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welcome
A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
Dad and the besties
Dad and the besties
A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography
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good times
A rustic garden party | Image by Justin Thompson Photography

A Summer Shindig

Author: Lauren Coleman

A few weeks ago my family hosted a garden party honouring the momentous occasion of my Mum’s retirement. It was a proper knees-up for sixty close friends, family and work colleagues held in my sister Hannah’s back garden.

Friend and photographer Justin Thompson was on hand later on to snap some photos of our guests enjoying the shindig. I’ve included all of Justin’s photographs in the slider as they beautifully capture the ambiance of the party. I’ve rounded up a distinctly lower quality series of my iPhone snaps in a gallery below with a few of the details. As with all good parties, the decorations became a little dishevelled by the evening so were a little worse for wear when Justin arrived!

The Food

We decided several months ago we didn’t to hassle of catering ourselves. Instead we enlisted the services of the Nether Edge Pizza Company who set up a wood fired pizza oven on the drive. The guests loved it; the food was sublime, watching the food being cooked added a theatre element and there was minimal tidying up. Friends also brought along salads and breads too so everyone was well fed. Han and I were lucky enough to have two of our nearest and dearest friends, Claire and Caroline join in with the hosting duties making sure the vino flowed at all times and nobody’s glass was empty.

Later on we opened up the dessert bar piled with lots of puddings also prepared by the guests. I gathered together a couple of crates, wooden boards and tree stumps laying them on the dining table before adding the various flans, tarts and cakes on top.
Hannah bought a DIY letter banner from This Modern Life which we used in various locations to add a spot of signage to the party. We added ‘How sweet it is’ to the dessert table, then created ‘raise a glass’ to go, you’ve guessed it, on a table of glassware.
A friend also lent us her dad’s vintage wheelbarrow which we filled with mountains of ice and an assortment of flower heads before loading with bottles of alcohol. We used the leftovers from the letter banner set to adorn the unofficial bar announcing ‘ooh booze’.

The Decor

On the subject of flowers, we went on a bit of a forage on the morning of the bash collecting wild flowers from the woods and the garden, finishing off with an Aldi trip. We then set up loads of mini milk bottles crammed with flora and fauna and dotted them about the place. I filled an old watering can with lots of wild flowers and then added a blackboard sign to lead the way for guests. Hannah also created a beautiful floral garland to hang on the front gate using twine and flower heads.

My sister and her husband Toby only completed on the purchase of their house in November and have spent the last eight months up to their eyes in renovations. They’ve done a fab job of the downstairs of the house (with a home tour to follow very soon hopefully) and have smartened up the garden no end. There was an area under a large plot of trees at the bottom of the garden which was a little bare so I teamed up with my sister’s brother-in-law, Nick to create a crepe paper backdrop, securing long drops of coloured crepe to a piece of rope. It lasted about two hours before three kiddiwinks tore it down to make ‘princess hair.’ I have to admit though the decor did make a pretty cool hair accessory. Nick also found a glitter ball hidden in the garden which was resurrected to mark the outdoor dance floor (known to many as a lawn).
Nick also erected a tipi using branches from an old tree. I laid my outdoor rug inside and a load of cushions to make a little haven for our smaller guests.

As well as filling jam jars with candles and securing to the fence with twine, we strung metres of fairy lights along the garden and then hung two strings of festoon lights around the patio.

The iPhone Gallery

The Entertainment

My dad’s band played a set to get the party started and for the rest of the evening we span tunes from Toby’s iPod. As you can hopefully tell from the photos we had a fab time, danced our socks off and stuffed our faces with delicious food. And maybe downed a couple of G&Ts. Happy days.

Anyone else planning a summer shindig? What have you got planned for grub, drinks and entertainment? One final note on my Mum’s retirement, you may remember I recently mentioned she was planning on getting a puppy. Thanks to all your super helpful advice Reg the Cockapoo will be joining the family very soon!

{Contributors}

Slider Photography Justin Thompson | Catering Nether Edge Pizza Company |

Author
Lauren likes Paris, Prosecco and Paint Charts
Follow Lauren on instagram @mrslaurencoleman
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43 thoughts on “A Summer Shindig

  1. Hi Lauren,

    Looks a like a fab party and loads of beautiful ideas for me to pinch for mine – thank you! Do you mind me asking where the lights are from in the festoon pic? Many thanks x

    1. Hi Fiona, think my sister has already commented but they’re from Next (they’re indoor ones but as the sun shone were fine). They’re so long! Very good value. x

  2. It was such a brilliant day and thankfully the sun shone down on us all day ( the one thing you can’t buy!) Fiona the garden letters are from This Modern Life online and you can spend hours thinking of different slogans as you get four of each letter. The festoon lights were from next home and have appeared in nearly every room of our house! Xx

  3. Looks like an amazing party! So many lovely details. I’m currently planning my husbands 30th birthday party at the end of September. Struggling to find inspiration for parties for guys! Would appreciate any help or advice from the RMS community. Thanks! x

    1. It can be tricky for boys can’t it?
      We did a safari themed barbecue for my friend’s 30th (as his girlfriend was taking him on safari) and a circus theme for my dad’s 65th with pie and mash and themed cocktails x

  4. Look like it was a great party! I love the ‘ooh booze’ garland on the wheelbarrow. My friend’s mum had a similar garden party two years ago and she had a caterer who served hot pork and stuffing rolls. Getting a caterer in is definitely the way forward!

    1. Bet the pork and stuffing rolls went down a treat Claire. Folks LOVE food that’s a bit different from the usual party fodder don’t they? x

  5. Loving this shindig this morning! Just gorgeous! But I wouldn’t have expected anything less from you pair of sisters with your eye for detail. My heart exploded particularly when I saw the watering can and the gate with the blooms strung along it. Genius ideas xx

    1. Thanks my love. I’m wondering if I permanently have a sting of blooms across my front door?! I see some form of Christmas DIY coming on! x

  6. Ah thanks Lolly! The flower garland was so simple to make. I got so many ideas from Holly Beckers ‘Decorate with Flowers,’ book. A great buy for anyone planning a party xx

  7. Gorgeous party. Love all the little touches, especially the wheel barrow of booze! Genius. I need to remember that one! Also love that Reg the Cockapoo is on his way. I commented on that post singing the praises of the Cockapoo. Your Mum will have a friend for life and so much fun with him around! x

  8. Oh it is so lovely to see a Sheffield-based party (I guess?!) and the Nether Edge Pizza Company is close to my heart. So excited for another similar company, Proove, to open their new restaurant in Broomhill soon. Can’t wait for the house tour as it looks like a beaut. Now I just need to find an excuse to organise a garden party of my own…

    1. Hi India, yep sorry should have mentioned that it was a Sheffield based party. We’ll be heading to Proove too. Their food was fabulous.

  9. This looks lovely & given me some ideas for our birthday BBQ this Summer.

    We have just taken delivery of our own Cockerpoo, Poppy, this weekend – she’s the best! I hope your Mum enjoys Reg as much as we’re enjoying Poppy.

  10. Looks fab! Next summer once we have done some work in our new pad I’m hoping to have plenty of garden parties! How much was the pizza company and how long were they there? We live not far from Sheffield so could be worth a look! Xx

    1. Hi Alex, yay for garden parties.
      The food worked out about £10 a head which covered pizza, a salad garnish, plates and napkins, as well as chef and two waitresses which I thought was very reasonable all things considered. The oven was fired for an hour before serving and then I think they cooked for a couple of hours. They left our party to go round to Jarvis Cocker’s for another knees-up! 🙂

  11. This looks gorgeous Lauren and Hannah! I was obviously having a good old nose on instagram too 🙂

    Really makes me want to throw a garden party ASAP, I don’t have a reason to but does there need to be one? 🙂 x

  12. No there doesn’t need to be a reason Charlotte! Mum is already trying to think of an excuse for another one. A ‘dog naming’ party has just been mentioned?! Xx

  13. Absolutely gorgeous!
    But then I wouldn’t expect any less! 🙂

    We had our first BBQ a few weekends ago – it was a ‘welcome home’ party for my friend who’d been travelling for over 18 months!
    I can’t claim it was quite as pretty as this gorgeous affair, but I am chuffed to see I’m not the only one popping flowers in watering cans! (Mine was just a little one on the table, but still!!)
    Haha!

    I loved hosting, and am hoping to get much more use out of the garden in the next few months….fingers & toes crossed!!
    xx

    ps. LOVING the disco ball in the garden! Amazing! 🙂

    1. Thanks lovely. Hope you had a fab welcome home barbecue.
      I reckon my sis will have the disco ball hanging up all summer! 🙂

    1. Thank you! Just had an email to say my Light Box has been dispatched so looking forward to my next Modern Life purchase 🙂 x

  14. What a beautiful party, looked very relaxed and welcoming.

    Can I ask where the dining table used for the desserts is from? It’s stunning!

    1. Hi Tina, it’s from an eBay seller called wholesale_chalkboard who makes bespoke furniture to order.

  15. Hi Tina! We bought our table from the seller above but it’s wholesale_chalkboards with an s! We love their furniture and they are really accommodating in terms of size, finish etc. would highly recommend! Xx

  16. Looks like a beaut of a party Lauren but mainly wanted to say “how glam is your mum?” Stunning lady. I hope she really enjoys her retirement. Liz xxx

    1. Aww Liz, she’ll be well chuffed. She is very glam – all her friends are. Hoping I look half as good when I’m in my sixties! x

  17. That was a rather brief description (and a case of clicking too fast) I must admit but really sums it up. We had our own little party at the weekend, any resemblance to Mabel’s party is purely coincidental! #annachopsturnsone

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