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6 Charming Outdoor Garden Party Ideas

Looking for ways to throw an outdoor garden party? Wait until you see these beautiful garden party ideas for your next outdoor gathering.

Whether you are gathering for a special occasion or just want to create a beautiful atmosphere for friends and family, these garden party ideas will help you plan a memorable get-together.


If you’ve been following along for a while, you know ho much I enjoy hosting friends and family with a beautiful table set with an incredible centerpiece.

When my monthly supper club selected a garden party for our theme, I was all about it!

What better place to enjoy a garden party than in the potager garden. While this patio space includes my raised garden beds where I grow vegetables, it is also our outdoor dining space.

We moved here about 8 months ago, so this garden room is still a work in progress, but I love how it is coming along!

It’s the perfect backdrop for our garden party and I can’t wait to show you how I incorporated the flowers from my gardens in the centerpiece.

Oh and wait until you see my surprise guest while I was setting this gorgeous table for a fete champetre.

If you are coming from my good friend Rachel’s from the Ponds Farmhouse, welcome to my garden party!

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What is a Garden Party?

By definition, a garden party is generally a formal gathering held outdoors in an outdoor garden space during the day.

You can interpret this however you want to host your own garden party.

Host a brunch.

Host a tea party.

Or move it indoors, how you throw a garden party is up to you.

But I suggest adding lots of plants and flowers to make the theme feel like you are in the gardens.

close up of garden party idea with fresh cut zinnias and celosia with melamine charger on cedar branch placemat with vintage amber goblets, gold stemware, linen napkins and green boho tablecloth

Does a Garden Party Need to Be Outdoors?

While many will say it’s not a true garden party unless it’s celebrated outdoors in the garden, but I disagree.

You can create gorgeous garden party indoors by adding quaint and cozy decor with lots of pretty flowers and plants.

And if you are planning a fete champetre outdoors but if there’s a chance of rain? Create a backup plan to move it indoors or add some outdoor tents to keep guests dry.

Close up of a casual garden party table with fresh cut flowers from the garden like zinnias and celosia in vintage mason jars and vases on a farmhouse table with a green boho table cloth, cedar branch placemats, neutral dinnerware, gold flatware, and amber wine glasses

What is the Purpose of a Garden Party?

Simply put, it’s another way to pull a pretty party together for friends and family.

Serve some amazing food with cocktails, and add a bunch of plants and flowers for ambiance.

And you’ve got yourself a gorgeous outdoor (or indoor) fete champetre.

Where Should I Have My Garden Party?

If you have an outdoor deck, patio, or garden space, that’s the perfect spot for a garden party.

But even if you don’t, you can easily set up a table and some chairs on the lawn too.

Table set for a garden party in the potager garden on a patio with fresh cut zinnias and celosia on a farmhouse table with wicker chairs

6 Charming Outdoor Garden Party Ideas

Whether you’re planning an outdoor wedding, backyard barbecue, or cocktail party, these simple garden party ideas will help make your event even more special.

Today’s post is being shared as part of my monthly dinner group, so be sure to check out my friends’ garden party ideas at the end of this post.

Here’s how I made my centerpiece and table decorations for an afternoon garden party.

close up of the fresh cut zinnias and celosia in a garden party centerpiece idea for the dining table

Decorating the Garden Party Table

Before we share an amazing garden party menu, we need to set the scene for an amazing outdoor fete champetre.

From the centerpiece to the table decorations, we want to set a relaxed casual atmosphere.

While you can make a garden party more or less formal, for today’s tablescape, I’m going towards a more casual vibe that is simple to pull together.

If you have access to flowers and greens in your landscape, you can cut them fresh to make a budget-friendly table setting idea for a garden party.

close up of the fresh cut zinnias and celosia in glass vases and vintage mason jars on a farmhouse table set for a garden party

How to Make a Garden Party Centerpiece Idea for the Dining Table

As far as dining table centerpieces go, this one is an easy one to make.

Grab several different sizes of vases, mason jars, and bud vases, fill them with water and add your favorite cut flowers.

Whether the flowers are cut from the garden, or fresh from the florist or market, use fresh flowers for a garden party centerpiece.

It won’t have the same effect if you make one with faux flowers and greens.

And since we are working with fresh flowers, here’s what you need to do to extend the life of the blooms in a vase.

If you choose to work with fresh cut hydrangeas, follow these tips before arranging them in a vase to keep the hydrangea flowers from wilting.

For my centerpiece, I cut a bunch of zinnias and celosia from my late summer gardens. I started with the larger vase, arranged the flowers, then moved on to the smaller mason jars and bud vases.

Depending on the time of year you host a garden party, you’ll want to choose flowers that represent the season. So if you are throwing a garden party in spring, think tulips and daffodils.

In summer, maybe you’ll want some pretty sunflowers, zinnias, and dahlias.

For a fall harvest party, maybe you’ll tuck in some sedum autumn joy or hydrangeas that are beginning to dry on the plant.

Instead of adding a table runner for this fete champetre, I used flowers in vases as the table runner to play up the garden party theme.

If you want to add more cozy layers, you could easily add a table runner too.

close up of table setting idea for a garden party with cedar branch placemat, melamine dinnerware, linen napkins, gold flatware, cutlery pouch and vintage amber and lead crystal goblets with fresh cut zinnias and celoisa dining table centerpiece idea

How to Set the Garden Party Table

To start, I used this beautiful boho green table cloth. I love the stitching and fringed details on it, plus it’s such a pretty green as a backdrop for a fresh flower centerpiece.

Once I covered the table with my pretty table cloth, I added my vases of fresh flowers. They all different heights so I mixed and matched them until I had a centerpiece design that was aesthetically pleasing.

For each place setting, I started with a cedar branch placemat and topped it off with a pretty scalloped plate like this one.

About the cedar branch placemat, I bought them several years ago and they are not available anymore. You can DIY them though with these faux cedar branches and a piece of felt.

close up of table setting idea for garden party with fresh flowers centerpiece and neutral table decor

When I originally started decorating, I wanted to use these flower plates but once I had them on the table it looked like the table was throwing up flowers so I held back and went with the more neutral look for the dinnerware.

Then added these vintage amber goblets and lead crystal wine glasses. I added a pretty ecru linen napkin with gold flatware in cutlery pouches.

Since we are celebrating with an afternoon party, I added a few votive candles for ambiance. But if you are planning an evening party, add some tapered candles and twinkle lights to make it feel super cozy and inviting.

swallowtail butterfly landing on a fresh cut flower dining table centerpiece with zinnias and celosia

A Surprise Guest

And while I was setting this table, I was greeted by the most beautiful creature that fluttered about as I added more and more flowers to the table.

The butterflies here LOVE my ‘Seniorita’ Zinnias, so it should come to no surprise to me that they would drop by my table as well.

I cut these flowers from the garden a few hours ago, so the butterflies were still zipping about to enjoy the nectar from these brightly colored flowers.

You can attract these pollinators to your garden (or table apparently) if you plant certain flowers that attract butterflies.

swallowtail butterfly  enjoying the nectar from the Seniorita Ziinias in this garden party centerpiece idea for the dining table

Garden Party Food Ideas

We’ll be sharing a full menu for our garden party on Saturday but just to give you some other ideas of food to serve, check out these posts.

garden party table decorations with fresh cut zinnias and celosia in glass vases and vintage ball jar glasses

I’m so glad you were able to drop by my garden party today.

Next up in our supper club is Michele from Vintage Home Designs.

Wait until you see her beautiful take on the garden party theme.

5 More Charming Garden Party Ideas

Now that you’ve seen how I decorated for a garden party, wait until you see how my friends decorated their homes both inside and out.

In addition to beautiful table decor and centerpiece ideas, they are also sharing some entertaining inspiration as well.

So be sure to drop by and check them all out by clicking on the blog name on the photos below.

More Garden-Inspired Table Decor Ideas

As a gardener who loves to bring the outdoors in and the indoors out, here are some more garden-inspired table decor ideas for your next dinner party.

sunflower brunch idea for the table with fresh cut flowers, sunflower brunch menu, mimosas, champagne glasses, sunflower dinnerware, jute placemats on farmhouse table in outdoor dining space with fresh pastries.

Looking for More Supper Club Ideas?

Our supper club has been so much fun and we’ve covered so much over the last year.

Whether you are in a supper club or just want some dinner party theme inspiration, check out the themes we’ve hosted before.

And click here if you want to learn how to organize and host your own supper club,

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Enjoy a beautiful day! xo

Stacy Ling

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Home and Garden Blogger Stacy Ling cutting zinnia flowers in her cottage garden with wood picket fence in front of garden shed

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close up of garden party centerpiece and table decorations
close up of garden party table decorations

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21 Comments

  1. I love this table setting! Can you tell me more about the cedar branch placemats? Are those something you bought, or are they from your garden?

    1. Hi Susan! I bought them years ago from Pier 1 but they do not sell them anymore. I haven’t seen them around but you can either make a dupe purchasing faux cedar branches from amazon OR you can try using a small boxwood wreath instead. Here is my affiliate link for the branches if you want to DIY it: https://amzn.to/3CEd1cm

  2. Your table and centerpiece are stunning Stacy!!
    Wonderful job and that’s so fun that the butterfly stopped by!

  3. Goodness, Stacy. This is absolutely STUNNING! I am obsessed with the gorgeous flowers and those pretty yellow goblets!

  4. Stacy your outdoor space is the perfect spot for hosting a party and your garden-themed table is gorgeous. The cut flowers you used for your centerpiece are stunning…the colors are amazing. And your little friend was the icing on the cake!

  5. Absolutely gorgeous table in a beautiful setting, Stacy. And love that Mr. Butterfly came for a visit! They’ve been enjoying my zinnias, too:)

  6. Your centerpiece is so pretty. Yellow Finches visit our Zinnias on the deck almost every day.

    A beautiful table for early fall/late summer.

    Pinned