How to set your patio garden furniture for a summer party

We're looking at some of the things you need to consider when hosting a summer party in your garden and sharing a few of our top tips on how to get your patio garden furniture ready for guests...

We have published several articles recently that have focussed on how to make your Patio Garden Furniture more comfortable to use. 

In posts such as our ultimate guide to patio furniture, we touched on table setting as one way to do this but we want to dig a little deeper and look at how to prepare and set your patio table for a summer party.

And it doesn’t matter if you’re hosting an intimate garden party for 6 or planning a garden wedding with 60+ guests, a well-dressed patio table is essential, and these tips will work whatever the occasion.

Patio Garden Furniture from Lazy Susan

Of course, if you’re hosting a wedding for 60+, then first of all, good luck, but the principles and setting is much the same, you just have to do it multiple times over, which is all about good prep and planning.

Our top tips for setting and hosting a summer party on your patio garden furniture

What we want to focus on here though, is a summer garden or outdoor dinner party.

Looking at some of the things you need to consider, and sharing a few tips on hosting an outdoor dinner or summer party in your garden:

Pick a suitable location

Start by picking a suitable location.

If you have a small patio, then it could be you’re best to move your patio dining table onto the lawn. 

Find a space in your garden, or on your patio that can accommodate your seating and dining requirements. 

Don’t be afraid to move stuff around and reconfigure your Patio Garden Furniture.

Ensure there is enough space for all your guests to sit and move around comfortably.

Be prepared for inclement weather

Be prepared for different weather conditions. 

We can see 4 seasons in one day, even in summer, so even if the forecast looks good, plan for sun, rain and windy conditions.

Provide shade from the sun and shelter for the rain with a parasol or hire a gazebo if you’re hosting a bigger crowd. 

Have an indoor backup plan in case the weather is too bad to continue the meal or party outside.

Set up outdoor heating and lighting 

Consider the lighting and heating options for your outdoor dinner party so you can keep things going when the sun sets and the temps dip.

String lights, lanterns, candles, or torches can add a warm and cosy atmosphere as the evening progresses.

Gathering guests around a fire pit or chiminea is a great way to end the evening. 

Alternatively, you could drape outdoor throws over chairs for guests to wrap themselves up.

Plan your food & drinks

In our opinion, it is always best to plan a menu that suits the garden setting. 

Keep things simple, so you can enjoy the meal too.

Consider dishes that are easy to eat outdoors and won't spoil quickly in warmer temperatures. 

Offer a variety of drink options for all tastes. Maybe mix up some refreshing summer cocktails and mocktails, and don’t forget the non-alcoholic options too.

Our top summer wines for the garden table or a garden party article has some great suggestions for entertaining at your next garden shindig…

Pest control is a must

We’re having a real problem with wasps at the moment here at the Lazy Susan HQ. 

Not sure if we have a nest or if it’s just the recent wet and warm weather helping them to thrive.

One thing is for sure, you don’t want any pests spoiling your summer party, so a little protection around your patio garden furniture area is always a good thing.

You can use citronella candles or bug zappers to keep them away from your dining area area.

Our How to keep pests away from your garden furniture post has some great safe tips, tricks and hacks to help keep them away from your patio garden furniture.

The essential oils seem to be doing the trick with those wasps!

Pick entertainment that fits the vibe

Depending on the type of crowd and party, look to provide suitable entertainment.

That could be something as creative as outdoor games or as simple as some music and drinks around your fire pit or on your patio garden furniture. 

The right entertainment should make your guests feel comfortable and can enhance the overall experience of your summer party.

How to set your patio table for an outdoor dinner or summer garden party

How you set your patio table for a party sets the tone for the gathering. 

It can create an inviting and appealing atmosphere and says to any guests that you’ve made an effort for them.

Below is our basic guide on how to set your patio garden furniture for a summer party:

Clean Your Patio Table

Start by cleaning all your Patio Garden Furniture thoroughly to remove any dirt or dust. 

Wipe it down with a damp cloth and some warm soapy water. Rinse and dry. 

Apply a light coat of car wax to give it a nice lustre and a little extra protection.

Our How to apply car wax to metal garden furniture article has all you need to know about what why and our go-to method.

Set Your Patio Table

Set the table with a tablecloth, cutlery, drinkware, flowers, candles, or other decorative elements that will help to set a theme and create the right ambience.

Setting the table for your summer party will help you get organised, making things run smoother, and a more enjoyable experience for both your and your guests. 

It showcases your attention to detail and ensures that your guests have everything they need at their fingertips.

Setting the table ahead of time saves you from last-minute rushing and stressing, leaving you to focus on other party prep and frees up time to socialise.

Patio Tablecloth/Placemats

Set your table with a tablecloth or outdoor-friendly placemats to take our stylish patio garden furniture up a notch.

A tablecloth will also provide protection from spills, prevent scratches, and make cleaning up easy after the party winds down.

They add a touch of elegance and aesthetic appeal to a patio dining table and our How to make a tablecloth for a garden table article has some great tips on how to make your own.

If you don't want a full tablecloth, then placemats or chargers are a great alternative.

Patio Table Centrepiece

A good patio table centrepiece is essential.

Select a centrepiece that fits the theme or occasion of the party. 

It can be as simple as a stylish planter, a vase with fresh flowers, or a collection of garden candles. 

Place it in the centre but ensure it doesn't obstruct the view or stop conversation flowing across the table.

Our Lazy Susan Turntables also make the perfect base for a centrepiece or passing drinks, nibbles or condiments around the table to your guests.

Plates & Utensils

Our general rule of thumb when pairing plates and cutlery with patio garden furniture is:

  1. For a dinner party go with your indoor set. 
  2. For say a BBQ or Pizza Party, you can use an outdoor set.

Regardless of which, set the table correctly for a semi-formal setting with dinner plates, side plates, and utensils. 

Use matching sets or you could mix and match different styles for a more eclectic Boho look. 

Remember to include forks, knives, and spoons as required.


Glassware is a little different to plates in our opinion. 

Drinks never taste as good out of a plastic cup so stick to the real thing.

Depending on the type of drinks being served, set the appropriate glassware on the table. 

Wine glasses, water glasses, and/or tumblers should be placed above the plate on the right-hand side.


Don’t forget the napkins.

Fold them neatly and place them either on the plate or in a napkin holder. 

You can fold them into basic rectangles or use more decorative folds like fans or triangles.

Patio Table Decor

Enhance the ambiance with additional table decor such as small potted plants, tea lights, or decorative accents. 

As with the centrepiece, make sure these decorations do not clutter your patio table or hinder conversation from flowing.

Finishing Touches

Before your guests arrive, take a step back and review the overall look of your patio garden furniture. 

Make any necessary adjustments to the table, chairs or additions to ensure everything looks good and the space will function and flow. 

By following these steps, you should have your patio garden furniture set and ready to host your next summer party.

The most important thing to remember is these tips are just a guide. A good summer party is one you and your guests all enjoy!

All the photographs featured in this post were kindly sent to us by our customers for our charity campaign so we know our patio tables are perfect for a summer party.

If you have any photos of your Lazy Susan Patio Garden Furniture set for a party, then we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or email them to us at [email protected].

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