In case you hadn’t realised, we love summer. Any entertainer will know that planning a summer party is a seriously fun exercise – the warmer months lend themselves to long lunches, poolside cocktails and backyard picnics. If you’re not a party-planning natural, never fear! Hosting the ultimate summer fiesta is easier than you would think, and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune.
Eat & Drink
Good food and drink is an essential element of a memorable and enjoyable summer party. If you feel like you spend all night in the kitchen when you have people over, you’re not alone. But, with a little bit of preparation, you’ll be able to keep your guests fed and watered whilst also having a chance to enjoy yourself!
If you are providing guests with specially made drinks, like cocktails, you can take care of them before the party. Make the drinks the day before and store individual portions in ready-to-drink mason jars.
This works best for mixed drinks, such as water and fruit or iced tea.
Frozen fruits, such as strawberries, are a great substitute for ice cubes and are also a stunning addition to any drink. We’d suggest freezing them overnight before the party!
If you’ve got enough room in your freezer, you can also look at making cocktail (or mocktail) popsicles.
Skewers are a great option for entertaining, and can be easily prepared the morning of your party. Ingredients like diced lamb, haloumi and capsicum go extremely well on the barbecue, make sure you dice them so they’re delicious and easy to eat.
Australians love a good salad. It’s always good to have a couple of options for your guests, ranging from a simple garden salad to some a little more complex (pumpkin & quinoa, anyone?) Prepare your salads in the morning, and dress them just before serving.
Fruit platters are a crowd pleaser, and can tie in nicely with your fruity cocktails as well. When crafting a fruit platter think about colours as well as taste – the more variety, the better! Another great tip is to use a platter with a lipped edge, that way your fruit won’t go sliding around.
It’s easy to get caught up with food and drinks, without thinking about the atmosphere of your space. Take the time to think about where your guests will be spending the most of their time, and work towards making this spot as inviting as possible.
Beach umbrellas are pretty and practical, if you’re hosting a party during the day, you want to make sure you’re providing your guests with adequate shade. Adding some outdoor cushions in the shade will make the perfect oasis for guests who want to relax.
Bean bags are also a great way to create a ‘chill zone’. They also allow your guests to easily move the seating around, paving the way for comfortable conversations.
Beach towels can be a great substitute for picnic rugs – not only are they beautifully patterned, but they are also easy to clean.
Music is an all important aspect of creating a party atmosphere. Creating a playlist beforehand will mean you can hook up your phone to a set of speakers and not worry about it on the day.
Lighting is an important addition to any party that many people forget about. One of the best ways to create ambiance is with candles – we love using lanterns and tealight holders to create atmosphere at night.
Sheets can double as projector screens, we love the idea of creating an open air cinema for a night time party. Hang a large sheet in your backyard and play music videos or screen a couple of movies – you can either have an all-out movie night, or just have the videos running in the background. Projectors can be expensive, but you could borrow one from a friend or hire one online.
If you have children coming over for your summer party, keep them entertained with some water balloons. You can hang up the balloons as a fun summer alternative to piñatas, or just put them in buckets for balloon fight fun.
Remember the heat of summer comes with the possibility of sunburn and more insects to ruin your party. Have a bucket with multiple bottles of sunscreen and insect repellent to ensure your guests stay safe.
Looking for more ideas? Follow our entertainers board on Pinterest for some added inspiration!