EVENTS | WEDDINGS | BRAND ENGAGEMENT

How to host a successful summer soiree

Collective Concepts Pop Up PartyWith temperatures beginning to rise and days getting longer, it’s time to shed the winter blues and start socialising again. Bringing family, friends or colleagues together is a fun way to celebrate the arrival of the warmer season. Why not step it up this year and host a summer soiree? With the following tips, success is guaranteed and your guests will remember your gathering for a long time to come.

Invites

Whether you’re organising a fun evening with friends and family or a corporate event, a summer soiree is more than your usual backyard BBQ and requires a bit of planning. Ideally, your guests should receive their invite about a month before the actual event. That gives everyone enough time to make room in their calendars and yourself plenty of room to finalise the finer details.

Catering & drinks

One of the biggest questions of any social gathering is, how much food should you provide and what? In general, for whatever you order or prepare, calculate so that each guest could potentially have 1.5 servings of each. It’s much better to have leftovers than running out of everyone’s favourite thing before the night has actually started.

Food wise, catering at a summer soiree is generally seasonal, often chilled yet won’t change its fabulous taste once it’s reached room (or outside) temperature. Stick to platters of local, seasonal produce and finger food or canapes that can be eaten anywhere. Provide cold, celebratory refreshments such as sangria, prosecco, beer, cider and cocktails (Aperol Spritz anyone?!) as well as non-alcoholic options such as iced tea, homemade lemonade and plenty of water which you can spice up with a sprig of mint and strawberry or a few slices of cucumber and lime.

Décor

Simple is often the best when it comes to decor for your summer soiree. Keeping it natural with seasonal flowers won’t kill your budget and will give your guests a beautiful summer party experience. Place them on tables and around the patio and top it off with draping fabric or runners. Depending on the occasion you can create additional ambiance with fairy lights, festoons or bunting. It’s a good idea to pick a colour palette that is represented in your flowers, candles, napkins, plates and wider décor, for a more cohesive look.

Lighting

Lighting will set the mood for the evening and is a great way to set the scene. Your best options to create a warm atmosphere are candlelight, oversized boutique lanterns or al fresco dining with festoon bulbs that you can simply string along fence lines or through balustrades. You can even throw in a few citronella candles to keep pesky mozzies and sand-flies at bay. Solar lights are another alternative that can also help light pathways for people to find their way around. Be careful not to go too bright with your lighting as that will only take away from the mood.

Seating

Opt for open seating with lots of opportunities to simply lounge or chill rather than crowding people around formal table set ups. A few comfy chairs or benches, bean bags and cushions will encourage people to mix and mingle and make new acquaintances, rather than being stuck between two strangers they have nothing in common with!

Weather protection

Depending on your venue, think about providing sufficient shelter from the sun by adding shade sails or putting up gazebos. Remember also that even in summer there may always be the possibility of rain. Unless you’re happy to live with the odd chance of your guests receiving a free shower, shelter is an absolute must for any summer soiree. Not only does it offer additional protection from the elements, it can also add a sophisticated touch to your event, as well as a hint of privacy.

Entertainment

Music is a key element to any party, and the same is true for your summer soiree. Depending on the crowd you’ve invited, you could consider light jazz for a more sophisticated event or compile a playlist of your friends’ favourite songs if your gathering is more informal. Remember that the music should merely hover in the background without being too overpowering for people to enjoy a bit of chit-chat. If you’re really looking to set the mood – a live singer or duo is a delightful touch.

Aside from the music, games are also a fun way to entertain your guests. You’re never too old for an outdoor session of Giant Jenga, Connect 4 or good of fashioned Cornhole!

 

If you love the idea of hosting a summer soiree at your place but are unsure where to start, contact Collective Concepts today for a consultation.

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