Tips for Throwing the Perfect Summer Soiree

Tips for Throwing the Perfect Summer Soiree

These tips from party-planning experts can help take your outdoor event to the next level

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Lisa Johnson of Governors Club

Pick a color palette

“A great way to pull together a summer celebration without locking into a specific ‘theme’ is by layering hues together for an ombre effect. For example, using beautiful shades of blue for a beach party can allow you to bring in pale turquoise shades to rich cobalt blue tones for a stunning backdrop.”

Set the mood with lighting

“Before your guests arrive, scatter interesting vessels of candlelight, and these votives will take on a magical feel as the evening progresses. I often use different size glass jars and place them throughout the yard for that ‘firefly effect’ as the sun sets.”

Spread out the hosting duties

“Progressive parties are a fun way to get friends and neighbors excited and invested in a great party! Start off with cocktails and lawn games at one house and then move to the next home for easy appetizers followed by the main course of a simple summer salad and grilled items. The evening could progress with a few more homes offering summertime favorite desserts (fresh fruit cobbler served with Maple View Farm Ice Cream) and end with an outdoor movie for the kids.”

Create a lasting impression for your guests

“A departing token is always a fun idea and need not be anything elaborate. A colorful swizzle stick with the recipe card of the fabulous sangria you served or a small tin with the lemon bars that were part of the dessert spread makes a lasting impression.”


Photo by Nick Pironio.
Photo by Nick Pironio.

Cheryl-Anne Kast of Kast Events

Hold your event later in the evening

“Consider having your party later in the day. That gives it time to cool down a little and prevents guests from being in the sun for hours. Besides, what’s more beautiful than an event at dusk?”

Serve thirst-quenching drinks

“Greet guests with cool, refreshing drinks upon arrival. Consider Arnold Palmers or a fruity iced tea. Want to up the ante? Serve iced lollipops or Italian ice later in the evening.”

Choose flowers that hold well in heat

“There is nothing worse than a wilted arrangement. Select flowers that hold well out of water and can withstand heat.”

Have plenty of bug spray

“Chances are that there will be plenty of bugs out once the sun sets. Be sure to have bug spray on hand – your guests will thank you!”