Garden parties are a very important staple of the summer. Getting the barbeque out and grilling meat with a cold drink in hand is always one of the highest points of the year. Will you be hosting an awesome garden party this summer? Here’s a checklist to make sure yours is the talk of the neighbourhood:
Rain in the UK is inevitable so it’s therefore important to have a contingency plan for if Mother Nature throws a spanner in the works. Don’t worry, this doesn’t necessarily mean your party is ruined! Whether your backup plan comes in the form of an awning from your house or a pop up gazebo in your garden, you will need something that can protect you from the rain without dampening the party or the mood.
If the worst comes to worst, you can continue your al fresco party indoors. If you plan on decorating your garden, be sure to extend your decorations indoors so the transition is seamless. You can then swap your barbecue for your oven grill, and sun loungers for sofas!
No garden party will be complete without the right drinks. A wide variety of beverages will always make sure the party flows nicely. You will need to make sure the beers are on ice, the wine and prosecco are uncorked and the Pimms and lemonade is pre-made (with all of the trimmings!). Make sure you don’t forget about the designated drivers and the kids – ensure you have enough soft drinks available too.
Possibly the most important aspect of the whole operation will be the barbecue. Nothing screams ‘garden party’ quite like chucking some grub on the grill. To get the most from the food, marinate the meat or fish the day before so the flavours can infuse nicely. If you have vegetarian guests coming to your garden party, be sure to set aside half of the grill for the veggie food.
Every party needs some banging music and a garden party is no exception. Whether you want to pump out some of the latest anthems or would rather go for a more laid back vibe with some smooth jazz, the music is a crucial contribution to a garden party. Create your own playlist for your party and summon the heart and soul of the shindig without having to double up as a DJ.
Before the main event it is advisable to have a dry run with the speakers to make sure the noise isn’t too much of a nuisance for your neighbours. If your party goes on into the late hours you don’t want to disturb their sleep. A wireless speaker can be moved around the garden to fit the acoustics that provide the perfect atmosphere without annoying too many surrounding houses.
Your lawn is the perfect place for children and adults alike to enjoy a garden party. Not just a place for garden games, but also a place to lay some picnic rugs down, which will provide extra seating.
Make sure your garden is smartly cut before the festivities begin; a nicely cut lawn will add that final touch that makes the whole scene look great. If you don’t have time to push around a lawn mower, a robot lawn mower can get the job done while you get on with the more important things at hand such as your party guests and arranging refreshments.
Everyone will want to sit down at some point so make sure you provide enough options. From deck chairs, beanbags or picnic blankets, it will be important to make sure your guests feel at home in your garden. If you plan on lighting a bonfire or fire pit, It’s advised that the seating is nearby so people can enjoy the warmth.
Even in the summer months it still gets chilly in the evening. This is why it’s important to provide heating for parties that are likely to go into the small hours. A fire pit or bonfire can be one of the staples of the garden party; not only do they provide the warmth to keep the party going but they also provide nice ambient lighting that really sets the mood.
If you do go for the fire pit make sure you place it on a stable and non-combustible surface like gravel or concrete. Ideally it should be more than 10 feet away from buildings if possible. Fire is great when it is handled properly but there are serious risks if you don’t give it the due care it needs. Make sure you have a plan for disposing of the ashes after the party as well.
If the fire doesn’t provide enough light for you, some extra lighting can add an excellent bit of ambiance when the sun goes down. Strategically placed lighting along walkways can be a very helpful addition to people who want to come and go from the party when it is dark.