By Jennifer Wilhelm, Event Coordinator
Summer is just around the corner, and that means fun, sun and get-togethers with friends. Now is the perfect time to start planning your ultimate summer soirée, and we have a foolproof guide to ensure your event is an unforgettable success that your friends will rave about well into the depths of winter!
Step 1: Personalized Invitations
First impressions are everything, and personalized invitations will not only notify your guests of the event and provide important information but are also a great way to establish your desired theme. Keep it casual with e-invitations—Canva and Paperless Press are two of my favorites, as they have endless customizable options. Alternatively, you can create a Facebook event if that’s more your style.
Step 2: Set the Menu
Now that everyone is brimming with pre-party anticipation, it’s time to decide on a menu. Don’t feel pressured to make everything yourself, especially from scratch! Providing small bites and sweets keeps things light and easy and encourages mingling amongst your guests. A variety of fruits, marinated veggies and charcuterie are always a fantastic option.
For drinks, bubbles are always a must! Champagne cocktails like the French 75 can even be pre-mixed in batches to keep the wine flowing like… well, wine… throughout your event with minimal effort.
Step 3: Decorate
Like the menu, again there is no need to DIY everything! However, the most stylish party décor, plates, cups, etc. are found online, so give yourself at least a one-week lead time to be sure everything arrives for the party day.
Florals and appropriately placed candles are always an excellent choice for décor. To keep it simple, use single-bud vases and tealights for maximum impact with minimal effort. Have everything set one hour before the official start time so you can relax and enjoy your company and the fruits of your labor.
Step 4: Playlist
Your choice of music will immediately set a tone for your guests when they arrive. I suggest starting with something light and jazzy, then increasing the tempo or switching genres once the party’s energy starts to ramp up.
Be sure to have a high-powered Bluetooth speaker on hand to enjoy music both indoors and out. If you don’t already own one or are looking for a replacement, I highly recommend the JBL Playlist.
Step 5: Thank-yous
Sending a hand-written thank you note to your guests after the event is always a nice personal touch, and it lets your friends know how truly valued their attendance was. A short, simple note is the perfect way to show your gratitude as a host and helps build lasting relationships with your guests!
This article is the first in our new series, “Ask an Event Planner.” If you have any questions or suggestions for content, please contact Jennifer Wilhelm at email@example.com.