"If you can hang string lights, do it! If you are planning weeks in advance, buy them online. You can also purchase battery-operated tea lights and put them inside any hanging paper lanterns. Large pillar candles are an easy way to provide mood lighting. Put 20 to 30 large pillar candles together to create a faux firepit. But, just remember to keep an eye on them."
How to keep guests comfortable if it gets too hot (or cold!)
"Make sure you have a water bar with ice cold-infused water options. Try my favourites: lavender and lemon or orange and sage. Misting bottles of water are a great idea to have on hand too (Evian makes a ready-to-go-version). You can roll up face cloths and keep them in your freezer as guests get hot and hand them out for guests to use on their face and hands. Set up a Beyoncé-inspired fan area where your guests can get out of the sun for a minute. Pick up some cute, white or bright throw blankets for when the sun starts to set."
Easy decor ideas
"Paper lanterns are affordable and definitely make a big impact. Use old olive oil tins, recycled food cans or spray-painted tin cans/Mason jars and plant small flowers or herbs in them to use as decor. These can then can be transplanted into your actual garden later on. Use a small shelving unit on your food and beverage table to give it some height. You can throw small florals or fresh fruit on the shelves for colour."
"Keep your food covered with cute mesh covers (many stores will have these, such as HomeSense). Keep salad and other fresh veggies or fruit in cute apothecary jars that have lids on them. However, since sugar in fruit attracts bugs the most, you may consider serving that inside if possible."
Fun ways to serve food (that don’t need much clean up and keeps recycling easy)
"You can use a lot of food to serve food. For example, mixed green salad with blood orange vinaigrette served in a hollowed out orange. The orange can then be composted after. Also, pieces of driftwood with kraft paper on top (for food safety) work well. Also, use skewers or sticks and make dishes one bite so there are no need for plates."
How to keep drinks chilled
"Instead of using a traditional metal or plastic chilling tub, get creative. Use an old planter, large vintage watering cans or a wheelbarrow filled with ice. Another fun idea is to carve out a large watermelon, fill it with ice and store your drinks in there. You can use the watermelon you scooped out to make watermelon mint mojitos as a signature drink for your guests."
Host your next summer garden party with elegance and ease
The days are getting warmer and longer, which means it’s time to think about planning a fun-filled garden party for friends and family. We caught up with The Lazy Gourmet catering's director of sales and events, Shannon Boudreau to get some practical tips to make hosting a summer bash an enjoyable and stress-free experience.
From easy decor ideas to cute ways of keeping bugs out of your food, here's how to keep your guests happy at your next backyard soiree.
Safeeya is a graduate of BCIT's Broadcast Journalism program, and loves writing about all things fashion, pop culture and lifestyle. A professional dancer for over 10 years, she also finds joy in travelling, baking, Beyoncé, and exploring Vancouver with her camera and dog.