Sunday, March 24, 2024

Planning Tips for a Summer Garden Party for Family and Friends


Hosting a garden party in the summer for family and friends can be a lovely way to get everyone together. Even if the weather isn’t that great, everyone will still have an awesome time. With some advance planning, you can create a fun and memorable event. Here are some tips for planning a successful summer garden party that isn’t remembered for all the wrong reasons.

Choose a Date

When choosing a date, look at the calendar and avoid conflicts with other events or holidays that guests may be attending. Weekends often work well for garden parties. Also, check the weather forecast and have a back-up indoor location in case of rain. Even better, look at hiring a yurt so everyone is kept dry, or in hot weather, cool. Yurt rentals such as Hooe's Yurts - UK's top yurt hire are ideal if you decide to rent a yurt.

Late summer is ideal when gardens are full of colour.

Make a Guest List

Decide who you want to invite - just close family, extended family and friends or a larger community event? Garden parties usually have 15-40 guests. Send printed invitations 4-6 weeks in advance and follow up closer to the event. Keep track of responses.

Plan the Menu

For a summer garden party, opt for cool, refreshing foods and drinks suited to being outdoors. Cold salads, fruits, chilled juices and lemonade work well. Have lighter hot foods like quiche if desired. Consider any dietary needs. Keep it simple with just 2-3 savoury items, a couple of simple desserts and some fresh fruit.

Set Up the Garden

Make sure the garden is tidy beforehand. Have enough tables and chairs for all guests. Set up a food/drink table. If hot food is served, chafing dishes keep it warm. Decorate with pots of flowers, bunting and lanterns. Have garden games available. Consider shaded areas if it’s a hot day.

Refreshments & Entertainment

Provide bottles of water and soft drinks as well as jugs of juice, lemonade or Pimm’s. Offer hot tea and coffee later on. Hire a steel band, jazz trio or acoustic musician to play music. Have some group games or activities planned like croquet, badminton or charades.

Serving the Food

Offer disposable plates, cutlery and napkins for convenience. Serve food buffet style and replenish as needed. Child-friendly foods like sandwiches, sausage rolls and crisps go down well. Adults may enjoy more elegant bites like scones, mini quiches and cheese straws. Have dinnerware available for those wanting to sit and dine properly.

Tidying Up

To make things easier, use compostable plates, cups and cutlery. Designate bins for waste, recycling and food waste. Encourage guests to help tidy up and take leftovers home. Stock up on bin bags and enlist help to get the garden back in shape once everyone has left. Send guests home with small gifts like potted plants, baked goods or garden produce.

Most importantly, enjoy this special time with loved ones! With attention to planning, preparation and hospitality, your summer garden party will surely be a wonderful occasion.

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