Weekend Preview: Garden Party Inspiration

It was probably not the best idea to play hostess on back-to-back weekends. Last weekend was my high school reunion (luckily at a bar, not my apartment), and this weekend is the Garden Party, which I’m actually much more excited about!

I don’t have a garden so much as a courtyard, but it’ll do the trick. The plan is to drink and BBQ and welcome back a friend who has been abroad for a few months. An added bonus: The theme is Connecticut Casual. What is CC? It’s boat shoes and bow ties, seersucker and critter shorts, and basically anything salmon-colored or striped. See Vineyard Vines.

Since I genuinely love all of those things, I don’t even have to look for a “costume” (my mom actually bought me the perfect dress for such an occasion a few weeks back), which is great because it leaves more time to prep decorations and food! Here’s what I’ve got in mind…

Beverage Dispenser: These things are EVERYWHERE this summer! I keep going back and forth on whether I should buy one – I don’t really have a place to store it – but luckily for me, a friend is letting me borrow his. I’ll be mixing up a gin cocktail for the group, and it’ll be great just to make one big batch instead of taking multiple trips to the kitchen while the party’s going on.

Striped Bunting: Love the preppy look of this nautical party. Is it bad that this is a 1-year-old’s birthday party and I’m 27? Whatever, it’s adorable, and it should be easy enough to DIY. Could also go the tassel garland or paper fan route… we’ll see what kind of paper I can find on sale.

Christmas Lights: I think mood lighting is a must for a party that’s going to start in the daylight and move to night. I love the Pottery Barn-style globe lights as much as the next person, but there’s really no point in spending money on those when I have regular Christmas lights buried in a holiday box in the storage area. Wish me luck finding them!

Butcher Paper Table Runner: I just picked up a roll of butcher paper at the Dollar Store the other day for different project, but then I started thinking how great it’d be as a table runner too. I could write on it with chalk or just a Sharpie or create a design with washi tape. Gotta love getting multiple uses out of something that’s only $1!

Mason Jar Candle Holders: Mason jars? Check. Tealights? Check. Water? Check. Centerpieces made from stuff you already have around the house? The best. I don’t have any of that straw string stuff, but I’m not a big fan of that anyway. Too country.

Fruit Kabobs: I want to incorporate some healthy options into the party menu. I’m not on a diet or anything, I’m just attempting to eat healthier as part of marathon training. Plus, the boys are making hot dogs and hamburgers, and we have a few vegetarians coming so I need some meat-free options outside of dessert. I’m cheap and don’t want to buy plastic silverware, but I do have a pack of skewers in the drawer. Problem solved!

Have a good idea for me? Sent it my way! But you better hurry… The party is tomorrow!