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A garden party is an outside social gathering in a park or a garden. An event described as a garden party is usually more formal than other outdoor gatherings, which may be called simply parties, picnics, barbecues, etc.
A garden party can be a prestigious event. For example, invitations by the British Sovereign to garden parties at Buckingham Palace are considered an honor. The President of France holds a garden party at the Palais de l'Elysée in Paris on Bastille Day.