My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.




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Backyard Celebration Party

Since Frank and I had a tiny wedding this summer with only sixteen people we decided that it would be fun for us to have a casual barbecue in our backyard to celebrate our marriage with some of our local friends. We hosted the party this past Saturday after the Michigan vs. Akron football game.

Since Frank was busy with preparing for the tailgate before the game (he made a bunch of delicious pizzas with his Pizza Kettle) I worked on doing some party set up on game day before heading to the tailgate later and then left the game at half time to finish getting things ready. The game was pretty ugly with Michigan barely pulling out a win so I was actually glad to have an excuse to head home.

Last time I shared about our backyard on the blog we only had the cuddle set under our new pergola. Since then we added a dining table that I found on Amazon as well as a set of eight outdoor wicker chairs that I got at an end of season sale at Meijer. This provides us with a nice permanent outdoor dining area that we made use of for the party.

For some decoration I dressed up the pergola by hanging a bunch of paper lanterns in different sizes and colors. I used fishing line to tie the lanterns to the pergola in random spots and slightly different heights. I thought it added a festive touch to the yard.

We were expecting a lot of guests so we set up two pop up tents and some additional seating in addition to our permanent backyard furniture. 

I used two white table cloths to cover a few of Frank's tailgating tables and set out white Terje folding chairs from Ikea. In the center of each table I laid out red Marit table runners. For center pieces I put out red metal bins with yellow mums flanked by lanterns. Both the red bins and lanterns were from the Target One Spot purchased last year. The lanterns were a light brown but I spray painted them oil rubbed bronze. Now that the party is over I plan to plant the mums in my front garden beds.

I also did a little decorating with the seating area on the patio behind the house setting out another table runner and more mums.

When Frank got back from the game he fired up the grill and made hot dogs and hamburgers. I had found red fast food baskets which I lined with red checked wax paper to serve them up.

In addition to the burgers and hot dogs I set up a table next to the grill with other food and some drinks.

I put out condiments in small carafes which I placed atop pillar candle holders that I found on sale at Target and spray painted silver. I also had small bags of Cracker Jacks that I set out in a silver mesh bin. I popped some pop corn and put it out on the table in red and white stripped popcorn boxes.

The night before I made a few salads for the party including rosemary potato salad, pasta salad with feta, oregano, bell peppers, tomatoes and olives and a salad of spring greens with pecans, bleu cheese, dried cranberries and raspberries.

I also made buttermilk chocolate cupcakes that I iced with buttercream frosting and topped with sprinkles and maraschino cherries.

For drinks I had sangria in a pretty drink dispenser that Frank and I got as a wedding gift as well as some flavored sparkling lemonades and cokes on ice. To keep the sangria cold I cut up orange slices that I had frozen the night before. For fun I set out red polka dots and red striped straws with the glasses.

The barbecue was a lot of fun and we ended up having over sixty guests. It was so nice to hang out with everyone and finally break in our new side patio and pergola with a party.

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Reader Comments (7)

I do believe that becoming an official party planner is somewhere in your future! What an amazing set up - all those details - I am sure everyone felt so welcomed and special.

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMary-Lou

What a fabulous party! You are incredibly talented. I love all the special touches that you put on everything you do. Amazing!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDiane

Mary-Lou- Thank you! It was a very fun time!

Diane- Thank you! You are so sweet!

September 16, 2013 | Registered CommenterLisa

I'm always amazed at how inventive and resourceful you are, Lisa. I never would have thought of looking for a table on Amazon. Looks like a great time!! I want an invitation for the next party :)

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRene

Whoa, I love, love, love everything about this! So many fun colors and details! I think my favorite thing is the lanterns...no, it's the cute food table, no, definitely the amazing pillows on your big seating area. Seriously, everything is so great!

September 16, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHilary

I think this was a lovely party. Pictures you have shared are awesome. I liked them all. You have used many amazing colors.

September 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJames

Rene- Thank you! Honestly, the table is not the best construction but it was about a third of the price of similar tables that I found. I figured it would last a few seasons and then I could build something to replace it later.

Hilary- Thank you! I have to say that I am pretty partial to the pillows myself!

James- Thank you for your kind words!

September 17, 2013 | Registered CommenterLisa

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