The summer is finally upon us – which means it’s the perfect time of year to host a garden dinner party for your friends and family. Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, engagement or simply want an excuse to throw a party – there’s a lot of fun to be had during this event.
With that in mind, here are some top tips that you can use to host a fantastic garden party this summer!
Send out invites early.
While people tend to have a little more free time during the summer, it’s surprising how quickly our schedules can get away from us. As a result, the sooner you can send out dinner party invites, the better. This way, your guests can clear their schedules if needed. Getting RSVPs from your guests also means that you can plan everything from your table layout to meals accordingly – as you don’t want to cook too much (or too little) little food on the big day!
Check dietary requirements.
When choosing the perfect menu for your dinner party, it’s important that you first ensure that it’s something all of your guests can enjoy. As such, you should check to see if any of those attending have specific dietary requirements that you must attend to ahead of time. For example, this could include lifestyle choices such as vegetarianism and veganism or allergies.
Cook meals that are ‘crowd-pleasers.’
One of the most stressful aspects of hosting a dinner party is deciding what to cook – after all, this is the real ‘star of the show’ at such an event. However, instead of getting caught up in over-complicated or flashy recipes, you’ll enjoy much greater success by sticking to crowd-pleaser dishes. After all, they’re sure to go down a treat, leaving you with nothing but empty plates and full stomachs at the end of the night.
This logic should be applied to main courses, appetizers, and sides. For example, if you wanted to keep your guests satisfied while you focused on plating up their mains, you could serve them some Baba Ganoush and fresh pita bread. The recipe for the best baba ganoush is available here.
Put together a cocktail menu.
Whether you’re looking for impressive before-dinner cocktails or a tipple to end the night with, putting together a bespoke cocktail menu is another great way to impress your guests. For example, you could rename classic cocktails so they are relevant to your dinner party theme or individual guests. This will only take a few minutes of your time to do but is an example of how the smaller details really come together to make a brilliant evening.
Set up the perfect dining space.
When hosting a garden party, it goes without saying that you’ll likely have to do a spot of gardening ahead of time to ensure that the scene is set for your party. Fortunately, this does not require you to become a pro-gardener overnight, as you simply need to ensure the space is well-presented and free from clutter.
After you’ve tackled the ‘dirty’ work, you can focus on ‘dressing’ up the space. For example, you may want to decorate your table with placemats and name cards or hang fairy lights throughout your garden to create a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Of course, it’s also important to remember that guests may want to go inside your home at some point. For example, the temperature may drop once it gets darker, and they may also need to use the bathroom. As such, you should also clean your home ahead of time – focusing on the communal areas they are most likely to spend time in.
Choose some background music.
Dinner parties are designed to facilitate good conversation – and while you may want to think of a few icebreaker games you can rely on at the start of the evening – you also need to play some good background music. After all, this can considerably change the atmosphere (and could even mean that you can get your guests up and dancing at some points).
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make the music selection choice a little easier. For example, if you’ve chosen to host an 80s party – the playlist has basically created itself. Alternatively, you could create a Spotify blend with your guests, which mixes together songs from users’ individual playlists to create a shared blend. This way, everyone will hear at least one song they enjoy during the night. This can be a great way to find a new favorite song or artist!