Food & Entertaining - Entertaining

Plan an outdoor bridal shower

Entertaining ideas and garden-prep tips to help you host the perfect event for the bride-to-be

Summer’s arrival marks the unofficial start of wedding season, and if you’re not a blushing bride, but rather one of her bridesmaids or maid of honour (or mother, sister, cousin or friend!), chances are, you’ve got some work ahead of you to help make the bride’s big day a special one.

But before the wedding bells begin to peal, there’s the bridal shower. Summertime is the perfect opportunity to take a bridal shower outdoors and enjoy an al fresco event in the sunshine. But don’t seal and mail out the invitations just yet; find out everything you need to know about planning a bridal shower in your backyard. We checked in with Tara O’Grady, the founder and owner of Bliss, an event planning company in Toronto, to find out just where to start!

“When preparing to host a special event, such as a bridal shower, always get started early for a memorable and successful fete,” says O’Grady. “When preparing your garden for an outdoor bridal shower, be sure to start with a clean slate and tidy up your gardens in those first few glorious sunny days.”

Cleaning up the garden
Before you welcome guests into your outdoor oasis, there’s a lot to do to get it party-ready. According to O’Grady, tend to these tasks first:

1. Cut hedges and bushes.
2. Rake up old leaves and debris.
3. Mow and whippersnip your lawn.
4. Plant new annuals for colour, along with any new perennial additions.
5. Deadhead your flowers and add cedar mulch for a polished look.
6. Clean the pool if you have one, whether you plan to use it or not.
7. Power wash the patio, deck, driveway and windows.

Decorating your outdoor space
Once you’ve got your backyard cleaned and trimmed, it’s on to the fun stuff! You can make your outdoor space as inviting as your indoor space by using beautiful decorative items that will make it feel homey.

“Bring the look of the indoors outdoors by using accessories such as accent pillows, throw blankets and outdoor rugs to revitalize outdoor furniture,” says O’Grady. “Reupholster cushions or purchase new cushions. Stain or restain or replace outdoor furniture to give it a new look,” she recommends.


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