With the Platinum Jubilee weekend approaching, it’s time to start thinking about how you will mark the occasion with friends and family.
Temperatures are anticipated to be above average for the long weekend, meaning that it is a great opportunity to take celebrations outdoors and into the garden.
With searches for ‘Jubilee Garden Party’ up 369% compared to last month, Laura Schwarze, from rattan garden furniture experts, Luxury Rattan and Jess Martin, party planning and decoration expert at Ginger Ray, share their tips and advice on how you can make your outdoor celebrations extra special.
1. Think about the feel of your event
There are so many options when it comes to hosting summer parties outdoors, from al fresco dining to picnics, BBQs and cream teas. If you love ice cream and gelato, then you may consider renting a gelato cart hire. Consider the atmosphere you are trying to create and set up the space accordingly.
Laura explains: “There are a huge number of ways people can choose to celebrate the Jubilee, and making sure that you have a clear idea about how you want your event to look and feel is key. With it being such a momentous event, I would suggest opting for a nostalgic and relaxed feel, complete with finger sandwiches, retro decor and old-school garden games.”
Jess adds: “The best parties tend to have well thought out plans behind them- which is even more crucial when hosting a garden party. Unpredictable weather and natural surroundings make things a bit trickier but the key is all in the prep. Having a clear plan in place for your venue, entertainment, food and drinks will make the process of hosting a party outdoors a lot easier.”
2. Consider the layout of your space
Layout is key to ensuring a cohesive and comfortable environment for your guests. When it comes to setting up your outdoor space, Laura suggests using your garden furniture to help create distinct areas for eating, relaxing and activities to give guests a choice of where to spend their time.
She continues: “Whether you have a huge garden or more compact outdoor space, zoning is a great way to ensure you’re getting the most out of the space you have available. To help your outdoor space work harder, it’s a good idea to set up food and drink away from your main seating area to keep your outdoor dining table free and give people a place to put down their plates and relax.
“If you have a lawn, garden games are a great way to add a little fun to your event and get your guests up and mingling. For a nod to the royal family, you could invest in a classic games set such as croquette or quoits set for everyone to try.”
3. More is more when it comes to seating
When throwing an event outdoors, Laura advises making sure that you have plenty of seating.
She said: “Be sure to make use of all the outdoor seating you have available, as a rule everyone at your event should have the chance to be comfortably seated at once.
“It’s a great opportunity to think creatively about your seating arrangements, using a range of outdoor sofas, outdoor dining chairs and picnic blankets is a great way to ensure that you are maximising seating options within your space.”
4. Go big on your decorations
The Platinum Jubilee really is a once in a lifetime event, with this in mind it is the perfect opportunity to really lean into the theme and make a statement with your space.
For a fun-nod to the theme, opt for a red, white and blue colour theme and look for innovative ways to incorporate decorations and soft furnishings you already own.
Laura explains: “Your refreshments can also double as decorations, for example bowls of strawberries, blueberries and marshmallows would make beautiful and simple table decorations.”
Jess adds: “Just because you are hosting your party outside, doesn’t mean you need to scrimp on the party decorations. With a few simple adaptations, you can create a gorgeous space without spending a fortune..
“Consider some more fun presentation options like prosecco stands which will keep your drinks safe whilst looking amazing too! With the possibility of wind, ensure you hold down any table cloths with special weights or just some cute decor items like vases and lanterns.
“Making a tablescape the focus of attention can be a super simple decor idea that creates maximum impact. Choose a tablecloth that matches your theme and compliment it with foliage, candles and tableware that ties into the event.”
5. Think about your lighting
If you think your party will continue on till dusk, it is important to think about your lighting to ensure your space remains inviting for all your guests.
Suggesting the best lighting for your outdoor space, Laura said: “Like when zoning your space, it is important to think about what lighting will work best for each area of your garden. If you have an outdoor dining set and plan for people to eat at the table, you’ll want to make sure you have brighter lighting. If you have an outdoor corner sofa and chill out space, you might want to opt for softer lighting to create a relaxed space.”
Jess comments: “Lighting plays a big part in creating the right ambience at any party, even outside – getting the day to night transition spot on is vital. Dot tealights around your garden on as many surfaces as you can to really create that serene, warming feel – the more the better. Try incorporating LED lights by weaving them into foliage you’ve used to decorate your garden too. Festoon lights are also bang on trend, and are a great option if you’re going for a festival look and feel.
“Why not unleash some childhood nostalgia with some sparklers too. Not only do they add a touch of fun to any outdoor event but spelling out letters with them also makes a gorgeous photo opportunity!”
6. Don’t forget to give your outdoor space some TLC
Party planning can be exciting, but it is important to make sure you are putting some time aside to make your outdoor space look its best ahead of any Jubilee celebrations you might be hosting.
Weeding and mowing the lawn, pressure washing the patio and cleaning your rattan furniture is a great way to refresh your space and make it more inviting for guests.
When it comes to cleaning your garden furniture, Laura says it is important to: “Give your garden furniture a quick once-over with a vacuum or sturdy brush to get rid of any dirt and debris – for any stubborn bits collected in the weaves, you can use an old toothbrush.
“You can then fill a bowl with soapy water and wipe down your rattan furniture with a soft cloth before thoroughly drying with an old towel.”
She continues: “If you are planning multiple outdoor events across the weekend, don’t be tempted to leave your garden furniture and accessories set up overnight. Be sure to bring any cushions and soft furnishings indoors.”