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  • Writer's pictureSarah McKee

How to Host a Chic & Easy Summer Party

Outdoor gatherings in the backyard are some of my favorite moments in our home. Enjoying the beautiful weather and sharing a great meal with friends & family is one of the best and most magical parts of summer and there are plenty of excuses to throw a party all season long. Don’t let the idea of “entertaining” intimidate you - in summer you’re just “having people over” and it will be beautiful and fun. Here are my top planning tips to keep summer hosting chic, easy, and enjoyable.


1. Pick a loose theme

Choosing a theme will help you narrow down the menu and aesthetic, giving a cohesive feel to your party. In summer, it’s best to keep things light and casual - no need to get formal or go over the top with decor. Some fun summer themes are seafood boils, tacos & tequila, Mediterranean mezzes, or a classic backyard bbq.


2. Use easy invitations

Deliver details right to the palm of your guest's hand with text invitations through Paperless Post. Choose a designed flyer template fitting your theme, customize your details, send the text invite, and track RSVPs right from your phone. As an extra bonus, most designs are free and guests don’t need any kind of account.


3. Create a self-serve bar area

Set out glassware, a couple of spirits, and a beverage tub with your mixers and drinks on ice. A bowl filled with citrus, a few springs of mint, a bottle opener, and a cutting board and knife give guests everything they need to help themselves to a beverage. Always be sure to include some nonalcoholic options and plenty of water in the mix!


4. Plan a mostly make-ahead menu

When planning your menu, keep things simple with fresh, in-season ingredients and dishes that can be made or even ordered in advance, or easily finished on the grill. You'll want to enjoy time with your guests outside rather than being stuck stressing in a hot kitchen! The elevated presentation of plating everything on serving dishes and using real dishware instead of disposable is always worth the effort.


5. Add ambient lighting & easy centerpieces

With your yard already looking its summer best, it does not take much to make your outdoor space feel festive. Add a few simple centerpieces to the buffet, bar area, and table made up of blooms or greenery from your yard or monochromatic bunches of grocery store flowers. A string of cafe lights is a must to provide functional and flattering lighting, and a few candles are a nice touch. Now just put on a playlist and you’ve set the party mood.

Summer is no time to stress and with a little planning, you can enjoy hosting magical celebrations throughout the season!


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