10 tips for hosting a stylish summer garden party

Feeling ready to party? These tips will get you started

Black coloured rattan garden dining set with 6 chairs and glass table. Dining set is in sunny garden and the table has wine glasses and bread on it
(Image credit: Argos)

Summer is the perfect season to host a good old-fashion garden party for your friends and family. Flowing drinks, good food, warm rays of sunshine and lots of fun - what could be better? 

Depending on how many people are coming, it’s important to start planning your party well in advance. There’s nothing worse than feeling unprepared for your guests, and you certainly don’t want them to notice as well. Well, if you're looking for a bit of a refresher when it comes to hosting, you've come to the right place. Take a look at our top tips, then get ready to crank up the summer playlist and make some memories.

Oh before we begin, take a look at T3’s ultimate guide to maintaining and entertaining in your garden this summer. It is Garden Tech Month after all!

1. Prep your space

The first thing you need to do is make sure your outdoor space is ready and prepared for having guests over. Whether that’s clearing your patio of junk or mowing your lawn (read our 6 tips on making your lawn look spectacular), it will give a good impression and set you up for the rest of the party. 

Top tip: make sure your clear enough space for people to sit as well as stand. Lots of chairs is ideal and it gives your guests the option!

2. Get decorating

Decorating is also going to make your space look wonderfully inviting. You don’t have to go over the top, but making sure your dining area has some nice table decorations, such as flowers or coloured napkins, makes all the difference

Top tip: go for a few citronella candles on the table to protect your guests from flying pests! They smell great and will keep the ambience going well into the evening. 

3. Opt for a pizza oven

If you’re looking for something a bit different, why don’t you try out a pizza oven? All you’d have to do is produce some pizza bases and topping options, and the rest is easy! Check out our 2023 guide to the best pizza ovens for a few suggestions. 

Top tip: you can actually make a lot more in a pizza oven than just pizza, some options being meats or padron peppers. Read about 9 surprising foods you can cook in a pizza oven for more ideas!

4. Perfect your playlist

Having a good playlist is the key to setting the right mood for your party. Get a bluetooth speaker that’s loud enough and place it somewhere high so everyone can hear it. Our 2023 guide on the best speakers has some great options to choose from if you're interested. 

Top tip: make a playlist that has a range of different genres and artist so there’s something in there for everyone. Maybe avoid the sad love songs though!

5. Go for easy food options

The last thing you want to be doing when hosting is serving up a 3 course meal, especially if it’s been a warm day. Go for options such as salads and pasta dishes that your guests can easily help themselves. They’re light dishes that everyone will love, and it saves you the hassle!

Top tip: prep as much as you can before your guests arrive. It’ll free up your time, leaving you to mingle and catch up with friends. 

6. Keep the drinks flowing 

Another way to free up your time is to prepare the drinks before the guests arrive as well! Fill up a big bucket with ice and pop in some cans, or make sure there is access to a fridge. 

Top tip: make a big punch or jug of Pimm's. It will keep your guests happy and you won’t have to constantly make drinks for everyone. 

7. Have a fire pit

If you’re hosting in the evening, a fire pit is a great way to bring guests into one space and keep them warm as the sun goes down. Check out our top garden DIY projects if you’re interested in building one yourself!

Top tip: Be careful to place it on a flat, hard surface such as gravel or a patio - grass is not recommended for obvious reasons!

8. Prepare for all weathers

You know what British weather is like - completely unpredictable. The sun may be shining down on us once second, with the heavens opening up the next. Make sure you clear a space in your home, such as the kitchen or living room, if you need to make a quick escape from the rain. 

Top tip: you can even put a few umbrellas in the corner and use those if it starts raining. You’ll have to be brave though! 

9. Light it up

It’s always best to actually see your guests, so make sure you have enough lighting if you’re hosting in the dark! These can be fairy lights in your trees and hedges, or candles on the table!

Top tip: If you’re hosting in the day and evening, purchase some solar panel lights that will soak up energy whilst the sun is out, leaving you with sample lighting when it goes away. 

10. And relax!

Once you’ve had a go at all of the above, sit back and relax. This is your party and you should enjoy all of the hard work you’ve put in! 

Lizzie Wilmot
Staff Writer, Home

Lizzie is T3's Home Staff Writer, also covering style, living and wellness. She works closely with Bethan Girdler-Maslen, T3's Home Editor, ensuring all the latest news, trends and recommendations are covered. Outside of T3, Lizzie can be found mooching around Bath, attempting (or at least trying to) a new DIY project or spending time with family and friends.