6 Tips For Hosting the Perfect Outdoor Summer Party

A rustic outdoor table with floral arrangements, candles, and weathered folding chairs

Ah, summer. It's almost here. Long, lazy days and warm, star-filled nights ... we're ready! Are you?

What better way is there to kick off summer than to grab your closest friends and have an outdoor summer party? Here are some tips for hosting the quintessential summer soiree.

Tip #1: Don't Stress!

A summer party should feel casual and relaxed so take a deep breath and .... chill. It's summer, after all.

Tip #2: Hands Free Hosting Wins The Day.

Set up a few aperitif and appetizer locales with grab-able, bite-size nibbles. Your guests will be happy with simple, savory little bites, like fancied-up crudites.

A serving board with the makings of a DIY bruschetta bar

Do-it-yourself cocktail bars are also a must. Galvanized tubs, colorful enamel buckets, and planters work perfectly. Mix up a pitcher of your favorite summer cocktail (ours is The Barefoot Contessa's Limoncello Tom Collins), add some glasses and swizzle sticks, and voila! Your guests will appreciate a sparkling cocktail on a warm summer evening!

Bottles of Veuve Clicquot on ice surrounded by brightly colored flowers

Tip #3: Keep Decor Easy!

Bring out your favorite cushions or blankets for people to sit on, or drape throws on the backs of dining chairs to add a punch of color and keep your guests warm.  Create cozy seating areas to encourage conversation. Don't get overly fussy with table settings - an eclectic mix feels more laid back. Throw some blooming garden flowers in mason jars to complete the mood.

Guests at an outdoor party lounge around a low table with twinlke lights dangling overhead

Tip #4: Light Your Outdoors.

Twinkling strands add instant ambiance to any evening party. Outdoor lighting can be both functional and festive, whether you're highlighting a beautiful section of your garden, defining a pathway, or setting a table with votives, lights will create a little romance outside.

A beautifully set picnic table at dusk

Tip #5: Don't Forget The Music!

Music can make or break a party but doesn't have to be complicated. Hook your iPod up to speakers and create a lively summer playlist. Or splurge a little and consider live music - a guitar and a beautiful voice go a long way.

Tip #6: Enjoy!

Summer is a great time to relax with friends and family. Make your introductions, mingle and enjoy the party!

Photos courtesy of:

  • Brit.co
  • thefreshexchangeblog.com
  • inspirebohemia.com
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