From graduations to birthdays, there’s always a good reason to throw a summertime party. Party planning takes diligence and prep work, but the payoff is priceless: happy memories. Set the stage for your perfect party — from creating the outdoor ambiance to picking a delicious menu with these helpful party planning tips!
Clean Inside and Out
Making your place guest-ready means getting the yard neat and tidy. You’ll want to have the lawn cut at least three days before the big day. Notice your garden looking a bit drab? Consider laying a few stepping stones to create a pathway from the gate to the patio while adding a cool accent to the otherwise green space. Warn off pesky mosquitoes by investing in citronella torches that create a fun tiki vibe, lighting up the night. Even if you are hosting outdoors, you’ll want to clean up inside the house as well. Concentrate the areas that guests will see, such as the entryway, kitchen, and bathrooms.
Scent the Grill
Here’s a clever tip for the grill buff: put fresh herbs and spices on the coals while grilling for a smoky flavor boost! Soak your herbs first. (Bundles of sage and rosemary are ideal, since they can take the heat once wet, and smell fantastic while they smoke.) Lay them directly on the coals while the herbs are still damp and once the smoke has cleared a bit, grill as usual. The process is similar to adding soaked wood chips to your coals—you don’t infuse every inch of your grilled food with smoky flavor, but you do get enough to be noticeable, which can make all the difference.
Make a Beverage station
Keep everyone quenched with a selection of refreshing beverages. Blend your own fruit juices or whip up a pitcher of homemade lemonade, iced tea, or frozen margaritas. Want a prettier pitcher of water? Dress it up with fresh slices of cucumber, oranges, or a handful of fresh berries. This is best served out of a glass pitcher because it wins you points for presentation but also is convenient enough for guests to self-serve thanks to the handy spigot.
Set the Menu
Whether you’re feeding 20 people or planning a cozy dinner for four, your menu is what your guests will remember. For smaller, intimate affairs, go for meats that ramp up the pizzaz factor like a nice cut of filet mignon or grilled salmon. Hosting a blockbuster bash? Keep it simple with everyone’s favorite handheld foods — burgers, hotdogs and ribs. (When sending invitations, you may want to ask if anyone has food allergies. Considering your guests’ dietary needs will make them feel loved!)
Keep Seating in Mind
Sure, the cocktail setting works for about the first 45 minutes, mingling, munching, and standing. But after an hour in, people are going to want a place to relax into. If you’ve got a gazebo or wraparound deck, an outdoor patio sofa offers the ultimate comfortable yet functional solution. Resin rattan is often found in furniture that’s on the screened-in porch or a bright sunroom because it is versatile and hardy. In fact, it’ll be in great shape for the next 50 years, with proper care.
Now that you know these great summer party planning tips, what are you waiting for? Go ahead and call your friends and family over for a great time under the sun.