Friday, 10 June 2016

How to Throw a Garden Party on a Budget

With the summer tantalisingly close, thoughts will inevitably turn to all the late night garden parties that lie ahead. But how can you throw a legendary party on a budget? 
Like this:
Set the Party Scene
Food and Drinks

Good weather and good people make a party but you can set the scene for any garden gathering with a few, budget-friendly accessories:

Garden Furniture
Chairs and tables should be at the top of your garden party list.
Collapsible camping chairs are the most budget-friendly and they’re easy enough to stow away in sheds or attics during the winter months, but remember, most people expect garden parties to be pretty informal so don’t be afraid to throw some picnic blankets and cushions down on your lawn for guests to recline and relax on.
Plastic garden tables are perfect for outdoor use in any weather but on a dry, sunny day, interior dining and coffee tables are easy to relocate outside.
Tip: If you’re using a mish-mash of furniture, give it a cohesive and stylish look with matching tablecloths and tableware.

- Tableware
Disposable paper plates and cups are the cheapest option for tableware but for just a fraction more, you could add a splash of colour to your party with quality, plastic plates, cups, wine glasses and cutlery which can be reused for every party you throw – well, why have just one?!
Tip: Remember to get plenty of serving dishes and spoons so your guests can help themselves to party food.

- Decoration 
A few simple decorations can make the difference between a really good party and a really great one. Drape some colourful bunting along walls and fences, tie balloons to trees and help your party go on long into the night with plenty of solar garden lights.
Tip: For a low-budget lighting idea, nestle tea lights in jars amongst your dining area for a subtle glow, creating a cosy and warm atmosphere.
If your party is a casual affair, ask your guests to bring a sweet or savoury dish with them. It cuts your costs, preparation and clean-up time and leaves you free to mingle.
If you’d prefer to cater for your guests, cold dishes such as salads and finger foods can be prepared in advance and they go perfectly with a BBQ, meaning you can cook whilst outside with them.
Keeping drinks chilled for a number of guests on a hot day can be a challenge but one that can be solved on a budget quite easily.
Plastic ice-cubes that chill drinks without dissolving can be used for individual glasses or jugs of squash and cocktails, while clean buckets, waterbutts or even wheelbarrows filled with cold water and ice-cubes make great outdoor fridges for cans and bottles.
Whether you’re throwing an intimate garden party for five guests or a lively bash for fifty, it always pays to have a little entertainment ready.
Lawn games like croquet or swing tennis are great fun for adults and kids alike, and music is a great ice-breaker for groups of friends who are meeting for the first time. Put together your favourite playlist and ask everyone you invite for requests.
Tip: To keep little ones entertained, put out a couple of bubble machines, some chalks or space hoppers or (if you’re feeling brave!) hide a bunch of water pistols and super-soakers around the garden for them to find!

You can get everything you need for a perfect, budget-friendly garden party online or instore from B&M.

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