Party Hosting 101
Make Your Backyard the Go-To for Summer Gatherings
Summer in California is generous, giving us the perfect weather for outdoor parties. Nothing is better than cold drinks, the sunshine and catching up with friends that the busy year drove us away from. With the perfect outdoor atmosphere, delicious food and party hosting tips, we are going to make your house the favorite to spend endless summer nights.
When it comes to sending invitations to your party, you want to let your guests know what the dress code is and whether or not they are allowed to bring others along with them. You don’t want to leave people with questions, and you also don’t want to invite more people than you can manage. The first step to hosting a great party is being calm, cool, and collected, and with more people than you expected, you might feel a little overwhelmed. We love these invite designs by Minted.
To host a great outdoor party, you want your backyard looking its best. Roger’s Gardens has the most beautiful array of plants and flowers that will add a colorful summer touch to the yard. Remember to keep the garden pest free for your guests with citronella candles from Williams-Sonoma.
You also want to make sure that there is enough seating for everyone. This can be made easy with the Outdoor Poufs from Restoration Hardware that are perfect for moving around the yard to make room for everyone. Plus, they add the perfect casual summer vibe that your party needs. Restoration Hardware’s Costa Sectional is a great addition to an outdoor party as well, as its large size can fit many guests comfortably.
One of the most important tips to throwing a great party is to make sure there is enough food. To make it easy on yourself, prepare foods that are simple so that you can make a lot at one time. Williams-Sonoma has some amazing appetizer recipes, with a few of our favorites being the Bocconcini and Tomato Skewers, Crostini with Ricotta Cheese and Tangerine Marmalade, and Creamy Herb Dip with Crudités. By making smaller plates, you are giving yourself a break, and also giving your guests a variety of options to choose from, satisfying any palate or dietary restriction. Display the food on our favorite L’Object dishes, Perlée Blue, which are just perfect for a summery look.
Instead of having to refill a variety of different drinks, stick to making a large batch of one drink. Sauté Magazine provides a recipe for a mint julep iced tea, which is sure to keep the adults refreshed and happy all night.
The last step to prepping is to make your home accessible for your guests. Stock the guest restroom with extra toilet paper and make sure there is an open room for coats and bags. Simply close the doors to the rooms that you do not want guests in, and remove anything breakable to avoid potentially embarrassing situations for you or your guests.
3. Keeping Your Guests Happy
Greeting your guests personally when they arrive is going to make everyone feel welcome, and set a warm and inviting atmosphere. If you are moving around a lot, make sure to hand them a mint julep iced tea, show them where the coat room and restroom are, and excuse yourself with a smile. Make sure that throughout the night you have spent some time with each guest. After all, they are here for you.
Activities are always an excellent way to keep a party upbeat as the night progresses. Keep your music playing, but adapt accordingly. If you see that people are enjoying more intimate conversations, put on calmer music. This Sonos Wireless Speaker allows you to change the music right on your phone, so you don’t even have to leave your conversation, or go into the house.
Summer basically begs for you to make s’mores. It is always a fun activity for all ages, and the Infinite Fire Bowl from Eldorado Stone is perfect for the whole gang to gather around and take part in this age-old summer tradition. After s’mores are over, cozy up by the warm fire and enjoy each other’s company as the night grows old, or put up a big-screen movie on your Backyard Theater Systems.
4. Be Yourself
People are coming to your house because they like you, and remind yourself of that. Party hosting can be stressful, but you never want your guests to think they are burdening you in any way. Drinks will spill, conversations will stall and food will run out, but that is fine! Stay friendly, confident, and welcoming to make your guests feel as though they are an addition to your home, rather than a burden on your shoulder.
Leave the dishes until the next day, don’t be afraid to ask for help, and make sure to prep so that you do not have too much to do on the day of the party. Be yourself, enjoy your guests’ company, and don’t forget that this is a party for you to celebrate as well!