Garden parties aren't just reserved for the Queen. Sure, you might not have a corgi, Prince Harry on your arm, or a garden the size of Buckingham Palace but that doesn't mean you can't have a slice of the garden party action. After all, now that the days are longer and the weather (slightly!) warmer it’s the perfect time to gather all of your favourite people together for a bucket load of Pimms, canapés (oooo, how posh!), and lots of giggles.

Here are my tips to throwing the best garden party this summer.

Decor

Let's start with the fun part... Decor! This is where you can really let your imagination run wild. And don't worry, decorations needn't be expensive. It's amazing what you can do with a few strings of bunting, paper lanterns, pom poms, wooden crates, flowers, rugs and cushions. Just keep one thing consistent such as the colour. I love a pastel theme - anything baby pink, eggshell blue or sage green are all welcome in my book! 

Of course, the other main thing that helps pull your theme together is lighting which helps massively in creating a magical outdoor space. Again, this doesn't need to be anything complicated, it can simply be a few outdoor fairy lights, festoon lights, hanging lanterns or candles in old jam jars.The best bit? You can keep them up all year round - fairy lights are not just for Christmas!

Image by Clair Ann Brun / via Wedding Chicks

Seating

I'm going to hazard a guess that you don't have enough outdoor chairs or tables to seat everyone? But don't fear! A simple solution is to tell people to sit on the floor (give me a chance to explain!). Just scatter a few upside down crates around which also cleverly act as the perfect rustic table, grab a few blankets and cushions and build your own festival-style seating. Just add a few jam-jars with wildflowers or candles to add a beautiful finishing touch. 

Image by: Callie Hobbs Photography/via calliehobbsphotography.com

Food

Scrap the BBQ and go a little more sophisticated this summer with big rustic platters and sharing boards. Think cold meats, chutney, olives, fresh crunchy bread, bowls of salad, and cheese and crackers. Basically anything Mediterranean. For puddings keep everything light, delicious, and bite-sized so that all is needed is a serviette for serving - who wants to spend the evening washing up?

Here are a few pudding recipes I absolutely love:

Image by Matt Armendariz / via Buzzfeed

Drinks

Who wants to run around and make sure everyone's drinks are topped up? Not me that's fo sure! Enter the DIY drinks station. Whoever came up with the Pimp your Prosecco and the DIY Gin Station idea is an absolute genius! 

For the Prosecco simply fill a few jars with assorted fruits (summer berries always go down a treat), add a few bottles of mixers such as elderflower cordial, crème de cassis (did someone say Prosecco Royale?) and different purees (I love peach and strawberry) which people can add to their glasses if they fancy. Or, if you're feeling really retro add an ice lolly or smoothie lolly to everyone's Prosecco glass - just watch as their little faces light up.

If you're in need of some inspiration then take a look at these really quick and easy Prosecco cocktail recipe ideas.

For the Gin Station, it couldn't get be easier. Simply cut up fresh fruits such as lime, lemon, cucumber and even grapefruit (trust me it's amazing!), and serve with bottles of tonic, and soda water. Then add a few fresh herbs such as mint, rosemary, basil, thyme, and tarragon and encourage your guests to have some fun with their creations. You could even freeze a few edible flowers in ice cubes beforehand for extra dramatic effect. 

Failing all of the above a wheelbarrow full of ice cold beer is always a crowd pleaser.

If you need a helping hand with your DIY Gin Station then check out this great article from Wit & Delight.

Image by M&J Photography / via lovemydress.net

Entertainment

You'll probably just spend the whole time chatting and laughing with your friends but sometimes a little entertainment doesn't hurt. Obviously, music and a great playlist are a given (maybe ask your neighbours to join you so there won't be any noise complaints!) but you could also lay out a few garden games like Giant Jenga or Twister. 

Alternatively, if you're feeling really creative you could unleash your inner Kirsty Allsop and have a go at making your very own photo booth like the one below. As you can see all it takes is a couple of pallets of wood with a couple of strips of bunting and jars of flowers. Add a Polaroid camera (or just an iPhone), fancy dress costumes and funny props and you've got yourself some great viewing entertainment the next day!

Image By Soul Pics / Via  Donne Moitamain.Fr

Have I inspired you to throw your very own garden party? I hope so! They really are a lovely way to spend a warm summer's day. Go on, get planning!

Love, Becky x

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