- By Jasmine Chu
- Published 03/29/2012
Now that summer is finally on its way, as well as with the bonus of Bank Holidays on the horizon, everyone with a garden whether big or small will be looking to have some lovely get together’s with friends and family.
The following guide will give you some top tips for making your summer party special.
1 – Garden Spruce
There’s no point having an outdoor party if your yard or garden is unkempt, so get an old t-shirt on and do the maintenance essentials to have your outdoor space looking clean and tidy. Rake the leaves and other debris, pull out those nefarious weeds, trim hedges, cut the lawn and clear away any bits and bobs lying around such as tools and toys. Spring is also the best time to plant some pretty flowers, so get those green fingers on the go!
2 – Home Sweet Home
Don’t overlook spaces inside the house where your guests will circulate, namely entrance halls, the bathroom and the kitchen. Ensure they are clean and neat so there are no inconveniences or accidents, particularly if there will be young children running about. While you’re at it, also add some summer colour and fragrance to your home by having some strategic arrangements of fresh flowers and greenery.
3 – Outdoor Oasis
You can turn your yard or garden into a magical area without having to be a star designer. A giant umbrella will not only shield party guests from the blazing afternoon sun, it will also add a festive flair. When night falls, you can really enhance the atmosphere in addition to providing lighting with some beautiful Chinese lanterns – these days they come in a range of lovely colours. It’s also a good idea to add some citronella candles to ward off the gnats and mosquito’s, along with some colourful candles and strings of fairy lights.
4 – Seating
Ensure you have plenty of seating for your guests. Another idea if you’re short on chairs and space yet have a nice patch of grass is to have some bean bags, large cushions or even blankets laid out so people can get comfy.
5 – Music
Choose background music that will be entertaining and pleasant, rather than too loud or overwhelming as this will prevent the flow of easy conversation.
6 – Menu
Consider your individual guests when planning the menu – what will be helpful is to ask them when extending invitations if they have particular food allergies or dietary preferences.
A potluck party can be a great idea – not only will it prevent you from spending a fortune and lighten your work load, it means that everyone can bring a dish or drink that they really enjoy, so there will be a wide variety of options.
Another tip is to prepare as many foods as possible in advance, because on the day of the party you will have more than enough to keep you busy. This can also enhance the flavour of many dishes.
7 – BBQ Success
One of the highlights of summer parties is being able to have a tasty BBQ. Beforehand, make sure the grill is clean and ready to fire up with enough charcoal or gas. It’s a wise idea to have a meat thermometer on hand so you can relax a little without worrying about burning the food. Also keep aluminium foil and lots of clean plates near the BBQ – when the meat is ready, place it on the plates and create a foil tent to keep it hot if you won’t be serving it immediately. Bear in mind that by doing this the meat will continue to cook for a minute or two, so consider this when factoring in the grill time.
Do consider adding grilled vegetables to the BBQ as they will make a great side to accompany the meat. Skewering the veggies for grilling is both a fun and convenient way to go about it – it will only take a few minutes and you will simply need to rotate them once.
From creating a magical atmosphere using the right music and pretty decorations such as Chinese lanterns to arranging a spread that everyone will enjoy, the above tips will see you well on your way to hosting an unforgettable outdoor party this summer.
About the Author: Jasmine Chu is a decorator and independent retailer of Chinese lanterns.