15 garden party ideas from a professional party planner

15 garden party ideas from a professional party planner

Enjoy your dinner or cocktail parties outdoors this Summer with top garden party tips shared by professional party planners, so you can impress guests!

Warm summer days and balmy evenings make summer the perfect time to take dinner or cocktail parties outdoors. But when it comes to hosting a fabulous garden party, it pays to get creative. We asked professional party planners to share their top garden party tips with us. From staving off the evening chill in style, to stopping bugs from landing in drinks, they've got it covered.

Pick a stable place in the garden for your party table
If you’re serving dinner, choose a stable place to position the table and chairs where there’ll be minimal wobbling and fewer mishaps. Investing in some wide wooden planks is a good idea, so you can lay them over the lawn to create a solid base or temporary decking.

Provide shade from the sunshine for your guests
Offer guests both sun and shade options, so that everyone can take a break from the heat if they need to. Erecting a canopy or small marquee, which you can decorate with flowers, is a great idea. Or if you’re lucky enough to have a room that leads on to the garden, open up the doors and invest in decorative rugs to protect your floors.

Match decorations to your garden plants
Choose a simple decor theme for the party - a shade that matches the flowers in your garden always works well - then carry that through your table settings, chair covers and candles. It’ll help to give your party a sophisticated, stylised feel, even though it’s outdoors.

Consider colour coordinated party food and drink
To create real synergy between all the elements of your party, mix-up a signature fruity punch or welcoming cocktail that coordinates with the colours in your decor theme. You could even carry that through to the snacks and canapes, where possible, to create a talking point.

Serve summer fruits with edible flowers
Have an impressive statement dessert on display. Fruits in a champagne jelly always work well, or a delicious summer tart decorated with fresh berries and edible flowers. Your guests won’t be leaving in a hurry if they know what’s still to come!

Extend your party through the garden
Scatter throws, light blankets and a few cushions around your garden furniture. It’ll help create a softer atmosphere early in the party, and then allow guests to keep warm and cosy when the evening draws in. Any spills or stains can be easily tackled with Ariel Actilift liquid the next morning.

Create a magical party garden
Consider the lighting in your garden and, as evening draws in, make use of strategically placed candles. Scattering tea lights around the lawn and along paths will create a beautiful atmosphere, while two or three large candles in key areas will keep the party well lit.

Harness nature’s scents for your outdoor party
The beauty of a garden party is that you can use nature to help create an ambiance. Emphasise the scents in your flowerbeds by dotting a few scented candles that share the same fragrance around the garden. Position seats near impressive plants, too, so that guests can take in the glory of their surroundings while they relax.

Protect your guests from garden pests
Bugs can be a problem, and nobody wants a fly in their cocktail! Try serving drinks in quirky jam jars instead of glasses. Drill a small hole in the lids so that you can slide in straws, and match them up to your colour theme. Lighting a few mosquito candles and placing them around the garden can reduce the chance of any guests getting bitten, while it’s also a good idea to have a bug spray on hand.

Plan party table decorations to match the garden
Use any fallen petals and leaves from your garden to sprinkle over the table or drinks area. Small decorative ideas like this create a consistency between the garden and eating areas, and also add plenty of colour to your arrangement.

Make sure party glassware sparkles in the sunshine
Decorative glass tableware can really set-off a garden party as it will sparkle in the sunshine. Try displaying desserts on a glass stand, and dot large glass jugs of iced water and fruity coolers around the table to catch the light. Fairy Platinum dishwasher tablets will ensure your glassware is clean and sparkling - and then you can buff it with a dry cloth for a super shine.

Have fun planning your garden party
Garden parties are the ideal scenario for quirkier decorations, and sites like Pinterest can be an endless source of inspiration. Wooden welcoming signs with handpainted messages always look great, as do vintage birdcages filled with flowers.

Provide party music in the garden
Don’t forget the music, as it’ll help you create the right atmosphere. Make two different playlists ahead of the party - one for the day, and one for evening - filled with happy, uplifting songs. A portable speaker is a great idea too, so that you can plug in your device outdoors.

Hang party decorations in trees
Make use of the trees in your back garden for hanging fairy lights and bunting. It’ll add a nostalgic feel and help carry your decor from the table settings to the rest of the garden, so that no area looks bare or forgotten.

Serve easy-to-eat food at a garden party
When it comes to the food, choose dishes that are tasty, but easy to eat. If you’re hosting a sit-down dinner this is less of an issue, but when guests are mingling around a buffet, it’s better if food is easy to enjoy.

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