, so there is no way these bugs will pester your guests.
Can you take the children to a garden party?
If the invite is not intended for a children’s party, you may need to clear this up with the host. It will be awkward to arrive at the party and have your two kids with you, only to find out that there are no other guests who brought their kids with them.
If you are not too sure and you want to bring your kids, asking the host would be the best idea. If you also know some guests who have children as well, ask them if they are planning to bring their kids with them on the day. If there is no positive feedback, it would be best to leave your kids at home.
Invitations sometimes show whether you can bring your entire family with you or if it is just the husband and wife who are invited.
For children’s party and you know that the person celebrating is not yet in her or his teenage years, by all means, you can bring your child with you.
Should you have a barbeque, or should you rather prepare food in the kitchen?
Everyone is excited about the idea of a barbecue when they hear the word garden party as some people connote barbecue with it.
Having a barbecue party is simple and will not require too much preparation on your end. As long as you have well-marinated slabs of meat of different types such as steak, lamb, chicken wings, pork chops, and can even be salmon or burger, and you are good to go.
There should be enough for everyone if that is the only meal you will have, plus some side dishes or even salad.
It is ideal for the host to think about their guests as well, so if they will have some older guests or it is a mix of different ages, then having a barbecue and perhaps three or four main dishes so there will be food to choose from.
But if you show that the party is a day of fun barbecuing or you put a note on having a party in our backyard, most of the time, this connotes a barbecue party.
The difference between preparing barbecues instead of several dishes to prepare is that barbecue requires less effort compared to cooking various dishes. However, you need to have a person or two who will crew the barbecue pit, as this is the part that is quite exhausting.
What kind of drinks can you offer?
For a garden party, it is ideal to have many options to keep your guests well hydrated so they can enjoy the party, here are some suggestions for garden party drinks
Ever reliable and thirst-quenching lemonade or iced tea – as this drink is truly refreshing, you can also do this on your own by brewing some tea leaves, adding some lemon juice, and honey. If you don’t have time, a store-bought tea is fine.
Fruit-infused water– some guests would like a healthy drink with less sugar. If you also have the party on a hot summer day, other guests who are not much into juices, smoothies, or soft drinks will well appreciate this drink. Cucumber or lemon slice added to the pitcher of water is a great thirst quencher.
Soft drinks – this is your go-to drink if anything else fails. If you have no more fruit juice to serve or lemonade, then this is the next best thing.
Alcoholic beverages and also fruity juices
If you have guests that are ready to have a drink with some punch to it, then you can offer some alcoholic beverages. Drinks will depend on who your guest is going to be. For a more relaxed approach, here are some samples of beverages for adults.
Cocktail drinks– You can mix and match depending on the preference of your guests. You can have a ready pitcher of mojitos, margaritas, or even a simple gimlet for a garden party.
You may just add a decent amount to every mixture, so you will still have some guests standing at the end of the party.
You may also opt, to not include alcohol in these drinks, at least your version will keep your guest steady the whole day.
Fruit juice – whether it is made with strawberry, apple, orange, or mango, this drink is a sure hit to people of any age. Add some ice cubes, and this will be your best seller.
The perfect decoration.
The decor will always depend on your garden and its size. You can put on as many flowers that you want, but can even suffocate your guests if you only have a small space for your party. There are also go-to decors that you probably like because it is easy to use, but then again consider the place where you will put it.
Everything must have its rightful place, fairy lights hanging on tree branches, flowers lining the pathway, or just hanging down as if you are in fairyland.
Lightings are also another way to create a fantastic venue, with the right mixture of color and correct installation, the garden venue will surely pop and become elegant.
The decor is important when having a garden party, but the most important thing is your guest should enjoy and should also be comfortable and at ease with their surroundings.
You should create a room in your garden that can make your guests happy while they are in that space, know what your guests will enjoy more, will it be just a rug and blankets on the ground with overflowing fun and laughter plus good food to go with it? Or will it be a more formal setup, such as a lace-covered dining table that is heavily decorated with special dining wares and flower arrangements?
Other Ideas for your Garden Party
So, after an entire day of fun, you are now in the second half of your garden party. Some guests will be leaving, and there will be some who would be raring to take it to the next level of partying.
Time to set up the picnic or get-together area, this may include adults who would like to have some fun time just playing games or eating food while exchanging stories. They can also be in front of a makeshift bonfire, even liquors and beers can be passed around.
Provide a name tag for the guests
So if you have different sets of friends, they will be able to mingle and know who they are talking to. This is also the best time to gain new friends for every party guest.
Give out essentials
Best to have these ready, if your guests would need some anti-bug/mosquito lotion, hand wipes, blankets, and towels.
Keep the drinks and food, refilled and flowing
When people get together and are having fun, they tend to enjoy food equally well as cold drinks. Make sure that there is enough to go around for everyone and to keep the night interesting.
How can you keep children busy at a garden party so that their parents can celebrate undisturbed?
Prepare a space for the kids
They should have a room just for them where there is also complete decor and where they can stay safely with other children.
Get someone to look after them
You should hire help or a babysitter to see after damage control. When kids are playing or having fun in a room or area, there is sure to be a lot of screaming and children running around, make sure that someone is watching over the kids.
Set up their food station
They should have their own table that is also decorated with colorful and fun items. It should also have foods that are intended for children, some miniature candies, cookies, colorful toppings for their biscuits, and more.
It should not be the same table as the adult, so they don’t have access to the areas for adults. It would be awkward to have children running around when the adults are dancing and partying.
Improvise a craft table
There should be crafts and arts ready for them. Coloring books, glitter, play-Doh. Older kids can have DIY pop-up cards, Christmas ornaments, painting, and beading activities.
Play some music
Children will have more fun with their arts and crafts with merry background music, it should not be too loud to distract them while they are having fun but should just be soft music playing in the background.
Get some board games ready
Having some board games around can give the children an option on what they want to play or get busy with. There may also be some older kids who would rather play board games than do arts and crafts.
Ready for some fun movies
Children love to watch funny movies and have some pleasant laugh out of it. Pair this with some snacks such as popcorn or have them choose to have hot cocoa or fruit juice. If it is a day or night of special get together, maybe they can also have some pizzas ready and which older kids may prefer.