The last two years of on-and-off lockdown have taught us that we should make the most of our outdoor space. Many COVID-era projects were focused on turning the backyard into a place of relaxation, productivity and fun, and as social distancing measures were relaxed, the garden became the place to socialize with friends and family. Everyone loves a garden party and now’s the time to get planning for your backyard bash. But there is plenty to consider, especially if you’re organizing the party on your own – from budget issues to decorations and catering. Luckily we’ve got a few tips to help you on your way to an amazing garden party.
Keep the decor simple
Garden decorations work best when they are simple and highlight the natural beauty of the space – they also don’t have to break the bank. Simple items such as paper lanterns add color and provide atmosphere and ambiance as it gets darker. For seating and patio areas rugs, cushions and throws add warmth and comfort, and bunting, fairy lights, and streamers are all go-to decorations. Many of these items can be found in low-cost stores and installed easily and safely on your own. If you grow flowers in your garden some can be cut and arranged tastefully around the space. Generally keeping it simple and minimal works best, decor should add to the mood and not be too imposing.
If you’re on a budget the last thing you want to be doing is providing all the drinks for your guests. Asking your friends and family to bring a bottle (or two) isn’t a social faux pas, and means that you’ll have a large variety of drinks to serve without the expense of stocking your bar. Make sure that you have a sturdy table to put bottles on – the worst thing for any party is a patio full of broken glass and nothing to sip. Otherwise, keep drinks inside where people can help themselves. If you want to provide something for the attendees then get a large party-sized pack of beers, or make a big bowl of punch. You can provide soft drinks and mixers too – much cheaper.
Get the garden sorted
Before you decorate your garden you need to get it into shape. That means regular garden maintenance – mowing the lawn, decluttering, raking up leaves and neatening the flower beds. You can plant some flowers or have an outdoor fountain from the Soothing Company installed to add a more relaxing and sophisticated vibe. Spring cleaning your garden is good practice anyway, and will also mean a party will have less of a negative impact on your backyard. Bugs can be annoying for guests at a party or barbecue, so keep them at bay by burning citronella candles or placing herbs that they don’t like in strategic places.
For many people, a garden party means one thing: barbecue. But as with drinks, providing all the meat and fish yourself is costly. But the good news is: your guests won’t expect you to. Ask some people to bring something for the barbecue, and others to bring a salad or a dish they love to make at home – a wide variety of options for a buffet is better than a pure meat fest. Make sure anyone with specific dietary requirements lets you know their needs beforehand – the chances are they will bring their own food anyway. And as with the drinks – a sturdy table that isn’t going to fall over is essential.
Everyone seems to be a DJ these days so if you want a dancefloor you probably won’t have to hire one. But parties work better when no one has to think about the music, so use whatever streaming service you subscribe to and build a giant playlist, or several that can be changed at appropriate parts of the night. Mood setters, dancefloor bangers and pop classics, or whatever your tastes – and those of your guests – run to. Bring your speakers outside, but make sure any wires and cables are safely laid and won’t get rained on if the weather turns.
The chances are that your garden furniture collection won’t accommodate everyone at the party. You’ll probably have some furniture you won’t mind bringing outside from the house, but good options include straw bales (depending on where you live you can ask at farms, or riding schools, etc), or pallets (go to any warehouse or supermarket and ask – you might get some for free). Dress these up with cushions and throws and you’ll create a relaxed and bohemian atmosphere, as well as having plenty of places for your guests to sit and unwind.
A garden party is a great way to relax and spend time with friends and family. With the tips provided above, a budget-friendly way to throw a fun and stress-free backyard bash are just around the corner!