With Memorial Day weekend on the horizon, we’re stepping into full swing for summer parties. From backyard barbecues to intimate al fresco dinners, your summertime soirees truly are what shape the season. Create magical memories that your guests will forever cherish by keeping these five party-planning tips in mind.
1. Keep Invitations Specific
Spread the word and set the scene by sending out clear yet fun instructions so guests know exactly what to expect. Are you hosting a potluck? Will guests be nibbling throughout the evening or is there a set mealtime? Make sure to specify so latecomers won’t be disappointed. It’s also wise to announce the dress code. Get inspired for outdoor menus with this Cadac Stratos gas grill ($280).
2. Make Sure Everyone Has a Seat
Guests will want to relax and unwind. Make sure there’s enough seating for everyone, especially if you’re hosting an outdoor soiree. Feel free to get creative with things — use Moroccan poufs, set up blankets for guests to lounge on picnic-style or use small stools. Give guests a cozy place to sit with this Crate + Barreloutdoor pouf ($199).
3. Beware Mosquitos
Bugs are a huge bummer. Before the party, get rid of standing water — dump out the kiddie pool, empty out rain water in flower pots and clean out the gutters. Set up some fans or offer guests natural bug repellants. Set the mood and keep bugs away with thiscitronella candle ($25).
4. Set the Mood with Music
Keep your playlists soft and chill. No one will want to shout over blaring music or listen to anything that distracts heavily from a good conversation. Create a playlist that’s heavy on classics, with an emphasis on the upbeat. Aim for five hours of music. Get the party started with the Samsung Level Box Mini ($30).
5. Keep Kids Entertained
If you’re throwing a party that includes kids, make sure they have some diversions. Ideas: a Slip ‘N Slide, blowing bubbles, a sprinkler or even disposable cameras so they can run around and capture the scene. Kids will appreciate this zany Banzai Geyser Blast Sprinkler ($14).
Andrea Kasprzak is a writer. She's fascinated by the imagination, folklore and fantasy, the healing power of art, and finding magic in the mundane. Her playbook, Imagination Transforms Everything, is forthcoming this spring from Seal Press/Hachette Book Group.