Having guests over can be daunting, but entertaining outside is always much more relaxed and informal. There are just a few things to consider beforehand, so you can kick back and join in the fun when they arrive…

Keep reading to discover our guide to organising a garden party, and, when you're feeling suitably inspired, don't forget to check out our pick of the best bunting for garden parties, BBQs and more!

How to organise a garden party

  • Working out how much food to buy can be tricky but, on average, one burger, a sausage and skewer should be enough for each person. How many drinks you buy for your party depends on the group – your friends may be big drinkers, or they may prefer just a couple. Take this into account when calculating what you need and allow a couple of drinks for the first hour, then one for every subsequent hour. And don’t forget alcohol-free options for non-drinkers and kids.
  • If you are supplying all of the drinks it’s worth considering a service such as Majestic’s party delivery. With free delivery it includes free glasses, ice and chiller bin hire, and you can return all unopened wine and un-split cases of beer or cider. Some supermarkets, such as Morrisons and Waitrose, also offer free glass hire when you buy the relevant drinks from them. Need a home for the drink? Check out or favourite garden bar ideas for inspiration
  • Keep kids and adults alike entertained with a few garden games, staying away from ball games if space is limited. Music is also essential to keeping everyone happy, so make sure you create a varied playlist beforehand, and think about how you will play it in the garden if it can’t be heard from the house. Check out our sister title BBC Music's recommendations for best portable outdoor speakers and our best home music systems
  • Make sure you have enough seating for everyone. Consider which of your guests will need a chair, and who can sit on blankets and rugs.
  • Don’t forget about plates and cutlery – disposables are handy if you have large numbers, but choose options that are either biodegradable or compostable, such as 100 per cent bamboo designs. It’s worth noting that paper plates with a coating or those that have had greasy food on aren’t recyclable.
  • And have a plan if it rains!