Invites sent, cake’s ready to go, and the backyard’s buzzing with anticipation. 

A few hours later, your backyard birthday bash is in full swing. But, things seem… off.

Your “Under the Sea” theme is more like a fish out of water, your guests are scrambling to find a designated spot for a snap, and passers-by are balancing on their tiptoes with eyes wide with curiosity, staring into your party.  

Chaos wasn’t on the bingo card. But alas, it’s what you got.

Are you completely against throwing another backyard party from now on? Or are you excited about an opportunity to turn it around next year? 

If you’re in the latter group, keep reading.

After that rather unfortunate incident, you’ve got to get your gears turning a little bit earlier for your next party. If you heed our advice, there’s no such thing as “too early” to start planning an outdoor birthday party. 

Below, read about the 5 essentials to make your next party a memorable success: 

Lights, Lights, Lights!

Often, lighting is one of the last elements people think about when planning a birthday party. But it’s all about the lights. So, if you’re consciously (or unconsciously) neglecting them, you’re not doing yourself any favors. 

Depending on your party theme, look into a few different types of lighting. For example, if you’re the whimsy, fairy type, go for string lights to make your backyard into a Pinterest inspo board. You can hang them up high or drape them low and they’ll provide the warmth you want. And if you want something a little more subtle, lanterns and sconces may give you the exact atmosphere you’re craving. 

Snag a Balloon Arch 

Controversial opinion: balloon arches are not just for kid parties. There, we said it. 

A good, thoughtfully put-together balloon arch can make the difference between meh and marvelous. You can prop your arch by the entrance to welcome your guests and give them the first taste of your party. After all, as some old philosopher probably said (don’t quote us): a grand entrance sets the tone for an even grander event.

Go wild with the colors, add some other decor like sparkles or a tinsel fringe, and take a step back to watch the party unfold. 

Add the Perfect Backdrop

If someone’s spending time getting primped up to come to your party, you need a backdrop that screams “Look at this person, they’re absolutely fabulous!” Even if you’re the star of the show, your guests need some pampering too. 

Never, ever skimp out on a good photo backdrop. There are so many types out in the wild, but a faux green wall is your best bet. In some ways, you’re bringing a slice of nature to your party, and Mother Nature knows how to party. 

Hang a sign or some polaroids on your artificial vertical garden and make sure you make memories that last.  

Keep It Private 

Remember those curious neighbors peering into your party last time? 

If they’re not invited this time, keep their prying eyes at bay and protect your outdoor birthday party from neighborhood gossip. Now, we know you can’t just erect walls or fences around your property, and we’re not saying you need to. 

Instead, find a lush freestanding artificial hedge and create your own private oasis in the middle of the chaos. Find hedges of the appropriate height and place them right on the ground. When your party ends, you can leave them there indefinitely, or move them around your property. A private party? Double check!

Hang the Bunting

No birthday bash is complete without bunting. It’s like making a delectable cake without adding any frosting. 

Of course, we don’t mean you should slap the “HAPPY BIRTHDAY” bunting you’ve seen everywhere without regard for whether it fits your event. Instead, think about how you can personalize your bunting to match the theme you’re going for. 

If you can get crafty, create your own bunting with the appropriate colors, patterns, and messages that speak to the energy of your party. Hang it proudly and let it be the finishing touch that ties it all together. 

Finishing Thoughts 

A shindig without these essentials is a peanut butter and jelly sandwich without the peanut butter or the jelly. Essentially, a nothing sandwich. 

So next time you’re planning a party, don’t settle for the ordinary because it’s the little details that make all the difference. 

Are you ready to take on the challenge and be the talk of the neighborhood (for all the right reasons)?