31 Backyard Garden Party Ideas For The Perfect Summer Party

ad. Who doesn’t love a backyard garden party? It’s a great summer tradition for bringing friends and family together to enjoy fun and food.


Who doesn’t love a backyard garden party? It’s a great summer tradition for bringing friends and family together to enjoy fun and food.

In my family, we usually have a garden party every summer. It’s a way for us to all get together as we don’t often get the chance. My family are spread quite far across the country, so it’s always special when we can all get together for our summer garden party. People usually take turns in hosting it. I can’t wait for our annual party this summer – though hopefully, the rain will stop soon and we’ll have some warmer weather. Every year, 30,000 guests are invited to the gardens of Buckingham Palace for a garden party, and although our own garden doesn’t have quite the same extravagance (or budget!), we still have fun.

Text says '31 ideas for a perfect garden party'

Planning a party can be stressful, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience in planning this type of event, there are so many little details that you may not have even thought of. Here are some backyard garden party ideas to help you plan and execute a memorable outdoor event.

Backyard Garden Party Ideas - invites

1. Designing DIY Invitations

Invitation cards are the first hint of what guests can expect from your event. They set the tone and generate excitement. So important to design invitations that reflect the theme and atmosphere of your garden party. Consider crafting your own invitation cards. With a few supplies, you can create personalised, unique invitations that will impress your guests. Use different materials like textured papers, ribbons, or dried flowers to create a visual appeal reflecting the party’s nature.

2. Print Your Own Invites

If crafting each invite with your hands is not for you, you can design your own on a computer. Find a design website like Canva to create your artwork and print your party invites online. is a simple and easy way to let your party guests know about your special occasion. 

I’d rather print my own invites as it allows me to take control of their design without having to spend time making each individual one.

3. Digital Invitations

In this digital age, e-invitations are a good idea if you know that your guests have an e-mail that they use regularly. They’re eco-friendly, easy to distribute, and can be quite creative. Websites like Evite offer templates that you can customise to match your garden party theme. But remember not everyone uses e-mail so you may still need to send some by post using one of the above methods.

That’s three garden party invitation ideas to get you started.

4. Landscaping

Transforming your backyard into a party venue requires careful planning and preparation. Before the event, make your garden neat and tidy. Trim overgrown shrubs, mow the lawn, and weed the garden. You could even consider planting some seasonal blooms for added colour and fragrance.

I love wildflowers at this time of year, we have some in our garden and they are beautiful and great for the environment!

4. Seating Arrangements

Go for a mix of seating options. Garden benches, chairs, plenty of cushions, outdoor rugs with floor cushions, or even picnic blankets can create a casual and cosy atmosphere. Never be afraid to ask guests to bring some chairs if you don’t have enough to seat everyone!

5. Lighting

Good lighting is a must for an evening party. String lights, fairy lights, or lanterns hung from tree branches create a magical ambience. Tea lights in mason jars are the perfect way to create a subtle, romantic glow.

There’s an influx of solar garden lighting available these days – these make a great eco-friendly option that look great.

6. Fire Pit

Having a fire pit is a great garden party idea, especially for chilly evenings. It provides warmth and a cosy spot for guests to gather, chat, and maybe roast some marshmallows and name smores. Smores always go down well with the kids.

7. Plan For Rain

I don’t mean to dampen the mood here, but living in England, I know how unpredictable the weather can be. It can be sunny one minute and then a thunderstorm the next!

Have a gazebo on standby in case there’s rain! If you do a garden party every year, it might be a good idea to buy one. They come in handy for all summer as they give relief from the sun during hotter days, too. Or you can rent one if you prefer. Just make sure you are ready for bad weather, especially if you are invading a large crowd that may not fit inside your house if it rains!

Backyard Garden Party Ideas Table Setting

8. Setting the Table

The dining table is the heart of any garden party. It’s where guests gather to eat, drink, and socialise. Whether it’s an intimate sit-down meal where everyone eats together seated, or a more casual buffet or BBQ-style dinner, the table setting should reflect the theme of your party.

Decorate with flowers, candles and other items that reflect your theme.

9. Table Decor and Centerpieces

Struggling with your backyard party table setup? Table linen can transform your outdoor table. Choose colours and patterns that complement your garden’s aesthetics. For centrepieces, fresh flowers in mason jars, lanterns, or a bowl of fruits can add a natural, rustic charm. Don’t forget a good table runner to finish it all off! There are lots of garden party table ideas on Pinterest.

10. Tableware

Your choice of tableware – plates, glasses, cutlery – can enhance the overall look of your table. Consider using eco-friendly options like bamboo plates or biodegradable cutlery for a sustainable touch.

You can also rent tableware for parties if you prefer!

11. Seating Arrangement

If the garden party includes a sit-down meal for more of a dinner party feel, a well-planned seating arrangement makes sure that all guests feel comfortable and included. 

Include personalised place cards in your place settings. These can be a nice touch for larger parties, helping guests find their seats easily. 

12. Food

Are you wondering what to serve at a garden party? Consider a buffet-style meal, which offers a variety and allows guests to serve themselves. Include a mix of hot and cold dishes, salads, and desserts. Finger foods and BBQ skewers are great options for a casual, laid-back party. Why not try some Maltese party food?

You can also ask guests to bring something with them, such as snacks, dips or dessert.

13. Dietary Requirements

To avoid any embarrassing moments and to make sure everyone feels taken care of, remember to ask all your guests if they have any dietary requirements. If you are unsure how to cater for them, just ask them what a good substitute or alternative is for them.

It’s better to ask than to offer them something that isn’t appropriate.

14. Label Allergens & Animal Products

If you are planning a buffet-style meal, then invest in some party food notice cards. You can get little cards from Etsy, or design your own. Just place the cards in front of each dish to tell your guests if something is vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, gluten-free or whatever other labels you may need to warn guests about. This makes it easy for your guests to tell what is suitable for them and also makes them feel looked after.

15. Create a Charcuterie Board

Everyone loves a charcuterie board! An area with cheese, meats, crackers, crudities, olives and dip is a great way for your guests to graze during the party. You can make fun by asking everyone to bring something for the board, so you’ll have a large selection!

We did this for a house party once, and people went all out trying to find the most unique cheese for everyone to try. Cheese and meat boards are always a popular choice and great for grazing until the food is ready and if the party goes on into the night.

Backyard Garden Party Ideas - Drinks

16. Drinks

If you don’t have a garden bar, set up a drink station with a variety of beverages. Lemonade, iced tea, and fruity sangrias are summer favourites. Also, keep plenty of water available for guests to stay hydrated and non-alcoholic drinks available for those who don’t drink.

Don’t be afraid to ask guests to bring some drinks! We always take a bottle of wine or a case of beer when we go out to a garden party.

17. Fresh Lemonade

Nothing says garden party like fresh lemonade in a large drinks dispenser with a tap. You can even make a whole station with the option of adding fruit, mint or alcohol to it. It’s a fun way to allow your guest to serve themselves and get a bit creative with their drinks!

Giving them the option to add alcohol afterwards is a fun way to cater for those who aren’t drinking as well as those that do drink. Edible flowers and cocktail umbrellas are a nice touch here!

18. Frozen Grapes For Wine

If it’s a hot day, freeze some grapes so they can be served with wine. They keep wine cool on warm days without watering it down like ice! I can’t think of a better way to keep wine cool – my friend taught me this trick and I’ve been hooked ever since!

19. Music

Music is essential for setting the party mood. Create a playlist that suits the occasion and your audience. Make sure the volume of music is appropriate for your party. If people are enjoying socialising, keep the volume down so your guests don’t need to talk over it. It might be a better time to turn the music on and encourage some singing and dancing later in the evening.

You could also hire a local band for a special touch.

20. Games

Games are a great way to keep guests entertained. Outdoor games like croquet, badminton, or a DIY ring toss game can be a hit with adults and kids.

21. Think of The Kids

Speaking of kids – don’t forget about them! Make sure there are things for them to do such as games or you can even make them a little party bag with bubbles, balloons, an activity book and little toys to keep them happy. They will have so much fun and the parents will be very thankful that you thought of their children, too. 

22. Outdoor Movie Night

An outdoor movie night can be a unique and fun garden party idea. Set up a projector and a white sheet for a makeshift screen, provide comfy seating and popcorn, and enjoy a movie under the stars.

23. Natural Decor

The best garden parties make the most of what nature provides. Decorate your space with potted plants, fresh flowers, or even fruit trees. Herbs like rosemary or lavender can double as decor and aromatic elements. Plus when lavender blooms, it’s gorgeous!

24. DIY Decor

DIY decorations are a fun and cost-effective way to add a personal touch to your party. Handmade banners, paper lanterns, or floral garlands can add colour and charm to your outdoor space.

Backyard Garden Party Ideas - Party Favors

25. Edible Party Favours

Edible favours are always a hit. Homemade jams, cookies, or a small bag of fresh fruits can be a sweet way to say thanks.

26. Mini Plants Party Favours

Mini-potted plants or succulents are a great garden party favour idea. They’re a nice memento of the party and a gift that guests can continue to enjoy at home. You can include them in your table setting giving your table a wow factor.

27. Wild Flower Seeds

Another great idea for party favours is wildflower seeds. My friend got married last year and all guests were given some wildflower seeds. Every time I see the wildflowers in my garden, I think of the wedding and how lovely it was!

28. Great a Flower Wall

There are many ideas for backyard garden party decorations. Create a flower wall to really impress your guests and take your party to the next level. This will be a great feature and a way to encourage people to take photos that you can all remember forever. Flower walls really are perfect summer garden party decorations.

If you make one from fake flowers, you can use it every year or sell it on Facebook Marketplace so it gets lots of use!

Want more flower ideas? Read how to use flowers as party decorations.

29. Recycling Bins

Set up clearly marked recycling bins for bottles, cans, paper, and food waste. A party can generate a lot of waste, but with some planning, you can minimise its environmental impact and make the cleanup easier.

30. Composting

If you have a compost bin, encourage guests to dispose of their food waste there. It’s a great way to reduce waste and enrich your garden soil.

31. Wrapping Up

After the party, ensure to clean up the garden and restore it to its original state. Check for any litter, leftover food, or decorations that need to be taken down.

As you can see, planning a garden party involves careful thought and preparation, but the result is worth it. A well-planned garden party can bring people together in a beautiful setting for an unforgettable experience. So, use these backyard garden party ideas as a starting point to plan your next outdoor gathering, and enjoy the magic of socialising in the great outdoors. Hope this garden party inspiration post helped you!

Hope you have an amazing backyard garden party this summer!


  1. These are all great ideas. We’ve been talking about hosting a garden party for weeks, but the weather really hasn’t played ball with us. Hopefully next month we’ll be able to have everyone around. I love the wild flower seed idea! That’d be such a cute touch.


  2. These are some lovely and super cute ideas! I can’t wait to hold a garden party when I move!

  3. I absolutely love hosting garden parties in the summer. I love doing all the decorations and making the house tidy! Now if only the sun would come back out so I can get more people round!

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