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How to Plan Intimate Backyard Gatherings


It’s time to make the most out of the last few gorgeous summer months! We’re already over halfway through July, which means the warmth of the sun will soon slowly start to dissipate and will be replaced by shorter days and cooler nights.


All our blog posts are intended to give you unique insight into the mind of a luxury event planner with experience planning a wide variety of events, and this post is no different. COVID restrictions might be more relaxed, but the pandemic has prompted an awakening among people who have realized that it’s still possible to have a meaningful, luxurious celebration without the need for hundreds of people. What a successful celebration looks like has shifted, and we’re here to show you how to throw an intimate backyard gathering that will still make it into the memory books.



What We Love About a Backyard Celebration

A backyard celebration, whether on your veranda or in your garden, is fast becoming one of our favorite kinds of get-togethers. Some of the many reasons why we love this type of gathering are:

  • Fewer people means you have an opportunity to spend more meaningful time with each of your guests.

  • Setting the table for a smaller group allows you to play with individualized, mini portions for some of your courses and handmade decorative details.

  • For casual events, you have an opportunity to add lawn games for guests to enjoy.

  • Your backyard is personal to you and more intimate for you and your guests. The familiarity of your own space adds a certain sentimentality and ease to the event.

  • You have more control over how the event runs and you’ll get to repurpose the expenses you would have had on a venue for your backyard event.

  • You can use your own home decor for added personal touches, such as your own bistro lights, favorite decorative items, collected serving pieces, and even a mix of chairs.


Image by Charles Reagan

Setting the Scene

There is something ethereal and romantic about a gorgeous al-fresco setup. Summer gatherings at home with loved ones just hit different, you know? Be inspired by your surroundings to select florals and colors that complement the seasonal setting in your garden. If your yard is filled with mostly greenery, go all-out with a tonal and bold palette, from the balloon arch (if it’s a birthday, bridal, or baby shower) to the flower arrangements. Then, clearly allocate different sections of your identified outdoor space for different purposes — have a space for welcome bites, another for a gin/bubbly bar, and a larger area for your main table.


Image by Ben Porter Photography

Keeping Guests Engaged

A good host knows that one of the signatures of a memorable event is keeping guests engaged and amazed from the moment they arrive. Make an entrance with a statement sign or decor, whether you’re celebrating a milestone birthday or planning a micro-wedding. There’s nothing better than arriving at an event and having a glass of champagne placed in your hand, too (you know what they say about first impressions, and you can’t go wrong with a glass of crisp bubbles to set the tone)!


The interior of your home, if that’s your chosen entrance, should be dotted with decorations that lead guests to the main entertainment area. With a small gathering, you’re able to quickly greet your guests as they arrive and guide them to hors d'oeuvres, lawn games, and more drinks (a sure way to rack up hosting points). Many of our clients are currently including live cooking stations or chef demos outside at their dinner parties, both of which are great ways to enhance the guests’ culinary experience and bring added entertainment to your outdoor gathering.


Image by Dagnushka

Prepping for the Main Event

If you’re going to rent anything, rent a large table for your guests to dine on. A bare wooden table mimics the natural beauty of being outside and opens up hundreds of decorative opportunities. Choose to decorate with eye-catching floral arrangements and candles for an event that lingers from golden hour well into the starry-sky evening. Neutral or bright color palettes both work for enhancing those quintessential endless summer vibes while dining outdoors. Consider incorporating vibrant crockery matched with elegant crystal glassware (these are giving us Aperol Spritz energy!) and modern cutlery to create a fun yet luxurious outdoor dining experience for your guests.


Image #3 by Dagnushka

You don't have to settle for the conventional! Whether you're dreaming of a backyard barbeque or an intimate milestone celebration, it is possible to create a luxury event in the comfort of your own backyard, and we’re here to help you do that! We’re well-versed in bespoke events, no matter the size, and have had the pleasure of producing several stunning micro-events over the years. Get in touch with Cassie LaMere Events while the sun’s still out!