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From cucumber sandwiches to burgers on the barbecue, the concept of a garden party has come a long way since its debut during the 1860s when Queen Victoria hosted the first one at Buckingham Palace. But for many people, a garden party might sound like a boring event filled with conservative traditions. The good news is, a garden party can be so much more than china sets and tea. Check out these fun and modern garden party ideas.
History of a Garden Party
The Social Pantry wrote an entire article about this very topic. As mentioned earlier, Queen Victoria hosted the first garden party during the 1860s. Except, she referred to these social occasions as breakfasts even though they often took place in the afternoon. These events were exclusive to members of the nobility and their purpose was to present debutants into society.
During the late 1950s, Queen Elizabeth made a few changes to these events. No longer exclusive to members of the nobility, these engagements served as an opportunity to thank members of society for their contributions and charitable acts. Also, debutants were no longer presented to society during these occasions.
Traditional Menu Ideas
Traditional menu items consist of tea sandwiches of which there is an infinite number of recipes available online. The most common sandwiches served at a garden party were cucumber sandwiches. The Spruce Eats also mentioned smoked salmon and sweet ham finger sandwiches. Scones, marmalade, and lemon curds were also options. It’ll come as no shock for many that the main beverage served was tea. The Spruce Eats listed Earl Gray, Assam, chamomile and mint teas as the traditional teas served.
If this menu seems conservative and boring, you’re in luck. This article is filled with non-conventional, super-fun menu ideas. Keep reading for some tips and new ideas.
Themed Garden Party Ideas
If you happen to have an actual garden with a space big enough to host a party, perfect! For everyone else, a garden party is really just an event hosted in your backyard. Potted plants or other decorations like those discussed later on can be used to liven things up. Don’t stress too much about the venue. The guests, food, and conversation are what you’ll remember. Continue reading for some fun garden party ideas!
Since garden parties were a concept initiated during the Victorian age, why not host a Victorian-themed event! It’s just not Victorian if it isn’t formal on every level. Victorian-themed invitations can be purchased from Etsy. And if you really want to dress for the occasion, check out Amazon’s selection of Victorian-themed attire and tea sets for the event. Menu items like the finger sandwiches mentioned earlier are what you can serve if you’re trying to fit the theme. Otherwise, as long as it’s tasty, you can serve anything you want.
The Roaring 20s
Don’t let this decade pass you by without hosting a roaring 20s garden party! Kick off the occasion by serving classic martinis! If your guests prefer, dirty mocktinis can also be served. Chandice, author of the Vivacious Life blog, has a couple of perfect recipes for mixing non-alcoholic dirty martinis.
The best thing about hosting a roaring 20s garden party is the wardrobe and there is no better place to go for a flapper dress or gangster wear and accessories than Amazon.
As far as the menu and decor are concerned, check out In Literature for ideas. Baked ham was one menu item listed and appetizers such as deviled eggs, stuffed mushrooms, and olives were also mentioned.
Read More: The Best Party Snacks and Drinks for Your Next Soiree
SciFi/Fantasy for Kids
Do you have a child who seems uninterested in reading? Bring your child’s favorite stories and characters to life with these ideas. Use this as an opportunity to boost their desire.
Alice In Wonderland
Who can forget that iconic scene from Alice in Wonderland where she meets the Mad Hatter for the first time and joins him for some tea?
Invite your guests to join you in your own private wonderland. Purchase signs like these to lead your friends down the rabbit hole. Additional decorations like giant playing cards and cupcake towers will help transform your backyard. Don’t hold back on the decorations! You never know when the Queen of Hearts might make an appearance!
In the event that her majesty does stop by, don’t forget to have some tasty appetizers. Epicurious has a list of suggestions on their website. Themed cookies and cakes can be ordered from any bakery.
For your favorite gamer, host a Minecraft party. Mine items can be anything from Minecraft cookies to Creeper marshmallows and more by following the suggestions listed on Totally the Bomb.
Decorations and awesome party favors such as Creeper key chains can be purchased from Amazon or Party City.
Read More: Gifts for Pretend Play
Literature-Themed Party Ideas
Bring all the adventures of Hogwarts to your home this summer. Throw your kids or adult friends a Harry Potter themed garden party.
Amazon is the place to shop for all things Harry Potter. House banners, sorting hats, photo backdrops, and so much more are available here. You can even find a souvenir collectible Quidditch set if you’re so inclined. Please use caution when releasing the bludgers from the box!
For the traditional Hogwart’s feast, head on over to Moms Have More Fun for some delicious ideas that include chocolate frogs, pumpkin pasties, and butterbeer!
50 Shades of Grey
Celebrate your favorite bride-to-be with a very special garden party! Help her ring in her nuptials by hosting a Fifty Shades of Grey party. Make things really exciting by having a representative of Pure Romance arrive with a selection of gifts she’ll love. If discretion is required, there’s always the option of purchasing individual Pure Romance products from Amazon.
String lights up around your backyard and reenact the masquerade scene from Fifty Shades Darker. Mardi Gras masks similar to the one pictured above are available on Amazon.
For this adult-only event, check out The Hostess with Mostess. She has some fantastic menu ideas including Tie Me Up pasta salad and Veggie Orgasm Balls.
And if you plan on formal seating arrangements at this exclusive garden party extravaganza, hop on over to Etsy where you can purchase hand-made place cards like the ones above.
Read More: Give the Gift of Reading with BookRoo
Garden parties don’t have to be the same old finger sandwiches and formal discussions. This summer, host the event of the season in your backyard. Create a themed event that your friends and neighbors will talk about for months.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on THE BEST PARTY SNACKS AND DRINKS FOR YOUR NEXT SOIREE.
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Photo Credits: Unsplash.com | Pixabay.com
Sources: The Social Pantry | The Spruce Eats | Vivacious Life | In Literature | Epicurious | Totally the Bomb | Moms Have More Fun | The Hostess with Mostess