Garden parties have always been a hugely popular affair in the U.S., from the formal summer soiree to the all American BBQ party. That trend has made its way across the water in recent years with garden parties now in full flow in Ireland once the summer weather hits.
Summer sunshine is sticking around for longer every year in Ireland, reaching temperatures above the heights seen in holiday hotspots like Spain and Portugal and we’re all finding ways to make the most of it.
If you have a special occasion to celebrate, be it a birthday, Communion, Confirmation, engagement or wedding after party, or you simply fancy gathering some friends and family round, a summer garden party is the way to go.
We’ve put together our top tips to help you make it happen, and ensure it’s a blast!
- Ensure everywhere has somewhere to sit
- Bring the inside outside
- Consider catering
- Kegs over bottled beer
- Be your own DJ
Summer garden parties create a relaxed atmosphere so you can mix up your seating options, providing foldaway chairs, stools, garden furniture, bean bags, cushions and blankets so that everyone has somewhere to comfortably sit if they wish to.
If you’re throwing a summer party, unless you want people nesting inside your home, you’ll need to provide a place to shelter in the shade and to retreat to when the temperatures get a little cooler in the evening.
That’s why marquees are such a popular feature at summer parties. Whatever the weather, once you hire a marquee, you can be guaranteed to host your outdoor party and provide a covered area that keeps guests comfy and out of your home.
The joy of hosting a garden party at your home is that you can cook and serve the food from your kitchen or get the BBQ going outside. However, this means extra clean up, extra stress and less time spent actually enjoying yourself at the party.
When you weigh up the cost and stress of home cooking vs hiring caterers to prepare and serve a buffet or man the BBQ, it really can be so worthwhile opting for caterers, especially if you have a large number of guests.
Another common trend at Irish garden parties is to provide a home bar experience by providing self-serve beer kegs instead of bottled beer. Miniature versions are available from supermarkets and off-licences, while there are lots of providers who offer larger kegs for hire.
It can work out a lot cheaper to get a beer keg in and you don’t have to fret about consistently replenishing the beer supply and keeping bottles cool. Less stress for you and an entertaining feature for your guests.
If you have a marquee in place, you will have somewhere to house a music system or Bluetooth speaker. So prepare a Spotify playlist in advance, hook it up to your music system or speaker and you’ve got your background music sorted.
Consider the musical tastes of your guests when putting together a playlist – how much does Granddad appreciate dance music? Will the kids get bored of continuous 80’s throwbacks? If you have an Ipad or tablet, it can be fun to run your streaming service through this and allow guests to go up and add songs to the playlist on the day.
Soak up all the summer sun and fun and take full advantage of your garden by hosting a garden party that your guests will truly enjoy. Follow our 5 top tips and you’ll be all set to throw a stress-free summer soiree – Happy planning!