A good old fashioned garden party is the perfect way to celebrate the last of the British summer, and when better to have one than the bank holiday weekend? We’ve prepared a list of tips and things to remember to make sure your party goes off without a hitch:

When to have it

For this bank holiday weekend, Sunday looks like the best bet for doing anything outdoors. The weather should be better, and you can also enjoy a post party lie-in on Monday….

Prepare for British rain, though

But this is still Britain, and you can never trust the weather forecast. Make sure you’ve got plenty of shelter in your garden just in case – hire a gazebo or a tipi to keep you dry and help create a cosy feeling. Maybe even consider an outdoor heater and blankets for when night falls and the temperature drops.

Decorate to the nines

The best garden parties are the ones where the host has gone all out to ensure a festive atmosphere. Hang bunting, invest in some colourful cushions for your outdoor furniture, and make sure you have some nice lighting for when the sun sets. Fairy lights and jam jar candles are a nice idea and won’t break the bank.

Overcompensate with refreshments

When it comes to catering, forget the ‘less is more’ rule – more is always more. Once you’ve got an idea of how many people to expect, buy more than enough for everyone. You never know who may turn up despite originally declining, and there are always some unexpected plus ones. Yes, there will probably be a lot of leftovers – but drinks can be stored for next time, and food can be eaten for lunch.

Get yourself ready before you start the party prep

To minimise stress, get all dressed up before you prepare anything else on the day. There’s nothing worse than stressing because your food has gone wrong, and worrying about setting aside time to get yourself ready. Also, you never know who may turn up early – and you don’t want to answer the door straight from the shower.

Don’t forget to cater well for people who don’t drink

It’s easy to get carried away with planning nice cocktails and stocking up on Pimm’s, but make sure you have plenty of non-alcoholic options for friends that don’t drink, or are driving. And this doesn’t just mean Coke or lemonade – something fresh and summery (like elderflower cordial and sparkling water or virgin mojitos) is perfect for an August garden party.

Make sure you’ve got enough seating

It seems obvious, but you don’t want to have people standing around, especially if you’re serving food. Make sure there’s enough seating for everyone, even if this means cushions on the floor.

Designate a kids’ corner

It’s a good idea to designate a kids’ area if your guests are bringing little ones. This will take them off their parents’ hands for a bit and help them relax, whilst also making sure they have fun, too. Consider some giant outdoor games like giant Connect Four or Jenga, which are actually great fun for everyone.

Test your speakers, and prepare a playlist beforehand

Make sure your speakers are working, and prepare a playlist in advance to make sure you create  the right mood. And remember to warn your neighboursif you’re going to be playing loud party tunes late into the night (you could always invite them).

For more garden inspiration, take a look at our designated Pinterest board.