- 1). Decide ahead what type of theme you want to use for your garden party. Revolve the theme around particular flowers that are growing in your yard, or flowers you can buy at the local nursery. Flowers can provide great decorating ideas. For instance, English roses work well with a Victorian England theme, using lace and chintz as decorating styles. Tropical plants will work well with a Hawaiian or South Pacific theme.
- 2). Choose a menu that fits your theme. If you plan a Victorian England theme, create a menu based on English cuisine, such as tea and crumpets. If you choose a Hawaiian theme, for instance, create a menu based around a Hawaiian luau. The food, flowers and theme of your garden party should complement one another and create a unifying effect.
- 3). Create a guest list of the people you want to invite to the party. This guest list should give you an idea of how many people who will attend the party and the amount of food you need to prepare ahead of time.
- 4). Depending on the theme you’ve chosen, create invitations that match the theme of your garden party. A good stationery store will have custom-made invitations that will fit your specific needs. Send the invitations out three weeks before the party to give your guests time to respond.
- 5). If there are any specialty items on your menu list, such as imported foods or alcohol, or items that you need to rent for the party, then do so at least two or three weeks ahead of time. This will cut down on confusion or late deliveries. If you plan on hiring a catering service, plan the menu with the caterers and make certain a few days before the party that they know when to arrive at your home and begin preparing the meal.
- 6). Shop for any items that are on the menu if you plan on preparing it yourself. Get any frozen goods that can be stored ahead of time, then shop for perishables a day or two before the garden party. Make certain there is enough food for all your guests.
- 7). A week before the party, touch base with the people you’ve invited to make sure they can attend the party. Make whatever adjustments that are necessary in case anyone is unable to attend.
- 8). Make sure a few days before the party that you thoroughly clean the site where you plan to hold the garden party. If you need to do any yard work, such as weeding or mowing, do so at least a week in advance. Wash and clean any outdoor furniture, such as lawn chairs, tables, and make certain that other outdoor appliances are in working order.
- 9). Make sure that all silverware, dishes, or linen that you plan to use for the garden party are washed, cleaned and ironed a day or two before the party. Make sure everything is in top order.
If there are any dishes on your menu that can be prepared in advance, do so at least a day or two before the party. This will free up a lot of your time on the day of the party. If a caterer is preparing the meal, then keep in base over what dishes they will be preparing ahead of time. Make certain they are preparing foods exactly to your specifications.
Place tags add a nice personal touch to any garden party. Make them in advance. Any craft store will have supplies you can use to make your own place holders. Depending on the theme of your party, choose supplies that match your theme. For instance, lace napkin rings will add a beautiful touch to a Victorian-themed garden party.
If you plan to buy flowers from the local nursery, do so at least the day of the party. This way the flowers will remain fresh. If you plan to use flowers from your garden, clip them the morning of the party so that they will remain fresh as well.
On the day of the party, decorate the site where you plan to hold the garden party. Use the flowers you’ve bought or clipped from your garden as decoration. Flowers can be placed in vases or bowls on the tables on your patio or they can be hung from baskets or placed strategically in flower pots around the party site. Decorate the tables with your fresh linen and napkins.
Finish preparing the dishes on your menu that can be easily prepared a few hours ahead of the party. Any hot items on your menu will, of course, be best prepared at this stage. Also make certain that any dishes that were prepared a few days earlier are defrosted in time for the party. If you’ve hired a caterer, make certain that you or someone is available at home to let them in when they arrive.
Make sure that you time all of your preparations for the party so that you’ll have ample time to dress, prepare any beverages you’ll be serving, and greet your guests.
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