Garden Party Ideas
The British weather of sun and clouds is excellent for garden parties and get-togethers. Sunshine brings together all walks of people – from the sun tanners to the foodies. Garden parties have been around in Britain since centuries and are known to be a favourite of the British Royal Family too. While most people have adopted a far more informal gathering as a substitute for the chic, overly formal sandwich and tea parties the Queen throws each year, some barbecue, popcorn, and ice cream usually help set the mood.
With the current global pandemic, even a party of a few people is reason enough to celebrate the change in weather. With time, hosts have had to change their party styles, bring in extensive safety measures, and provide for the sanitization and social distancing of everyone present. Where dips were shared from a single bowl, now each guest is requested to use a separate spoon and ladle out some dip in their own plates.
Most Britishers prefer a peaceful outdoor garden setting instead of hiring an outdoor venue and incurring the cost of setting everything up from scratch. Inexpensive parties with bbq smokers, ice makers, chiminea (outdoor fire pit/place for chilly evenings and nights), and popcorn makers are the new rage.
How to Throw a Great Garden Party?
The first thing to remember when hosting people outdoors is that the food should remain in good condition all throughout. After the food, hosts should consider looking at the comfort of their guests and provide for seating or shade (if too sunny and humid).
Let us look at some great party ideas to help you streamline your event, and have fun with your guests.
Plan the Budget: As with any event or party, planning a budget is crucial. It is easy to lose focus of the money involved and go berserk while ordering food and planning the décor. If you have a small party involving a few people, your budget probably won’t differ much from the original estimate. However, if you plan a large party, and even a few uninvited guests turn up, you would have to run around and make arrangements for extra food and seating.
When it comes to planning for catering, décor, entertainment, and alcohol, all hosts need flexibility in the budget. Ideally, a 10% margin above the approximate is a good idea provided the guest list is confirmed. If you plan to rent an outdoor space instead of having it in your personal garden, you would also have to factor in the rent of the area for your prescribed time.
Alcohol tends to take out a chunk of the money from the budget. Mitigate this additional expense by also dipping into the bottles already at home. Planning the alcohol carefully would help reduce the cost on the final day.
Food: Informal party food for garden parties is always a hit. Using bbq smokers and popcorn makers help keep everyone happy while reducing the overall cost of catering. Many people also have to procure ice from external sources. Using an ice maker to keep guests comfortable on a warm day will also ensure you have a hit garden party.
Foods like pizzas, salads, freshly barbecued burgers with a crunchy salad, guacamole dips, and mayo treats are always great options to have on hand. Fresh, light, summery foods are still a better option than deep-fried foods which may become too greasy for hot days. When planning the food estimate, always err on the side of caution and order additional food.
Consider the dietary requirements of your guests beforehand and keep options for vegans and vegetarians, and also alternative foods for allergies arising from shellfish, gluten, and nuts.
Decorations and Music: Brits love using sustainable décor. Reusable fairy lights, bunting, and eco-friendly streamers are always great at any garden party. While planning the décor, keep in mind the overall aesthetic of the party, the average ages of the guests, and whether the decorations should be bold or subtle.
Senior citizens prefer subdued décor like white lights, flowers, and fairy lights, while a more modern generation may choose bold colours with some multicoloured lights.
Elderly citizens also prefer background music instead of the thumping dance moves that most youngsters prefer. If you have a mixed age group of guests, you could add an eclectic mix of jazz, dance, instrumental, and some dance numbers thrown together.
Lighting could also involve large lanterns with warm lights, projected lighting, or votives on each table to cast a beautiful glow to your gathering. Separating the food and dance sections with some glass bottles or tasteful balloons is also a great idea for a garden party.
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