It’s that time of year again – the sun’s shining, the temperature’s rising, and everyone seems to be throwing a party! Whether you’re celebrating high school graduations, a holiday, or just enjoying the summertime with family and friends, there are plenty of details to consider when having a summer get-together. You should enjoy your party just as much as your guests, so we’ve compiled a few essential tips for hosting an unforgettable outdoor summer party.
Prep Food the Day Before
Plan ahead so that you can spend the most time possible with your guests. A day or two before the party, start preparing anything that can be refrigerated so that you can avoid the hassle of cooking during the party. Then, transform your backyard into different stations for snacks and treats. The more stations you have, the less of a wait your guests will have to eat. If you’re grilling, set up the grill in an area that allows you to talk to your guests while cooking, or make your outdoor kitchen the central point of the party. Given the high temperatures that generally coincide with outdoor summer parties, offer light meals, tasty snacks, and summer sweets that go well together in a summertime spread.
Prepare Drinks for the Party
Cold drinks are the key ingredient in combating the summer heat. Fill large bins with ice and beverages for a stress-free way of keeping guests refreshed. You can even match the container to the theme of your party. Just don’t forget to distinguish bins that contain adult beverages from those with kid-appropriate drinks. If you prefer cocktails or sangrias, drink dispensers are a fantastic way of supplying beverages while supplementing the decor of your event. If you’re looking for some drink recipes, check out some exciting concoctions compiled by the folks at Better Homes & Gardens.
Create an Atmosphere
Two simple ways to set the party mood are through music and lighting. Not only do they add to the overall ambiance but they help keep things lively throughout the evening.
Build a curated playlist of classics, favorites, and requests from guests, or choose one already put together from streaming services like Spotify or Apple Music. Just keep your music at a reasonable volume throughout the day – it’s meant to augment the atmosphere not overwhelm it.
Don’t forget about lighting, especially after the sun goes down. String lights are a go-to for many hosts to cover large areas with subtle lighting. Country Living Magazine has a great list of lighting schemes for outdoor parties that can serve as great inspiration.
Stop Bugs from Crashing Your Party
Nothing ruins the mood of a party more than constantly swatting and shooing away mosquitos. Put out a basket of bug spray for your guests, or strategically place a few Citronella candles around the backyard for function and aesthetic. If you have an outdoor fire pit, burn Sage and Rosemary within the to repel bugs and create a delightful smell. HGTV has a great list of all-natural insect repellents that are easy to make and look fantastic at parties.
Put Aside Areas for Kids
If you’re having a family-friendly event, be sure to set aside a few areas for kids. If you have a pool, don’t hesitate to let your guests know. The adults may not feel inclined to take a swim, but the amenity provides a perfect way of keeping the kids happy and fresh under the sun. Just make sure there is always an adult on watch. For an indoor option, prep the game room for kids to escape the heat. From board games to video games, these spaces are guaranteed to keep kids entertained.
Have a Contingency Plan
Unexpected weather can pose a severe threat to your festivities. Don’t panic, just make sure you devise a backup plan to help your party overcome the elements. Know the best parts of your home to set up food without making the party feel too spread out. Open-concept floor plans are great during this kind of dilemma. As your guests start to gather inside, the layout allows you to maintain a feeling of togetherness without feeling cramped.
Above all, have fun and enjoy! Parties are a time for celebration and amusement, not stress. With these helpful tips, you should be well on your way to throwing the best outdoor summer party yet! If you want more help with planning parties in general, be sure to check out our article on planning the perfect party year-round.