How to host a garden party

Whimsical, delicate and bright, a garden party should be on your radar for your next party theme. Garden parties shine in their simplicity, making them an affordable theme compared to some of the more elaborate celebrations you may have come across. You can host one for a summer birthday or a TSITP outdoor watch party, and because they are fairly low fuss, garden parties are also ideal for the girls who never really need an occasion to celebrate. A cute outdoor bash is the perfect scene for deep conversations over shortcake, Instagram photo shoots and everything in between. Convinced? We've got everything you need to know about how to pull off playing hostess for this type of soirée. 

What to wear


There are few things more ethereal than a flowing dress, making it the most natural choice for a garden party ensemble. While some think this is the summer of long, sophisticated dresses, you could also opt for a mini with a darling silhouette or an inventive shape. If dresses are not necessarily for you, breathable cotton or linen pants paired with a puffy or floral top capture the garden party essence just as well as a dainty dress. 

Garden party fashion strikes a nice balance between romantic and breezy. It's a touch bold, but also a touch casual. That kind of flexibility allows it to be molded in different ways to better fit one's personal style. 

How to decorate


Florals, florals, florals. The most classic garden party decoration is fresh flowers. Peonies are an excellent choice, as well as lilies, roses and baby's breath. There truly is no such thing as too much in terms of flowery decor, so fill the table to the brim with floral arrangements. 

Another important aspect of decorating a garden party is light. Whether you hang twinkling string lights or disco balls that catch the rays (or both!), a luminous party set-up is essential, especially if it's an evening dinner garden party. 

And of course, put lots of care into the table itself. Make sure that the table is set with dinnerware, drinkware and a tablecloth in tune with the overall garden vibe (think vibrant and whimsical).

Also, having a couple of disposable or polaroid cameras at the table for your guests to use is a thoughtful addition both as a decoration and activity. 

What to eat


When you think of a garden, you think of fresh fruits and vegetables. A bright-colored salad is perfect, especially for a large group. Caprese salad skewers are also terrific shareables for all of your friends and add a pop of color.  

Charcuterie boards elevate every party's food selection, and adding edible flowers and lots of fruits will give yours an earthy garden touch. Green grapes, raspberries, persimmons and peaches are perfect fruits to add pretty hues to your board. 

Light citrus beverages like lemonade, limeade or sparkling grapefruit juice are also perfect for an elegant gathering. You can add edible flowers as a garnish to emphasize the garden aesthetic even more. Fruit-infused water is also a fun summery touch that all of your guests will *love.*

What to listen to


The music at your party will set the mood so think light, fun and upbeat tunes to make all your guests feel relaxed and happy. SZA, Taylor Swift, Harry Styles and The Lumineers are all great artists to add to the playlist. Adding songs from the 70s, 80s and 90s can also add a nice, vintage touch. Be sure to check out the garden party playlists on Spotify and Apple Music  (this one is our fave)!

Loving the garden aesthetic? Check out these posts for more inspo:
πŸ’ How to start a *perfect* fairy garden
πŸ’ How to make gardening your new fave hobby
πŸ’ Become a walking garden with these adorable necklaces

Hosting your own garden party? Share with us on IG by tagging @girlslifemag!

Top image: @solarpowered_blonde
Slider image: @wishbonekitchen


by Kayla Conroy and Jillian Morse | 8/3/2023