Our tips for the ultimate garden party
The sun might still be in hiding, but here at The Collection Events we’ve already started our summer party planning. One of the key events trends for 2020 will see a move into the great outdoors as guests escape into nature, so we’ve been thinking about our favourite tips for organising a garden party.
Not only are garden parties the height of summer fun, but they’re also one of the most creative event types: you can go bold with floral decor, mix and match your food and drinks and make the most of the extra space with some great entertainment options.
Most importantly, you can choose from a long list of beautiful venues with outdoor space to host your event in. We’ve put together this article to help you organise the perfect summer garden party for your corporate event, so you can concentrate on enjoying it.
Pick a theme
If the idea of planning a garden party leaves you feeling overwhelmed, don’t worry – the easiest way to get organised is to start with a theme.
Whether that’s a colour palette such as classic nude or something more elaborate like Alice in Wonderland, it’ll give you a starting point so you can start thinking about food, decor and location.
If you want to take the theme even further, you could set a dress code for guests. Luckily, summer garden parties make this easy – florals, bright colours or even plain white all look stunning against a garden backdrop.
Design your decor
Once you’ve got your theme sorted, you can start to plan what you want your garden party to look like. At The Collection, we’re keen to promote sustainability, so we’re always on the lookout for alternatives to the standard disposable balloons and plastic party banners.
Instead, emphasise the ‘garden’ element of your party by creating a colourful flower wall – as well as looking and smelling amazing, it’ll provide the perfect backdrop for everyone’s Instagram photos. Shoreditch Gardens can even transform their space into a secret garden oasis for a fully immersive experience.
Another important element to consider is where guests are going to sit. Consider using furniture to create different party areas, such as some blankets laid out on the grass for relaxed chatting or tall tables where people can set down their drink while they’re eating.
Be prepared for rain or shine
Unfortunately, even in the middle of summer you can’t guarantee a full day of sun in the UK. That’s why it’s important to be prepared for all weather when you’re planning your garden party.
Pick a location that has shady spaces for guests to get some respite if the sunshine is blazing, as well as some indoor space or marquees in case of an unexpected shower. Hampton Court Palace offers the magnificent Garden Room, a 1920s-style orangery with views of the lush palace grounds.
If your garden party will be going into the evening, you might also want to consider a venue that has outside heaters, or blankets for guests to wrap up in.
Plan your menu
One of the most important aspects of planning a garden party is making sure there’s enough food and drink to go round all your guests. Since the weather will be warm, you won’t want anything too heavy – a selection of canapés or bowl foods is ideal for people to graze on whilst chatting.
Another popular option is an afternoon tea-style spread of sandwiches and cakes, which can create a more relaxed, picnic style of party. Of course, there’s also the go-to BBQ, which never fails to make guests happy. Instead of playing safe with the usual sausages and burgers, why not add halloumi, lamb koftas or cauliflower steaks to mix it up?
You can’t have food without drinks, either – make sure your venue has a team of bartenders on hand to whip up some fruity cocktails or spritzers to keep guests refreshed. Dartmouth House has an extensive summer cocktail list filled with old favourites and bespoke creations to suit everyone’s tastes.
Keep everyone entertained
A party isn’t a party without some music to get everyone dancing, so it’s essential to get your summer playlist sorted before your event. Consider hiring a live band or DJ for an incredible atmosphere, and to ease your worries about the WiFi cutting out halfway through your Spotify queue.
Since your garden party will be held outside, it’s the perfect opportunity to make the most of the space for guests’ entertainment. Consider hiring some giant lawn games for some childlike fun – Somerset House offers giant chess, Jenga and Connect 4 as part of their summer party packages.
If you’re looking for something more creative, you could set up an arts and crafts table for guests to make garlands, jewellery or tie-dye T-shirts to take home as party favours. Or create a fun treasure hunt by hiding things around the garden – the person who finds the most gets a prize!
Feeling inspired by our garden party tips? Take a look at our list of summer party venues.