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ASK-THE-EXPERT-how-to-throw-a-garden-party-topCelebrate summer and good friends by throwing the perfect garden party!

Whether you have a large or small garden or yard, you can still throw a garden party that nobody will forget. Having parties indoors are great for December, but this summer, celebrate the warm weather by having an outdoor garden party. Joey Reader, president and event designer of A-mazing Events, has some great advice on preparing for a garden party.

“Any space you have outside could be used for your summer garden party from side porches, backyards or even front yards if there is more space,” says Reader. “For those who truly do not have the space there is always the local park.”  

So let’s get this garden of yours party-ready!

Garden Party Decorations 

The foliage from your garden makes a great backdrop, says Reader. She suggests using inexpensive annuals in pots to stretch your money. Try using white lights strung in the trees for evening parties. 

“Colorful linens and napkins always bring your party to the next level.  Add bunches of flowers from your garden throughout your party space,” says Reader. 

Give Your Party a Garden Theme

Garden Party Beverages

  • Reader says colorful, fruity drinks are always fun, festive, and a real crowd-pleaser
  • If your garden party is on the casual side, serving up your favorite beers in frosty cold mugs is a great idea
  • Freshly-squeezed lemonade or sweet tea are great non-alcoholic drinks

Great Garden Food

  • Fruit kabobs
  • Assorted vegetables with herb dip and colorful summer salads
  • Dessert options could include build your own s’mores buffet. “That is very festive and perfect for formal or casual parties.”
  • “Dirt” cakes also make a fun treat when served in a window box planter with crushed cookies and gummy worms on top. “Don’t forget to serve it with a small garden shovel.”  


Games and Party Favors

  • Games like croquet, beanbag toss, or badminton are a great way to get the party started. 
  • Allow guests to arrange their own flower arrangements with having freshly cut flowers and small vases on hand.  These make great party favors.
  • Have everyone bring their own plant for a plant swap.


“Music enhances the overall ambiance for your party. Consider compiling a list of appropriate tunes on your iPod to set the mood. Another option is live music. Whether it’s a soft string trio or an upbeat guitar duo,” says Reader.


Reader’s Tips for a Perfect Garden Party

  • First, establish your goals and objectives of your garden party. 
  • For example, your primary goal might be to bring a certain group of friends together for a casual wine social in a relaxed atmosphere or perhaps your goal is to host a formal business social in a unique setting. 
  • Your secondary goal might be to show off your beautiful garden masterpiece or to just have some summer-time fun. 
  • “When goals and objectives of any gathering are established it makes the rest of the planning much easier,” Reader suggests.
  • Second, you will want to establish your budget. Once these two steps are accomplished you can develop your planning timeline and let the event design begin.   
  • Lastly, with a garden party, you will always want a “Plan B” in case Mother Nature has a different plan.  

About Joey Reader

Reader teaches future meeting planners as an adjunct faculty instructor for the Fox Valley Technical College Meeting and Event Planning Associates Degree program. She is a graduate from UW-Oshkosh and the FVTC Venture Center entrepreneur program.

To learn more about how to plan the perfect garden party or learn more about Reader, visit her website at a-mazingevents.com. 

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