7 TIPS TO ENTERTAIN THIS SUMMER
Balmy nights are upon us. We are wading out of a long spring into the warm waters of summer, and breathing a little lighter because of it. It’s time to gather our dearest friends and rejoice under soft starlight. Parties this summer will likely be smaller than their predecessors. Let 2020 be the year we take stock of our close friendships and cherish our inner circles. And, just because a party is small doesn’t mean it has to be any less extravagant. Quite the contrary…
Here are seven tips on how to make your intimate gatherings this summer nothing short of spectacular.
Summer 2020 Dress Code
Dress codes for summer are often implied - floral prints, linens, greek sandals… so lean in. This summer, expect it to be over-the-top. After a long winter (and spring!) of sweat pants and the same oversized Led Zeppelin tee, your guests will surely want to wear their summer bests. Remind everyone that just because it’s summer doesn’t mean they won’t get cold, Advise them to bring a shawl or light jacket in case a breeze or unexpected walk on the beach comes along.
Timing is Everything
Summer creates its own ambiance, which makes things terribly easy for a host with good timing. Invite guests for cocktails just a couple of hours before sunset, and watch as the day slips into night amidst a backdrop of deep purples, ruby reds, and vibrant oranges.
Keep it Light
Summer isn’t a time to be weighed down by large roasts or heavy cream dishes. Opt for a lighter fare, and serve your guests just enough to keep them full without putting them to sleep. There are so many wonderful recipes of light summer salads, fresh pastas, and oven-baked fish dishes that are both easy to make, and easy to eat. Let the appetizers and the meal be soft punctuation to your evening; conversations and connection are the stars of the night.
Fresh Fruit Decor
There is something so calming about seeing fresh fruit and vegetables in a crystal bowl. Use fruits such as oranges, grapefruits, lemons, papaya as your centerpieces to keep things fresh. Pick out pieces from your local farmers market or grocery store with the most vibrant colors. Cut some in half, keep some as is. Combine them with palm leaves, and summer florals, and listen as bursts of expected delight flow out of your guests all evening long.
- “Summer isn’t a time to be weighed down by large roasts or heavy cream dishes. Opt for a lighter fare, and serve your guests just enough to keep them full without putting them to sleep.”
Scents and Scenes
If you are hosting outdoors, there is no need to use scented candles. There’s nothing better than the smells of nature—fresh grass, the ocean, the trees... Set the mood and ambiance with candle lit lanterns, whether indoor or outdoor, and create groupings of different shapes and sizes. Rattan creates a coastal, summery vibe that looks fabulous everywhere from Newport beaches to Brooklyn rooftops.
Mix & Match Your Prints
Your table is the place to indulge in prints and colors. Choose a color palette and mix and match dinnerware and glassware within that palette. Spread crystal in the form of decanters, mint dishes, and serving bowls across the table. Light dances off of them and your party turns from day to night as the sun is replaced with candle light.
Plan B(e prepared)
Weather can unexpectedly change, especially during the summer. If hosting outdoors, have a contingency plan for bad weather, and remember that it’s not a disaster! It’s an opportunity to play with different linens, place settings, and decor.
Written by James Francis Kelley