If you’re in the habit of throwing outdoor soirees, then it makes sense to invest in some long-lasting garden decorations. However, if you simply want to spruce up your backyard for a single event, you can afford to go a little more out-there with the theme and decorations. For an all-year round theme, choose something timeless—Hamptons homes, Moroccan riads, and Southern Italian terraces are all great sources of inspiration and offer a classic garden look. Outdoor tiling and all-weather rugs are ideal for re-creating an exotic look, while plenty of weathered wood and ocean-inspired garden décor is all you need for some nautical flair.
When planning an outdoor garden party for a specific event (think birthday, anniversary or even football game) then you can transform your backyard into an impressive space with just a few quick changes. Outdoor table cloths, themed paper lanterns and weatherproof cushions are inexpensive but have the power to completely change your backyard look. See what you can make yourself to save a bit of money—for instance, sea shells collected at the local beach or painted rocks from your flowerbeds create a beautiful table centerpiece. Don’t forget to check out if there are any coupons for party supplies to help save on costs!
As with all parties, the key to a successful outdoor garden party is prep! If you’re a fan of BBQs, maybe it’s time to invest in a new grill? If you’re going down the disposable route, be sure to pick them up from the store at least a week ahead so you don’t have that last-minute panic. Will you serve hot food or cold? Picnic and finger food can be largely prepared the day before to save you time and stress. For hot food, a big one-pot made in a slow cooker can be prepped early on in the day and is a great cost-effective way to feed a big group of people. Pick up some disposable plates, cups, and cutlery to save on the clean-up, and keep convenient trash bags near your garden table to encourage your guests to tidy up after themselves.
For drinks, the biggest rule is to make sure you have enough! Try to accommodate for at least three drinks per person, and always have a decent non-alcoholic option for drivers and kids. You can make up big pitchers of cocktails to match your theme or opt for wine and beer to keep things simple. Fill large buckets with water and ice if you don’t have a great deal of freezer space, and your drinks will stay cool. And on the subject of ice, make sure you have a bunch of it! To add something a little special, make some exciting ice cubes a few days before the party by freezing berries, juice, or edible glitter.
Depending on where you live in the country, the weather may be your best friend or your worst enemy when it comes to an outdoor garden party. Make sure you’ve researched what the temperature and conditions are likely to be and plan accordingly. If it’s going to be blisteringly hot, make sure to provide plenty of shade with garden umbrellas and some comfortable seating for those sun worshippers. A gazebo or weather-proof umbrella is essential for the main dining area in the case of rain. Invest in plenty of outdoor lighting to help your party go on into the night—solar-powered fairy lights add a magical atmosphere and help save you energy. If it’s likely to get colder in the evening, think about either an outdoor heater or fire fit to keep your guests toasty, and have plenty of warm blankets on hand. A comfortable guest is a happy guest. And one final thing…don’t forget to mow the lawn!