After all those years of being a garden party guest, there’s no chance you can hide under the table any longer. It’s time to return the favour to all the hosts you’ve blessed with your presence.
But, if you’ve found that while you’ve been to enough of them, you still have zero clue how to throw one yourself, then stress no more. We’ve got loads of ideas to help make your garden party an unforgettable bash – from decorations to garden party games and food, we’ve got you sorted. You can thank us later.
Garden party decoration ideas
First off, tend to the decorations as these require the most thought. Try to pick a theme for a cohesive look – you could even use the flowers in your garden to inspire your colour scheme.
Beautify the table
If you only do one thing, make sure you decorate the table. Hit up a local fabric shop to find beautiful off-cuts for an outdoor tablecloth. You’ll find dirt cheap fabrics in a variety of unconventional styles that you can easily cut to size. Then, simply drape over your table and voila – tablecloth sorted. Plus, because it was a bargain, it’ll be far less traumatic should one of your drunken friends spill their drink everywhere.
Don’t forget to show your fancy side by bringing out the posh dinnerware – it can make all the difference to your set-up. Pick brightly coloured plates, and don’t forget that everyone loves an odd-looking snack bowl. Let’s face it, no garden party is complete without one!
For an alfresco vibe, fill glass bottles with freshly picked flowers from the garden. Add some candles and tealights to create ambience for when darkness falls.
Set up plenty of seating
Make sure there are plenty of deck chairs dotted around the garden. You could also create chilled-out seating spots on the grass by piling up decorative cushions and throws. As well as looking like you put in loads of effort, it will encourage guests to actually speak to one another!
Invest in some extras
Want to go a little bit ‘extra’ with your decorations? Bunting is a must for creating an authentic garden party look. Drape it across hedges, trees, fences and beams for instant impact. Hang bright paper lanterns and pom poms from trees, and throw in a few balloons too because, why not? Everyone loves a balloon!
A chalkboard is a quirky way to welcome guests and ideal for writing sentimental messages, should you be celebrating a special occasion. Talking of special occasions, we have plenty of cards for every event – from birthdays to anniversaries and much more.
A gazebo will protect everyone in the event of rainy showers and can double up as a hiding spot for when the drunken guests get all too much. Use it to shelter a buffet table or decorate it with potted plants to make it look extra stylish. Or, you could make this into your chilled-out seating area with cushions, throws, candles and an upside-down beer crate that serves as a drinks table.
Create ambient lighting
Good lighting can create a magical ambience. String lights, lanterns and candles will transform your garden into a twinkling paradise and ensure your party goes on long after the sun sets.
Garden party food ideas
Remember the number one rule: get stocked up on plenty of booze to keep your guests happy – summery punch and the obligatory garden party special: Pimms’ and lemonade will get you in your guest’s good books.
And don’t forget to serve the food promptly! We’d say stick to a max of one hour within guests arriving. No-one wants to be left waiting around with a rumbling stomach. In terms of the food itself, here are some easy menu ideas:
- A posh BBQ: Keep it simple with a good old BBQ, but impress your guests by accompanying sizzling meats or veggie options with delicious marinades and garnishes. Make sure you also have some fresh summer puddings on standby.
- Buffet: A buffet is a great get-out clause for allowing you more time to enjoy the party and less time in the kitchen. Put on a delectable spread of food to delight your guests’ taste buds. Decorative fruit and cheese boards are bang on trend, don’t forget the obligatory finger foods, quiches and pastas. You could even go all out with a doughnut wall.
- Tea party: Keep it sophisticated with a classic tea party theme. Neatly cut triangular sandwiches and quintessential scones and trifles are essential. If you’re really looking to impress, shake up some cocktails and decorate with edible flowers to reflect the surroundings. Oh, and don’t forget the tea (obvs)!
Garden party games
When the booze starts flowing freely, games have never been more appealing! Here are just a few of our favourites to get the party started.
- Lawn twister: Replicate Twister by using stencils to mark out circles with paint on your lawn. This will provide great entertainment when you’re drunk – just be careful where you position yourself to avoid rubbing someone’s partner up the wrong way… (too much? Sorry!)
- Giant Jenga: Get your hands on a gigantic version of the traditional Jenga game, ready to be demolished by your tipsy guests. It’s also a great way to break the ice. Set up some chairs nearby for anyone wanting to observe the chaos.
- Slip ‘n’ slide: A slip ‘n’ slide is an epic garden game for when it’s boiling hot, and will create plenty of ‘lol’ moments. You can buy them ready-made, but if you’re looking for a make-shift solution, clear plastic sheeting will do the trick. Spray with soapy water and then slide away. Always slide safely though, no one wants a trip to A&E!!
- Limbo: Limbo is a must at a garden party. Any excuse to put on the iconic ‘Limbo Rock’ song and show off how low you can go. Plus, it can provide some pretty hilarious sights after a gin or two.
There you have it – all the ideas you need to pull off a summer soiree like a pro. No-one will ever know you’re an amateur! For more ideas, head over to our blog. Or, if you’re celebrating a special occasion at your garden party, check out our garden-themed cards.