Garden Party Ideas: A Guide To Throwing A Backyard Party People Will Love

By: Liz Baessler

There’s pretty much nothing more enjoyable than an outdoor summer party. With good food, good company, and a green, peaceful setting, it just can’t be beat. If you’re fortunate enough to have a spot to host, you can throw your own garden party with not much effort and huge reward. Keep reading to learn more about throwing a backyard party and garden party tips.

How to Host a Garden Party People Will Love

When you’re throwing a backyard party, you should keep one word in mind: effortless. Does this mean you shouldn’t put much effort in? Of course not! But you want your guests to feel comfortable and at ease, and your setup to have a rustic, almost wild element to it. You’re out in nature, after all.

This means flower arrangements that are cheerful, bright, and maybe a little thrown together. Think flowers or even just greenery of different heights arranged casually in mismatched mason jars and vases. Cover tables with bright, rough-hewn tablecloths and napkins. While you want to embrace the outdoors, you also want your guests to feel comfortable. The best way to do this is to create a “room” in your garden.

Lay down rugs and blankets on the ground. Put up an open tent or awning to create a shady spot (it’s not much fun to eat in the hot afternoon sun). String Christmas lights or light rows of tiki torches and candles to keep the space light after the sun sets.

If you want a slightly more formal affair, you can set a dining table, but many guests will be just as happy sitting on pillows and cushions over rugs – people love the feel of a real picnic. A couple Bluetooth speakers scattered around the garden will keep the music going all day.

More Garden Party Ideas

You don’t want your food to be too complicated or hard to eat, especially if you’re going to be sitting on the ground. Set a big buffet style table with mostly finger foods, but include one “main” dish like fish or roast beef to make it feel like a real meal. Choosing a specific theme is helpful too.

While everyone loves a barbecue, preparing food ahead of time will give you more time to socialize and enjoy your party. You may want to put netting or decorative mesh covers over your food to protect it from bugs. Drinks can be as simple or as complicated as you want them. Bottled beer, soda, and rosé is great, while pitchers of iced tea, lemonade, and mixed drinks give a personal, more artisanal touch.

Remember, whatever you decide to do, keep things bright, light, and easy.

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Garden Party Ideas: Throw a Summer Bash Guests will Remember

If you’re looking for garden party ideas, we’ve got them. Ideas for a summer party that your guest will remember – and rave about – until Christmas. Or maybe even Easter. From Mother’s Day to the Autumn Equinox – we’ve got months of outdoor fun ahead of us. Summertime, and the living is easy. Decorate your garden party with umbrella lights, with white lights and with flowers. And set an elegant table. Use food stations and beverage stations – even for a traditional sit down dinner. It’s easier on you and will let the guests control their own portions and preferences. Unless you have staff, that is. Then, go ahead and do a full-service dinner party a la Downton Abbey.

Which of the summer days are worth worth celebrating, you ask? Start with a backyard brunch for Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Then we have the Memorial Day long weekend, then the best of all, the first day of summer and the Summer Solstice. Almost right after that, July 4 and then the Labor Day long weekend. And then, Bam, it’s the September (22) Autumnal Equinox. They are all perfect days to host your summer soiree in the garden. So get out your party clothes, the game is afoot. And with these tips below, you can host a backyard bash that will be the talk of the ‘hood – all winter long.

The primary ingredients for a good party are fun, interesting guests,good food, and good drink.

Pizza lovers will thrill to an outdoor pizza oven. Host a pizza party where everyone tosses their own dough to flatten it out, chooses from the custom toppings laid out buffet style, and watches the creation cook in the blazing hot open oven. These ovens are not limited to baking pizza. Their cooking versatility ranges from baking breads to cooking meats, fish, vegetables, and even desserts.


Outdoor lighting not only extends the usefulness of outdoor party spaces, it adds to the festive atmosphere. Consider stringing indoor-outdoor twinkle lights in your trees and shrubs, hanging an outdoor chandelier from an overhanging tree bough, or stringing Japanese lanterns between trees. For just a few dollars, you can add hugely to the festive feel of your garden.

Whether your outdoor fete is elaborate or simple, casual or formal, themed or not, having friends and family over for a fun time in the garden is a wonderful way spend time this summer

How to DIY an Uber Charming Backyard Beer Garden

Whether it's for a birthday party, to celebrate Oktoberfest, or just because it's Saturday, these adorable, budget-friendly outdoor beer garden party ideas couldn't be easier to pull off—no matter the time of year.

When Denise Sabia of The Painted Home visited a festival with an outdoor beer garden last winter, she was smitten. "It was just such a great atmosphere, you wanted to be there," she says. "Even though it was thirty-five degrees out, it was still filled with people, and I thought, 'How great would this be to put in your backyard?'"

Sabia decided creating the rustic look of a beer garden was a budget-friendly party idea she could pull off by repurposing items she already had. "I knew if I made it comfy enough I could bring the party outside all year long," she says.

1. Shop Your Home.

For her set up, Sabia pulled together items from her garage and kitchen. Large egg baskets, metal toolboxes, bushel baskets, painted Mason jars, faux plants from Ikea, feathers from her chicken coop, and even kitchen scales made the cut. "I wanted to keep it a low-maintenance, casual party, so I wasn't preparing days ahead of time," she says. "I also thought about what would do well outside, because I knew I wasn't going to hurry up and clean it up as soon as the last person left."

A drop cloth from Home Depot works as a sturdy outdoor tablecloth on a long folding table that Sabia set with food and beverages. Beer and pretzels are perfect together, so Sabia simply ordered pretzel twists and pretzel nuggets from a local restaurant and offered an assortment of mustards to jazz them up. By arranging the pretzels and beer smartly in and among her various found objects at differing heights, Sabia created an attractive tablescape. "If you gather everything together and line it up really cute, people think you spent hours," she says.

2. Create an Outdoor Entrance

Just because the party is outside doesn't mean you can't have decor that welcomes guests, so Sabia created a unique and functional piece to set the tone. "This sign is my favorite," she says. "It's an old door I found on Craigslist with leftover plumbing I fitted together into hooks to hang beer mugs and comfy blankets for people to put on their laps." Sabia hand-painted the words 'beer garden' on an old scrap of wood and attached it to the door as well. "Remove that sign, and you could even bring this inside and use it in a bathroom for towels or in the foyer for coats," she says.

3. Spread the Beer and Cheer.

Of course, you can't have a beer garden without beer. "I like craft beers because I'm crafty," Sabia jokes, "and I happen to know the owner of Yards Brewing Company. I had him here for our beer party and he did a little beer tasting." If you don't know a brewery owner, Sabia suggests inviting a beer-loving friend to share his or her knowledge with other guests. " Everybody knows somebody who's into beer or brews their own beer," she says. "It's fun and a good way to add personality to the party."

While the main table held the majority of beer and pretzels, Sabia set up several small stations throughout the deck and yard. "I wanted to have as many different stations of beer and seating areas as I could so everybody wasn't in a cluster," she says. "The whole idea of a beer garden is to socialize." Sabia searched her garage for items that would keep the beer ice-cold to anchor her stations. "I pulled out a wagon, a wheelbarrow, buckets, and then wherever there was a seating area, I did an iced beer station so you didn't have to get up," she says.

While beer in a Radio Flyer wagon would be cute on its own, "it's way cuter if you just add layers," Sabia says, "so I put the Frank's crate in it to hold the ice and beer, and the egg basket to hold the pretzels." Seating areas consisted of Adirondack chairs piled with blankets and pillows set up on the deck and around the fire pit in the backyard. Sabia also made a DIY garden bench with cinder blocks and a piece of barn wood.

4. Make It a Banner Day.

Decorate your backyard beer garden with beer-themed DIY items, such as this banner made from German barley malt bags Sabia collected from a home-brewer friend. "I just put a clothesline up on the outside of the deck and clothes-pinned them on there," Sabia says. "That's free decor and it goes with the whole theme without having a neon beer sign flickering in the background, you know?"

5. Light It Up.

While your beer bash may start in the afternoon, chances are guests will linger into the night. "I wanted to set up a lot of lights, because before you know it, it's dark out and you have to take the party inside or everyone goes home," Sabia says. "So there's lanterns and candles everywhere you look. I even set flashlights out."

In addition to basic lanterns and candles, Sabia set up some unique lighting with a bundt pan filled with water and floating candles and a large green vase stuffed with tapered candlesticks. "It creates a huge flame when it's lit," Sabia says. (Safety note: Whenever you have open flames, keep a bucket of water handy for potential emergencies.)

6. Set Up a S'mores Station.

What's an outdoor party without s'mores? "I used terra-cotta pots and put crumpled-up tin foil inside with charcoal on top and a little bit of lighter fluid," says Sabia. "When you light it, it's a cute personalized s'mores station."

Put all the ingredients—skewers, marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers—in various containers like ceramic jugs, red-and-white paper baker's dishes from HomeGoods, and a ceramic berry basket (Sabia's is from local potter Heirloom Home and Studio). "By just taking the ingredients out of their bags and putting them in cute containers, all of a sudden people think you hired a party planner," Sabia says. For any guests who don't want to roast marshmallows or for little kids who should stay away from flames, throw together s'mores trail mix made with Golden Grahams, mini marshmallows, and M&Ms—and of course, serve it in a cute container.

Set everything up on a rustic table in true beer garden style. Sabia made hers by using a giant metal toolbox she rescued from the trash as a pedestal for a wooden shipping pallet topped with slate tiles left over from a bathroom project. A small cable spool adds height. "I went to an electrical supply place, and they were thrilled to have me because I left with seven electrical spools," Sabia says. "That was the smallest one I found, and I stained it brown and Mod-Podged barnwood-patterned scrapbook paper around the center to dress it up a little bit." A slate tile marked with a tic-tac-toe grid and painted rocks create a simple activity for guests that will withstand the elements year-round.

7. Repurpose Whatever You Can Find.

A giant 300-pound spool, picked up for free from the electrical supply company, makes a statement as a table. Sabia stained its top to help preserve it, and topped it with a metal trough of beer and ice, a wire basket with pretzels, and cowboy boots potted with live succulents.

"My daughters outgrew their cowboy boots, so I threw succulents in them, and added a little moss at the top to hide the plastic pots," Sabia says. If you don't have cowboy boots, try rain boots or any cute item you could repurpose as a vase. Sliding a plastic cup inside the boot protects it from water leaking from the plant's pot and also helps keep the boot standing up straight. "You don't have to buy anything," Sabia says. "You have cute stuff around your house—just go grab something and create a display next to your beer!"

Watch the video: Easy Decorating Ideas for an Outdoor Party!

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