9 step guide to planning a memorable summer garden party

Johannes van Graan Johannes van Graan
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After a long and dreary winter we all want to welcome the sun back in style. And what better way to do that than by hosting one spectacular summer soiree in the back garden?

But before you start writing out that guest list,  is your home prepared? Do you have the right entertainment? How about food and beverage ideas? Rushing into a back garden bash is the last thing you want to do as guests will immediately notice last minute planning.

So, whether you’re hosting a casual pool party or an elegant sit-down dinner in the garden, let’s take it from the top…

1. Prep your garden

Get your garden in order. Mow the grass, rake the leaves, trim the hedges, water the plants, and pick up any loose objects such as tree branches, tools or toys.

How about some professional touches for your garden? See our extensive range of gardeners here on homify.

2. Clean up inside

Painted Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones: modern Kitchen by Harvey Jones Kitchens
Harvey Jones Kitchens

Painted Shaker kitchen by Harvey Jones

Harvey Jones Kitchens

Don’t overlook your interior spaces just because you’re planning some outdoor festivities. Focus on the spaces where you know guests will be, such as your entry hall, bathroom, and kitchen, and make sure they are clean and tidy. 

Double-check that your bathroom is stocked with necessities you know everybody might require. Or better yet, just take a look at: Essentials For Your Guest Bathroom.

3. Set up some seating

Make sure you have plenty of seating options for your guests. Add cushions to chairs, and opt for comfortable furniture in look-at-me colours that pop (it is summer, after all).

If you’re short on chairs, spread some blankets and pillows on the lawn or terrace.

4. Get your tunes right

Table Top Hi-Fi:  Multimedia room by Symbol Audio
Symbol Audio

Table Top Hi-Fi

Symbol Audio

Whether you’re hooking up your iPod to speakers or prefer to go old-school with some vinyl records / CDs, music is regarded as a must-have for any social gathering. Choose music that will be entertaining and pleasant, but not too loud or overwhelming.

And if there are going to be children at your party, make sure your music is appropriate for younger ears.

5. Choose food wisely

Picnic Crochet Food Cover: country Kitchen by Dotcomgiftshop
Dotcomgiftshop

Picnic Crochet Food Cover

Dotcomgiftshop

Think of your guests when conjuring up your menu. When extending invitations, you may want to enquire whether anybody has any food allergies or dietary preferences. 

Remember that your menu will change depending on the type of get-together you’re hosting: courses are more intended for a sit-down dinner, while finger foods or a barbecue can be ideal for a cocktail party.

6. Get some help

Garden Party Lemonade Drinks Dispenser: country Kitchen by Dotcomgiftshop
Dotcomgiftshop

Garden Party Lemonade Drinks Dispenser

Dotcomgiftshop

Ask a few friends to arrive early to help with some pre-party prepping. But make it part of the occasion: pour each one a drink, start the music early, and sample some food. 

homify hint: Prepare as much food in advance as possible. You don’t want to be scurrying around the kitchen while your guests are having all the fun by themselves.

7. Set up outdoor lighting

Lighting can create a special atmosphere. Whether your get-together is formal or casual, be creative by mixing up the sizes and shapes of your lighting elements. 

Candles, big and small, can lend a nice ambience to the evening, while hanging lanterns and strings of holiday lights are always a cheerful touch.

8. Keep the pests away

 Balconies, verandas & terraces  by D2 Studio
D2 Studio

Świecznik / Podstawka LIGHT ME ON

D2 Studio

One of the less pleasant elements of summer is the bugs. Make sure those mosquitoes don’t put a damper on your party. Add some decorative citronella candles to the rest of your lighting scheme.

If necessary, have some mosquito repellent handy for your guests, but choose one with a light scent, like aloe.

9. Dress up your table

LuxDeco - The Riviera Collection - Tableware:  Balconies, verandas & terraces  by LuxDeco
LuxDeco

LuxDeco—The Riviera Collection—Tableware

LuxDeco

Of course you need a table for your summer entertaining, even if everybody will just be lounging around in chairs while snacking. Where else will you be displaying your food and dining supplies?  

Opt for cheerful, summer colours for your tablecloth, napkins, and plates. And make sure you have a festive table centrepiece on display. Don’t forget the cutlery.

And remember to have fun!

Can you think of any other tips in setting up a back garden party? Enlighten us in the comments section!
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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