Outdoor parties during the infamous British summer can be a precarious affair; the threat of rain is never far away and BBQs invariably end up with charcoaled – or dangerously underdone – food. However, it doesn’t need to be like this, and creating the perfect outdoor party environment can be as simple as a few well-chosen props and a creative theme. Here’s our guide to getting it right this August.
1. Don’t let the weather dampen the mood
Providing suitable sheltered areas in your garden will ensure the party is not cut short in between those unpredictable summer showers. Gazebos are cheap, easy to put up and an extremely effective way in keep your guests dry. You can even add fairy lights and bunting to give it a festival vibe. Just watch out for high winds, as your party could rapidly take a turn for the worst if you’re not careful!
2. Banish party crashers
Having an insect-free garden party is practically impossible, however, midges, wasps and flying ants can quickly ruin the fun. The good news is there are lots of natural ways to avoid being overrun, without the need for chemicals. Try jam jar traps to catch wasps, while using brightly lit areas placed some distance from the main event will help keep the insects at bay. Bug spray with a high percentage of active ingredient ‘Deet’ is also a great idea (though can be smelly!)
3. Seating is key
Many people fail to provide adequate seating when holding a garden party, which leaves guests awkwardly standing around, shuffling from foot to foot. Another mistake is bringing your dining room chairs into the garden, as these are overly formal and not terribly comfortable. Instead focus on providing creative seating options: that means beach-style deck chairs, specialist wicker patio chairs, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, bean bags and bohemian cushions.
4. Create your own fire pit
Fire pits are an ideal way of turning your event into a stylish affair. Not only do they look great, they provide much needed warmth when the sun sets, and also work well as a ‘conversation pit’; creating an area to socialise away from the dining table. There’s a variety of options available, from shop-bought chimineas, to homemade oil drum-style affairs. A word of warning: unless you’re a DIY whizz, we’d recommend buying one, which is easier – and safer – than doing it yourself.
5. Food and drink is your oasis
It goes without saying, but properly planning your food and drink for a garden party can really make your event memorable. A hungry guest is an unhappy guest, after all. BBQs are the obvious choice, but for something a bit different why not try a cold Mediterranean-style Mezze. An outdoor ‘bar’ area is also a fun way to keep guests entertained, complete with ice buckets of beer, Pimms jugs, if you’re feeling brave, a cocktail-making station.
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