Planning The Ultimate Summer Party

Thinking of throwing a big summer party for all your family and friends? Here are a few success tips that will make your party an event to remember.

Send out invites early

In order to have all the right people there at your party, you need to send out invites early. People are less likely to have plans if you ask a few months in advance as opposed to a couple of weeks in advance. There may be no need for formal invitations, in which case you can either invite people individually in person or by text, or you can set up a Facebook event page. Don’t be afraid to chase people up who you haven’t had a response from.

Consider a theme

Having a theme could allow you to make the event more fun and memorable. You could even encourage guests to follow the theme by dressing up. Beach party themes are popular in the summer and you can get everyone turning up in their wildest summer shirts and dresses. Other themes could include 70s disco, movie characters or famous celebrities.

Make your garden presentable

You’ll want to tidy your garden up in advance so that its presentable for your guests. On top of carrying out gardening tasks like mowing the lawn and cutting back unruly hedges, you may want to consider investing in some decorative features such as new furniture or outdoor lighting (if you’re likely to have guests staying late into the evening, lighting could be important).

Prepare for all weathers

Just in case it rains, it’s always worth having shelter to retreat to. You could consider putting up a marquee in your garden for people to huddle under if it rains. You could put the tables under this marquee to keep them dry. Alternatively, you could simply plan to go indoors – keeping most of the food indoors could ensure that it stays dry if there is an outburst of rain.

Deter pests

Don’t let your party be ruined by wasps. As there will be food around, it could be worth putting up wasp traps. A cheap trick could be to simply hang up a crumpled paper bag – wasps can sometimes be deceived into thinking it’s a rival wasp nest. As for warding off mosquitoes in the evening, you could try buying a citronella candle. These candles give off a scent that will help to ward off the mozzies.

Stock up on catering supplies

It’s better to have too much food and drink than too little. Make sure you’re well stocked up for the party (for big gatherings, you may want to budget ahead so that you can afford to buy enough food and drink). There may also be items like paper plates, cups and serviettes that you need to buy (these will save you having to wash up). This catering for a party checklist offers information on the items you’ll need to supply. Give yourself a couple of weeks to shop for all these supplies so that you’re not rushing around last minute.

Ask about dietary requirements

Some guests may have dietary requirements that you’ll need to cater for. This could include offering vegetarian or vegan options or possibly catering to those with allergies such as gluten intolerance or lactose intolerance.  Make sure to ask your guests about these requirements in advance so that you can shop for food options that meet their needs.

Provide some entertainment

It could be worth planning some entertainment for the event to help encourage people to socialise. Music is a must at any party – make sure to get a playlist ready or get the compilation CDs out if you’re doing it oldskool. On top of music, you could buy yourself a karaoke machine and get people up singing. There could also be other games that you can play such as card games or darts or twister – this list of party games could serve as an inspiration.  

Cater for the kids

If there are kids likely to be attending your event, you’ll need to make sure that they are catered to as well. You may decide to rent a bouncy castle or fill up a paddling pool. On top of this, you could provide some toys such as skipping ropes, bubble blowers and water pistols. You should also make sure that you’ve got enough soft drinks and that it’s not all booze.

Let your guests help

Your guests may be able to help with various elements of the party. For instance, they may be able to bring food or drinks. This could help to bring down costs for you. Some guests may also be willing to help with jobs such as helping you put up decorations, helping to man the barbecue or providing kids entertainment such as face painting. Be sure to accept their help as it will ease the burden for you.

Don’t forget to have fun!

Some people can get so caught up with the duties of being a host that they forget to find time to have fun themselves. Try not to be in the kitchen the whole day preparing food – prepare what you can in advance. As for making sure that everyone’s drinks are filled up, consider setting up a self-service bar – this could simply be a table with all the drinks laid out on it to choose from. By making less work for yourself, you can join in the party and mingle more rather than having to wait on people.

*This is a collaborative post*

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