Tis the season for a backyard soiree! Here are some tips to ensure your garden party is a sparkling success.

  • Invest in plastic dishes and cutlery – for a casual party. There’s no need for an abundance of dirty dishes and glassware. Buy plastic dishes and cutlery with fun patterns and colours to create a more festive atmosphere. Pair them with matching cups, paper napkins and tablecloths to continue the theme throughout.
  • Select simple foods to serve. Recipes that can be made ahead are recommended so you can have fun at the party too – and not be stuck in the kitchen. Think about what foods are in-season making sure to use lots of fresh herbs, fruits and vegetables. Even gourmet burgers and salad will do! Plan at least three appetizers, a main course and a couple of desserts depending on the number of attendees. The type of food served will also depend on the nature of the event. Will the event be casual, where attendees can eat standing up, or with plates on their laps or, will it be more formal where guests will be sitting down at a table to eat?
  • Outside: focus on decor. Decorate your garden and patio with stringed lights, candles and other themed decor. Keep trays and serving dishes rustic and decorate tables with earthy tones, or even leaves and petals to keep costs down. Set the mood by playing acoustic or mellow music.
  • Inside: focus on the bathroom and kitchen. Tidy the inside of your home but don’t go too crazy as guests will be outside. The most important thing is to clean bathrooms. Scrub toilets, clear and clean countertops, close shower curtains or doors, stock up on toilet paper and empty garbage containers. You will also want to make sure your kitchen is clean and organized as guests may offer to help you bring out food and drinks.
  • Make clean-up easy. Set up a few garbage cans and recycling bins for the easy disposal of plastic dishes, cutlery and napkins. If your party is more formal, and you are using your own plates and utensils, don’t worry too much about doing the dishes while your guests are there, unless it becomes part of the party and guests offer to help out. Otherwise, stack dishes in the sink and attend to them after the party.