Top Tips for Planning an Outdoor Summer Party

Summer is upon us, or so it’s meant to be. We haven’t been awarded the best weather yet, but hopefully it will be along shortly. This is the ideal time to host great summer parties for birthdays and anniversaries.

Planning an outdoor summer party can be done on a fairly tight budget; also using your own garden is a cheaper option rather than hiring a hall at the local church or school.

The Theme

The first thing you will need to consider is the theme for your party, are you making it into a pool party, is it going to be a formal affair or are you going to enjoy some fun fancy dress? The theme is the most important decision regarding your party, this will determine the colour combinations and table layout.

The Tables

Whether you intend having a huge family barbeque for a formal luncheon, you will need tables and chairs where your guests can sit down to eat. You can decorate these if you wish, adding some fun and colour to your party. Determine how many people you expect to attend the event and then ensure you have enough seating for everyone when it comes time to eat.

With the weather being so unpredictable in the UK, you may want to put a marquee up in your garden. You can place your tables and chairs under this protecting the guests from the glaring sun and should it threaten to rain on the day; your outdoor summer party can still go ahead as planned.  You can decorate the marquee to make it a little more festive.

Food and Drink

You will need to decide exactly how many people you are expecting to determine how much food you will need. If you are having a barbeque, you can often buy burgers and sausages in bulk, as well a chicken, keeping your costs down. Salads can be made at home, reducing the costs even further.

If you have chosen a formal affair, you may need to hire a caterer for the event. Work out your budget for food and give this to a few catering companies and see what they come up with for the price. If you lay down the price straight away and are unwilling to budge, you may be surprised what they can do for you.

Ensure there is plenty of cold water and cold drinks available on the day, if it’s a hot day freshly squeezed orange juice and lemonade are always welcome, affordable to make and a pleasant change from fizzy cold drinks. Your budget will also need to be worked out on the drinks, remember alcohol isn’t cheap, choose two alcoholic drinks such as beer and wine and only offer these and cold drinks during the day.


Another thing to consider is lighting. Even though your party may be held during the day time, summer parties often run into the evening and when it gets dark, you want to be able to lighten up the area.  Stringing lights along the inside and outside of a marquee works wonders, it lights the area with more than enough light for guests to see what they are doing and find their way around.


Games are just a fun way to pass the time, sack races, pool games and volley ball are all fun summer games you can incorporate into your day. Keep a few bats and balls or Frisbees’ lying around in case anyone wants to have a go.

If you’re hosting a formal party, why not set up croquet next to your party area, or tossing games just to add some fun to the event.

A marquee can make a huge difference when hosting a summer outdoor party; it protects guests from the glaring sun and enables you to enjoy your party even when it starts to rain.

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