Garden Party Planning Tips for the Perfect Outdoor Event
A garden party is one of the most fun ways to celebrate a special occasion. It’s also a great way to bring people together. So, if you are looking to throw a garden party, read on to learn more about what you should do!
As an outdoor enthusiast and an interior designer, I enjoy garden parties, they are a delight to attend and design. They can be simple or you can immerse your guests in a multiple-sensory experience with elaborate decor, lighting, and music. I've listed some things for you to consider that might help create a memorable garden soirè.
The modern garden party is a quintessentially British event, having its foundations in the 1860s when Queen Victoria began hosting breakfasts for the nobility. Later, they became the more societal affairs we see today. Dining options vary, from traditional tea and finger sandwiches to raspberry BBQ sausage bites and fruity sangria. These affairs are a terrific place for a creative presentation.
Plan an outdoor event like no other!
Find some visual inspiration to stimulate your creativity. Whether you decide to go with a theme or simply stylize the decor, consider color, accents, lighting, and food. From there, start a list, or two, in addition to the menu, "To Do," and "Need,” or “To Buy.” The "To Do" category is obvious and should include reminders of finding those decorations that are in storage.
Choose the Right Location
Create a Plan for Food and Beverages
Decide Who Will Be Invited
Set a Budget
Prepare for Weather Conditions
Garden party settings are all about floral beauty and lush surroundings. With plenty of greenery and flowers, potted plants, and hanging decorations, you can create a garden atmosphere that will transcend the urban landscape. Whether you transform your yard into a secret garden or create food stations around the pool, the set-up is determined by where you decide to entertain and how far you want to go with the decor.
Sensory stimulation is endemic to a garden. Along with fragrances and textures are the colors you choose to use. I think there is no better setting to mingle or dine in than a colorful one, especially outdoors. If you decide, you can have fun decorating by adding comfortable and stylish furnishings. Consider what you will need to deliver the best seating and lighting experience. Don’t forget the temperature. Is it still chilly at night or getting too hot in the afternoon? Will you need shade umbrellas (another way to bring in color and a festive mood)?
You can push yourself outdoors with a more exciting color palette. If you don’t create a themed space, why not do a very colorful one? As opposed to the indoors, where you may be hesitant to go bold as a permanent statement, the outdoors can be a great way to explore your fun side. Think colorful tableware, votive candles, and lots of flowers.
Stir things up by using pattern-on-pattern fabrics. The linen table runner, comfy cushions, and whimsical pendant lamps from Mind The Gap make for a delightful dinner party. Mixing it up will add to the festive atmosphere.
MIND THE GAP DESIGN & SUPPLY
Table settings and comfy cushions make for a delightful dinner party. Mixing patterns and textures will add to the festive atmosphere. Just let your guests know ahead that they will be dining on a pillow-laden garden floor in your invitation, so they can dress casually to sit ‘tailor-style.’
Plenty of lighting. Lamps, candles, solar, and a fire pit, all serve their purpose here. In addition, hanging lights and lanterns will add height, depth, and warmth to any space.
What about the romance of a theme like “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and creating a woodland fantasy look? You will enchant your guests and create a memorable event.
You can also make the outdoors feel more like a continuation of your indoor space with comfortable furniture, accessories, and potted plants. In addition to string lights, add solar candles or reflective ornaments as embellishments. Adding rugs will enhance the intimate setting and add pattern and texture.
PARTY MENU IDEAS
If you choose to serve a sit-down dinner, BBQ on the spot or provide hors d’oeuvres and drink bars, your menu will influence the affair. Your local farmer’s market is a great place to determine your fresh cuisine. Keep in mind how you want your guests to mingle and the flow through the garden space.
GAMES AT THE PARTY
What is more classic than a game of croquet? Having games available is a great compliment to the festivities and why not encourage the interaction? Your guests are bound to enjoy the merriment and laughter!
“They could not have had a more perfect day for a garden-party if they had ordered it.” The Garden Party - Katherine Mansfield (1922)
Hosting a backyard or garden party is one of the best ways to enjoy the summertime without having to leave the comfort of your own home.
Connecting with your friends and family can be what is needed to lift your spirits and stimulate your creativity in a way that will delight and entertain. I hope I have inspired you and offered some ideas, but most importantly, just go have fun!
Header image courtesy of Photographer/Director PAUL COSTELLO