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Summer is the perfect time to throw a party that’s both relaxed and stylish. For a recent lakeside get-together, I made the most of the naturally stunning setting and focused on delicious food and a few signature drinks, courtesy of our beloved family bartender, Marlene. She brought her fun personality to the party, along with her signature “Marlinitinis”!
Planning an outdoor gathering of your own? Follow our four easy tips for a winning party:
Create Colorful Outdoor “Rooms”
Treat your outdoor spaces like indoor areas, carving out separate “rooms,” or distinct zones, that give guests plenty of places to have a bite to eat or just catch up with friends. For the main dining table, mix a variety of complementary textiles, tablecloths, dishes, and glassware for an eclectic look.
Set Up Food & Drinks For Easy Access
Make it convenient for your guests to help themselves to food and drinks. Self-serve appetizers, an outdoor bar cart, and water refills on hand all mean fewer trips in and out of the house and a better party flow. For drinks, an ice-filled wash tub or acrylic basin makes serving wine and beer a breeze. (We leave any signature cocktails, including refreshing mocktails, to Marlene, our trusted bartender!)
Cast a Glow
To create a lovely ambiance, use hurricane lamps with real candles. They create the most beautiful shadows later in the evening. Multiple strings of Edison bulbs, hung in repeating swags, also cast a pretty glow.
Have a Back-up Plan For Bad Weather
Even in summer, the weather isn’t guaranteed to cooperate. In case of rain, create a back-up plan two days before the party. That might mean retreating to a screened-in porch or making sure you organize the furniture around your house to accommodate your guests.
Whatever decor or menu you choose, your family and friends are sure to enjoy a well-planned party where the host can join in on the fun. Cheers to summer entertaining, rain or shine!