May means more than mild weather and the scent of blooms in the air. May is the perfect excuse for spending as much time outdoors as possible. Add in the recently relaxed restrictions and the Early May bank holiday, and you’ve got yourself the perfect excuse for throwing a garden party with your family and friends. Here is a quick guide to ensure your event will be a success.
1. Choose a Garden Party Theme
The latest government rules state that groups up to 6 people from any number of households, or an unlimited number of people from a maximum of two households, can now gather outdoors in public and private places alike – including your garden. Thus, the first step to throwing a successful Early May bank holiday garden party this year is deciding who you want to invite and then choosing a theme accordingly. Here are a few ideas:
Who can say no to a BBQ? If you plan to spend this bank holiday with your extended family, a garden cookout could satisfy everyone.
Garden Tea Party
Whether you want to organise something fancy like an Alice in Wonderland tea party or keep it classic for a gathering with your girlfriends, rest assured your outdoor tea party will be a success.
Magical Fairy Garden Party
A low table and throw pillows are an excellent choice if you want to throw a kid-friendly garden party. Add a floral centrepiece and stick to a colour theme to create a fairy tale-worthy décor.
2. Get Your Garden Ready for the Party
Setting up the right décor should be easy once you’ve decided on the party theme. A few elements that work wonders regardless of the theme include:
Solar lights or remote-controlled mood candles can enhance ambiance when the sun goes down. You don’t have to invest in garden lights – you can use the indoor kind too as long as you don’t forget to bring them back inside when the party’s over.
Paper Pom Poms
Cheap to buy and easy to make if you have a bit of creative talent, colourful paper pom poms encompass the party spirit. Hang them from trees or washing lines, or arrange them in a glass bowl and use them as a centrepiece.
Plant Pot Servers
For an informal party, use terracotta plant pots to display your garden party cutlery, straws, napkins, and other supplies.
3. Outdoor Party Food & Drink Ideas
Fruit and Cheese Board
Beloved by kids and adults alike, a fruit and cheese board is a delicious starter that pairs wonderfully with the freshness of Spring. It’s also ridiculously easy to make and looks so good that it will easily impress everyone.
Raspberry BBQ Sausage Bites
This savoury treat is a cinch to throw together, is low in calories, and an excellent choice for most food allergies.
One-Pot Spring Pasta
Loaded with sweet peas, asparagus, and goat’s cheese, this spring pasta is a crowd pleaser that you can make with little to no fuss – all you need is a pot and a handful of ingredients. The original recipe is vegetarian, but you can easily adapt it to vegan needs by replacing the cheese with a vegan alternative.
Rib-Eye with Steak Pan Potatoes and Peas
If you don’t fancy the idea of a BBQ party, impress your guests with a rib-eye steak with steak pan potatoes, and peas. It takes under half an hour to make, but it tastes and looks like it comes directly from a Michelin-starred chef. If your pan is looking a bit worse for wear, get this good one.
Brownie Cake Pops
Chocolaty desserts are an excellent choice if you want to satisfy most guests, and cake pops look more exciting than classic brownie squares. Dip the cake pops in melted chocolate and add some colourful sprinkles to boost the fun.
Smoothie Jelly with Ice Cream
A healthier alternative to traditional jelly, this smoothie jelly with ice cream is a great choice for a kids’ garden party or as an alternative dessert to the brownies.
Garden Party Cocktail
When it comes to adult party drinks, you can easily stick to the garden party theme with this delicious cocktail made with agave and tequila. Fresh like the Early May bank holiday, it will surely surprise your guests – for a non-alcoholic variant, replace the tequila with plain soda.
4. Add In Backyard Games
Backyard games can easily add the fun factor to your outdoor party, keeping your guests entertained whilst you’re prepping the food or checking the BBQ.
A timeless classic, croquet pairs wonderfully with a tea party theme. Considering that this game can be played by up to 6 players, it even pairs well with the new coronavirus guidelines.
Suitable for players of all ages, horseshoe pitching is incredibly entertaining and fun – just perfect if you’re throwing an Early May outdoor party for the kids.
Backyard Four in a Row
Smaller children can have loads of fun with a giant Four in a Row backyard game, a safer alternative to horseshoe pitching and croquet.
5. Don’t Forget the Music
A party is not a party without background music, but if you want to throw the garden party of a lifetime, match the tunes with the party theme. For instance, nostalgic pop classics are a good choice for an all-girls party. Disco dance can animate your guests during a BBQ party, while all-time classics like The Beatles pair beautifully with all themes.
6. Come Up With a Backup Plan
Garden parties are only fun as long as the sun shines. But considering that indoor parties are off the radar for now, you should prepare for moody weather. A pop-up canopy tent, for instance, can keep you dry if rain starts to pour. Alternatively, you could set up the party on your porch if you have one. In the worst-case scenario, make the best out of it and invite your guests to a virtual indoor party.
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