The key to this whole party was the location. Annie has always dreamed of having a party in the middle of a big field. Luckily, my husband and I just bought a big, 2-acre field a few months ago! Yes, we will build a house on it someday, but in the mean time, it is perfect for a middle-of-a-field party.
The field has a beautiful view of the hills to the north, and a gorgeous antique barn--which we dream of buying someday--to the south, so it was almost perfect to begin with. Still, there were a few large hurdles to jump over before we could be sure the party would work there, namely power and plumbing. After considering asking our neighbors (who we don't really know) if we could borrow a bathroom and an electrical outlet, and deciding against it, we came up with the idea to pull a trailer onto the property. Since we live in the RV capital of the world, we figured someone we know would have something we could use. We hit pay dirt when the front desk at my husband's office and her husband loaned us their enormous 5th-wheel for the night. They were more than happy to set it up, show us how to turn on the generator and the lights, and let us have free reign for the entire evening. I love nice people! In addition to a bathroom and a generator, the trailer provided us with a large, shady area where we set up our make-shift kitchen and serving station.
So, big field--check. Lights strung over the tables--easy. We bought six 8-foot long 2x2's for $1.26 each at Home Depot, cut the ends into points, and drove them into the dirt with a sledge hammer to make a 12x24' rectangle. We had many, many strands of white globe lights left over from our wedding reception all those years ago. They've just been sitting in my parents' garage waiting to be used again. It only took four strands to go around the entire rectangle. The lights looked lovely while the sun was still up, and amazing once the sun set and we turned on the generator.