When planning an outdoor event, choose a theme and let it guide your decor, activity, food and beverage choices (and maybe even your attire!). Hot themes for summer 2018 include “Palm Springs in the 1960s” (croquet, Pucci-inspired colour palette, retro cocktails) and a “Great Gatsby” garden party!
- Welcome your guests with a signature cocktail. Fill a large wine glass with Prosecco and place a fruit-flavoured Popsicle in each. The presentation looks amazing and the Popsicle keeps the Prosecco ice-cold.
- Use garden urns as ice buckets. Create unique (and multiple) drink stations by simply filling urns with plenty of ice and your favourite beverages. Looks great and prevents backlog at the bar or kitchen area.
- Add a tropical summer look to plain glass votive holders by wrapping the exterior with a large palm leaf. Use a string of raffia to secure it.
- Try a fresh twist on the potluck by hosting your own “festival.” For a “Jazz Festival,” run with a New Orleans vibe. Friends can send you their top five jazz picks to add to a playlist and each guest can bring a Cajun-inspired dish!
- Take care of your guests. Fill buckets or baskets with outdoor essentials like sunscreen, sunglasses and bug spray. Your guests will thank you and won’t need to pester you throughout the day or evening.
- Decorate your drinks! Drop petals of edible flowers into the water in an ice tray… freeze and voila! Your ice has become a signature element to your beverage displays.
- Short on glasses, serving pieces or tableware? Consider using a rental service. Party rental companies have everything you need at a fraction of the cost of buying. The best part? You can return dishware unwashed!
- For your summer centrepieces, incorporate a little rustic charm. Run vintage wine crates down the centre of a table and fill with seasonal fruit. Place flowers in varying sizes of tin cans (labels removed) and scatter them among the crates. The look is whimsical, rustic and affordable!
- Activities make a summer party so have plenty planned! Play croquet or horseshoes! Make your own fun outdoor photo booth or screen a classic beach movie outside.
- Most of all, don’t stress! The best part of summer entertaining is that it is almost always informal. Do you have a friend who can mix a mean cocktail? Perform magic tricks? Let them help! This will free yourself up for your most important duty: hosting!
Written by: Janette Ewen