Summer Entertaining: How to Throw the Perfect Summer Party

Summer Entertaining: How to Throw the Perfect Summer Party

Summer is

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my favorite time to entertain. It’s relaxed, the weather’s great and there’s so much great food. Here are a few tips for the perfect summer party!

1) Plan ahead. While spontaneous get-togethers are great, a planned party always feels like something special. Make sure to give yourself a couple weeks to think about location, guest list, budget, if it will be day or evening, and if there will be some sort of theme.
2) Invitations. Depending on the kind party you will be hosting, invitations can be a phone call, Evite or a card in the mail. What matters most is that it is personal, timely and done all at once (no one likes to feel like an afterthought!). Aside from date, time and place, you’ll also want to make sure to let guests know how to RSVP, if kids (or even pets) are welcome and if they need to bring anything (games? drinks? food?).

Eve’s home in Newport Coast is ready for guests.

3) Outdoor considerations. I’d encourage you to take advantage of the great weather summer has to offer! This could be in your backyard, beachside or at a park. But make sure you think of how that will affect guests (they will need shade!), food (drinks need to be iced, chocolate melts, dairy spoils) and if bugs will be bothersome. And if you are in a place with extreme heat, make sure guests are hydrated with lots of water and consider parties when it starts to cool.
4) Food. If you are planning something elaborately catered or just doing a simple potluck food is often the start of the show. Make sure to think about how guests will be eating—if they are standing up or balancing on their lap you will want to avoid a knife and fork. Kabobs work great and there many different possibilities including veggies, fruits and fish. Also, as someone with food allergies, I’m always excited when people have considered if there are things for me to eat. As hostess, you may want to check with guests if there are special food considerations.
5) Music. This will get the party going and keep it alive! Depending on your soiree, it can be upbeat or mellow. I always think a good summer mix should be fun, but not something that will overwhelm and dominate (like something with a heavy beat).
6) Signature cocktail. This is easier to do than it sounds and also will impress guests! Considering adding mint, basil or other herbs to a cocktail you already love. A sangria with a twist, like using white wine or summery fruit, is also an easy drink. You will want to experiment before the party to taste test—which I’m sure some friends would love to volunteer to help!