There is no better time to host a party than summer. With the sun shining, the daylight staying well into the evening and guests fresh from their summer holidays, you have the perfect formula for success. The secret to a truly great party, however, is all in the planning.

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Set the date

Summer is the hardest time to get all your friends in one place. Ensure to give plenty of notice to make sure your event is the one guests mark out on their calendars.

There are plenty of ways to invite guests: posted invitations are perfect for special events, while on-line invitation tools such as evites or social media make keeping track of attendees a breeze. For a barbeque or casual catch up, email and group texts are a relaxed alternative. Be sure to include details such as a party theme and whether the party is adults-only or family friendly.

 

Keep it at home

Your own home is a great place to host your party. Planning a party at home may seem like more work, but inviting guests into your house is far more personal than a bar or hall, plus you’ll have more control over the finer details. If you have a pool or entertaining area your home will be the perfect location for a summer party. If you do decide to host at home, it’s important your house looks its best for the big day. This is the time to tackle those odd jobs you’ve been putting off, and to take a look at your home with fresh eyes.

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Prepare for all weathers

While summer sun is the perfect scenario, we all know the weather doesn’t always follow our plans! On a good day you’ll need plenty of shade and cooling options available: consider hiring umbrellas or a small marquee, and turn the air conditioning or fans on indoors if it gets particularly warm. A wet day will bring bigger challenges: provide plenty of seating indoors and if possible make sure outdoor shading options are also waterproof.

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Eats and drinks

The quality of food and drink can make or break a good party. Always overestimate: it’s better to be feasting on leftovers for days after the big event than have your guests go hungry! Provide plenty of ice buckets for keeping beverages cool and consider hiring some help to distribute food and make drinks, this will free up time for you to enjoy the party while ensuring your guests are well catered for. Plenty of water is always an essential.

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Let there be light

When the sunlight starts to fade mood lighting comes into its own. Light a scented candle in your bathroom and turn on fairy lights outside. String fairy lights through your hedges for a truly magical effect. Make the most of lamps and dimmers, flattering soft lighting is the way to go!

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Just add music

Turn up the music (but not too loud for the neighbours!) and settle into the evening. After weeks of planning now is the time to sit back and relax with your guests – above all, they are here to spend time with you.

 

Written by Kate Shaw and Jason Barnett