One of the many benefits of having a garden is that it can serve as an outdoor event venue. Based on the size of your garden, you can host a small number of guests for a party or have a banquet with an extensive guest list. If you’re hosting a garden banquet at home or in a public place, most of what you’ll do is centered on entertainment. Three main factors determine the success of your banquet: the availability and quality of food and drinks, music, and ambiance. Here’s how you can successfully plan and host a garden banquet anywhere.
Create A Budget
Although having a garden takes off the cost of renting a venue, it costs money, time, and effort to plan a successful garden banquet. That’s why you need a budget to provide a ready list of costs you’ll incur. List all items that you remember and ask others for suggestions. Calculate the time you need to prepare for the event and make a plan for achieving it. While it is good to prepare early, you should take note of the possibility of price changes. Even a few days is enough for the price of items, especially food items, to change significantly. Make your budget a buying guide to help you. If you’ve hired an event planner, you might not have to bother with creating the budget.
Understand Your Guests
When it comes to banquets, there’s one-rule-fits-all. It is essential to consider the social dynamics of your guests when planning to host them. For example, inviting a magician to a children’s party might be okay, but religious folks may be uncomfortable with it. Serving meat at a banquet for vegetarians may be insensitive, too. When planning a banquet, you must carefully study your invited guests and their preferences. You can do this by collecting anonymous suggestions from them or creating an online poll (if they register via a web page). Another option is to prepare different options for guests, more like a social buffet, but since those costs more, it is wise and cost-efficient to be specific.
Plan The Order Of Events
The word ‘banquet’ may suggest a food party, but banquets are more than just that. Many people go to banquets to socialize, catch up with others, and generally have a great time. Besides food, you should include other activities or mini events to fulfill the banquet. That’s why you must plan the order of events to create stability. A short program is a great idea. Please print a copy for each guest, so they know what to expect. Order of events also helps guests to have a sense of timing. Most people prefer to see when an event begins and ends; with a program, your guests can schedule their time to accommodate your banquet. Social etiquette and order are necessary for a successful banquet. Ensure to place guides and notes where guests can see them or have the MC make periodic announcements to pass information.
Prepare Food And Drinks
Food and drinks are easily the central part of every banquet, and that’s why everything about them must be top quality. Many people will remember food quality and talk about it for a long time. Here are three ideas for banquet food:
- Food buffet: A buffet is the classic banquet setting allowing guests to choose food in any quantity.
- Mini kitchens and bars: Some banquet styles allow guests to whip up the fast foods of their choice. You can install a mini kitchen and bar for guests who prefer something not on the table.
- Wood-fired Pizza Oven: You can install an outdoor wood-fired pizza oven such as the Ooni Karu to cook many pizzas fast. The oven is designed for outdoor use only and is efficient for cookouts.
Depending on your guest size and preference, you can hire a few people to serve the food or serve as the host!
Music and Entertainment
After food, music and general entertainment play the most significant role in the success of your banquet. Music is the life of any social gathering; you must carefully plan for it. Here’s what you can do:
- Hire a musician or live band. You can hire folk musicians if the banquet is for a tribe. Try to discern your guests before choosing a musician.
- Play popular music records that most guests can sing to.
- Find music streams and playlists on YouTube or other platforms.
- A karaoke performance, too, could work.
- Hire a magician to thrill your guests with tricks.
- Create side attractions such as games to fill lulls.
- Hire a charismatic MC that knows how to keep guests entertained.
You don’t have to choose all options; take one or two that work best for you. For example, you can constantly play background music with short performances from a musician or magician.
Design And Ambience
Although your garden provides a natural background for your banquet, you might need to work on it. Depending on the season, your garden might be in no shape for hosting guests unless you fix some things. Here’s what you can do:
- Clear the garden. Clear out dead plants and leaves. Remove anything that obstructs free movement and ensure that garden grass is low.
- Install decorative lights. Decorative lights will improve your garden’s general ambiance, setting the banquet’s tone. You can buy inexpensive solar led lights and torches. There are different ways to use decorative lights to enhance your garden. Wrap them around tree branches, hang a garden chandelier, or fix lights along garden paths.
- Use a theme color: Green? Blue? Grey? Theme colors affect the general setting and mood of any event. Choose a color that fits the reason behind the banquet. If guests have a dressing/color code, ensure the theme complements it.
Install Outdoor Air Cooler
Depending on the season or weather conditions and when the banquet begins, you might need to install an outdoor air cooler. Hot weather kills the joy of social gatherings, making people lethargic and irritable. Your guests will feel much better having an outdoor air conditioner or swamp cooler at the banquet. You can rent air coolers for a low fee and have the company install and remove them later. Large standing fans are not advised as the airspeed may cause some discomfort. If you’re lucky, you can get discounts that reduce expenses.
Provide Access To A Restroom
Restrooms are pretty important when having a party. As guests move around, drink, and eat, they’ll need to relieve themselves. You can allocate a guest bathroom inside the main house or rent a mobile restroom that’s discreetly placed behind some shrubs. Please don’t overlook this, or you’ll have guests leaving early to use the toilets in their homes. You can rig up a faucet and wash basin outside, too.
Have Options Ready
Although success is relative, your idea of a successful banquet should be a hitch-free, lively, and fulfilling time. One way to achieve that is by getting at least one option for each item or functionary at the banquet. When you hire an entertainer, have another on call as a replacement if they become unavailable. You lose nothing and gain flexibility. You should also get some OTC painkillers and antidiarrheal drugs. You’ll be surprised to help one or two guests with them.