DIY Wedding

How to Host a Party in Your Own Backyard

At first, hosting a party in your own backyard might sound like a monthslong headache. Should I hire a landscaper? Redo my powder room? Do I own enough chairs? Luckily, a few local companies will help ease your pain—and create a stress-free, picture-perfect party right outside.

Nosh and Gather

Liza Atkinson, owner of Nosh and Gather (above), is your woman for both high-end picnics and full-on dinner parties. “We try to really elevate the experience in your backyard or park,” Atkinson says. “It’s more than a picnic basket. They get pillows, blankets, rugs, tabletop, flowers. We really make it an experience.”

Her basic package—for groups of many sizes—includes a luxe charcuterie board, gourmet cookies, and shrubs and sparkling water for DIY cocktails or mocktails. Atkinson can customize with a full lunch or dinner, a cake, or just about anything else.

If the weather isn’t perfect the day of the event, Atkinson also offers dinner party options, complete with four courses, flowers, and tabletop decor. “You can tell people you got it all from us or keep it to yourself,” she laughs. “Your hosting secret is safe with us!”


Want to host a group—maybe even overnight—but don’t want them taking over your house? Glamping company Pitched will set up luxe tents for a bachelorette sleepover, family reunion, or mini-moon. The tents sleep four to five guests each and include memory foam beds, lighting, chairs, and add-ons like movie projectors and firepit kits.

“The nice thing about Pitched is it’s a one-stop shop,” says owner Kenny Young. “We deliver the tents, firepit, movie gear—it’s a great way to get to know people more, even just hanging out outside your house, but with that convenience factor.”

Craving the convenience, but not a fan of the overnight adventure? Book the “camp lounge” tent, which includes carefully styled chairs, throw blankets, and pillows inside a tent for a unique add-on to a daytime event.

Perfect Picnic Co

For the luxe boho bride—or anyone who wants a fit-for-a-fairy-tale picnic in their yard or neighborhood park—Courtney Smallbeck is your go-to source for alfresco fun. Her picnics, which overflow with linens, low-to-the-ground tables, mismatched throw pillows, vintage tableware, fresh flowers, and painstakingly arranged charcuterie boards, are nothing short of Insta-ready.

Smallbeck hosts everything from intimate proposals (seriously, she has a whole proposal package) to larger groups for bridal or baby showers, tiny weddings, birthday parties, and more. Party planners can order food, like those charcuterie boards and cutesy tea sandwiches, à la carte, or bring their own food and drink.

“People are looking for something really unique,” Smallbeck says. “The style of our picnics is really over-the-top. You feel a bit like you’re in a movie, with this beautiful setting and tablescape and people you care about. People are always wishing they had a bit more time.”

Hop Haus

Admit it: Since you were a kid, it’s been your dream to have a bounce house in your backyard. Now, Ali Nanne, owner of Hop Haus (and skin, lash, and brow care studio LABB Collective) is making your dream a reality—complete with a bright white, safe-for-adults castle that makes for an unforgettable add-on to a wedding or party.

“When I was planning my son’s birthday party, I knew I wanted to do a bounce house,” Nanne says. “And as a mom in the beauty industry, I wanted it to be more aesthetically pleasing.”

She started scouring the internet for a white bounce house—and eventually took matters into her own hands and bought one that’s beautiful yet functional for all ages. Now, a year later, she totes the 16-foot-by-16-foot castle to birthdays, bachelorette parties, and weddings around the Twin Cities. (Want a little color? You can add a custom balloon design right onto the house’s façade.)

Look for more rental add-ons, like signs and arches—plus a smaller, peach-colored bounce house—in the future.