When you’re planning of throwing a backyard garden party, you should start by thinking about some of the dinner parties you’ve attended in the past. Which did you enjoy the most? Why were these parties so successful? Take those elements that led to your great time at those parties and be sure to incorporate them into yours. If you’re at a loss, here are some ideas to help ensure your guests will have a great time at your next backyard gathering.

The most important part of any party is that every guest feels comfortable and welcome. You want them to think back on your party with the warmest memories.


Décor covers everything from the dishes, napkins, and table setting, to seating. Start with a theme. If you want to do a backyard picnic theme, you’ll want to add red and white checkered table cloths, picnic baskets, and blankets for seating. A summer theme could incorporate bright colors. Decorating with lemons and greenery creates a cheerful mood. You’ll want to use outdoor linens for all of your table settings. Click here to see more about table skirts and runners- these little details make your guests feel like you really gave lots of effort to make sure they felt comfy and welcome. 

Be sure you have adequate seating for everyone in attendance. Folding round tables are not too expensive and are great for dining outdoors. Start collecting good quality folding chairs so you can break them out on these special occasions. The commercial grade plastic chairs that match the folding tables work great. If you don’t have those, you can always break out your lawn chairs and ask your guests to bring their own chairs. People understand that most people don’t have dozens of chairs for outdoor use. You can also incorporate stools and outdoor pillows. 

Bottom line, be sure your guests are comfortable.

Food and Drink 

The menu is the most important part of your backyard garden party. You want to create a menu that works well outside. You’ll need be mindful of the types of utensils necessary to eat the meal you’ve prepared. If you’re cooking steaks, you’ll need to provide steak knives for everyone, this could be an issue. A crab, crawfish, or shrimp boil is the perfect outdoor meal. It’s also easy to prepare since is all cooked in one pot. You can grab large plastic trays to hold the food or just throw it out across newspaper. Just be sure to have rolls of paper towels on all tables and with easy access. 

A taco bar is another easy and fun meal choice. Set up your bar with a variety of meats; ground beef, brisket, pork, and chicken are some choices. Be sure your meats are in warming dishes. Have shredded lettuce, diced onions, diced tomatoes, cilantro, lime wedges, and warm tortillas on the bar. Put out salsa and tortilla chips on all of the tables along with some homemade guacamole. Everyone can make their tacos to their own specifications. You can even put a cast iron griddle on your grill to have your tortillas grilled before adding them to the bar.

Be sure to have bottle waters and a large variety of canned soft drinks in a cooler. Beer and wine is the easiest types of alcohol to serve. Serving liquor means you’ll need mixers, ice buckets, and will probably want to mix drinks yourself since liquor can be pricey.



Adding strings of Edison lights or other twinkle lights creates a magical atmosphere. Light candles and lamps with soft lighting to create a warm glow. Tiki torches are a must if mosquitoes are a problem. They not only chase away pests, but they also add a glow of light that help illuminate things. 

Avoid harsh flood lights. You’re trying to create an ambiance, not do nighttime construction work! Kind of think about it as bringing the vibe you have inside your home to the outdoors.


Choose music that won’t intrude on conversations. Soft jazz is a great choice for mood setting music. Instrumental music playing softly in the background just adds to the atmosphere. Of course if you’re wanting people to dance, you’ll want to choose the music that will get people moving. You can always do a playlist that includes a little of all types of music; something for everyone.

Using good outdoor bluetooth speakers is the only way to go. Outdoor speakers are generally waterproof so if anyone spills a drink or should it start to rain, they are protected and won’t be harmed by either. These speakers also tend to put out great stereo sound. Your guest won’t realize it, but they will appreciate the sound quality.

Add A Luxury Item

When entertaining close friends or family; a luxury item like a hot tub or spa can be a game changer! There’s nothing like relaxing in the soothing bubbles while sharing some delicious bubbly. Spas have changed over the years and are fairly easy to maintain these days. Just be sure that you have the natural spa enzymes to make it as clean as possible and you’re good to go!

If you have a big enough budget, adding a swimming pool is a dream come true. A pool party is great way for everyone to have fun and be able to cool off on those hot summer days. Just know that an inground pool is not going to increase the value of your home by leaps and bounds, but the true value of a pool is in the memories you create sharing it with the people you love. 

If you love to cook, a grill is not the only outdoor cook surface. You can add a wood fire pizza oven into the mix. These ovens can be purchased, but can also be built if you have a few construction skills; there are lots of DIY videos out there with instructions.

If you put the needs of your guests first, you’ll throw a backyard garden party that everyone will remember for years to come.


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