Getting together with family and friends any time of year is a joyous occasion. But doing so in the summer makes it all the more special. What makes a summer party great is having it outdoors in the fresh air and beautiful weather. With the outdoors to enhance your party vibe, throwing a summer bash almost takes care of itself.
What summer bash is complete without a piping hot grill going? But before you get carried away on the menu, consider how much food you will really need. Guests rarely eat as much as you might anticipate. Also keep in mind that with the summer heat turned up, your guests will prefer some lighter fare in addition to a meaty meal.
Salads and fruit are a perfect addition to a main course. Mix salads with a variety of textures and flavors. Fruit not only brightens the buffet table, but it is also light, great tasting, and full of juices perfect for rehydrating you on those hot days. Finish off the meal with ice cream or sorbet.
Unless you prepare the food ahead of time, make the meal preparation an opportunity for guests to join in. This way, you will not only get help preparing the meal, but you and your guests will have a good time doing it as well.
Besides food, the next big decision is what sort of refreshments to serve. Light drinks and a summer party make a perfect combination. With the summer heat it is also a good idea to provide plenty of water. Liven up a glass pitcher of water by adding slices of lemon or other fruits. Also provide a variety of juices along with your favorite flavored iced tea or that perennial favorite lemonade.
Will you be serving alcohol? If your answer is yes, then you should consider the cost of providing the spirits and the time you will spend bartending. As with preparing the food, here again is a chance to have your guests get involved. Perhaps someone has some new favorite summer cocktails they would like to share. To keep things simple, prepare a self-service spiked punch well enough in advance to allow the flavors to blend perfectly in time for the party.
Like the food and drink, music should be light and festive. Island music will provide the perfect summer atmosphere to relax to while keeping the festive energy going. If the party continues into the evening hours, switch to some jazz music as things start to wind down. Music has a large influence on our state of mind, so it’s important to choose music that compliments the occasion.
Summer unleashes the vibrant colors of nature, so your party should reflect that also. Use bright fun colors such as blues, greens, or even pinks. Use bright tablecloths, dishes, and napkins along with other splashes of color from streamers. Colorful fruit platters made up of melons and berries will also add to the fun atmosphere.
Provide shade for your guests to take refuge under when they’re not involved in games or other activities. If your party runs into the night, dress it up with outdoor lighting in the form of string lights or torches. Another fun gathering place to relax around is a fire pit as the evening wears on. These are relatively inexpensive and add to the festive summer atmosphere.