I hosted a Garden Party at my house on Father's Day to honor my stepfather, Dan. I wanted to make it extra special for him because I was the only one of 5 children that was going to be around that day - everyone else either lives far away or had other plans. The fact that I was the only one that would be celebrating with him does not in any way reflect on his awesomeness so I set out to make it a special day for him. My step-sister lives in Arizona and we really planned the party together; she helped me plan the menu and gave me cooking advice. She also sent a card and gift for him and I wrapped the gift and had it all ready for him.
It all started with an invitation addressed to Dan and his "guest". This was followed by much merriment as we teased my mother about whether or not he would invite her as his guest or chose someone else. In the end, he chose her. See how smart he is? Here's the invitation:
The party took place in my garden of course! I live on a busy road and there's a bike/walking path that runs along one side of the house so it was a challenge to find a quiet, somewhat private location. The spot I chose worked out well - it was a nice level spot with some shade, perfect for eating and visiting. Here's a look at the party location, all ready for guests:
The table I used was my card table. I wish I would have had a cute little patio table and chairs but this worked just fine. I mowed the lawn the day before the party so it looked nice and my flower garden looked pretty although my clematis wasn't blooming yet (it just started blooming yesterday).
Here's a closer look at the table including some fresh flowers (not from my garden):
I bought the vintage tablecloth from a shop on Etsy and I used my favorite blue & yellow dishes. Here's a closer look at one table setting:
Each person had a plate, rolled silverware with a butterfly decoration, their own personal salt & pepper shakers and a glass of ice water with a slice of lime. I cut paper circles to use as glass covers to keep bugs out and cut a slit in the middle of each circle so that I could insert a straw. It was a bit breezy that day so I placed a small rock on top of the paper circle to keep it in place. By the end of the meal every one's rock had fallen into their glass of water!
My daughter, Emily, helped me prepare for the party; this photo shows her bringing a wheelbarrow full of beverages (a variety of beer and some bottled water).
They tasted just as good as they look! I marinated the meat overnight in two separate marinades. For the chicken I used Terriyaki marinade and for the beef I used steak and chop marinade, both from Lawry's. I brushed the veggies with olive oil and sprinkled them with salt and pepper.
For dessert we had cupcakes, which are shown in this photo:
I made little paper flags for each cupcake using the same paper as the invitation and the circle paper glass covers.
The Guest of Honor and his guest arrived wearing garden hats and ready to party!