How To Throw The Perfect Summer Party

Published On July 16, 2015 | By Matt | Food and Drink


Summer parties are great social occasions where wonderful memories are made. Naturally, there is a lot of organizing that is required, and of course some luck too, especially if you are planning an outdoors event. Let’s have a look at some practical hints and tips that will go a long way towards ensuring you have a great outdoors, summer party.

Planning is critical, so take some time to a good think about the type of event you want to hold considering the type of guests who will be attending. Be realistic, and think about the practicalities of the style or theme you wish to present on the day, the size of the party, the type of food and drink to suit the mood, and whom you can rely on to help you. If you are sending out written invitations they need to be attractive and create anticipation, while not forgetting to stipulate your theme, directions to the venue, if gifts are requested, etc.

Most importantly you need to ensure that you have a great location for your summer party – be it your own home or a hired venue. Summer parties work well with green lawns, big trees, colourful gardens, and a swimming pool as key ingredients.
Ensure there are enough tables, even if you have to borrow garden furniture from a friend/s. You can also find used furniture options online, e.g Gumtree. You’ll need plenty of comfortable seating and plenty of shade, so have a good number of wide umbrellas available. Ensure the lawns are trimmed, the pool is sparkling, and your tables and chairs are dust-free.

Drinks, or the bar, need to be practically located. If you are making use of a portable bar, ensure there is enough space to mingle around the bar area, which is always a popular area of a party for chatting. Make sure to have non alcoholic options for your guests and any children present.

Put careful thought into what food you’ll be serving your guests. Parties with the right mix of snacks can be as successful as the more traditional big meal parties with a braai and catering. Either way ensure that the food is well taken care of, whether you are preparing the snacks yourself or making use of caterers, allowing you to freely mingle with your guests in the garden rather than stressing in the kitchen. If you’re missing the essential braai, you can easily find a great braai for sale – new or used – on Gumtree.

Once you have the food and drink under control, you can focus on the smaller details that will make your party unique. Music is an important aspect of an enjoyable day. You can supply the music yourself, hire a DJ, or better still, hire a live band for the afternoon and evening. Importantly, make sure the music you provide is popular music that will generally appeal to most partygoers.

Make sure your tables are cleverly and practically decorated. For example, provide kerosene lamps if your party is going to run into the night. Provide mosquito coils under the tables if there are mosquitos. Think about your lighting. Ensure the main socializing areas are comfortably lit, and that there is sufficient light to eat by, if you are eating late. Ensure your ablutions are accessible and clean. For example paper towelettes are a more hygienic option that a single hand towel.

Also, you need to ensure that you have reliable helpers and/or staff. There is nothing worse than promised help not arriving or arriving late, so make sure you have the right support. Often, good friends can help earlier in the day with the layout, décor, and supplies.

Finally, you might need a little luck regarding the weather. If you’re having your outdoors summer party in South Africa good weather is probably a given but if you’re somewhere else like the UK, always have a backup plan.

Image by Jun Seita under Creative Commons license.
This post was written in association with Gumtree.

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