Garden Party Gone Wrong – Not on Our Watch

by Karen

Social season has sprung; it is spring. And with spring comes the start of parties that take place outside. That is all well and good; the fresh air after our winter hibernation is really necessary. But, what do you do with a garden party gone wrong? You look below because there won’t be a garden party gone wrong – not on our watch. You are asking, “How can a garden party possibly go wrong?” Believe it or not there are several foreseen and unforeseen ways for a garden party to go incredibly sour. But, having some tips along the way can help put you in control. We will look at some great ideas that in actuality only work in the professional photos and how to not make the mistake of miscalculating the weather, and even cover the unplanned-for bugs. A garden party gone wrong doesn’t have to happen to you this year. 

For Professionals Only

Please adhere to these tips. Planning any gathering is stressful, but trying to make your party look like the ones you see in pictures or on the movies is setting yourself up for a headache and heartbreak. Just like any other party, planning is everything. Start with the basics:

Number of Guests

Food and Drink


These four items are key to every good party. Stop looking at the internet and make this your party. Oh, did I say four? Yes, all wrapped up in the three above is the BUDGET. Look at some of the pictures just one more time. How much do you think that bouquet of red roses cost? How much do you think the china rental was? And do you really think those topiaries come cheap? Or were you planning on trying to trim your hedges to match the picture? Please don’t. Keep it simple. I put these three in order (remember they come behind your real budget). How many guests is the most important part of planning any event. For a garden party keep it to a minimum. Consider hosting a tea party during the day with your girlfriends. Remember the fewer people attending the more money you have for food, drink and the venue of your choice. Food and drink are important. Look at that picture again. Did you notice the plates are nearly bare and the tea cups have no tea in them? They are props for the picture. Food and beverages are expensive and can lose their fresh look during a long photo shoot. Plan your food around the kind of party you are intending to have. Full meals are not necessary, remember, this is supposed to be a small event, not a massive undertaking: Day time parties – Appetizers and light refreshments Evening get-togethers – Tapas or hors d’oeuvres Finally, consider where to have this garden party. Do you really need to rent out a botanical garden in the city or will your yard or a local park do just as well. This seems to be where a whole ton of money gets spent, but why? It is not where the event takes place but with whom that many will remember. So, after looking at all the pictures and getting some grand ideas, come back down to earth and come up with a realistic budget for your garden party. Make a list of the closest friends you would like to invite. Then forgo the catering company and take a trip to a local wine or tea shop, and a local bakery or restaurant for just enough tidbits of food and drink for the number of guests attending. Finally, look at the outdoor area you want for your party and consider how many guests are really attending. A small space will feel much bigger with only a few people in attendance.

Weather Planning

This is a hard one. Spring is tricky when it comes to weather. But, in today’s digital age, it is getting a little bit easier to plan for the longer periods of time. Go to the internet and do a historical search of the year or two before during the same timeframe of your party. Don’t forget to look at the future outlook on your local weather station’s website as well. However, be sure to plan for the worst. For some, the scorching hot sun is one of the worst things about an outdoor party. For this maybe have a couple of parasols available. If it is rain that might be on track to hit your party, you have a couple of options; have a party tent on standby from a rental company or plan to have umbrellas available. Sometimes rain can be fun and refreshing – I think it is all about how you look at it.

Critters and Bugs

It is part of being outside; critters and bugs will be sharing your space. Rest assured that most of the critters are going to stay away from daytime parties. A nighttime outdoor party is another matter and you may have to keep a closer eye on the tables at night. For bug prevention gather a few citronella candles for the perimeter of the party area. Be careful with these though, they don’t smell that great and you won’t want them near your food. Along the tables be sure to decorate with sprigs of mint. Most bugs won’t come close to mint and if you break a couple of the leaves, the scent is lovely.

So get your tea party dress on and get to sipping with your besties this spring. With these tips your garden party will be the hit of the season and you will get to enjoy every planned minute of it.

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