The sun is shining, flowers are blooming and the weather is absolute perfection. Summer is finally here! What better way to celebrate the season than to throw a garden party? Even if you have limited outdoor space you can still host a wildly successful outdoor soirée, you just have to be willing to plan cleverly and be creative.

Brew some iced tea, break out your favorite summer duds, and invite as many friends over as you like. Follow these eight simple tips, and you’re sure to have a fuss-free, classy garden party, no matter the size of your space.

1. Cover Your Bases

No matter how delicious your spread, no guest wants to share their hors d’oeuvres with unwanted insects. Protect your serving area with a hanging net, or place shoo-fly covers over platters and bowls that can be easily removed and replaced by guests. If you really want to impress your guests, try decorating your covers with whimsical summer designs.

2. Turn Up the Brights

Festive, colorful accessories can be a great way to add drama to a small space, and what better occasion than a garden party? Accentuate the beautiful blooms and lush greenery of your outdoor space by adding bright DIY tissue-paper flowers. Or, try classing up your boring fold-out chairs by giving them a coat of cheerful paint.

3. Light the Way

If you’re entertaining after dark, think soft, romantic lighting to create a party vibe. Battery-operated lanterns or outdoor string lights are super affordable (you can even embellish your own), and can be a great way to add some color and texture to your outdoor décor.

4. Go For Fun Finger Foods

When possible, try to make your food finger-friendly. Portable food not only gives guests the opportunity to mingle freely, but also means there’s less of a chance for awkward spills. Try colorful macarons, cucumber stacks, mini empanadas, or a classic charcuterie and cheese plate.

5. Send Mosquitos Packing

Bug zappers and citronella candles are very effective but fall a bit short in the style department. Instead, discourage mosquitos with sleek DIY copper tiki torches. These chic decorations take up little space and can also provide attractive lighting in the evening hours. Not to mention, they’re almost free to make!

6. Make it Mobile

Keep your guests hydrated with a cute fold-out drink station. This project is perfect for small spaces such as balconies and city gardens.

7. Have a Picnic

No outdoor furniture? No problem! For a boho get together, ditch the seating altogether and use rugs, cushions, and lanterns to create a luxe lounge right on the lawn.

8. Don’t Stop the Music

No party is complete without music. But dealing with messy, dangerous cords, and spotty connections can be a real mood-killer. For a modern alternative, make a floating wireless speaker to hang among your outdoor lighting.

Top Image Credit: Brit + Co

Are you looking forward to summer entertaining? What are you planning for your first garden party of the year?