Summer is officially here! We’re past Memorial Day, the traditional kick off, schools are out and there really was no reason to wait for that official June 22nd date. But now that it’s here, let’s take advantage! Summer brings a ton of activities–vacations, pool parties, BBQs, baseball–and it flies by quickly every year. This season, make sure you take the time to really stop and smell the sunscreen. Throw a few get-togethers with your nearest and dearest. I know, entertaining requires cleaning and planning and prepping and who has the extra time and sweat to put into that, but with these tips below it will be a breeze (a much needed, refreshing one).
Plan an Entrée, Delegate the Sides
Who says there can’t be more than one cook in the kitchen? Tell your guests you’ll provide the main dish if they bring their favorite side to share. Having to worry about, shop for, and cook only one item will greatly reduce the time and stress you have to put into meal planning.
Have a Signature Cocktail
Instead of stressing over beer, wine, and liquor options, then running around to collect mixers and garnishes, choose one summery concoction and mix up a batch ahead of time for everyone to imbibe and share. Check out some of our favorites here. Then place a few pitchers strategically around and let guests help themselves.
Staying hydrated is key for a summer bash, but there’s nothing more wasteful than picking up a half finished bottled water post-party. Give everyone a disposable (but recyclable!) cup, have them mark it with a marker, colorful rubber band, or other creative doodad and then scatter pitchers of water. Your guests will stay hydrated with much less waste.
(Tip: Use emptied and washed wine bottles. They’re colorful, easy to pour and would’ve been thrown away anyway.)
Set the Mood
Months from now your guests won’t remember the food you served or the utensils with which you served it, but they will remember the feeling they had from spending time at your home. Make sure they feel the positive vibes and return home with a carefree feeling of summer. Make a fun playlist ahead of time to play in the background, have a few group games you can whip out to amp up the energy level, and make sure you relax and take time to participate and have fun–as the host, you’re setting the tone!
Sometimes, It’s the Little Things
Feel like maybe you aren’t trying quite enough? Trick your guests into thinking you’ve put more effort in than you did. A great looking party is in the little details and the little details aren’t that time consuming. Use a rubber stamp to dress up some colorful paper napkins. Take glass condiment jars and throw in a few flowers or sprigs of greenery. Freeze some fruit in water for pretty ice cubes.
Entertaining doesn’t have to be another strenuous chore. If you take a bit of time to prep and plan you can easily throw a fabulous summer shindig without breaking a sweat (or at least not much of one)!
Tell us, what are your go-tos for entertaining?