Spring is in full swing, which means it’s now time to party! The warm weather, lazy weekends and the mood for relaxations sets the perfect excuse to host a springtime garden party. Between graduations, weddings, bridal and baby showers, it’s next to guaranteed that you’ll play host at some point. To take the stress out of planning, Maclean Party & Event Hire have devised a perfect guide for your springtime garden party.
Garden party themes
Color is essential for a springtime garden party and to keep with the theme, use light pastel colors such as lavender, yellow, pink, sage green, soft orange and/or turquoise. Incorporate these colours into everything that sets the mood for your party. Don’t over-use colour. Stick to two colors such as one light — a neutral or barely-there metallic — and one bright shade that stands out. When you have too many colors going on, it starts to look amateurish.
Use your selected colors to create your theme, using them in centerpieces, table decorations, napkin holders and chair sashes or covers. Even your food can continue the theme: Have your cake match your colors and/or theme, and serve coordinating drinks. For example, if you’re using yellows, serve a champagne punch with lemon or pineapple. If your colour choice if difficult for food choices, use complementary colours. A buffet of blue foods isn’t appealing to the eye or stomach!
Garden party decore
Lighting might not be a concern for you if you are hosting your party during the day but it is also wise to consider that your guests may stay longer than expected. It’s always best to have a lighting source if your party goes on into the evening.
The cheapest option, and one that is great for evening are white fairy lights. String them along fences, wrap them around small bushes, or place them in tall vases to create hurricane lanterns. You can also use battery LED lights in frosted glass cylinders and place them in clusters on walkways, lawns or terraces. You might also want to consider the standard party lights but dress them up with chinese paper lanterns. Just make sure you are using low heat bulbs.
Centerpieces can be your own work of art. Use fresh fruit which is beautiful, simple and ultimately tasty for the guests! Choose fruit people can eat on the go and while standing up: mounds of cherries, strawberries, apricots and grapes are a good choice.
You can also choose long wooden bowls filled with fresh flowers or floating candles. White unscented candles give a soft feel and are affordable. Buy them in different shapes and sizes, and create a variety of themes with tea lights, floating shaped candles and pillars, and crowd them together in groups on tables. Make sure you avoid scented candles, as guests may be allergic and the smell will conflict with the food.
Create a series of “pacing stations” whereby you can arrange tables and seating in various areas, and place different foods and drinks at each station to encourage people to move around and congregate with each other.
Great food is definitely something that makes a party a success. Its always good to try to make your own food for the party, but if you are limited for time and space, hiring a caterer is your best bet. Maclean Party & Event Hire recommend G’s Catering in South East Queensland for all your catering needs. Regardless of whether you choose a caterer or prepare the food yourself, keep the following items in mind:
- Do make sure you offer foods that are easy to carry and eat throughout the party
- Don’t do a cheese platter or anything that can spoil, such as fish or cream based dishes — save it for indoor events. Temperature is an issue, and the health of your guests is top priority. If you choose a caterer, they will be able to ensure your food remains at the correct temperature.
- Be aware of food allergies as so many people are becoming allergic to nuts, eggs, shellfish and other ingredients. Place “risky” foods in one corner and label each one, specifying the allergen.
So what type of food should you have at your springtime garden party?
Try to keep your food choices interesting and have multiple food stations. Here are some unique suggestions you might like to try:
- Create amazing salads by mixing in as many colorful ingredients and micro-greens as you can get from your local market
- Try some fruit skewers with a variety of colourful, tropical fruit
- Create finger foods rather than full, sit down meals
Be selective with your drinks and the range you will offer, otherwise you will end up being the bartender for the event. A self-serve bar with one signature drink as well as beer and wine is great and having a self-serve bar gives guests a way to meet people. Offer two nonalcoholic options, such as softdrinks in unique flavors and make your own fruit punch. Always have chilled ice water on hand and add some pizzazz by filling pitchers with pieces of lemon, lime, orange slices and mint.
Make sure your signature cocktail is colorful such as a bright vodka or white rum punch or sangria. Serve in pitchers that you can fill before the party and store in the fridge. You might also like to have sparkling wine available in ice buckets around the party. Provide some mixers such as fruit juice to go with the sparkling wine.