There’s more to throwing an outdoor party than great weather and delicious food. Your outdoor setting plays a big role, too. No matter how hospitable you can be, don’t let guests be put off by a badly organised party and, for a lack of a better term, an ugly garden, make some home improvements. Mown that lawn and de-weed the flowerbeds before anything else. After that, follow these tips to throw a fantabulous garden party your guests won’t forget as long as they live:
Everyone loves the summer sun, but up to a certain point. Your guests won’t be able to tolerate standing out too long in the sun, even if your party is the greatest ever. That’s why you should set up the tables and chairs where there’s some shade. Trees will be the best option, but if you are serving food on a lawn, you can go for artificial shade. You can try gazebos or, better yet, garden tents. You can get these even for small backyards. (Just be specific when searching online for tents Melbourne for the best results.) The point is, there should be an area where guests can seek shade when the sun becomes too much to handle.
Mind the Bugs
Summer months bring in an array from pesky insects to the garden like bees and fruit flies, who seem to bother only when you are serving the hors d’oeuvres for that impressive outdoor lunch for your boss. Don’t resort to spraying pesticides or anything similar, because that only leads to natural disaster. You need those insects in your garden to pollinate your flowers. You just have to be innovative to keep them off the delicious food. Achieve this goal by serving food in a covered area, like a closed tent, or find dish covers or plastic wraps for the food plates to keep the bugs out. Covering food will also keep it from drying out quickly under the sun.
Buy Lightweight Outdoor Furniture
Garden party settings usually require moving furniture a lot, so it’s best to get lightweight furniture to avoid being tired out moving around wooden chairs and tables a lot. Plastic is a good lightweight material for outdoor furniture. It’s also generally cheap and easy to replace if broken. On the flip side, plastic is less durable than material like mahogany or teak. Dyed plastic furniture also loses colour when kept outside for long hours under the harsh summer sun. Consider both pros and cons and decide for yourself what kind of material you want your outdoor furniture to be made out of.
Make Sitting Down Comfortable
Outdoor furniture designs, unlike the indoor versions, are less comfortable to be seated at for long periods of time. You can make the process simple by adding soft cushions to chairs or chaises. You can consider the comfort level when you buy outdoor furniture if you like, but be aware that ones with cushions and pillows tend to cost more. Additionally, you can get table umbrellas and battery-operated mini-fans to help guests relax on long outdoor gatherings.
Provide Ample Liquids
Remember, it’s outside in the summer, so your guests will be a lot more thirsty than usual. Make sure your party menu has plenty of cool beverages like iced tea, cool lemonade, smoothies with crushed ice and chilled punch. Don’t serve hot beverages like tea, coffee or drinking chocolate unless the party is held in the evening (but even so, it’s always better to serve cool drinks.) Glasses of water should be readily available for guests whenever one requires it. You don’t, after all, want one of your friends fainting during your party.
Keep Solid Foods Simple
It’s the summer, so serve simple dishes like salads, cold cut meats and fresh fruit. Heavy meals with spices and oils are best left for indoor dining and colder months. Offer dishes that are easy to munch on between chit-chatting and don’t leave guests feeling stuffed too soon.
Don’t use Paper Plates or Cups
Keep the summer wind in mind that so easily blows away paper items, napkins and lightweight plastic cutlery. You have to make sure your guests are not bothered by fluttering tablecloths and the like. Ditch the tablecloth altogether or use a heavy, leather one. Use ceramic plates, glasses and real or faux silver cutlery. Cloth napkins are also less likely to fly off a guest’s hands, so use them even if it means an extra load for the washing machine later.
The best way to make a garden party great and flowing smoothly is to keep things simple. Organise everything in advance and don’t serve food that you don’t like.