We hosted a summer garden party in our backyard, making the most of the delightful weather and the natural beauty of our surroundings. With detailed planning and a touch of creativity, the event turned into an unforgettable gathering of friends and family, filled with laughter, delectable treats, and rustic charm.

Garden party - bike with flowers

Setting the Scene

Our backyard and garden house, adorned with blossoming flowers and greenery, provided the ideal backdrop for our summer garden party. The weather was perfect, with a clear sky and a gentle breeze, creating a comfortable atmosphere for all our guests. We set up extra tables and chairs outside but served the main meal inside the garden house.

Garden party - bistro table with chairs


The Rustic Drink Station

At the entrance of the garden party, I crafted a unique rustic drink station using an old wooden ladder. With its weathered appearance and repurposed charm, the ladder perfectly complemented the theme. Mason jars filled with colorful paper straws quickly became a focal point for our guests. 

The drink station offered an array of refreshing beverages to quench everyone's thirst, including a pineapple spritzer and mint-infused iced tea. Guests loved the interactive experience of serving themselves, and the ladder's rustic elegance was a conversation starter throughout the evening.

Garden party - drink station with ladderGarden party drink dispenser
The Photo Op
We created a photo backdrop using a canvas dropcloth that we tied to a tree branch using twine. We then used clear glass bottles filled with greens and hung them in varying lengths in front of the drop cloth.
We also displayed an old bicycle that I decorated with fresh flowers using floral foam that I soaked with water and put into the spokes of the wheel, then stuck the stems of the flowers and greens into the foam.
Garden partyGarden party - bike with flowersGarden partyGarden party door
We started the meal with wood nibble boards on each place setting holding skewers of blackberry caprese as an appetizer (recipe). I love using our nibble boards (available in our shop) for appetizers or name card holders. They add a rustic touch to the table. Each place setting also included a menu printed onto watercolor paper, so the guests knew what to expect.
Garden party table settingGarden party menuGarden party in garden houseGarden partyGarden party
Our next course was a strawberry mixed green salad that we placed in jam jars. We served them in rustic galvanized trays with a glass salad dressing dispenser in the middle. 
Garden party saladGarden party strawberry salad
Next, we served creamy tomato basil soup with a homemade crouton on the side of the jar. To add an element of elegance and charm to the presentation, we opted to serve the soup in mini glass jars. These dainty vessels provided a touch of whimsy and sophistication, making the soup feel like a gourmet delight.
Garden party tomato soupGarden party
For the main course, we served two different types of sandwiches: a prosciutto crostini with burrata (recipe) and a chicken bacon artisan sandwich (recipe). They were delicious! I highly recommend the recipes. We wrapped the chicken sandwiches with a French-style parchment paper (available here) and tied with baker's twine.
Garden party sandwichesGarden party sandwiches
Garden party sandwiches
To balance the savory with the sweet, we served individual vanilla layer cakes with buttercream frosting topped with fresh white roses. We set them out on tables in the backyard, so the guests could mingle and grab a cake. 
Individual vanilla cake with roseGarden party individual cakes with roses
I created a vintage-style ice cream cart using one of our old tables, some antique wheels I picked up at a barn sale, and a pretty white umbrella (available here). We served honeyed lavender ice cream cones from Fox Meadows Creamery. It was such a lovely flavor and went perfectly with the cakes.
Garden party ice cream cartGarden party ice cream cartGarden party ice cream cart
To elevate the enchanting ambiance of the garden party, we had the pleasure of having a talented local musician gracing us with her heavenly harp melodies throughout the night. Positioned near the garden house, she strummed the strings of her harp, filling the air with a melodic symphony that resonated with the serene surroundings.
Garden party musicGarden party harpist

As the night drew to a close, we wanted to express our gratitude to our guests for sharing this magical garden party with us. To show our appreciation and to continue the spirit of rustic charm, we prepared delightful party favors for them to take home.

Each guest received a mini French market basket, adorned with a dainty ribbon. Inside these charming baskets, we placed freshly baked croissants, ready to be enjoyed the next morning. The aroma of the croissants was irresistible, promising a delightful breakfast and a reminder of the sweet memories made during the evening.

In addition to the croissants, we included a small jar of honey. The golden-hued honey was a symbol of the sweetness shared during the garden party and served as a reminder of the sweetness of life and the bonds formed that day.

To quench their thirst on the way home, we also placed a glass bottle of a sweet drink in each basket. It was the perfect way to end the evening and provided a refreshing treat for guests to enjoy during their journey home.

Garden party favors
August 02, 2023 — Aimee Weaver