Ah, the sweetness of summer: gorgeous weather and long days make for ideal conditions to transform your backyard into a party setting that you can enjoy with friends. But while you won’t need to rent a location for your get-together, almost all other event organizing principles still apply. The team at Happening.ca has put together some of its most important tips so that your garden party will be a hit that will keep your friends talking until Christmas!
1. Location, Location, Location
If your backyard is not big enough to accommodate your guest list, consider taking things to a park. Just check with your municipality to get all the details and the okay to do so. If a public space isn’t your thing, think closer to home. Does a friend or family member have the perfect yard? Consider approaching them with your idea.
It’s summer after all, so get inspired! Starting off with a theme is a near-guarantee that your garden party will be original. For instance, you can opt to go “Western”, complete with appropriate food, decor and costumes. The possibilities are endless.
3. Have a “Rainy Day” Back-Up
While you might be excited about your garden party, Mother Nature might have other plans in store. Be prepared to deal with rain or an unseasonably cold day. If your event is a large one, renting a tent would not be a bad idea. Other options are canvas coverings, parasols or gazebos to keep your guests comfortable and dry. You might also want to consider providing an outdoor bathroom to avoid your hallway getting dirty and wet from all the comings and goings. If your party is in a public space, try and stay close to the washrooms.
Above all, make sure you have plenty of everything, and we mean everything: chairs, utensils, glasses, plates, ice, and food.
4. Keep Safe
While it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of a summer party, outdoor events can be particularly accident-prone. Make sure to incorporate your guests’ safety in your planning. Will your backyard have enough lighting once the sun sets? If not, lanterns or candles, among others, can provide the additional lighting you need. You want your guests to remain comfortable and to see where they’re dancing, well into the night.
Your backyard is your party playground, so treat it as such. If you have the budget, go all out and furnish with your theme in mind. Throw in an outdoor bar (a simple table can do the trick), and opt for tablecloths, dishware and accessories that will complete your look and set the mood for your event.
While many of your guests will bring their own wine and beer, consider welcoming them with a cocktail. We also recommend that you have your own stock of beer and wine, since running out of either is a big no-no. While this can add some dollars to your budget, it beats the embarrassment of telling your guests that they’ll have to switch to water.
7. Keep Things Summer Simple
Outdoor parties naturally lend themselves to simplicity. While you want to do everything to keep your guests happy, your event will be a hit if you keep things modest. So skip the fancy furniture; folding chairs, picnic tables and reusable dishware are your best bet.
In keeping with the spirit of summer, use that barbecue! It makes mealtime easy and quick. Burgers, hot dogs and corn on the cob never fail to satisfy appetites. Complement your “main course” with chips, salads and veggies and dip, and voilà! Yours guests and their children will all have something to feast on.
Take advantage of summer to add a special atmosphere to your garden party. Does campfire singing sound interesting? Recruit the guitar player among your guests, and together with a decent repertoire, you’ll have everyone joining in. If your party is more of the traditional kind, get a decent sound system that will coax your guests onto the dance floor. Remember that no other party element can create memories like music.
That having been said, keep in mind that a garden party is a get-together to savour the wonders of summer, so don’t complicate things too much. Just remember that a good party planner can never be too prepared.
On that note, the team at Happening.ca wishes you a great summer!