When the weather warms and the flowers bloom—when the grass becomes as green as the leaves overhead, it seems as though we all inhale and gear up for a season spent outdoors. Some of us will gather on the lawns of public parks, or in the stands of a baseball game. Others will bask in the sunlight on a river, or take in the scene of crashing waves on a beach.
But for the hostess with the mostess, might we suggest spending warm afternoons hosting a chic garden party? This event, which can either take place in a backyard or at your local park, is always a hit. Guests can mingle under the trees with a cold drink in hand, chase one another during a relay race, recount stories by a bonfire, or share seconds at a buffet.
If you're eagerly awaiting long days soaking up the sun, plan to take it outside with these 25 garden party ideas that'll bring your loved ones together to stop and smell the roses. No matter how you choose to let loose, do it in the fresh air, under a warm sun, and with your favorite people. You'll wonder why you haven't done this all along.
Here are our picks for the best garden party ideas to celebrate spring.
Set Up a Bar Outside
Whether this is a bar cart or an impressive spread of drinks that spans an extra-long table, an outdoor bar will encourage guests to mingle al fresco. Make sure there are enough choices for every taste, or even designate a friend as a bartender.
Present Various Water Options
Fill pitchers with different types of flavored water, ranging from cucumber to lemon and raspberry to lavender. Add ice, and this display will be as delicious as it is beautiful.
Build a Makeshift Seating Area
Skip the chairs altogether and lay pretty rugs, cozy blankets, poufs, and oversize pillows on the grass. You'll be surprised how willing guests are to kick off their heels and lounge all evening long. Just don't forget to add a place where they can put down their drinks, too.
Design a Photo Booth
Yes, it's possible to create a photo booth with little time and effort—but the photos will capture memories for years to come. Using PVC pipe for the frame, cardboard for the backdrop, and zip-ties to hold it all together, fill the backdrop with a colorful arrangement of faux flowers, then use an app to take photos.
Go All Out With Place Cards
If you're planning a sit-down dinner, write guests' names on cards to designate their seats at the table. If you're serving dinner buffet-style, use the cards to label each dish, especially if there are any dietary restrictions or allergies in the group. A gold marker will look best.
Create a Signature Cocktail
Cocktail attire must come with drinks, naturally, and we think you should have one served explicitly for the occasion. Sangria is always a favorite, but you could also try a twist on a classic, like this orange pineapple Moscow mule from Half Baked Harvest.