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How to Host a Summer Soirée

The Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer Soiree

As originally seen in IBB at Home.

Summer is officially here, so it’s time to dust off the patio furniture, bring out the lawn games, and prepare for your summer soirée! Whether you’re looking to host a formal seasonal dinner or casual pool party, these tips and tricks will help to ensure your summer gathering goes off without a hitch!

Choose a Theme – The theme will dictate every step of the party prep process, so it’s important to determine it early on. Do you want a laid back family pool party, formal summer dinner party, or even a backyard luau? The possibilities are endless! For my summer bash, I opted for a more casual picnic gathering with some close family and friends!

The Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer Soiree

Guest List and InvitationsA well-done invitation gives your guests a glimpse of just how classy your summer soirée will be. It’s the first chance to sweep them off their feet, so make sure your invitations help portray the theme and experience you want to create. If your event is more casual and you want to send electronic invitations, I always love Paperless Post or Evite. To create a more formal atmosphere, send some good ol’ fashioned snail mail! Swoozies is one of my favorite custom invitation shops. I also love Etsy for predesigned printable invitations! Check out my friend Tara with PrintSmitten who designed this beautiful and festive invite for our summer soirée

The Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer Soiree

Decor – Decorations turn a simple gathering into its own little world for your guests and set the ambiance and formality for the entire evening. Select a simple and bright color palette and incorporate it into all aspects of the decor. I am a firm believer that it’s all in the details, so be sure to add a few extra special touches to completely transform the party. For my backyard summer picnic, I went with a yellow, coral and aqua color palette, which helped create a light and airy atmosphere. The yellow picnic blanket with the decorative pillows, paper straws, gorgeous floral arrangements, and table settings all helped create a casual yet sophisticated summer soirée.

The Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeView More: http://lindsaydavenportphotography.pass.us/kate-styled-picnic-4-17-2016-printThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer Soiree

Menu – No gathering is complete without the perfect menu! Summer is all about highlighting fresh foods, so try and incorporate some seasonal ingredients. I always like to provide easy, servable and bite-sized dishes such as watermelon, my favorite Bacon Cheeseburger with Onion Ring Sliders, and chips and guacamole.

The Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeView More: http://lindsaydavenportphotography.pass.us/kate-styled-picnic-4-17-2016-printThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeServe up some ice cold refreshing beverages. In addition to beer and wine, it’s nice to serve a signature cocktail such as a fruit sangria or margarita. Also be sure to provide a non-alcoholic drink such as a fresh lemonade. This Strawberry Moscato Lemonade is the perfect addition to your next gathering and the alcohol can easily be removed for all the kiddos!

The Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer Soiree

Entertainment – It’s always fun to have an interactive element to a party to encourage mingling, especially if your guests don’t know each other that well. For a casual backyard party, I love the idea of lawn games like croquet or bocce ball. For those inspired by graphic design, cute scorecards could be added here! You could also set up a fire pit so people can make s’mores! Make sure to have a fun playlist going in the background to help set the mood for your party as well!

The Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer SoireeThe Everyday Hostess and IBB at Home Summer Soiree

Finally, relax and enjoy your party! Don’t worry about cleaning while your guests are still there. That can wait until they leave! Have a cocktail or two and enjoy! You’ve worked hard!

Share your summer party ideas by tagging @the_everyday_hostess on Instagram.

 Styled by: The Everyday Hostess | Invitations: PrintSmitten |

Florals: The T Shop | Photography: Lindsay Davenport Photography