Pull off the perfect summer party without having to stress too much before hand…
The weather’s warming up, the days are getting longer, and it won’t be long before we can finally start enjoying garden parties, barbeques, and summer-themed lunches and dinners again. In the UK, summer never sticks around for very long, so it’s best to make the most of it while it lasts by hosting a few get-togethers with friends and family.
If you love the idea of a summer party but the thought of hosting a crowd of guests in your home stresses you out, don’t worry. With a little careful planning and organisation, you can throw a memorable summer bash that will go off without a hitch. Here, we’ve shared five tips to help you host a party that your guests will love, with minimum stress. Just read on to find out more.
Pick a simple summery theme
First things first: you’ll want to pick a theme. Your theme will dictate what sort of décor, drinks, food and music you have at your party, so pick something that you can achieve with the time and budget you have. If you need a little inspiration, we’ve shared a few ideas to get your party-planning started:
- A Wimbledon-themed party: This is an especially good idea if you plan to watch the matches on TV. It’s also a nice theme if you don’t have a garden, as you can make your TV and living room a part of the fun.
- A Spanish or Mexican fiesta: If you and your guests love spicy food, this is the one for you. It’s also a great excuse to include a piñata!
- A Great British Bake-Off party: This is a great way to encourage guests to bring a few baked treats of their own along!
- A tiki-themed party: This theme is great for cocktail-lovers so, if you’re a brilliant amateur mixologist, this sort of party is a great opportunity to showcase your skills.
Once you’ve settled on a theme for your gathering, you can start planning your menu, decorations and drinks.
Dress up some simple cocktails with impressive presentation
No summer party would ever be complete without a few festive drinks. Serving your guests a summery cocktail or two will get your celebration off to a great start, and it allows you to get creative with your chosen theme, too. For instance, you could serve pitchers of Pimms at a tennis-themed party, or tequila sunrise cocktails at a Mexican-themed fiesta. For a tiki-themed party with plenty of show-stopping cocktails, you’ll want to serve your creations in some impressive glassware: this collection of cocktail glasses from Alliance Online includes tropical styles that will wow your guests.
Lastly, remember that no-one likes drinking tepid drinks in warm summer weather, so make sure you put all of your drinks and cocktail ingredients in the fridge at least a few hours before your guests are due to arrive. It can also help to stock up on a few bags of ice and an ice bucket or two: this way, you can keep bottles of beer and wine chilled without taking up space in the fridge.
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Create an easy to make, crowd-pleasing menu
Menu planning tends to be one of the aspects of party-planning that hosts find most stressful. But, as long as you pick some simple recipes that you can prepare in advance, your menu should be completely hassle-free. A buffet tends to be much easier to plan, cook and serve than a sit-down meal and, as everyone can help themselves to whatever they want, you won’t need to worry about finding a dish that suits all tastes.
As the weather will (hopefully) be warm, you won’t need to worry about serving lots of hot food options, either. Instead, opt for cold buffet items that you can take straight out of the fridge and plate up quickly before serving: quiches, salads, sausage rolls, and sandwiches can all be served as they are, so they’re perfect if you want a hassle-free menu. For more summer buffet inspiration, check out these cold party food recipes from Taste of Home.
Make the most of your outside space
Is there anything better than soaking up the sunshine with your nearest and dearest? If you’re lucky enough to have a garden or outside space, you’ll definitely want to incorporate it into your party planning. This way, you’ll be able to make the most of the summer weather, and you’ll have more space for fun and games, too. Just remember to make sure that you’ve got enough outdoor seating: in a pinch, you could lay out some blankets and cushions for guests to sit on instead of chairs.
Given that the weather in the UK can be unpredictable at the best of times, you’ll also want to have a back-up plan in case it rains. So, even if you plan to host the majority of your gathering outdoors, it’s sensible to set aside and decorate an area in the house where you can continue the fun in the event of a shower. If you plan to host a few parties over the summer, you might want to consider investing in a gazebo: this will keep your buffet, drinks table and, most importantly, your guests dry during unexpected downpours.
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Decorate your space
If you really want to impress your guests, you’ll need to go all out and decorate your space with some accents and decorations that suit your chosen theme. This is a chance to get creative, so use your imagination! If you need more inspiration, Pinterest has loads of fun summer party decoration ideas, so take a look when planning your décor.
If you’ll have little ones attending your party, don’t forget to include a few decorations, toys and games for them to enjoy, too. If you’ve got the space, a piñata is sure to be a hit with the kids: Party Fiesta has an assortment of fun styles available, so you can find one that will suit the rest of your décor.
Summer is the perfect season to throw a get-together for family and friends, so take these tips on board. As long as you pick a fun theme, plan your menu and drinks with care, and take the time to decorate your home and garden, you’re sure to have a memorable summer bash that everyone will love.