10 Tricks for Easy Summer Entertaining
Beat the heat and impress your guests
Hosting a summer soiree can be daunting. There are so many questions that come into play. How many people RSVP’d? Will it rain? Is everyone having fun? Will crazy Aunt Linda start talking about her eczema? But don’t let the stress deter you from actually throwing one. We’re here to guide you with easy tips and tricks designed to make any party a raging success.
Don’t Skimp on Prep Work
Do anything and everything ahead of time. This includes cutting lemon and lime wedges for the bar, marinating meat, making dips, setting tables and filling propane tanks. Just think, the more you prep, the less you’ll be running around like a madwoman hours before go time.
Involve Your Guests
Skip the professional bartender and let your pals do the pouring. Just set up a cocktail station or cart with all the fixings and a recipe card with suggestions for a few easy drinks. Bonus: It’ll get strangers talking to each other as they attempt to mix negronis.
Dairy-based dips, shellfish, fruit and salad might not mix well with August heat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t serve them. Prevent food from spoiling by serving it atop a large bowl filled with ice. Voilà!
Give Yourself A Hand
Double-duty products are a hostess's very best friend, and this SANDSKÄR tray table from IKEA is an absolute must. Use the removable tray to carry beverages or appetizers from the kitchen to the backyard, set it down on the base and then get back to work refilling everyone’s sangria.
Learn To Say Yes
Typically, your guests will ask ahead of time if there’s anything they can bring to the party. Take them up on the offer by requesting things like soda, desserts and appetizers. (Got a pal who can’t cook to save her life? Task her with napkins.)
Keep mosquitoes at bay by surrounding your party area with insect-repellent torches, bug-fighting essential oils (tea tree, lavender, lemongrass or rosemary) and citronella candles for a little extra protection.
Have A Backup Plan
Mother Nature has a tendency to show up to parties uninvited. If yours is set outdoors, make sure you have a contingency plan that either brings your guests inside or shields them under a weatherproof tent. Or, you know, set a rain date.
Atmosphere Is Everything
Cover your tables with vibrant colors, fresh flowers and tea lights, and then keep the mood going after dark with lanterns and a fire pit. Hint: If it’s breezy, cover candles with hurricane jars to help them stay lit.
Account For Leftovers
Got four pounds of guac left over at the end of the night? Instead of stuffing everything into your refrigerator (or throwing it out), send your guests home with some of the goods. Stock up on cheap plastic containers and make everyone a doggie bag before bidding them adieu.
It takes planning, money and a whole lotta elbow grease to put together a killer party. And look at you--you nailed it! So sit back, relax and pat yourself on the back for a job well done.