There’s a chic garden party theme to suit all kinds of outdoor celebrations, whether you have a small patio or a large backyard with a pool.
A garden party theme should cover all aspects of style, from the decorations you hang in your trees to the patterned tablecloths used to cover the tables. The chosen theme can also influence other garden party ideas such as the food and drink you serve, the music you play, and even the dress code.
From tropical parties at the Tiki bar with colorful cocktail glasses to patriotic celebrations full of stars, stripes and sparklers, these garden party themes are packed with outdoor style and character – and are much simpler to put together. than they seem.
And if you’re looking to make more permanent changes to your outdoor space, check out our guide to the top gardening trends of 2022.
Garden party themes and ideas for all occasions
1. Hawaiian tropics
Midsummer is the perfect time to host a tropical-themed garden party. Sunny skies and fruity refreshments mean fun.
Use a cocktail bar as a focal point – it can be an off-the-shelf purchase or a DIY project you can be proud of, made from recycled wooden pallets. Look for brightly colored outdoor patio furniture or cushions with exotic designs like flamingos or pineapples and fill your outdoor space with brightly colored streamers and quirky decorations.
Keep the party going well into the night with funky colorful garlands and Tiki torches that sink into the ground.
2. Coastal charm
Capture the relaxed holiday vibe at home by creating an outdoor garden party with a touch of coastal chic.
If you already have muted wicker patio furniture, great. Alternatively, you can create a laid-back Ibiza-style outdoor lounge with plenty of protruding seating, floor cushions and rattan storm lanterns.
Choose fabrics in natural linen and seascape tones. Add a pop of accent color with a navy blue table runner and bring seashell and coral accessories to enhance the ocean vibe in style.
Finally, an island beach style party is never complete without a relaxing playlist to sit back and sip cocktails on. Search Spotify or YouTube for pre-compiled playlists or try making your own with all your favorite songs.
3. Summer Solstice
Enjoy your garden party the ‘Frilutfstliv’ (outdoor life) way, themed around the Scandi summer solstice. Midsommer is celebrated all over Scandinavia and mostly outdoors, surrounded by nature and usually with some kind of bonfire.
For a Scandinavian-style outdoor backdrop, paint fences, pergolas and furniture with black exterior wood paint. On the other hand, set the garden table with light linens and lanterns in natural wood tones.
Foliage wreaths full of greenery represent the earth’s cycle through seasons and nature, so why not make wreaths of flowers that guests can wear as a headband or wreath in their hair? It could be a nice way to make sure the guests really connect with the celebration.
Enhance the cosiness with lots of fairy lights, hurricane lanterns, and light the fire pit once it gets cold.
4. Festival fun
Festivals are the ultimate summer party, but if you missed the ticket sales, why not celebrate in your own backyard? A festival-inspired garden party theme can be a slightly more civilized affair than a real one – and no one needs to pay hundreds of pounds to get in!
Raise the (canvas) roof of your garden party by swapping out a gazebo with a decorated tent to kick off the summer festival season. Next, dress up the entrance to the tent with streamers, balloons, and paper lanterns. For a woodsy vibe, wrap real or faux ivy around the frames.
Nail down laid-back looks by surrounding the focal point with textured outdoor rugs, low stools and floor cushions. If you’re feeling smart, you can even make your own cushion cover (remember to use waterproof materials).
As night falls, light the fire pit, serve s’mores and sing campfire songs.
5. Outdoor Movie Nights
What could be more fun than hosting an outdoor movie night for family and friends? New technology makes large-scale film screenings not only easy to do in our own backyards, but also affordable.
To create a home theater setup, hang a projector or a white flat sheet against an exterior wall. Set up your arena around the screen.
Stringing string lights or garlands will add a touch of low intensity light that won’t affect the show. Finally, provide your guests with cozy cushions and blankets so they don’t get cold.
If you’re feeling smart, take it a step further by making your own tickets and popcorn cups ahead of time.
6. Rustic farmhouse
Country living has never been so popular: from rural style living rooms to rustic bathroom ideas, we can’t get enough of this aesthetic and it’s one of the main trends in home design. interior this year. Create this theme by placing hay bales around your garden – they are super authentic and are surprisingly easy to obtain.
If you’re put off by messy straw, opt for rustic wooden pallet benches or picnic tables instead and add soft blankets and cushions to simple surfaces. Finish the look by dressing the garden table in farm favorite fabrics such as gingham or stripes. For refreshments, serve cisterns of delicious cloudy lemonade in rustic-style jam jars.
7. Patriotic colors
Whether it’s 4th of July, Labor Day or even the Super Bowl, bring out the stars and stripes to show your true party colors in red, white and blue.
Hang patriotic banners and flags, choose primary-colored tableware and serve themed popsicles to the little ones. Set up a supervised celebration table offering sparklers, party poppers and fire crackers as another fun touch. Spawn Quests in their best 4th of July or Memorial Day outfits.
This theme can also work well in the UK if you’re having a garden party for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee – work with a blue, white and red color scheme and incorporate the union jack bunting into your decor.
8. Moroccan Exotics
Spice up your garden party by transforming your terrace into an atmospheric courtyard in traditional Moroccan riad style, inspired by the beauty of Marrakech.
To really dial up the atmosphere, choose a coffee table to encourage guests to sit cross-legged on floor cushions. Or cover a low wooden bench with exotic printed and patterned cushions.
Fill the Moroccan style tableware with citrus fruits and add to the backyard experience using pretty, colorful votive candles. The best flameless candles also work well if you prefer to avoid open flames on the table.
9. Vintage tea
If you like the cottage garden style, then a quintessentially British tea party theme is the perfect idea to inject a touch of vintage charm into your garden party.
Cover a classic iron garden table with a pretty cotton or crisp lace tablecloth. Layer a romantic tablescape with porcelain teapots, cups and saucers for serving cakes and sandwiches on a tiered cake stand.
Shade the afternoon tea with a fringed umbrella and floral print twine, fabric fading above the trees. You can also scour local thrift stores for matching vases to display your best garden plants.