To evoke the feeling of true Zen, make sure everything you incorporate into your event is meant to relax, refresh and invigorate your guests. Reduce the amount of noise, stressful energy and negativity you create by using recycled paper for your invites (or scrapping paper invites altogether) and cooking with organic food.
Try printing your invitations on recycled brown stock or using email to reduce waste. Try reusing old (sturdy) brown paper bags and straw for a beautiful minimal effect. Writing by hand will add to your natural theme. Encourage guests to dress in comfortable summery attire, discouraging anything stiff or stuffy.
If you decorate with tasteful minimalism, the rest will come naturally. Your table will look great in earthy colours with green as your main colour. Browns, taupes and anything else found in nature will suit this party. Nature should be your main focus, so make sure you incorporate it on your table, with plants and herbs. If your party will continue past dusk, make sure you’ve set out citronella candles for a relaxing candlelit effect.
Use potted herbs as centrepieces. You can even create mini potted herbs and let guests take them home to continue the tranquility after they leave. Attach a special recipe to each of the plants for your guests to enjoy. If you wish, write their names on the back of the recipe cards and the herbs can do double-duty as place cards as well.
Anything serene will do for your Zen do. If you’re an electronic junkie, try something downbeat and relaxing. Jazz and slow classical music are always great for creating a laid back mood. If you really want to get into the theme, you can always buy a CD with nature sounds – but the natural beauty and sounds of your backyard might be enough in that department. Whatever you choose, just make sure that it relaxes and makes guests feel peaceful and at home.
To fully embrace the Zen concept, try cooking a completely organic meal. It’s up to you whether you want to serve a vegetarian option, but treating your guests to organic food is not only a dedication to quality, but to health as well.
In terms of drinks, there are lots of great Canadian organic wines to choose from. If you’d like a non-alcoholic option, or your party will be taking place earlier in the afternoon, try serving some delicious (and healthy) smoothies guests.
If your guests are game, a backyard masseuse is a great idea. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a swedish massage surrounded by chirping birds and green nature? You can hire someone to come and give each of your guests a 15-minute, 30-minute or 45-minute massage in an intimate corner of your backyard. Otherwise, simply sitting, eating and drinking with friends in a relaxing environment is activity enough.