Summer is the best time to step away from the daily grind and take a moment to relax, soak up some rays and spend some quality time with friends. However, as with all good things, summer, too, must come to an end. So why not go out with a bang? Throw the most unforgettable summer bash that will tide your guests over the winter months with these 10 great tips for hosting the perfect party.
1. Rock a Theme
Contrary to popular belief, a themed party is not just for kids. Sure, we don’t want you to go plan a princess party or have a large bounce house or — unless you want to harness your guests inner child. You really just need to have some booze on hand for that, but a little semblance never hurt anyone. Party planner at heart or not, it’s important to have an idea in mind to plan and organize your perfect summer party. Try brainstorming themes like a bungalow beach party, rustic country hoedown or something simple like watermelon or strawberry themes. That way, you can arrange your dishes and decorations according to your theme.
2. ‘Tis the Season for Some Flavor
Summer is notorious for having some of the most natural, refreshing flavors ripe and ready to serve. Capitalize on in season fresh produce and serve up some delicious drinks, appetizers, entrees and desserts that scream summer. Focus on fruits such as cherries, watermelons, strawberries, peaches or blueberries. For other produce, look to corn-on-the-cob, zucchini, squash, cucumbers, peppers, tomatoes and even a sprig of fresh cilantro. If you’d like a tropical themed party, try serving some pineapple, invest in some amazing seafood and garnish with fresh, homemade salsa and guacamole.
3. A Host with the Gluttonous Most
While you should be choosy about what you serve at the party, you should know that excess is key for being a host or hostess with the mostess. Make sure you know roughly who’s coming, and try not to run out of anything. This can put a giant cog in your otherwise successful shindig. If you truly can’t afford it all, have no fear! Just include your guests on the planning fun. Encourage a potluck party and make the event BYOB. This can be a lot of fun as people can share in their favorite dishes and drinks.
4. Be Choosy About Your Bar
If having an open bar is going to break the bank, spend time choosing your libations wisely. Incorporate your theme and think about how you want to pair your drinks with food. However, at the same time, give your guests a few options and always made them look great with some garnishing or fun party-themed glasses. Try a signature drink fit for the perfect theme.
5. Label Your Dishes
With food allergies and picky eaters, it’s important to make sure you label your dishes. It doesn’t have to be a labor, because you can get creative and come up with some fun names to fit your party’s theme. Just remember this can save you a lot of stress and keep the EMS from crashing your party!
6. Have a Seat (Or Many)
To be a great host, you must know your guests and have enough proper seating available if your guests choose to kick it back a little. Of course a lot of people will stand, but you want them to have options and feel comfortable as they chat and dine. Be creative with your options and think outside of the box, or ahem, chair.
7. Set the Tone for Your Shindig
Lighting is very important for inviting your guests into the party and keeping them. If inside, maybe set some candles up and if you can, create mood with dimmer lights. When you are outside, let mother nature set the mood and have strings of light or pools of lighting available for guests to see the food and each other when the sun goes down.
8. Music is Key
Ultimately, hiring a DJ is the perfect option, but if you’re strapped for cash, have some of your best friends collaborate on some music or a great party playlist. Try Spotify Premium and add music as the night goes or if your guest has a specific request enlist someone to play the role of the DJ. Pandora and Slacker Radio are great options for an on-hand DJ with the click of a button.
9. Rally the Troops
Invite a diverse group of friends to mix and mingle. You’ll be surprised how certain people will flock to each other and create an instant bond. Try inviting neighbors, coworkers, and new and old friends. Remember, that they all have something in common, you!
10. Get Footloose and Fancy Free
This is the most important tip to a successful summer bash: have fun. Don’t stress and conform to party rules or be hell-bent on the perfect party. Just go with the flow and, like country singer Justin Moore says, let the night roll and see where it goes.
So, whether you have saved up all winter to invest in the perfect end to summer or just want to spend it with some of your closest friends, take these party tips to heart and throw a party they’ll never forget. Don’t forget to have some fun as well! After all, it’s your party, too!