I always think holding a celebration for a good cause is both fun and fulfilling. That’s why this year I have signed up to host my own National Patio Day Event, presented by Stratco, to enjoy the company of friends and family while raising awareness and funds for Cancer Council.
I’ve taken the time to create a beautiful event which will make my guests feel special and also shows my gratitude for any donations they are willing to make towards my Cancer Council fundraiser.
I’d love to encourage you to do the same and have put together this blog, with some wonderful event planners & vendors, which runs you through my planning and gives you tips and tricks for creating your own event.
Step 1: SIGN UP
When you sign up to host your own National Patio Day event, you will be sent a ‘host kit’ which includes branded decorations and all the information you need, from recipe tips - game ideas, to run a fun-filled day. You are provided with the items you need to accept your donations smoothly and some education on sun safety. As a little perk to you as the host, there are also discounts, vouchers and chances to win products from Stratco.
Step 2: TYPE OF EVENT
Decide on the type of event you would like to host & the guests you’d like to invite. It may be a family-friendly BBQ, a themed lunch or an afternoon cocktail party for example. This year I have chosen to host a PICNIC and utilise the shady space of our patio in a relaxed setting.
Step 3: DATE & TIME
National Patio Day is always on the first Saturday of Summer, which falls on Dec 5 this year. Choose a time which suits your guests (considering their children’s needs if applicable) and gives you enough time to prepare on the day. If you can’t host on that day, don’t worry, you can host any time throughout December.
Step 4: CHOOSE A THEME
Having a theme makes it really fun for you to organise and also means everything will come together nicely as you know what colour palette and style you need to work within. The theme for my picnic is ‘You Are My Sunshine’ as this is a fun & friendly way to practise (and teach our children about) ‘sun safety.’ Here are some wonderful tips from picnic extraordinaire Pamela Marsh from ’Amour Platters & Picnics’ / Rowena Walker from ‘Gold Coast Picnic Parties':
‘When it comes to hosting the perfect picnic, the theme & colour palette is important as it tells a story. Using timeless, warm & rich themed colours is key! Choose a scenic or idyllic spot in the backyard & set up amongst nature under the patio, a shaded tree, or umbrella. Set up low picnic tables and add luxurious fabrics, comfy cushions, fluffy throws and props to set the scene. Then create the perfect atmosphere by adding things like crystal goblets, fine gold cutlery, napkins & a gourmet platter for guests to nibble on. Enjoy being a little creative by adding finishing touches to your picnic setups like floating balloons, fresh flowers or dried bouquet floral arrangements & candles to set the mood!’
Step 5: SEATING & LOCATION
Your guests are going to want to put their feet up and enjoy your event and you want them to feel at home, so consider the amount of comfortable space and seating. Create ambience in the sections of your home guests will be using, from the entry – through to the patio – and the bathroom, by making sure it’s clear, clean and inviting. For my picnic, we will set up low wooden picnic tables and provide lots of cushions and low seating options.
Step 6: FOOD & DRINK
As long as your guests are hydrated & fed, they will be happy. Buy/make enough so each guest can have seconds. If you have leftovers, your family can enjoy them the next day. Ensure there is plenty of water on hand, especially when outdoors. Be sure to check the dietary requirements of all guests, including allergies any children may have. We will enjoy some lovely grazing platters at our picnic as these are an absolute crowd-pleaser. Here are some amazing tips about creating your own platter from Pamela Marsh at ‘Amour Platters & Picnics':
‘We love using large rustic wooden boards to create our gourmet platters, along with small round & square dishes for gourmet dips, sauces, oils & pickles. When it comes to the food, the ‘STAR' of any platter is the “CHEESE”. We love to use an assortment of soft cheese, hard rind cheese & pungent cheese to create an appetising selection, complemented with sliced baguettes, gourmet crackers & breadsticks. We add an array of fresh seasonal fruits & veggie sticks, nuts and dried fruits and love topping our platter off with sweet chards of chocolate, fresh gooey honeycomb & sliced fresh figs to add a layer of texture & flavour. Last but not least we add an abundance of colour, using vibrant edible flowers and organic herbs to make our platters pop.’
Step 7: DECORATIONS
Adding decorations to your event will give it a festive feeling and instantly lift the spirits of your guests from the moment they enter your home. Remember to align everything to your theme and colour palette so it all ties together. For my ‘You Are My Sunshine’ themed picnic, we will have flowers, balloons and a sign. Here are some incredible tips from some renowned QLD vendors:
Fresh Flowers are the icing on the cake for any picnic event. They add a pop of fresh colour, life and perfume that surround the picnic setting. Our beautiful fresh florals are hand-picked locally from only the best growers & farms and made with a special touch of love to ensure they create the perfect aroma to surround the area creating a long term positive mood for everyone - Adams Garden Florist.
Having a customised sign displayed at your event will bring joy and happiness. At Sign Fairy, we help you celebrate BIG with our Australian designed and made signs – Sign Fairy AU.
Balloons are the universal sign of ‘Celebration!’ Whether it be a statement backdrop for the perfect photo-op or subtle colour splash for your birthday bash, your guests will arrive knowing they are in for a day to remember! Keep in mind picking the perfect colour scheme will really set the scene, and first impressions are certainly a thing – Balloon Goalz.
Step 8: CANCER COUNCIL STATION
Be sure to set up a dedicated station, clearly visible to your guests, with the donation box, sunscreen and all the provided information from your host kit about sun safety, Cancer Council awareness and an understanding of the difference their donations will make. Take a moment to make this little station inviting and festive.
Step 9: ENTERTAINMENT
Besides your amazing company, think about how to keep your guests entertained. Music is always a must and the ‘host kit’ has some games included. If there are children attending, provide a safe area and some dedicated toys for them to play with and also think of some fun activities for everyone to get involved in. It’s important for everyone to feel included and it’s more fun when everyone is interacting as a group.
Step 10: PARTY FAVOUR
Everybody loves a goody bag, but when you are asking for donations from your guest, it’s a lovely gesture to show your thanks with a take-home gift. Home-made ones are a really lovely idea and you can get the kids involved. We will be offering themed cookies for our guests from ‘Cracked Lustre,’ and they have this little message for you: “Everyone deserves a treat. And we think the best way to say “thank you” for everyone’s donations is a heavenly, edible gift from Cracked Lustre. Seriously, who doesn’t love a cookie?
Step 11: THE INVITATION
Be sure to send your guests a formal invitation so they can ‘lock it in’ and have all the details on hand. A dedicated design will give the guest’s a taste of the theme, so they know what to look forward to and this is also a formal and polite way to let them know how to donate. I created mine on the app CANVA.
Step 12: THE BIG DAY
Once you have planned your event and sent out your invitation, the hard work is done - then you can start having fun. When it comes to the day, just ensure you have written yourself a schedule so know when to shop, prepare, set up and how long you need for each (always give yourself an extra hour). Be prepared that not everything will go to plan and have no expectations because, at the end of the day, you are doing a beautiful thing raising awareness and funds for Cancer Council. The most important part of the day is to enjoy the company of your guests in a sun-safe environment while being grateful for each other.
I hope this was really helpful and has given you some ideas to host your own National Patio Day event.
I look forward to sharing my Picnic with you all and seeing images of all your celebrations too.