6 Tips for the Prettiest Garden Party

I have a love/hate relationship with pinterest. I love seeing images on pinterest like these two below but when it comes time to planning your own outdoor party, what if you see a photo like one of these and get discouraged because you don't know what you can realistically (without spending a ton of time or money) do to achieve this look for yourself. 

Today I'm talking pinterest inspired achievable outdoor entertaining. Little tips and tricks that you can actually do without spending hours and hours DIY-ing or a ton of money to achieve an amazing look. So, whether you want some inspo for a lavish outdoor soiree or just want to up the ante at your next outdoor dinner party, read below for some easy tips to host your own gorgeous garden party! 

1. Make a Bold Statement

A graphic table runner dresses up any table and can be easily DIY'd with a little paint and patience or a bit of fun fabric and some no sew iron on tape. (Remember this table cloth I made a few years ago?) Stripes, polka dots, abstract- the options are endless and are a fun way to take your tablescape up a notch and dress up even the simplest of outdoor dining tables. How simple (and inexpensive) is that?!

2. Dress up your centerpiece

Thank goodness for washi tape! If you're setting flowers on the table (which I highly recommend aesthetically speaking) pop them in a mason jar or simple vase and pull colors from your scheme together by wrapping a few pieces of washi tape around. (See here for something similar I did for thanksgiving last year). Or, if you're going for a slightly more rustic vibe, take a brown paper bag (you can get these guys at the dollar store), wrap with some twine and you've got a gorgeous centrepiece - the flowers could be sitting in a soup can as far as anyone's concerned because your vase is totally hidden.

3. Make your guests feel special

A little succulent is the cutest way to mark who seats where. Just as I used washi tape to flag "initial" pumpkins for a thanksgiving table setting, some tape, a toothpick and a few little succulents can act as super cute place settings that your guests can take with them when they leave. Everyone loves a little gift and having a seating arrangement is perfect for taking the "where do I sit" dilemma off of the minds of your guests. 

4. Light it up

Is there anything prettier than white twinkly lights? Re-use your little white lights from christmas or pick up some inexpensive patio string lights and go to town. Wrap them around your trees, fence or deck and add a bit of sparkle and whimsy to your next outdoor dinner or party. If string lights aren't your thing, why not wrap a few votive holders (with the battery operated lights - let's not start any fires here people!) with some ribbon and tie them off of your tree branches- or off of your fence or deck would work too. Adding a bit of twinkle is a detail your guests will definitely notice and appreciate.

5. Set it up for sharing

A gathering doesn't have to be formal to be beautiful. Avoid a traditional table setting and opt for a more casual style of eating with sharing boards. Stack meats, cheeses, sauces and sides on wooden blocks or cutting boards and it will immediately look fancy without even trying and you'll have an instagram worthy set up that is not only tasty but looks great too!

6. Have fun with flowers

Flowers always up the décor ante but if you don't want to have flowers on the table as centrepieces, you can incorporate them in some other fun ways. Carnations are inexpensive hearty flowers and I love this image showing them strung on fishing line. This would be a beautiful way to add some wow to any outdoor fete or, freezing little flowers in your ice cubes is another unique way to incorporate flowers in a more subtle way. Freezing fruit or herbs like I did here is another fun option too!

So there you have it- a few attainable outdoor entertaining tips that you can definitely incorporate into your own get togethers. If you have any other tips you use I'd love to hear them in the comments below!