Summer, with it’s warm and breezy atmosphere, opportunity for outdoor games and cookouts, and perfect, sunny pool weather, is a wonderful season to be able to spend quality time with family and friends outside of the holidays. Planning an enjoyable party in the heat can sometimes be stressful and overwhelming–particularly if you do not necessarily see yourself as a savvy hostess–but that does not always have to be the case! As long as you consider the following party aspects and tips, your next summertime backyard bash will be remembered and enjoyed by everyone you invite.
Theme and Invitations
Before you think about any other aspect of the party, you will need to create a concept and send out invitations. Decide whether you want to throw a family-friendly pool party, an adult-only game night with summer-inspired cocktails, an outdoor family dinner, a campfire block party for your child’s birthday, etc. Be sure to create a shopping list for all of the supplies you will need as well as a guest list for everyone you wish to invite, so nothing or no one ends up accidentally being forgotten.
Three to four weeks before the event is when you will need to send out your invitations to allow potential guests enough time to check their schedules and RSVP. You can easily send them out by mail, email, text, or even in an online format such as a Facebook event page. Be sure to include the who, what, when, and where, in addition to any extra information that guests would appreciate knowing in advance. It is helpful to mention what type of attire guests should wear so no one feels out of place. If you are having a pool party, you can says things like, “Bring your swimsuit,” or “Don’t forget a change of clothes.”
Menu and Decorations
One of the easiest ways to have food at your gathering is to call it a potluck and have each guest you invite bring a certain dish or dessert. There is guaranteed to be a huge variety of foods that everyone will enjoy tasting and it will take some stress away from you as you deal with the rest of the planning. If you decide to have your own menu, it should be based on seasonal ingredients such as summer berries and herbs. Be sure to pick quick and easy dishes that can be prepared in advance and served either cold or at room temperature. Avoid disasters by choosing several favorite recipes that you have tried for events before. For decorations, you can go as simple and cheap as just picking a vibrant summer color palette for tablecloths and disposable dinnerware. Small potted plants such as succulents and cactuses will also add a nice touch as inexpensive table centerpieces.
Entertainment and Activities
No party, summer or otherwise, is complete without some fun activities and lively music to keep your guests from becoming bored throughout the night. Most parties last around four to five hours, so take that into consideration when you are creating a playlist with classic songs your guests will recognize and enjoy. You won’t want guests to be hearing the same songs over and over. Different guests will like to do different types of activities, so try to have a few spread out around your yard–some will enjoy horseshoes, others will prefer cornhole, etc. If you really want to spice up the atmosphere while helping your guests cool off at the same time, you can search for party attractions along the lines of dunk tank rentals online and find many options. Kids and adults alike will absolutely love competing to soak a friend or family member!
By keeping each of these important party aspects in mind, you are several steps closer to becoming the best host on the block!