The BBQs are sizzling, the music’s playing – that long, hot summer you’ve been dreaming of is finally here. From a little gathering for close friends to a starlit wedding reception, the humble garden can be transformed into the perfect party venue: and when you follow these simple tips, the good times needn’t cost the earth either. Get creative, get personal, and let the good times roll!
Want a unique party theme? Try a charity shop…
Ditch the paper plates, help save the environment and save on washing up too by buying up funky old crockery from your local charity shop. If you’ve got a good eye for retro chic, you can create a real mix and match theme on even the tightest budget: and at the end of the night you can let each guest take their own personal plate and cup or glass home as a keepsake! Saves on washing up as much as it saves on trees, and it’ll give your bash a real unique feel into the bargain.
Share the love
Spread the cost and share scrumptious recipe ideas by getting your friends to rock up with a dish of their choosing. Ask some people to bring salads, some to do desserts and some to do main dishes – but make sure you give as many people their preferred dish as you can. You’ll end up with a riot of flavours, you won’t have to worry about forgetting anyone’s special food requirements, and everyone will feel like they’ve played a part in putting on a great party.
Bring the beach into your back garden
If you can’t get to the beach, bring the beach to you. A few inexpensive tiki candles, a sandpit if you’re feeling adventurous, and some tropical themed cocktails are all you need to turn an urban garden into an exotic getaway. Go the whole hog and get your guests to dress for the occasion – surf bums and hippie chicks welcome!
Take the inside outside
For a fun dinner party with an alfresco twist, move your dining furniture outside and have a full sit-down meal, candles and all, under the summer sky. The plants in your garden will make a beautiful backdrop to a sophisticated evening, and with the cooler air at night you can even dress to impress.
Have your own festival
Why spend hundreds of pounds on festival tickets when you can have your very own Glasters, right there in your back garden? If you’ve got the space, set up an open air stage (it doesn’t have to be much, just an area of lawn marked off with some plants or a bamboo screen will do) and get your mates to play. Theme it if you want (fancy recreating Woodstock?) or have an anything-goes philosophy – just make sure you warn/invite the neighbours…
Here comes the bride!
Wedding bells in the air? You don’t have to hire an expensive marquee when the weather’s good. Turn your back garden into a romantic wonderland with outdoor lanterns, set up a trestle table for the buffet and have a real DIY reception. Your guests will absolutely love it. If you’ve got the space you can even run a set of outdoor decks and speakers on generator power, for the full party experience.
The Author is a frequent contributor to home and garden blogs, and has been running his own network of DIY advice sites since the early 2000s. His articles and posts have appeared on more than 150 sites. He frequently guest posts on web pages with a reach of over 500,000 people per day.