With the summer in full swing, we’re taking socialising outside with lots of barbecues, dinners in the garden and, of course, outdoor parties! If you’re planning to invite friends and family round for a summery garden gathering, we have plenty of outdoor party ideas and expert tips to ensure your al fresco celebration is the most stylish event of the season….
01.Prepare for all weathers
As we are all too aware, the British weather can be unpredictable to say the least! From sudden showers to brilliant sunshine, we can have it all in a matter of minutes and so it’s wise to prepare for everything when throwing an outdoor party! A parasol is perfect for creating a shady spot to keep our guests cool and keeping food and drinks out of direct sunlight and some are even shower proof, allowing a little shelter from sudden rainy spells. If you’re really concerned about dark clouds putting a dampener on your outdoor party then it might be a good idea to consider a stylish outdoor room! Garden Igloos offer a contemporary dome that works all year round and is the perfect solution to unexpected drizzle.
Garden parties are all about catching up and socialising, however, it can also be a wonderful idea to create a stylish space, away from the hubbub, in which people can relax with a drink and quiet conversation. A bundle of colourful bean bags combined with a few cosy throws and coordinating scatter cushions creates a comfortable haven for people to sit back and watch the world go by…
As we all know, as long as there are plenty of drinks flowing, parties tend to go with a swing! Rather than traipsing back and forth to the kitchen, ensure you can keep your drinks cool outside instead. Fill a couple of champagne buckets with plenty of ice to ensure there is wine and fizz on tap at all times! For larger gardens the St Mawes collection from Garden Trading is the perfect outdoor party idea! With a built-in cooler tray the St Mawes Bar Table is ideal for chilling bottles and using as a bar station while the St Mawes Drinks/Planter Table is the ultimate al fresco dining solution.
04.Serve in style
When there are drinks and nibbles around there never seems to be enough surfaces and so a couple of occasional tables can be a wonderful outdoor party idea. The Aldsworth Butlers Tray from Garden Trading made from untreated spruce wood is perfect for bringing food out from the kitchen and provides an extra spot for plates, speakers or drinks. Alternatively, use a bar trolley outside (weather permitting!) to add a little old school glamour to the occasion and store all your bottles!
05.Create a bite to eat
Even if you’re not creating a full meal for your guests, ensuring there are some delicious nibbles on hand will keep everyone happy! Dishes of nuts, crisps and crudités are perfect for grazing on or, for something a little more substantial, create some bite sized treats that you can pop on the barbecue so that you don’t have to leave your guests to spend time in the kitchen. The Eva Solo Table Grillis a super stylish BBQ option and is just the right size for grilling mini kebabs, prawns and other party nibbles.
06.Dress the table
If you are serving some snacks at your outdoor party, present them in style with beautiful crockery and create a showstopping table with some carefully selected serving boards and bowls. This summer we love Mediterranean inspired blue and white schemes and we’re adding in natural wooden boards and serving tools for a laid-back feel. Add a beautiful linen table runner and create a bundle of colourful napkins to add texture and vibrancy to the look.
07.Be ready for unexpected guests
Ensuring there is a place for everyone to sit outside can be tricky – especially if you end up with more guests than anticipated! A couple of picnic rugs can be a great extra seating option, just add a cluster of cushions for an instant seating area that can be easily rolled up and stowed away. We love the Fatboy Picnic Lounge Rug with its sophisticated and stylish Persian style print.
Garden parties tend to be in the habit of carrying on until well after the sun goes down and so some outdoor lighting is an outdoor party essential. Outdoor lighting around entrances and walkways is useful all year round but if you’re looking to create lighting in specific areas for your garden party, try looking for lighting that can be used inside and out to ensure you get the most out of it. The Fatboy Edison Petit Table Lamp can be charged indoors and then set up on your outdoor bar or dining table to create a cosy glow where you need it most.
09.Set the mood
As well as functional lighting, softer mood lighting is crucial to creating a party ambience. Lanterns filled with candleson steps and table tops produce a gently flickering light that is warm and inviting and will inspire your guests to relax and enjoy your celebration long after the sun has gone down…