Warmer weather has got me thinking about playing outside, BBQ's and dining alfresco. One of my favorite things to do in the summer is to entertain friends and family. This year I plan to do lots more outdoor entertaining, so today I want to share 3 tips to make summer entertaining easy and fun!
Tip #1 JUST DO APPETIZERS
This is probably my favorite tip (I'm not lazy, I promise)! Entertaining isn't very fun for the host if you are too busy fussing over preparing meals and such. By setting up a buffet table with different appetizers, you will free up time to actually visit with your guests. Its super easy to check if food needs to be refilled and bonus points for being able to make everything the night before. Some of my favorite party apps are these Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers (I brush BBQ sauce on mine before baking for extra goodness), and skewers with chicken, steak, veggies or fruit.
Don't forget festive drinks! Try this recipe for Blueberry Mojitos for a Crowd
Tip #2 Lighting
You can take your party from meh to magical with lighting. The right lighting along with some cozy seating will turn your space into a relaxing lounge. I love to use a mix of of string lights and candles to create ambiance and help extend the party hours into the night. You can use string lights to carve out a party spot almost anywhere.
Tip #3 Party Decor
I like to keep my party decor pretty simple. I like to put my food in beautiful dishes or pretty platters and have fresh flowers or other natural elements as my centerpieces. I don't believe centerpieces need to be expensive to create a wow factor. I make 99% of my centerpieces from Aldi's everyday flowers (sold for just $3.99 a bouquet where I live) or from greenery/flowers from my yard. I even like to use fresh herbs like below!
When setting up my tables I like to consider the traffic flows. If people will be walking around the table, I like to keep my centerpiece(s) in the center and low enough so people can see over it. If my table is against the wall, I keep my centerpiece(s) along the back and vary the heights for interest. You can easily create different heights by using simple clay pots or pretty bowls as risers. In the image below, they used drawers as risers!
Want even more inspiration? Check out our Pinterest page for more great ideas! Do you like to entertain? Share your summer entertaining ideas or tips below in the comments! We'd love to hear about them!