Monday 19 May 2014

Getting ready for your summer garden party

*This is a sponsored post

If you’re looking to hold a garden party this summer then now is the time to start thinking about it if you haven’t already. We’re not quite in summer yet but it’ll be here before you know it and the last thing you want is to be rushing around and disorganised a few days before the party. With that in mind, here are some things you should be organising in preparation…

The guest list
There’s no use springing your party on unsuspecting friends and family at the last minute, as there’s a good chance they won’t be able to make it and you’ll be partying all on your own. Draw up your guest list well in advance, which will give you plenty of time to work out exactly who you want and work out if you’ve forgotten anyone. You then need to start inviting people, which you can do the modern way by text or email, but it’s a lot more personal if you actually send an invite and probably more likely to get a positive response. Etsy has some very cool designs if you want something a little different.

Decorations and lighting
You can just hold the party in your garden with no decorations but that’s a bit boring. Instead, try jazzing the place up a bit with bunting, balloons, even a marquee if your budget will stretch that far. Then there’s the lighting. Just because it’s summer and the days are longer, it doesn’t mean you don’t have to think about lighting, particularly if you think your party will go on quite late. Solar lighting, such as that available on, is a great idea as it’ll naturally soak up juice all day and then work as the light starts to fade in the evening.

The menu
Obviously you don’t want to be buying food this far in advance, but it’s a wise idea to think about the kind of food and drink you want to serve. Are you planning on having a BBQ or is it strictly finger food? If you’re making things from scratch then start making lists of ingredients so that when the time comes you know exactly what you need. Also, check with guests whether they have any allergies or particular preferences/aversions so you can cater for everyone. If you’re providing alcohol then you can start picking that up early to spread the cost as it’ll likely keep a while.

If the party is going on late and people will be drinking then they may well need a place to stay, particularly if they’ve travelled a fair distance. You may be able to let some people stay if you have the room, but find out in advance so you can plan ahead. You could also find some cheap local hotels to suggest to guests.

The playlist
You can’t have a party without music, and choosing a playlist actually takes a surprising amount of time, so it’s best to start early. You can use your MP3 player hooked up to some speakers for your music collection, or you could use a service such as Spotify, which would allow you to add and delete songs as you go along.

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