With the UK basking in glorious sunshine this week in a Spring heatwave that’s led to the hottest April day on record since 1949, I don’t know about you, but I’m in the mood for summer! When the sun is shining, I’m always smiling. It wouldn’t be summer without a garden party and so without further ado, I’ve put together a guide on how to host the ultimate summer party in your garden, packed full of advice from fellow bloggers.
1. Get your hands on some pretty bunting and garden party accessories, including some LED string lights (take a look at the fantastic selection of the best outdoor lighting deals on Groupon to get a good deal for your summer party!)
Lianne Freeman, Anklebiters Adventures
2. Lots of brightly coloured plastic cups and plates so it doesn’t matter if they get dropped or knocked over – plus, you can get the kids to clean them with the hose!
Gemma Hall, Mummy’s Waisted
3. Prepare as much of the food as you can in advance – things like salads will keep fine for several hours in the fridge. Marinade meat as early as possible too, for the best flavour.
Fiona Hawkes, Savvy in Somerset
4. Citronella candles to keep those pesky bugs away!
Ayse Erdin, Arepops
5. Have some easy to prepare summer cocktails like Prosecco, lemon sherbet and Pimms.
Jenny Bennett, Mum in Practice
6. Make sure you have tons of drinks chilled and some nibbles dotted around in case the food takes a while. If you have guests that you know are fussy or have special dietary requirements, run your menu past them to make sure they have something to eat. I’ve been to plenty of parties with friends with special dietary requirements, and some of them bring their own snacks now because otherwise they may go hungry!
Nikki Dempster, The Mombie Diaries
7. Some pretty fairy lights always create a gorgeous atmosphere!
Alison Bentley Campbell, Passions and Preening
8. The perfect summer party isn’t complete without a couple of garden games to keep the big kids occupied! My favourites include Beersbee, Swingball and Frisbee.
Neesha Rees, Reinventing Neesha
9. Some people like myself don’t appreciate the heat as much as others so maybe some of those little fold up fans being available or a decent section for shade. Also, jumbo Jenga, because who doesn’t love Jenga?
Jade Bremner, Jade’s Long Journey
10. Pick up a Kilner drinks dispenser and fill it with squash for the kids. Then, you don’t have to be constantly getting them drinks. If there are no kids, fill it with mojito and crushed ice!
Nikki Turner-Chaplin, Yorkshire Wonders
11. Concentrate on the comfort and enjoyment of your guests during your summer party. Make sure there are plenty of seats and that everyone can sit together. Be sure to walk guests in, get them a drink, show them where everything is and introduce them to each other. Guests put at ease will be instantly happier to mingle with each other, making for a great party atmosphere.
Gemma Scopes, How To Make Friends
12. Fresh seasonal flowers on the table are an absolute must. They provide a wonderful scent and will give your table the wow factor. We always suggest opting for an odd number of arrangements evenly placed along the length of the table as it is most visually striking.
Kat Atkinson, The Creative Wedding Fair
13. Cucumber in ice cubes for your G&T!
Emma Maslin, The Money Whisperer
15. Turn your garden party into a mini festival! Everyone loves festivals and to offer a dinner or garden party in this way can be fun and can cater for a huge range of tastes. Design it like a mini festival – have a Prosecco bar, a cider bar, find some friends that love playing music for your entertainment, get some bales of hay to sit on, etc!
Claire Marie Horn, Atom Interior Styling
16. Fill up a container with ice – and fill with a variety of drinks. We love our galvanised steel container – saves you having to dash to the fridge and guests can help themselves.
Carrie Bradley, Flying With A Baby
17. Freeze grapes! Not only you can use them for keeping drinks cool, but they make tasty snacks too!
Danielle Morris-Brewer, Oh Positive Mum
18. We are having our fourth three way summer party this June! We take out the fence panels and go across three gardens. Marquees and gazebos for when it rains (and it has two out of three years!). Food in one garden, drink in another and bouncy castle in the other for the kids. Umbrellas dotted in each garden for use when people want to go to another garden from under a gazebo to eat food or drink!
Helen Dewdney, The Complaining Cow
19. If you have a Polaroid camera, get clothes pegs and use a tree/ fence or washing line as a photo album for the night – encourage guests to use the camera and peg their photos once they are done.
Hannah Nicklin, Miss Nicklin Blog
20. A fire pit to keep guests warm late into the night, always a fave with us and it keeps the bugs away! Plus, s’mores!
Chantele Cross-Jones, Two Hearts One Roof
21. No summer party is complete without solar lights, a marquee with fairy lights, music and plenty of Prosecco!
Carla Marie-Letts, My Bump 2 Baby
22. An easy entertaining hack I love is to add herbs or fruits when making ice cubes – makes any drink look fabulous and super tasty, too! Basil and rosemary work great with gin!
Gemma Johnson, Vegan Foodie Gems
Have you ever thrown a summer party in your garden? Do you have any tips you’d like to add? If you enjoyed this post, don’t forget to pin it so you can come back to it again and again!