Grab the gang to savor that summertime sunshine with an outdoor get-together. When choosing a theme, the brighter the better — even down to the drinks. Get inspired to plan a fun fete with these quick tips, brought to you by Evite in partnership with IZZE®.
Setting the Scene
Coordinate your decor with the colors of a beautiful summer sunset (think orange, pink and yellow). Keep it casual by dining alfresco — just place plenty of blankets, rugs and pillows on the grass. (Pro-Tip: Place a plastic table cover under the blankets and rugs to prevent any moisture from soaking through.) For an easier dining experience, create a low-to-the-ground table to set on your blankets and rugs. Purchase a precut piece of wood at a hardware store (or, have the hardware store cut a piece of wood down to your preferred size). Our tabletop was 72″ x 32″. Also, purchase two large plastic buckets and flip them upside down so the flat part is facing up. Then, set the wood tabletop on top. If you want to skip out on the table and stick to picnic style, place books, cutting boards or serving trays on the blankets so guests can set their food and drinks on a flat surface.
To dress up your table, measure and lay a roll of kraft paper down the center to create a table runner (you can also use wrapping paper or burlap). Tape the edge of the paper underneath the table to prevent it from flying away, then set out some summer blooms in vases and votive candles in candle holders so you’ll have some light when the sun goes down.
To continue the colorful theme, dip-dye napkins (we created an ombré set) with liquid dye. For best results, we recommend dip-dying fabrics that are 100% cotton. Follow the instructions on the box of your purchased dip-dye to add color to your napkins and properly wash out the excess dye. Once the excess dye is removed, set out to dry overnight. When setting the table, fold the napkins on top of your plates and find flowers or fruit from your backyard to top off your place setting. If you want to properly set your table, place the fork to the left of the plates and the knife and spoon to the right.
When setting out the drinks, attach decorative paper straws to the neck of the bottles with twine (or set out straws on the drink table). Cheers!
Outdoor tunes are music to our ears! Set the mood with summer jams. Opt for a battery-powered or wireless speaker to blast your favorite summer playlist.
Making a Memorable Menu
Set out a separate table for food and serve it buffet style so guests can grab what they’d like.
Cheese, crackers and nuts are super simple to set out and a great appetizer for outdoor get-togethers.
For the entreé, make heirloom tomato pizza — an easy-to-make crowdpleaser. If you want to skip out on making it yourself, pick a pizza up and add yellow, orange and red tomatoes to the top. Sprinkle chopped basil on top for the finishing touch.
For a fresher side, offer a fruit salad incorporating sliced oranges and grapefruit. Sprinkle with minced thyme leaves.
For a decadent dessert, follow this 15-minute recipe for grilled nectarines. If you’re not into whipped cream, you can also used fresh ricotta like we did here. Since ricotta can be quite tart, we mixed it with cinnamon and vanilla extract, then drizzled the tops with honey.
Keeping Everyone Refreshed
Chilled drinks are a must — it’s hot out after all! Fill a large beverage tub with ice and place your favorite drinks inside, such as IZZE® to match your sunset theme. Create your own cocktail for those above the age of 21 (you can use IZZE® as a cocktail mixture too). Have plenty of water on hand so guests can stay hydrated in the summer heat.
Pumping Up the Party
Active guests are happy guests. Let’s be honest — talking the whole time is bound to get a bit boring. Keep guests energized with yard games, dancing and a photo booth. Don’t forget to set out bug spray and sunscreen since guests may get distracted by your awesome party and forget to apply.
Who doesn’t like a friendly game of block stacking? Create your very own large set of wood stacking blocks by purchasing four 2″ x 4″ x 96″ pieces of wood. Cut each 2″ x 4″ x 96″ piece of wood down into 10.5-inch-long pieces of wood (the hardware store can cut them down for you). Sand them down and then you’re ready to get the competitive juices flowing!
The bigger the better reigns true in this case. Get crafty and create your very own DIY giant checkers board game — perfect for any outdoor party. Plus, you can fold it up and store it for the next celebration!
Make gold pipe cleaner crowns to “king” your checkers pieces with this how-to.
Say cheese! Set up a photo booth or selfie station to capture those memories. Since you’re already dip-dying the napkins, keep it consistent by dip-dying an old sheet or tablecloth and hanging it in your backyard for an instant backdrop. Follow the same instructions as the napkins.
NEXT: Check out more summer party ideas!